Abe’s visit to Pearl Har­bor called ‘ hyp­o­crit­i­cal ges­ture’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing and CAI HONG in Tokyo Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s an­nounce­ment to visit Pearl Har­bor is a “hyp­o­crit­i­cal ges­ture” to cater to the United States rather than a sin­cere re­flec­tion on the coun­try’s World War II-era war crimes, an­a­lysts said.

Yoshi­hide Suga, chief Cab­i­net sec­re­tary of Ja­pan, said on Tues­day that Abe will not apol­o­gize for the sur­prise at­tack that killed more than 2,000 US cit­i­zens and trig­gered the en­try of the US into World War II.

“This visit is for the sake of con­sol­ing the souls of those who died in the war, not for the sake of an apol­ogy,” Suga told a news con­fer­ence.

Abe said on Mon­day that he will visit Pearl Har­bor in late De­cem­ber with US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, 75 years af­ter Ja­pan’s at­tack on Hawaii in 1941. He will be the first Ja­panese leader to visit the site since the end of World War II.

Abe’s re­fusal to apol­o­gize has trig­gered on­line protests among Chi­nese ne­ti­zens. A mi­cro-blog­ger named Chang Ray said Abe should visit Nan­jing, where more than 300,000 peo­ple were killed by Ja­panese troops from De­cem­ber 1937 to Jan­uary 1938. The ne­ti­zen got more than 300 “likes” on his mi­cro blog ac­count for his comment on the is­sue.

A se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties will be held in Nan­jing to com­mem­o­rate the an­niver­sary of the mas­sacre, which falls on Dec 13.

Abe’s lack of an apol­ogy dur­ing his Pearl Har­bor trip could dis­ap­point some US war vet­er­ans, Reuters re­ported.

White House Press Sec­re­tary Josh Earnest said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence on Mon­day that it was nat­u­ral for World War II vet­er­ans to be “em­bit­tered” about Abe’s visit to Pearl Har­bor, but they should get over it for the sake of the United States.

Zhang Jingquan, a pro­fes­sor of Ja­panese stud­ies at Jilin Univer­sity, said that Abe aims to strengthen the Ja­pan-US re­la­tion­ship by vis­it­ing Pearl Har­bor to em­pha­size Ja­pan’s “com­mon value” with the United States.

“There is no ‘com­mon value’ at all be­tween Ja­pan and the US on many is­sues, such as the com­fort women (sex slaves dur­ing World War II) is­sue,” he said.

Abe’s re­fusal to apol­o­gize showed that his visit is just “a hyp­o­crit­i­cal ges­ture” to cater to the US, Zhang said.

Zhou Yong­sheng, a pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, said Abe’s visit to Pearl Har­bor is merely a prag­matic act to show Ja­pan’s loy­alty to the United States.

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