Japan's occupation of Diaoyu Islands violates all established laws and poses a challenge to post-war international order
Accepting the post-war international order established by the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Declaration and complying with its pacifist Constitution, Japan embarked on the road to peaceful development after surrendering to the Allied forces in 1945.
Of late, however, Japanese right-wing forces have been trying to remove the military restraints imposed on Japan by its Constitution and change the international order. This rightist political tendency has become more obvious since December 2012, when Shinzo Abe was sworn in as Japan's prime minister for the second time.
On July 26, 1945, China, the United States and Great Britain jointly issued the Potsdam Declaration, which was later ratified by the erstwhile Soviet Union, urging Japan to surrender unconditionally. Japanese emperor Hirohito accepted the declaration on Aug 14 and Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allied forces the next day.
In the document of surrender signed on Sept 2, 1945, Japan said: "The Japanese emperor, government and their successors will accept the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration."
The Potsdam Declaration says the forces that misled Japanese people into believing that they would conquer the world must be permanently eliminated and Japanese war criminals punished. And Japan is legally bound to follow the post-war international order that developed from the Potsdam Declaration.
In the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement signed in 1972, the Japanese government said, "the Japan state deeply feels its responsibilities for the considerable damage caused by the warfare it staged to Chinese people and expresses profound self-reflections over this."
In a joint statement signed with China in 1998, the Japanese government accepted that "to face squarely up to the past and look at the history with a correct attitude serve as an important foundation for Sino-Japanese relations". Japan also said that it will "comply with the 1972 Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the remarks made by the prime minister on Aug 15, 1995 (it) keenly feels the enormous disasters caused by its aggressive war to Chinese people and its responsibilities (and) expresses profound self-reflections over this".
But in recent years, many Japanese politicians have violated the country's solemn commitments. The visits by Abe and other Japanese politicians to Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals, and their denial of the Tokyo Trials' verdicts against those criminals contravene the Potsdam Declaration and violate Japan's commitment to the international community. They are also a breach of Japan's principle to keep politics and religion apart.