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Japan runs risk of playing with fire

By Wu Liming (Xinhua)

08:07, July 10, 2013

BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Tuesday released an annual defense report which plays up the "China threat," while two days earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made shocking remarks of "taking pride in" Japanese history of aggression.

It is not the first time for Abe to make such provocative remarks over history issue since he took office at the end of last year.

In the meantime, Tokyo has also resorted to various efforts to bolster its military power under the excuse of "China threat."

What does Abe drive at? Obviously he intends to achieve two objectives:

First, he wants to distort Japan's history of aggression in a bid to challenge the post-war international order.

Secondly, he intends to distort facts to blacken China, play up so-called "China threat" and ignite the tension between the two countries to justify the expansion of Japan's military powerhouse.

By taking pride in the atrocities that Japanese aggressors committed to neighboring countries in the Second World War, Abe went too far. Such remarks and deeds are very dangerous.

The political motivation behind such moves are obvious. Abe intends to cater to rightists at home in a bid to seal a victory at the upcoming elections in the Senate.

If his party wins the elections, Abe could not only consolidate his political position at home, but also pave the way for possible revision of Japan's pacifist constitution in the future.

In a short term, Abe may benefit from catering to the rightists, but in the long run, what he has done is equivalent to playing with fire.

It's known to all that the rightist forces in Japan have been on the rise in recent years. As a national leader, Abe fails to contain such tendency. Instead, he even fans the flames and stirs up the troubles.

To begin with, Abe intends to manipulate rightists and public opinion, but in the end he himself would fall into a victim.

In recent years, it is irresponsible remarks and deeds made by Japanese leaders that had flamed up the rampancy of Japanese rightists. However, one day in the future when Japanese rightists expand to an uncontrollable scale, Tokyo would have to eat the bitter fruit. What's worse, innocent and peace-loving Japanese people would bear the consequence.

History has repeatedly proven that if Japan allows rightist forces to grow and expand, the country would turn into a source of threat to the peace and stability of East Asia, which, in return, would lead the Japanese people into an abyss of disasters.

It is advisable for Abe and Tokyo to stop playing with fire and adopt a more proper attitude toward its history. For the sake of regional peace and stability, substantial efforts are needed from Japan to improve political trust with its neighbors.

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