Pearl Harbor visit masks ‘ hawkish’ intent of Abe
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.
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.
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.