Heed lesson of history in tragedy of two cities

Updated: 2015-08-07 07:57

(China Daily)

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Heed lesson of history in tragedy of two cities

A protesters' float featuring Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe riding a battle tank is seen during an annual May Day rally in Tokyo May 1, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

At a ceremony of remembrance in Hiroshima on Thursday, the city's mayor, Kazumi Matsui, made a renewed call for a nuclear weapons-free world.

Seventy years ago, a US B-29 bomber dropped the world's first atomic bomb on the Japanese city. At least 70,000 people were killed that day, and at least the same number are believed to have died from injuries caused by radiation poisoning afterwards.

The bombing of Hiroshima, together with the bombing of Nagasaki three days later, made Japan the only country that has been attacked with atomic bombs. In this regard, Japan deserves the sympathy of the rest of the world as ordinary Japanese people were also victims of the war.

The death and destruction caused by the two bombs during World War II should serve as a reminder of the importance of upholding the international nuclear non-proliferation system.

Cherishing peace has been the prevailing theme of the memorial ceremonies in the two Japanese cities over the years. And the best way to do that is to take history as a mirror.

History tells us it was war-obsessed Japanese militarists that waged a war of aggression and dragged innocent Japanese into the abyss of pain and suffering they caused.

Only by facing up squarely to history and seriously reflecting on its wartime crimes can Japan convince the rest of the world that it cherishes the hard-won peace and stability in the region.

Any ill trend that may lead to the revival of militarism in Japan should be curbed.

In recent years, there has been a growing tendency in Japan to try and whitewash the country's gory past by denying the atrocities and crimes it committed back then.

It is also noteworthy that on Thursday's ceremony, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to mention the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, a basic Japanese policy that no other Japanese leader has forgotten to emphasize on this particular occasion over the two decades.

Japan's leaders need to seriously reflect upon the cause of the war and the ensuing tragedies in the two cities. Only by so doing can they avoid treading on the same dangerous road again and win back the heart of other Asians whose foreparents were subjected to the brutality of Japanese aggression.