BEIJING, July 26 -- Japan's claim of China's Diaoyu islands is yet another attempt to break the international order established after the World War II, and proof of the Japanese right wing's ambitions to rebuild the country into a military power, experts said here Saturday.
Speaking at an international conference to retrospect World War I and II, Wu Enyuan, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan's right-wing forces have for decades kept making attempts to deny the order established after the Second World War, despite the watchfulness of Japanese people to the rise of militarism.
"These attempts may produce new destabilizing factors for the Asian-Pacific region and the international order," Wu told the conference, which gathered scholars from the U.S., Russia, Serbia, German, Japan and other countries, adding that countries should stay alert to Japan's militarism ambitions.
His words came just one day after China marked the 120th anniversary of the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894.
On July 25, 1894, Japanese warships attacked two Chinese vessels off the Korean port of Asan. At the time, Korea was a tributary of the Qing Empire (1644-1911). By March 1895, the Chinese land army and navy were routed, the first time China had lost to Japan in a military conflict.
The Shimonoseki Treaty, signed to conclude the war, ceded Liaodong Peninsula in northeast China, Taiwan and its annex, including the Diaoyu Islands, to Japan. The Qing court also paid Japan 200 million taels of silver (5.2 billion U.S. dollars today).
According to the Cairo Declaration issued in 1943 by China, the U.S. and Britain, "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and Pescadores" shall be restored to the Chinese, and that "Japan will also be expelled from all other territories she has taken by violence and greed."
Two years later, the Potsdam Proclamation reaffirmed that "the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out." The Japanese government accepted the Potsdam Proclamation in the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.
Although the Diaoyu Islands have been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, in the China-Japan joint statement issued in September 1972, the Japanese government also promised to "earnestly implement Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation."
"In view of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation and international laws, the Diaoyu Islands should be returned to China," said Zhou Yongsheng, vice director with the Japanese studies center under the China Foreign Affairs University.
Zhou said Japan's right-wing politicians are attempting to break the post-WWII international order established by the Potsdam Proclamation, which is being neglected in Japan.
Japan's Abe administration has recently endorsed a reinterpretation of the country's pacifist Constitution for the right to collective self-defense, paving way for sending soldiers into battle overseas to defend Japan and "countries with close ties". The move sparked considerable security worries for Japan's Asian neighbors.
Abe's policies threatens the peace of Japan and could lead the country down a dangerous path, said Nakayama Toshio, a professor with the Clausewitz Society of Japan.
"The international community must learn from the history and join hands to protect the international order as well as peace and stability in east Asia and the world," said Zhou Yongsheng.