Recognising history

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 12:00am

I am writing in response to the letter headlined 'You can't buy forgiveness' (October 23), by Seima Tateoka.

Easier said than done - that is my response to the correspondent's remarks on an encounter with a mustard-gas bomb. How would an ordinary person suspect where or what is a mustard-gas bomb? No way.

So there is no doubt that the people injured by chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese soldiers in China had no idea that they had dredged up a bomb while they were working.

As a Chinese, I totally support these innocent victims in their fight for justice. They are not 'seeking money from Japan' but trying their best to help Japanese recognise the real history.

Indeed, cash cannot solve all problems, especially problems related to innocent lives.

But, besides money, can anyone suggest suitable methods to compensate for the great harm done to these people? Perhaps an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But no, the world is bloody enough.

Everything must have a beginning. Thus far, Vietnam and Iraq have not tried to seek justice from their wars, but it does not mean they will not do it later. And their lack of action up to this point certainly cannot be used to imply that Chinese victims should give up their right to fight for justice.

I totally agree with the correspondent that an international clean-up of the weapons from past wars is necessary. And I will very much appreciate it if this Japanese can really be a person without borders on this sensitive issue, as the letter indicated.