Writ­ing the wrongs of Ja­pan’s atroc­i­ties

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

“I vis­ited him for more than 20 times and wit­nessed the change of his at­ti­tude. At first, he showed lit­tle re­morse, talk­ing about the atroc­i­ties he com­mit­ted with his fel­low soldiers and show­ing off the spoil of war he plun­dered from China,” she said.

“But after seven or eight years, as he learned more about the tragedy the Ja­panese army had brought to the vic­tims, he started to feel sorry. He asked me at his deathbed to write down his war ex­pe­ri­ence and let peo­ple know what had hap­pened,” she added.

Mat­suoka hopes that more Ja­panese could find out the truth about the his­tory through her books and doc­u­men­taries and there­fore learn from the his­tory and pre­vent the wars from hap­pen­ing again.

“With­out know­ing the ter­ror of the war, they can­not un­der­stand the pre­cious­ness of the peace,” she said.

But the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Ja­pan wor­ries Mat­suoka, as peo­ple’s his­tor­i­cal view was led astray by the gov­ern­ment of Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, who has called for the younger gen­er­a­tions not to be bur­dened by his­tor­i­cal is­sues.

“We have caused tremen­dous suf­fer­ing to the peo­ple in other coun­tries while suf­fer­ing our­selves dur­ing the war. It would be self­ish to just stress our own suf­fer­ings while try­ing to erase the fact that peo­ple of other coun­tries suf­fered,” Mat­suoka said.

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