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Abe's irresponsible remarks in U.S. trip draw domestic, international outcry

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up his week-long visit to the United States on Sunday. However, his irresponsible remarks and the attitude of distorting history released during the trip have drawn widespread criticism.

Addressing the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, Abe indicated that his country would no longer offer sincere apology for its aggression and atrocities during World War II, claiming that the postwar path Japan has been pursuing is based on "deep remorse" over the war and that Japan's "actions" brought "suffering to the peoples in Asian countries."

In such a way, the Japanese prime minister unveiled his historical revisionism ideology by using "actions" instead of "aggression and colonial rule," and "deep remorse" rather than "heartfelt apology," in an apparent effort to dilute the country's wartime atrocities.

In addition, without mentioning the comfort women victims, Abe just said in his speech that armed conflicts always made women suffer the most, seeking to justify the imperialist Japan's recruitment of sex slaves.

The CNN said in an article that Abe surprised nobody by "missing a great opportunity to dispel worries and tensions he raises with his revisionist views on history."

The "Abenesia" is harmful to Japan's international image, riles China and South Korea and thereby undermines the bilateral security agenda, it added.

Abe's speech was "less than rousing," said Britain's Financial Times in a commentary. "To American ears, Mr. Abe's words were those of a strong ally, regretful of its militaristic past on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific. But to Japan's Asian neighbors, Mr. Abe offered nothing new," it noted.

Due to his irresponsible remarks, Abe's visit has been accompanied by protests and calls for a formal apology for his country's war past.

Chinese, Koreans and local Americans demonstrated in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and other places against the visiting Japanese leader, shouting "Abe, Liar!" "Abe, Apology!" "No Cover up of War Crimes!"

South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday urged Abe to face up to its imperialistic history and apologize for wartime brutalities, citing his speech to the U.S. Congress.

She said the Abe government failed to take advantage of chances to making a sincere apology for historical issues, such as comfort women victims, and strengthen trust with neighboring countries.

The speech also led to domestic criticism. Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama lashed out at the incumbent leader for his attempt to evade responsibility, saying the speech might decrease the world's trust in the country.

During Abe's visit to the United States, foreign and defense ministers of the two countries revised their guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation for the first time in 18 years and the renewed guidelines gave Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) a more proactive role in supporting the U.S. forces overseas with a more flexible concept involving the "use of force."

In line with the updated defense guidelines, Abe said he will try to achieve the revision of a series of security-related laws so as to legalize the exercise of the right to self-defense, even before the amendment of the pacifist constitution.

His bid to emasculate and revise Japan's war-renouncing constitution encountered a mass protest in the country on Sunday.

Kenzaburo Oe, a Japanese Nobel literature laureate, said during the pro-constitution gathering of some 30,000 people that Abe lied when addressing a joint session in the U.S. Congress.

He said the prime minister hawked the idea around to foreigners that it is for fighting together with the United States that Japan approved for the SDF to exercise the right to collective defense and adopted unconstitutional revision of security-related legislation.

But back in Japan, he has made no explanation to the Japanese people and failed to get public support, Oe said.

The major figure in contemporary Japanese literature urged the Japanese people to protect the pacifist constitution and to oppose any legislation that may lead to war.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 04May15]

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