Indeed, a fallacy can never become truth. Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine also harms U.S. people's feelings. Many in the United States have pointed out that the so-called logic of the Yasukuni Shrine -- that an industrialized Japan liberalized under-developed Asia and that the Asian people should be grateful for it -- is a flagrant rejection of the post-War international order and the Japanese domestic legal basis. In the wake of recent attempts to amend Japan's post-war Constitution, former British ambassador to Japan Hugh Cortazzi warned that "those who play with fire are likely to get burned." The current British ambassador to Japan, Tim Hitchens, also recently urged Tokyo to admit its historical mistakes.
Japan's refusal to admit its mistakes, show regret or introspection is intolerable for the international society, and certainly does nothing to win trust and respect. It is little wonder that people compare a Japan with rampant right-wing elements to an unrepentant, fully armed criminal returning to the community. The neighborhood is left with no choice but to grasp their bats in self defense and prepare for the worst.
Only by recognizing history as it is can one overcome historical issues. After World War II, German Chancellor Willy Brandt's dropping to his knees before a monument in Poland unfastened, to a large extent, the spiritual shackles cast on German nationality by historical atrocities. When commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Leningrad in January this year, German President Joachim Gauck wrote in a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, "I can only think with deep sorrow and shame about the war of extermination launched by Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union." Those are the normal attitudes toward history kept by a normal country. Germany has become a leading country in Europe nowadays exactly because of its sincere apologies and introspection.
How to look at invasion? How to look at the pains and wounds caused by Japanese militarism on Asian people? How to look at post-WW2 international order? How to respect other countries' territorial sovereignties? These are the questions which Japan must meditate on deeply and figure out the correct answers to. This is also the key to solving the current issues in Sino-Japanese relations. Indeed, if Japan refuses to walk out of the voodoo circle it has drawn for itself and stubbornly sticks to defying international justice by conjuring historical illusions, we will keep it company to the end. However, if it has to be this way, it will be an end that causes tremendous miseries for the entire Japanese nation.