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Remarks of Rebuke by Ambassador Liu Jieyi Against Japan's Statement During the Security Council Open Debate on War, Its Lessons, and the Search for a Permanent Peace

2014/01/29
 

Mr. President,

The Charter of the United Nations entrusts the Security Council with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. This Chamber is a symbol of the victory of the peoples of the world against fascist wars of aggression and a symbol of justice conquering evil. The post-war international order based on the Charter must be adhered to and maintained.

The theme of today’s Security Council meeting is “War, its lessons and the search for a permanent peace”. In order to draw lessons from war and maintain lasting peace, it is necessary to face history squarely and use it as a mirror.

Facts speak louder than words. In his statement this afternoon, the Japanese representative offered justifications on the issues of the Yasukuni shrine, comfort women and textbooks. A moment ago, he did the same thing again. In fact, Japan is only digging itself into a deeper hole by trying to whitewash its history.

The international community knows what kind of a place the Yasukuni shrine is, and Japan knows it all too well. It was a spiritual symbol of Japanese militarism. To this day, it openly glorifies and justifies Japanese militarist wars of aggression. Japan still openly claims that the Pacific war that it launched was for self-defence purposes. It is still accusing the International Military Tribunal for the Far East of conducting illegal trials. And it still venerates 14 Class A war criminals and more than 1,000 other war criminals as deities. In his statement this afternoon, the Japanese representative referred to them as people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. That once again proves that Japan is still hanging on to its erroneous view of its history of aggression. Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine is an affront to historical justice, human conscience, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the world’s victory over fascism and the post-war international order.

During the Second World War, the Japanese army forcibly recruited large numbers of comfort women from China, Korea and many other countries and committed egregious crimes against humanity. Thus far, the Japanese Government has not offered an apology or compensation for the issue of comfort women, and, by rights, it should continue to be jointly condemned by the international community.

Japan’s purpose in revising the textbooks is to falsify history and distort the facts. What the Japanese Government should do is to effectively comply with the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other relevant rulings and cease all actions that violate and undermine the territorial sovereignty of neighbouring countries.

The Japanese justifications raise several questions. The United Nations has 193 States Members. Apart from Japan, have any other country’s leaders gone to pay homage to Class A and class B war criminals of the Second World War? Why has Japan chosen the opposite side on this issue than that of the international community? Are we to understand that to pay tribute to war criminals and glorify wars of aggression is to declare a wish for peace? The Charter puts it very clearly: the founding of the United Nations was to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The war criminals venerated at the Yasukuni shrine are criminals responsible for those war crimes. Are we to understand that to pay tribute and homage to those war criminals is to comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter? Are we to understand that altering textbooks and covering up the truth of history is the correct way to make future generations realize the mistakes that have been made and avoid the path of war? By saying those things, the Japanese representative was only deceiving himself and others. If the Japanese leaders really wish to distance themselves from wars of agression, the history of wars of agression the war criminals of the Second World War, they should know better than to engage in such justifications.

Abe’s acts gravely undermine the political foundation of Sino-Japanese relations. He himself closed the door to a dialogue with China. What he must do now is not to provide justifications for himself but to effectively mend his ways, relinguish his erroneous outlook on history, which runs counter to the human conscience and international justice, and correctly understand and deeply repent the Japanese history of militarist aggression. He must comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and truly win the trust of the neighbouring Asian countries and the international community. The people of the world will watch Japan’s actions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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