I thank Dr Alf for reblogging the article entitled “Why we must never forget this day“, published by China’s People’s Daily Online. Let me share my view.
The young have no interest in Japanese Imperial history or in dominating anyone militarily.
The problem lies with the older generation, who for years rewrote and sanitized history, and believe in economic warfare, based on the teachings of the Samurai warrior Miyamoto Mushashi, as encapsulated in the Book of Five Rings.
The theme of warfare by other means is also propagated by the teachings of a Japanese warrior monk Nichiren who believed in the destruction of whites and Muslims and has modern adherents.
After VJ day, Emperor Hirohito was not tried as a war criminal, like some of the Nazis were at Nuremburg, and a number of the worst war criminals like General Ito, who engaged in germ warfare experiments on POWs were spared by the Americans who wanted the knowledge so that they could add it to their war-fighting capabilities.
The British Empire, Holland and America at our (UK) behest applied sanctions and an oil embargo on Japan, which has no oil to force them to go to war in the first place, so our hands are not clean even though as schoolchildren we were, as I remember well, taught otherwise.
The Chinese have already said of Japan, “There cannot be two suns in the sky” which is their way of saying they are the masters of Asia, rather than the Japanese who once took this role for themselves. The Chinese have long memories but also look to the future.
Matters will I think have to resolve themselves over time because until we have a new generation in charge in both countries the old hatreds and rivalries will always simmer under the surface with the Japanese feeling that they have paid enough in reparations and some older Chinese thinking as we once wrongly did in the railway carriage at Versailles, that “The German orange must be squeezed until the pips squeak”
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