While China may well have hoped to focus on the end of World War II and Japan's wartime record, the Chinese central bank's major devaluation of the yuan this week has large parts of Asia now worried about the prospects of a currency war.

The record 1.9 percent devaluation on Tuesday sent the Chinese currency, also known as the renminbi, to its weakest level since April 2013. The move could potentially aid Chinese exporters because currencies, from the Thai baht to the South Korean won, tumbled across the region. Central banks in Southeast and East Asia may well come under pressure to further lower the value of their currencies to help domestic companies remain competitive with lower-priced Chinese goods.

Strikingly, the "one off" move by the Chinese central bank followed disappointing trade data and a decision by the International Monetary Fund to delay any conclusions on whether the yuan will be added to the so-called Special Drawing Rights "basket of currencies," which is comprised of dollars, euros, pounds and yen.