Saturday, April 23, 2005

Many Asian nations want official apology from Japan

Japan sent mixed signals in Bandung to China, with
Koizumi offering a “heartfelt apology� for the nation's
World War II aggressions but with Japanese lawmakers
blunting that message with a visit to a war shrine
critics say glorifies Tokyo’s militaristic past, the

Massive anti-Japanese protests erupted in major Chinese
cities in April after Tokyo approved a new history
textbook that critics say plays down wartime Japanese
offenses, including mass sex slavery and germ warfare.
The protesters also have targeted Tokyo’s Security
Council bid. “Japan squarely faces these facts of
history in a spirit of humility,� a Chinese spokesman

Koizumi’s choice of showing contrition at an
international forum overseas put him squarely before
many former victims of Japan’s atrocities, which include
mass sex slavery and germ warfare.

However, Koizumi’s remarks were a far cry from what many
Asian nations have long clamored for: a strongly worded
official statement of apology endorsed by Parliament.

Rhetoric alone appears unlikely to smooth over Tokyo’s
rift with Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said “60
years of history has caused great harm to China and

“That ... Koizumi expressed this attitude in this arena
is welcome. We welcome it,� Kong told reporters at a
summit of Asian and African leaders in Jakarta. “But to
express it is one aspect. What’s of much more
importance is the action. You have to make it a
reality.� He said Japan had to do more to “face up to

Now :

Follow up of the China Japan rivalry with these comments
of the Japanese ministry of Foreign Affairs I got from the
MOFA Spokesman Takashima san.


Q: When you mention effort on your part, is there any
process that we can talk about after the anti-Japanese
demonstrations in China and the Republic of Korea? As
one problem leads to new problems, there is a tendency
to appreciate now the question of history, for example,
the history textbooks in Japan. When you talk about
effort, do you mean that you are going to emphasize the
revision of those textbooks?

Mr. Takashima: Actually, Foreign Minister Machimura
proposed to initiate something along the lines of a
joint study of history between Japan and China. In
response, the Chinese Foreign Minister said that China
would make a consideration on its own in a positive
manner. We hope that this kind of joint study will be

In addition, when Foreign Minister Machimura met with
State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan the following day, they
discussed the issue of textbooks and they agreed that a
study would be done in both countries on each other's
textbooks and we would make an effort to improve the
content of the textbook, if necessary.

It is not the matter of making a request and getting a
response between our two countries, but it should be
done domestically by each other's own will. In order to
create a better understanding between our two countries,
many efforts will be made through this kind of attempts.
The Japanese and Chinese sides also agreed to set up a
fund for cultural exchange as soon as possible, possibly
by the end of this year. This will also constitute a
further attempt for the betterment of the relations and
resolving the issue of various things, including

Question concerning creation of an East Asian Community

Q: Does the current situation in East Asia affect the
process of organizing in Kuala Lumpur in December this
year the East Asian Community (EAC) Summit? Are there
any ramifications or changes in your preparation for
this Summit?

Mr. Takashima: Japan and China have been enjoying very
good friendly relations in the past 2,000 years or more
with the exception of a very short period of time, 30 to
50 years, in conjunction with World War II. Since the
end of World War II, we have been enjoying again very
friendly and cordial relations.

Based upon this development of strong and friendly
relations, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and
countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) started discussing the creation of the EAC. This
is a kind of forum or framework which is envisaged for
the not too distant future of East Asia. We will take
strides toward that direction and we hope that the
current row between our two countries will not affect
this kind of important work for the creation of a

Q: So you will attend in December this Summit?

Mr. Takashima: Yes, of course.

end of quotes

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