In total disregard of international opposition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe blatantly paid homage to the Yasukuni Shrine recently where Class-A war criminals of World War II are honoured.
This act brazenly affronted people of all countries that once suffered from Japanese militarist aggression and colonial rule. It is a flagrant provocation to the peace-loving people of the entire world, a gross trampling upon historical justice and human conscience, and an outrageous challenge to the outcomes of the world’s victory in the war against fascism and the post-war international order established on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.
The perverse act by Abe has, as it should, aroused firm opposition and strong condemnation of the Chinese government and people and the international community.
The issue of Yasukuni Shrine, in essence, boils down to whether or not the Japanese government is able to correctly look at and profoundly repent its past of militarist aggression and colonial rule. Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan.
His visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is by no means a domestic affair of Japan, still less an act by an individual. Instead, it is a major issue of right and wrong that concerns aggression versus anti-aggression, justice versus evil, and light versus darkness.
It is a fundamental issue of direction about whether Japan’s leader will adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and stay with the path of peaceful development. And it is a matter of major principle that bears on the political foundation of Japan’s relations with its Asian neighbours and the international community. What Abe has done is pushing Japan toward a dangerous road that undermines the fundamental interests of people of all countries and of Japan. This has already given rise to high vigilance of the international community and of people with vision in Japan in various sectors.
The Chinese people cannot be insulted, nor can people of Asia and throughout the world be humiliated. Abe must own up to the wrongdoing, correct the mistake and take concrete measures to remove its egregious impacts. We urge Abe to give up any illusion and mend his way, otherwise he will further discredit himself before Japan’s Asian neighbours and the international community.
Yang Jiechi is a Chinese State Councillor