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Abe's constitutional revision push to damage Japan's credibility: historian

(Xinhua)    16:17, March 11, 2015

TOKYO, March 11 -- Japan will risk losing the trust of the international community, and even being isolated if the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues its push to revise the country's pacifist constitution, a Japanese historian said.

"The Article 9 of Japan's constitution renounces war and prohibits Japan from maintaining the war potential, which acts as the precondition of Japan's re-acceptance by the international community in the post-war era," Yutaka Yoshida, a professor at the Hitotsubashi University, told Xinhua in an interview Tuesday.

"Moreover, the pacifist constitution covers the shortage of post-war liquidation in Japan and reduces the concern over the country's military rebuilding. Thus, any intention to deny the results of trials by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, or to revise the constitution, will make Japan lose its credibility to the world, or even be isolated diplomatically," said Yoshida.

Abe has adopted a series of policies to expand Japan's military power since taking office again in late 2012. Those moves, together with his attitude towards Japan's war-time history, upset not only its neighboring countries who have suffered from the aggression of the Japanese Imperial Army, but also the western world, especially Japan's ally, the United States.

Regarding this, Yoshida warned: "The impact of the Abe cabinet' s historical revisionism has internationalized. It is no longer a problem just affecting East Asia."

"Japan's historical conception has turned into an international issue since Abe paid a visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in December 2013," Yoshida said. "The Obama administration, in a rare move, expressed its disappointment. To the United States, the political disputes following the visit have disturbed the stability of East Asia and even had negative effects on the U.S. security."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also urged Japan to face up to its history squarely and openly during a visit to Japan earlier this week. On Monday, she referred to Germany's own experience and hinted that Japan also needs to take war-time responsibility.

Echoing her words, Yoshida said Japan should learn lessons from the past to avoid repetition of the tragic war.

Yoshida also voiced his concerns about the Abe government's decision last week to give uniformed Self Defense Forces (SDF) officers greater power. "Civilian control over the military was born from the bitter lesson the nation learned from having foolishly gotten itself into WWII. If this backbone is destroyed, the SDF may run amok."

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the anti-fascist war victory. Looking back into the past, Yoshida said the painful memories of the WWII is key to preventing Japan from militarization again.

At a time when victims of the war are passing away and memories fading, it is important to let the future generations remember the history, he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Yao Chun)

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