Japan should acknowledge past

Saitama

With regard to Dipak Basu’s Oct. 11 letter “Logic of claiming the Senkakus,” there are some points to consider.

Formosa (later Taiwan) was ceded to Japan by China in the Shimonoseki Treaty of 1895. So, the Nationalist Chinese who fled there were not “occupying” it, as Basu claims, but were in fact reclaiming it. (And China continues to claim Taiwan.)

There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that the Imperial Japanese Army was responsible for the deaths of 15 to 20 million Chinese during World War II. Since 1972 and the normalization of relations between Japan and China, Japan has been on the one hand apologetic for the past, and on the other pursuing a policy of historical amnesia. That is, whitewashing World War II in school textbooks and allowing politicians to offer denials of Japan’s misdeeds in World War II and get away with it. It goes without saying that had Japan been more active in making amends, there would be much less for the Chinese to be riled about.

Japan needs to come clean about the past before it can take the moral high ground on the Senkakus dispute. It’s clear there are disputes with Russia and South Korea. Like it or not, there is one with China, too.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

christopher glen