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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:44am
Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping, in Seoul speech, denounces Japan for wartime suffering it inflicted

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 July, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 July, 2014, 11:42am

President Xi Jinping denounced Japan's "barbaric" wartime aggression for creating enormous suffering in China and South Korea in a speech in Seoul yesterday.

Resurgent nationalism in Japan has stoked regional tensions, and Xi and South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye were both critical of Tokyo.

They used a lunch meeting to attack Japan for recent attempts to play down atrocities committed during the second world war and for lifting the post-war ban on its armed forces fighting abroad.

Xi was speaking on the second and final day of his visit to Seoul, a trip one analyst said both nations had used to firm up an "alliance" on historical issues.

"Park and Xi agreed that it is worrying that Japan's attitude towards revising history continues even as it seeks to expand its right to self-defence," Ju Chul-ki, Seoul's senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs, was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.

Watch: China's president Xi Jinping calls for stability on the Korean peninsula

Strategically, Seoul is still close to the US. Economically, it tilts towards Beijing
Researcher Kim Chul-woo

Xinhua reported that the two leaders called attention "to the reality" that many countries around the world, and half of the Japanese people, opposed ending the ban on its Self-Defence Forces fighting abroad.

Speaking at Seoul National University, Xi noted the Chinese and Korean people had both suffered at the hands of Japan.

"In the first half of the 20th century, Japanese militarists carried out barbarous wars of aggression against China and Korea, swallowing up Korea and occupying half of China," Xi said.

He used similar rhetoric when he met the speaker of South Korea's National Assembly, Chung Ui-hwa.

"Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future," Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

Xi repeated his call for the two nations to jointly commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of war in the Pacific.

Japan hit back at the two nations.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "Any attempt by China and South Korea to coordinate in picking apart past history unnecessarily and making it an international issue is utterly unhelpful for building peace and cooperation in the region."

Xi's trip to South Korea comes at a time of growing concern over security in East Asia. On Thursday, the two nations said they opposed nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula.

But concerns about Japan appeared to dominate the agenda yesterday. In addition to wartime grievances, Japan also has territorial disputes with Seoul over the Dokdo or Takeshima islands, and with Beijing over the Diaoyu or Senkaku islands.

State-run China Youth Daily ran an advertisement designed by a Korean academic that promoted the name East Sea, as Koreans call the Sea of Japan.

Kim Chul-woo, a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses, said Beijing and Seoul were forming an "alliance" on historical issues.

"Strategically, Seoul is still close to the United States. Economically, it tilts towards Beijing. On the historical side, Seoul and Beijing are getting along."

Xi also made conciliatory remarks on China's diplomacy at Seoul National University, reiterating that China would remain a peaceful nation and calling for justice and mutual benefits in international relations.

Several agreements were signed between Chinese and South Korean businesses on the second day of Xi's visit. The Korea Exchange Bank and the Bank of China said they would develop financial products based on the yuan, Yonhap reported.


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I agree with the President Xi Jinping. The Japanese are extremely brutal during its occupation of Korea and China. Japanese soldiers killed a large number of noncombatants and engaged in looting and women were not only raped but brutally tortured and mutilated or even buried Chinese or Korean alive when Japanese invasion of Taiwan, China, Korea and other Asian countries. If you were a Nazi prisoner of war you faced a 4% chance of not surviving the war; (by comparison) the death rate for Allied POWs held by the Japanese was nearly 30%. Shinzo Abe has denied some of the atrocities Japanese committed during the War II and he has continually prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine, which includes convicted Class A war criminals in its honored war dead. Human nature does not change because of the time or the environment. In fact, Japan has repeatedly attempted to minimize Japanese shameful history and wipe its slate clean in order to establish a ground of legitimacy for the pursuit of sinister goals/motives which means to brutally re-occupy its neighbor again.
Jennie PC Chiang/江佩珍 07/05/13 美國
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I Gandhi
By telling the world that Japan have an extremely bloody and barbaric past which the current leaders in Japan continues to deny is the right thing to do. Japan is not a normal country because it refuses to take responsibility for the war crimes committed by past Japanese leaders. Also the current leaders of japan glorifies war and whitewashes Japan's barbaric war history. Such behaviour are not only dangerous but is an offence against humanity. Shinzo Abe's Japan should be condemned for being very dishonourable.
Great job, Xi and Park!
We have to keep pressuring Abe to abandon denial and white wash history so we can come to some kind of closure despite it happened many years ago.
Without admitting past atrocities, there will be no closure and it will just drag on till conflict erupts.
Obama should consider putting more pressure on Abe to admit to past atrocities so China and South Korea cannot bring it to the forefront anymore.
ianson said Japanese apologized time and again. That is correct. But you can apologize a thousand times without being apologetic in the slightest if right after your apology, you tell the world what we did in WWII was actually not invasion, we only massacred some but not that many in Nanjing, the comfort women were paid prostitutes, and the war criminals of Japan were heroes who made our nation as it is today. I can beat you to the ground and rape your woman in front of you, then say "I am truly sorry for what I did. But both of you deserved it as you needed some good massage." You call that apology? Only if you are Japanese.
Xi demonstrates the weakness of his idealogical position in leaning on a matter utterly irrelevant in today's world. Japan has apologised countless times for its WWII acts and paid reparations. There is nothing positive to be achieved in international relations by playing up 70-year-old events. It is simply Xi playing to his lowest common denominator popular sentiment. Brainless.
You maybe correct, but South Korea is not complaining, then why should you?
The current discussion is about Abe not willing to admit Japan's brutal past, China and South Korea are on the same wavelength and that is the story here.
obviously your grandparents didn't go through the pain and suffering of the Japanese invasion. I lost family members at the hands of brutality. Despite been born long after the war ended, the pain of history aren't that easily forgotten.
When the Japanese government still educate their people by telling them the invasion into China pre WWII was to liberate China from the United States, I don't think we can conclude that as "Japan has apologised countless times for its WWII acts and paid reparations".
japan is more barbaric now as it is denying every murder, every torture and every rape committed by its soldiers in WWII.
I Gandhi
Shinzo Abe stirred up a hornets nest by being provocative, recalcitrant and belligerent over Japanese murderous barbarous past and playing the slander the victims game. The Japanese have themselves to blame for their barbarous past and indecent present. And by praying to war criminals at the Yasukuni War Shrine and going on the militarist path, Japanes like Shinzo Abe will destroy Japan. Also given US foreign policy, it seems that Americans don't mind the sneak Japanese attack on Pearl harbour in 1941 as that part of history is just history. So the US should shut down the Pearl Harbour memorial. For the Japanese the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the US in 1945 is also just a distant memory. After all it's only war. So 911 was also a good thing and it provided a good excuse for the US to launch a terrorist war on Muslims and allow the US to destroy Afghanistan and Iraq.



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