TOKYO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — The time has come for Japan to mark the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by also making the solemn period an opportunity to reflect upon its history of aggression.
While full sympathy should be given to the innocent lives who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cities that were targeted by the U.S. in the atomic bombing in 1945 during WWII, it should also be kept in mind that those lives were, by no means, victims of the war Japan had initiated.
Millions of innocent people were mercilessly massacred, cities and villages pillaged, as the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) army invaded China and other Asian countries purely to satisfy its militaristic ambitions.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said "victims deserve sympathy, but perpetrators can never shirk their responsibility."
In Japanese society, it is commonly believed that Japan was the victim when its comes to the atomic bombings of its two cities. Few people, however, fully opt to think and probe the reason why Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered such attacks in the first place. This has hindered Japan from reflecting upon its responsibility for the war.
Nor has there been due attention paid to victims in neighboring countries who cannot forget the atrocities the Japanese aggressors once committed or due condemnation for Japan's crimes of aggression before and during WWII.
Instead, the administration of Prime Minster Shinzo Abe is more interested in highlighting the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki while ignoring the suffering of the countries that it brutalized before and during WWII.
Japan is, once again, trying to downplay its role as an aggressor and attempting to portray itself as a victim.
The rabidness of Japanese militarists during WWII is the fundamental reason the two cities were vaporized into mushroom clouds. Even facing a certain failure, Japanese militarists rejected the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945, because in their eyes the lives of civilians were irrelevant in comparison to their ambitions.
The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, along with the heinous crimes the IJA committed in other countries, are both horrid examples of what frenzied militarism can result in.
Instead of admitting to war crimes, right-wing politicians in Japan are now keen on taking advantage of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings by claiming that Japan made such a great sacrifice in order to liberate Asia from colonial rule by Western powers.
At the time of commemorating the atomic bombings, right-wing forces in Japan, who owe a heartfelt apology to Asian neighbors victimized by fascist island country's brutal aggression and colonial rule during WWII, show no remorse or choose to reflection upon their nation's war past.
All peace-loving people should heighten vigilance against their evil intentions and encourage them too, to honestly reflect on Japan's past militaristic wrongdoings.
As the only country in the world that has ever been hit by atomic bombings, Japan has been extremely sensitive to "nuclear" issues. However, nowadays, some Japanese politicians are openly calling for Japan's possession of nuclear weapon. Japan's huge stockpile of weapons-grade nuclear material and the government's statement in April that using nuclear weapons is not against its constitution have put its neighbors on edge.
Another dangerous signal is that Abe did not mention Japan's long-held Three Non-Nuclear Principles of not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons on its soil in his speech at the Hiroshima ceremony last year, the first time for a Japanese prime minister to make such an omission since 1994. Such an "oversight" on Abe's part fueled suspicions.
In the cabinet reshuffle this week, Abe appointed Tomomi Inada, policy chief in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as defense minister, which fueled worries from neighboring countries in Asia. Inada is known as a political hawk, with contentious views on history and a right wing stance on the future course of the nation' s politics.
She has regularly visited Yasukuni Shrine, which is regarded as a symbol of the past Japanese militarism.
As a close ally of Abe, she urged amending Japan's pacifist Constitution, including scrapping the war-renouncing article 9 to allow Japan's self-defense forces to act more like a conventional army. The clause forbids Japan from using force to settle international disputes and restricts its land, air and naval forces to a strictly defensive role.
Though 71 years have passed, it seems that the only lesson the Japanese right-wing force has learned is that as long as it ties up with the world's top power, it can continue its beggar-thy-neighbor policy and trouble-making behavior without worrying about any ramifications.