US vet­eran sends an open let­ter to PM Abe

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By XIN­HUA in Los An­ge­les

A vet­eran of the fa­mous Fly­ing Tigers fight­ers squadron dur­ing World War II has sent an open let­ter to Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, urg­ing him to apol­o­gize to the Chi­nese peo­ple for the atrocities com­mit­ted by Ja­panese im­pe­rial army dur­ing the war.

John Yee, who was born in China and is now liv­ing in the United States, said in the let­ter that Tues­day’s visit to Pearl Har­bor by Abe is “more USAJa­pan theater”.

“The first peo­ple the Ja­panese should apol­o­gize to are the Chi­nese — for the Rape of Nan­jing, for in­vad­ing China, for mur­der­ing mil­lions of Chi­nese peo­ple,” Yee said.

“I was 17-year old and liv­ing in Kun­ming when the Ja­panese slaugh­tered hun­dreds of thou­sands of in­no­cent peo­ple in Nan­jing, 1,340 miles (2,160 kilo­me­ters) away,” Yee said at the be­gin­ning of the let­ter.

“It was a hor­ri­ble, sick­en­ing event, and shocked every­body in China. It started a long pe­riod of atrocities com­mit­ted by the Ja­panese military against in­no­cent Chi­nese peo­ple,” he said.

“Ja­pan tried to take over Asia and Ger­many tried to take over Europe. Same thing, and just like Hitler tried to ex­ter­mi­nate the Jews in Europe, the Ja­panese com­mit­ted a geno­cide against the Chi­nese. But West­ern ed­u­ca­tors and me­dia have yet to rec­og­nize the ex­tent of the atrocities com­mit­ted by Ja­pan,” he said.

Yee was born in 1921 in Zhao­tong, Yun­nan. He served as an in­ter­preter for the Fly­ing Tigers un­til 1942. The Fly­ing Tigers was com­posed of mem­bers of the US Army Air Corps fight­ing un­der the Chi­nese Air Force.

In 2012, Colorado state gov­ern­ment de­clared July 17 “John Yee Day” to high­light his con­tri­bu­tions to win­ning the war.

In the let­ter, Yee also re­called that West­ern coun­tries failed to act when Ja­pan in­vaded China.

“Ja­pan in­vaded Manchuria (North­east China) in 1931, and when China ap­pealed in the League of Na­tions, the Ja­panese con­tin­gent got up and walked out of the room. And the world’s big West­ern pow­ers — Eng­land, France, Ger­many, Italy and Amer­ica — did noth­ing,” he said.

“The Ja­panese have no more ex­cuse than Hitler had. There are sev­eral coun­tries that Ja­pan should apol­o­gize to, and China is at the top of the list. Not the USA,” he said.

John Yee, US vet­eran

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.