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People's Daily Online

Senior Chinese military official warns against Japanese militarism

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 07:35, June 23, 2014

BEIJING, June 22 -- A senior Chinese military official said on Sunday that all peace-loving people should keep alert about Japan's further inclination toward a wrong and dangerous path and the revival of its militarism.

Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, made the comment at a luncheon during the Third World Peace Forum (WPF) at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

'All the countries should learn from history and aspire for peace and development, rather than clinging to outdated ideas or going against the tide of history,' Sun said.

Instead of repenting and correcting the country's past invasion, Japan's right-wing leaders blatantly visited the Yasukuni Shrine honoring 14 Class-A war criminals in World War II, Sun said.

He listed Japan's attempts to deny history, including revising school textbooks and reviewing Kono statement over wartime sex slavery, revising its pacifist constitution and exercising the rights to collective self-defense.

'Japan is intensifying military buildup to break the post-war order,' he said, adding that it stirred up island disputes with neighbors to deliberately escalate regional tension.

Japan's moves have sparked opposition from home and neighboring Republic of Korea (ROK).

Abe's administration, by revising constitution, hopes to break away from the post-war order in the end, said Haruo Nishihara, former president of Waseda University in Japan.

Though Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) attempted to revise the constitution since 1955, but breaking away from the post-war order is not yet acceptable to the majority party members.

When it comes to constitution revision, there are differing opinions within the LDP, not the least, half of the Japanese nationals vote against the revision, so for a long time, the LDP has avoided substantial procedures, according to Nishihara.

Japan's actions have led to tension in its relations with China, making bilateral leaders' meeting impossible.

'This makes it very difficult for the average Japanese to vote in favor of the security strategy,' Nishihara said.

ROK-Japan ties reached the lowest in history and have seemed to retrograded to the level before the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1965, ROK's former Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said.

He attributed wartime sex slaves and Japan's unawareness of history to be a major cause for soured bilateral relationship.

Academics voiced anxiety about Japan's political security development. 'The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II but Japan is on its way to becoming a nation that can fight wars,' said Li Wei, a Chinese researcher on Japanese studies.

Once Japan exercises the rights to collective self-defense, Japan will be able to send troops overseas and fight wars, which sends an alarming signal to neighboring countries, said Wang Taiping, former Chinese Consul General to Osaka of Japan.

For China and Japan, it means the East China Sea tension may escalate, Wang added.

China and the United States have no reason for military confrontation. However, He Yafei, deputy head of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, expressed concern about the possibility that the two powers might be dragged into conflict by a third party, as Japan is trying to change the status quo and challenge post-war order.

With the theme In Pursuit of Common Security: Peace, Mutual Trust and Responsibility, the forum discussed security issues in the Asian-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as nuclear nonproliferation. With about 500 participants, the forum concluded on Sunday.

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