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2015年2月26日 (木)

国連「70年」討論 歴史を曲げる中国の反日宣伝

The Yomiuri Shimbun
China’s anti-Japan propaganda distorts postwar history ahead of anniversary
国連「70年」討論 歴史を曲げる中国の反日宣伝

China has begun full-fledged anti-Japan propaganda, in connection with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday held an open debate in line with the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the foundation of the United Nations. The meeting was proposed by China, the chair of the council this month, and representatives from about 80 countries made statements.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi presided at the meeting, saying, “There are still some reluctant to recognize the truth and [who] even attempt to overturn and whitewash past crimes of aggression.” Although he refrained from naming Japan, it is obvious that China had this nation in mind.

We cannot overlook Wang’s remarks, as he ignored the fact that Japan had acknowledged its acts of aggression and expressed remorse and apology over its past conduct. We can also see that China intended to demean Japan.

Oh Joon, South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations, said U.N. member countries need to be wary of the problems that can come from “attempts to disregard lessons of history.” His remarks are considered to be essentially in line with those of China.

Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations Motohide Yoshikawa emphasized that “Throughout its post-war history, Japan has, based on feelings of deep remorse regarding the Second World War ... walked the path of a peace-loving nation.” Yoshikawa also said, “The path we have taken so far as a peace-loving nation is the pride of Japanese people and it will never change.”

It was an appropriate assertion, made on the basis of the pacifist course Japan has followed for 70 years since the end of the war. Japan has made efforts to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world and steadily won the trust of the international community. Japan has contributed a great deal of money to the United Nations and advocated the reform of the Security Council to strengthen its functions.

Rebut unjustified attacks

Japan should rebut unjustified criticism appropriately and in a level-headed manner. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “We will properly assert what we should assert.” It is quite reasonable for him to clarify Japan’s stance of intensifying its message to the international community.

Wang also said that China, as a “victory country” in the “world anti-fascism war,” has supported the role of the United Nations and safeguarded peace and stability. With these words, he meant to tout China’s position of maintaining the postwar international order.

However, China has repeatedly been involved in armed conflicts in the postwar years with its neighboring countries, including India, the former Soviet Union and Vietnam. Even today, China is attempting to change the status quo by force, causing regional instability.

Typical examples are China increasing its effective control — with no basis in international law — over certain waters by building bases on top of reefs in the South China Sea, and by repeatedly entering Japanese territorial waters in the East China Sea.

China considers the open debate as a prelude to its commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the foundation of the United Nations. It is expected to intensify its anti-Japan campaign internationally in the days ahead.

Conspicuously cooperating with China is Russia, a country that has been trying to unilaterally change the status quo in Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Moscow in May to take part in the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory in the war over Germany, and Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Beijing in September to attend the celebrations commemorating victory in the war against Japan.

Can this series of developments undermine Japan’s national interests? It is important for Japan to keep a close watch on the cooperative moves between China and Russia, while pursuing strategic diplomacy with both countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2015)


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