China urges Japan to honor apology over WWII aggression

February 13, 2015
China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying (YouTube Screen Capture)

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying (YouTube Screen Capture)

BEIJING (Yonhap) — China on Friday called for Japan to honor its past apology over wartime aggression, saying Tokyo could not genuinely warm ties with its neighbors unless it faces up to history “with honesty.”

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, made the remarks in response to a speech on Thursday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who wants to rewrite his country’s pacifist constitution, which would allow the Japanese military to play an active security role.

“Only by facing up to the past with honesty, can Japan open up to the future,” Hua told reporters during a regular briefing.

“We hope that the Japanese side can have a correct understanding on its history of aggression and honor the solemn statements and commitment it has made so far on historical issues,” Hua said.

Hua also urged Japan to “take cautious actions in the fields of military and security.”

Abe has moved to reinterpret a key article of Japan’s pacifist constitution to exercise the right of “collective self-defense,” which means that Japan can fight abroad for the defense of its allies if they are under attack.

South Korea and China, which were impacted by Japan’s aggression during World War II, have kept a wary eye on Japan’s move to expand its military’s role amid concerns of a repeat of its former militarism.

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