• Wed
  • Nov 19, 2014
  • Updated: 11:27pm

Sino-Japanese relations

The relationship between the two largest economies in Asia has been marred throughout the 20th century due to territorial and political disputes including Taiwanese sovereignty; the invasion of China by Japan in the second world war and Japan’s subsequent refusal to acknowledge the extent of its war crimes; territorial disputes surrounding the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands and associated fishing rights and energy resources; and Japanese-American security co-operation.   

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SINO-JAPANESE TIES

Beijing leaders out in force at 1945 war anniversary in pointed message to Japan

Chinese president insists Tokyo address its militarist past as events get under way to commemorate a close to hostilities seven decades ago

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 2:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 September, 2014, 5:51am
 

President Xi Jinping and top leaders attended a large-scale event in Beijing yesterday to mark 69 years since the end of the second Sino-Japanese war, commemorations that coincide with China's ramped up efforts to publicly call out Japan over its wartime abuses.

Xi and members of the Communist Party's powerful Politburo Standing Committee observed a moment of silence during the ceremony presided by Premier Li Keqiang at the Marco Polo Bridge, the site that symbolises the start of the war in 1937.

At a party gathering in the afternoon, Xi called on Tokyo to reflect on its wartime abuses, saying China would never allow any denial or distortion of Japan's history of aggression or any return to militarism.

But he also said China would "continue to endeavour" to develop Sino-Japanese ties.

"Japan should be responsible to history, the people of Asia and the region, and consider Sino-Japan friendship and the stability of Asia. Japan should handle historical issues properly and cautiously, and seriously learn a lesson from history," Xi said.

WATCH: Archive newsreel about the Marco Polo Bridge incident

The Sino-Japanese conflict lasted until 1945, when Japan surrendered to the Allied forces aboard the USS Missouri battleship on September 2.

This ushered a three-day celebration in China, which was then ruled by the Kuomintang. The leaders at the time later decided to designate September 3, 1946 as the first anniversary of the end of the Sino-Japanese war.

Earlier this year, as China stepped up its propaganda efforts centring on wartime grievances against Japan, the National People's Congress designated September 3 as Victory Day over Japanese forces.

Yesterday's activities were the first commemoration of the event since the NPC's decision.

The ceremony was broadcast live by state media and marked the start of a busy month of commemorations.

Two other events will be marked this month: the 83rd anniversary of the Mukden Incident, which was the pretext for Japan's 1931 invasion of China on September 18, and the newly declared Martyrs' Day on September 30.

The activities come as relations between China and Japan continue to fray from disputes over territory and history, particularly about Japanese atrocities during the second world war.

Later this year, China will hold the memorial day for Nanking massacre victims on December 13. The Nanjing killings, committed over six weeks after Japanese troops invaded the former Chinese capital, have also been a matter of dispute for both countries.

Beijing strongly rebuked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit last December to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine that houses war criminals, which observers saw as comparable to visiting a Nazi shrine in Germany.

China and Japan have also been sparring over sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, known as Senkakus in Japan, in the East China Sea.

Xi criticised Tokyo's attempt to nationalise the islands as a "farce" when he was still vice-president in 2002.

Both nations have regularly sent patrols and aircraft to the area to assert their claims to the islands.

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This article is now closed to comments

53ca7d2c-531c-4020-8daa-74410a320969
Yes, the Japanese should be honest about how many Chinese they murdered and harmed, just as the Communists have been honest about how many of their own people they have murdered and harmed. Oh, wait a minute... Maybe I need to rethink this a minute.
I Gandhi
What a coincidence. China commemorates her splendid victory over barbarous Japan while at also the same time Putin hails Soviet victory over Japan in Khalkhin Gol in 1939 which frightened the Japanese so much that they dare not launch war on the Soviet Union.
The Japanese are really isolated by their barbarous behaviour on the barbarous Japanese war history as well as the territorial disputes with Taiwan, China, Russia and Korea. Shinzo Abe and his cabinet should do Japan a big favour and commit hara kiri for his betrayal of the Japanese people leading them to isolation and doom.
****www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/03/us-putin-mongolia-visit-japan-idUSKBN0GY1JT20140903
nes.ses.7
And I wish to congratulate the PRC for its sacrifices in WW2 against Japan. Moreover, China helped the USA considerably with it's downed pilots and usage of it's air fields against Japan.
China suffered horribly by the dirty deeds of the Japanese who remain today in denial.
I salute China.
PEACE
Nessus
tkruemmer
We should learn from the past, we should remember, but we should not allow the past spoil the future. Japanese officaldom's recalcitrance in recognizing its past failures is unfortunate, a largely cultural/social issue that causes this deficiency. There are things in cultures and in people that we won't change, no matter how hard we try. May be it is time to move on?
zhelu1985@live.com
"Beijing strongly rebuked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit last December to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine that houses war criminals, which observers saw as comparable to visiting a Nazi shrine in Germany."
Yeah... except there is NO Nazi shrine in Germany, cause you know, the Germans have more sense than to do that.
zhelu1985@live.com
You make it sound as if all we did was take losses and rescue your pilots.
The fact that 2/3 of Japanese military losses were suffered in China is always ignored.
Much like how the fact that 80% of all Nazi German losses were on the Eastern Front is ignored.
superdx
Actually it was the Soviet invasion that made the Japanese Emperor give up, and run into American hands. Not even the two atomic bombs, as most often quoted in history. China wasn't even a factor at all, embarrassing to say.
tkruemmer
There is a certain danger in these retrospective analytical considerations. From todays view there may or may not have been options, however, one should question if these options in the circumstances of the times really were options, if they were realistic and on top of that, if these options were recognized as such.

What could have happened, didn't. If and what rationale was behind most decisions is pretty obvious. It is interesting to spin conspiracy theories around it, they might make great fiction movie stories, but otherwise completely lack relevance.
BabyMan
Well now you arrest the pilots for spying and the US arrests Chinese software specialists for IP thefts. Haven't we all come so far since the big war? Perhaps we could reduce salaries for the over puffed leaders who continue their posturing and display of theatrics to distract us from the real drama normal working people go through everyday.
BabyMan
The soldiers forgive each other but the younger armchair anger management candidates cannot. Good comment. The Jews do not forget but they forgive. A Japanese official in denial is about as potent as a deballed bull.

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