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2014年4月 2日 (水)

習氏「南京」発言 一方的な主張は看過できない

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 01, 2014
Xi’s unilateral claims on history issues must not go unanswered
習氏「南京」発言 一方的な主張は看過できない

While visiting another country, Chinese President Xi Jinping made assertions on history issues as if they were cut-and-dried facts, even though these issues are perceived differently by Japan. His remarks cannot be ignored.

In a recent lecture meeting in Germany, Xi stated that “more than 300,000 people were massacred” in the 1937 Nanjing Incident perpetrated by the former Imperial Japanese Army. He emphasized to the international community that China was a “victim” by mentioning only the figure claimed by his government.

The Japanese government has admitted that the Nanjing Incident took place and the victims included noncombatants, but takes the stand that it is difficult to determine how many people died.

Xi’s statement in Germany disregarded Japan’s position, and it is reasonable to assume that his remarks were aimed at denigrating Japan’s image.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga criticized Xi’s statement, saying, “Amid a situation in which opinion differs [between the two countries] over the number of victims [in the Nanjing Incident], it is extremely unproductive for a Chinese leader to make such a statement in another country.” Suga’s criticism is a natural response.

The dominant view in Japan is that “over 300,000 victims” claimed by China is far in excess of the actual figure when the demographic statistics of Nanjing and other factors at that time are taken into consideration.

Even in a report published by the Japan-China joint research committee on history in 2010, which was established based on an agreement by the two governments, the Japanese side pointed out that “there are various estimates of victim numbers ranging from 20,000 or 40,000 to 200,000.”

Differing victim numbers

Even John Rabe, a German who has been praised by Xi for protecting refugees at the time of Nanjing Incident, put the number of victims at “50,000 to 60,000” in a report he submitted to Adolf Hitler.

Xi also said, “More than 35 million Chinese were killed and injured in the war of aggression committed under Japanese militarism,” but he failed to provide any evidence to support his claim.

Xi’s hard-line stance is stronger than that of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who demonstrated his anti-Japan position repeatedly in words and actions, leading to a deterioration of bilateral relations.

The German government reportedly declined Xi’s request to visit the Holocaust Memorial during his visit to the country. This apparently was because of Berlin’s wariness about becoming involved in a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.

Efforts must be made to prevent erroneous information about historical perceptions from spreading in the international community. The New York Times, in a recent online edition, carried an editorial saying that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asserted the Nanjing Incident did not happen.

To prevent such misapprehensions from prevailing, it is crucial for Tokyo to sincerely present its stance on the issue of historical perceptions and continuously and resolutely rebuff China’s anti-Japan propaganda campaign.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 1, 2014)


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