US veteran sends an open letter to PM Abe
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