WELLINGTON, Jan. 12 -- The Chinese ambassador to New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue, Wang Lutong, published a signed article in New Zealand's second largest daily newspaper The Dominion Post on Saturday condemning Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.
"When people of all countries celebrating the coming of a happy new year, a Japanese politician attempted to turn back the wheel of history. On Dec. 26, in total disregard of the feelings of his Asian neighbors and the international community, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe blatantly paid homage to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Class A war criminals of World War IIdefined as those who committed 'crimes against peace' are enshrined," said the article, titled "Japan must not be allowed to recast history".
Right after the visit, the governments of China, South Korean and Russia expressed strong condemnations along with many other countries. The United States also expressed disappointment. Domestically, it drew opposition from the majority of the Japanese people, it added.
"Visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders is by no means simply an internal affair of Japan, or a personal matter of any Japanese politician. Nor does it concern only China-Japan or Korea-Japan relations. The Shrine was used by Japanese militarists as a spiritual symbol to launch wars of aggression. What Abe has done is pushing Japan toward a dangerous road that undermines the fundamental interests of people of all countries and of Japan."
"It reveals whether or not the Japanese government is able to correctly look at and profoundly repent its past of militarist aggression and colonial rule. It is a major issue of right and wrong that concerns aggression versus anti-aggression and justice versus evil. It is a fundamental issue of direction about whether Japanese leader will adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and stay with the path of peaceful development. And it is a matter of major principle that bears on the political foundation of Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors and the international community.
"China and New Zealand were allies of World War II. Our troops fought together against Japanese aggressors and made enormous sacrifices for world peace. We lost nearly 1.5 million Chinese soldiers and New Zealand 11,000 out of 140,000 during the war. Next year is the 70th Anniversary of World War II. While celebrating the victory and peace, we should be vigilant to whether history will repeat itself," the Chinese ambassador said in the article.
China is a peace-loving country. The Japanese militarist aggression China suffered during World War II caused a casualty of 35 million people and economic loss of more than 600 billion U.S. Dollars.
"Although we suffered tremendously, for the future of the two countries and its young people, the Chinese government made a historical decision to waive the national compensation upon Japan, with a good wish to establish friendly relations with Japan," it said.
However, unlike Germany, Japanese leaders are unrepentant about its militarist past and war crimes and make no apologies for it. Abe even openly questioned whether his country should be defined as an "aggressor", and did his utmost to whitewash its history of militaristic aggression and colonial rule. The Chinese will not allow such attempts.
"I am sure New Zealand and all other peace-loving folk will not remain indifferent," reads the article.
China and New Zealand are the founding members of the United Nations and New Zealand is now campaigning for non-permanent seat on the UN security council.
As Mr. David Shearer, foreign affairs spokesman and former leader of the Labor Party wrote recently on the Dominion Post, winning a council seat is in New Zealand's best interests, " because we have a responsibility to contribute to the peace of mankind." "We're not the puppet of any master: we are independent and honest."
According to the article, the severe situation now between China and Japan was caused by the Japanese side, especially the Abe administration.
"We can't let Abe lead Japan towards a wrong and dangerous road and do nothing. We can't let him lead the Asia-Pacific situation towards a tense direction and do nothing. We can't allow him question and overturn the post-war international order and do nothing," the ambassador stressed.
"Therefore, as responsible countries of the international community, China and New Zealand should work with the international community to oppose and condemn any words or actions aimed at invalidating the post-war consensus and challenging international order. We should join together to uphold the UN Charter and to safeguard regional stability and world peace," he said.