The repeated “ghost worship” by Japanese politicians has been planting dangerous seeds that can potentially lead the whole country in the wrong direction, read an editorial published by the People’s Daily on Tuesday after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine a day earlier.
The Japanese leaders’ tribute to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Class-A convicted World War II criminals were honored, reflects “their preposterous historical viewpoint,” read the editorial.
The following is the translation of the article:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering on Monday to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during the war-linked shrine’s autumn festival, once again repeating its annual farce of “ghost worship.”
The Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among the 2.5 million Japanese that died in WWII, is regarded as a symbol of past Japanese militarism.
After Abe angered the world with his personal visit to the shrine in December 2013, it has almost become tradition for Japanese leaders to send ritual offerings to the shrine during annual spring and autumn festivals, or even on Japan’s WWII day of surrender.
Despite opposition from the international community, Japanese right wing politicians are acting recklessly in its worship at the Yasukuni Shrine. But “ghost worship”, either by visiting the shrine or sending offerings, is a reflection of their preposterous historical viewpoint.
Japanese leaders are not only exposing their arrogance, but also planting dangerous seeds for regional and international disorder by leading the whole country in the wrong direction.
History is by no means only related to the past. Today’s world has found that the incorrect views held by the Japanese government are exerting great influences on its diplomacy.
For instance, after US President Barack Obama’s trip to Hiroshima, some US strategists advised Abe to pay a visit to Pearl Harbor. The idea was rejected by the Japanese government. Such a flat-out rejection reveals Japan’s attitude toward history, which means that it is impossible for Abe to apologize for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
According to Japanese media, Tokyo has held back its mandatory payment to UNESCO this year because of the UN body’s push to reform the Memory of the World program, which registered China’s documentation of the Nanjing Massacre last year.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the Japanese government considered “whether to suspend the contribution” after the program registered the documents without consideration of Japan’s opinion during the process.
As one of the gravest crimes committed by Japan during World War II, the Nanjing Massacre is widely recognized by the international community. The registered “Documents of the Nanjing Massacre” show the responsibility of the international community to preserve history, treasure peace and safeguard human dignity.
However, the Japanese government, turning a blind eye to justice, threatened to suspend its annual payment after failing to block registration of the documents. Such a farce shows that for Japanese right wing politicians, covering up a country’s crimes always come before international obligations.
This was not the first attempt by the Japanese government to rewrite history. Over the years, Japan has continued to tamper with historical fact in order to undermine the post-war peace.
For example, it manufactured threats from surrounding countries ina bid to exempt itself from a new security law.
A strategy of hypocrisy was also adopted. Before the regular election of members of the House of Councillors held this summer, it cooled down the aggressive campaign on the law in order to avoid public protests.
In a bid to profit from escalating regional conflicts, Japan has also been wooing G7 members to cement alliances with the US.
Japan’s recent behavior recalls the danger it was during World War II.
But Japan’s right wing politicians have no chance for success when faced with the mirror of history.
The international community should realize that peace is never achieved at one stroke. It not only calls for justice, but also far-sighted strategies and actions.