Facing up to History, Looking Forward to the Future

Japan-China relations should develop well in future, even though the two countries have encountered quite more problems this year, most of which are history-related, than usual.

This remark came from Kaneko Tetsuo, a member of the House of Representatives of Japan and also special head of the Japanese " Peace Tour" Youth Delegation.

In an interview with Xinhua upon concluding a week-long visit to China, he said he hoped that the two sides can look forward to the future while facing up to history.

Noting that Japanese youngsters have little knowledge about modern history, Kaneko said it is very important in the new century for more Japanese youngsters, who have never experienced war, to come here to experience history on the spot by themselves.

He noted that friendship is the mainstream in the development of bilateral relations and the two sides should maintain the friendship in the future.

At the invitation of the All-China Youth Federation, the International Friendship Culture Center of Japan sent this 63- member delegation to China, the 10th of its kind since the Peace Tour was initiated in 1992.

The delegation is composed of young employees of Japanese private enterprises and schools, and young public servants of Japanese local autonomous bodies.

The delegation, starting on June 23, visited in three groups, northeast China's Harbin and Shenyang, and east China's Nanjing where the Nanjing Massacre occurred in 1937, before reuniting in Beijing.

During the tour, members of the delegation witnessed some historical relics from the Japanese aggression against China and listened to personal experiences told by survivors of that aggression.

An official with the Center said that these young people want to further enhance mutual understanding and friendship with Chinese youth through the visit.

Miss Kogasawara, a 26-year-old public servant, said she, as a female, was "shocked" after her visit to Nanjing where she learnt that the Japanese military had done "all the evils" during the massacre.

She said she will tell her friends about what she learned during the tour, in the hope that there will not be conflicts in the world any more and a recurrence of history can be avoided.

Mr. Yamaguchi noted that history should provide material that can help people learn the truth in the past so as to avoid any recurrence of history.

He went on to say that in this sense, Japanese education should be reformed because in Japanese history textbooks, there are only lists of the dates of historical events without any details.

Head of the delegation Mr. Saito Katsunori said that historical knowledge should be accessible during schooling.

However, he said they can learn more details about history in Japanese senior high schools only when they take the course of world history, otherwise, they can only learn those lists of dates.

Hu Qili, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met here on June 26 with the delegation.

He said that China and Japan need to keep long-term and stable relations of friendship and cooperation, and young people of the two countries should strengthen their exchanges for a healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations in the new century.

He pointed out that a healthy development of bilateral relations is not only in the fundamental interests of the two peoples but also conducive to world peace and stability since China and Japan are neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water.

People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/