Pearl Har­bor visit masks ‘ hawk­ish’ in­tent of Abe

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By MO JINGXI and AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pearl Har­bor, crit­i­cized by China as lack­ing in sin­cer­ity, was quickly fol­lowed by one of his Cabi­net min­is­ters vis­it­ing a Tokyo war shrine on Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts, Abe’s visit to Pearl Har­bor, the tar­get of the 1941 Ja­panese sur­prise at­tack on Hawaii, had hawk­ish in­ten­tions at heart, not pur­su­ing peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. The pur­pose, they said, was to broaden Ja­pan’s mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties and curb the rise of China by strength­en­ing the al­liance with the United States.

On Tues­day, Abe and US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama laid wreaths at the USS Ari­zona Me­mo­rial.

Af­ter­ward, in a speech, Abe said that Ja­pan would never again wage war. On Dec 7, 1941, the Ja­panese at­tack on Pearl Har­bor killed more than 2,400 US cit­i­zens and drew the US into World War II.

Not long af­ter Abe spoke, Masahiro Ima­mura, the min­is­ter in charge of re­con­struc­tion of north­ern Ja­pan af­ter the 2011 tsunami, of­fered prayers at the Ya­sukuni Shrine, which honors Ja­pan’s war dead, in­clud­ing 14 Class- A war crim­i­nals from World War II. Class-A con­victs were found guilty of plot­ting and car­ry­ing out the war.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said Ja­pan should re­flect upon its war crimes in a sin­cere man­ner rather than “make po­lit­i­cal shows re­peat­edly”. She spoke at a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day.

The rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­tween Ja­pan and vic­tim­ized Asian coun­tries, in­clud­ing China, must be based on Tokyo’s sin­cere re­flec­tion on the suf­fer­ing it caused, she said, adding that some West­ern me­dia have used words like “shrewd” to de­scribe Abe’s visit.

The new Kun­ming-Guangzhou line cuts travel time from 16 1/2 hours to eight hours and 52 min­utes, run­ning at 200 to 250 km/h.

A high-speed grid of four north-south lines and four east- west lines is tak­ing shape. In 2008, China set a tar­get to build the grid by 2020. Only two sec­tions have not opened yet, the Ji­nanShi­ji­azhuang and Baoji-Lanzhou lines.

“The two new high-speed lines and the newly opened trans­porta­tion hub at Kun­ming South Rail­way Sta­tion are im­por­tant ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture to link with neigh­bor­ing coun­tries in South Asia and South­east Asia,” China Rail­way Corp said in a state­ment.

The sys­tem also aims to help erad­i­cate poverty by trans­form­ing the high-speed rail in­dus­try into an eco­nomic driv­ing force.

Peng Wan, a 28-year-old train fan from Kun­ming, took a day off work on Wed­nes­day to catch the first bul­let train de­par­ture from his home­town. “In the early 1990s, I took train from Kun­ming to a Guiyang for the first time. It took about 20 hours. The travel time from Kun­ming to Guiyang has been re­duced, to 17 hours and then to 10 hours, and now to only 2 1/2 hours. Guizhou is our neigh­bor and we can travel back and forth in the same day,” he said.

In July, the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion is­sued an up­dated na­tional rail­way de­vel­op­ment plan en­vi­sion­ing 38,000 km of high- speed rail­ways by the end of 2025, up from more than 20,000 km now.

The cur­rent sys­tem ac­counts for 60 per­cent of the world’s high-speed rail­roads, ac­cord­ing to China Rail­way Corp.

“We will ac­cel­er­ate the con­struc­tion of rail­ways in cen­tral and west­ern parts of China. We will also boost the ex­pan­sion of in­ter­city and sub­ur­ban rail links,” Zhang Dawei, deputy head of the Trans­port Min­istry’s plan­ning depart­ment, said in July.

By the end of 2020, plans call for more than 80 per­cent of main­land ci­ties with a pop­u­la­tion of at least 1 mil­lion to be cov­ered by high­speed rail­ways.

JUNG YEON-JE / AFP

For­mer South Korean “com­fort women” Gil Won-ok (left) and Kim Bok-dong at­tend a protest on Wed­nes­day call­ing for an­nul­ment of a set­tle­ment be­tween Seoul and Tokyo on the is­sue.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Tao Feiran, a stu­dent at Yun­nan Nor­mal Univer­sity, pro­poses to Xu Meng­ming on the high-speed train from Kun­ming, Yun­nan prov­ince, to Guiyang, Guizhou prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day.

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