This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. A series of activities such as exhibitions and seminars were held for commemorative purposes, culminating in a military parade in Beijing on September 3, the Victory Memorial Day.
Representatives from foreign countries and international organizations attended the parade, which evidenced the world's recognition of China's status as the major Oriental battlefield in World War II (WWII). This parade, the first large-scale military parade held in China on a day other than the country's National Day, was intended to illustrate China's commitment to carrying forward the national spirit of patriotism, unity and progress and jointly creating a more peaceful future with the rest of the world.
While the Communist Party of China constituted the mainstay of resistance efforts, the victory was won with the participation of the troops led by the Chinese Kuomintang, as well as cooperation and help from overseas Chinese, friends from around the world, and countries like the Soviet Union and the United States. Inviting representatives from other countries to this commemorative event demonstrates the Chinese Government and people's respect and gratitude.
China will forever remember all those who contributed to the fight against Japanese invasion. Like China, many countries have held activities to commemorate the anniversary, demonstrating a common aspiration for world peace.
The Shinzo Abe-led administration of Japan criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's decision to attend commemorative activities in China prior to the events. Doing so, the right-wing government in Japan could be said to have needlessly denigrated what was first and foremost a celebration of peace.
One should not attempt to avoid historical issues, however awkward. The war of aggression imposed by the Japanese militarists on its Asian neighbors brought huge disaster to people in those countries. To deliberately forget or even falsify and beautify this section of history is not what a peace-cherishing government is supposed to do. As an heir to the past administrations, the current Japanese administration has to take an honest look at its invasive past. Only on this precondition would it be possible for Japan to sincerely improve its relationship with its neighbors.
The military parade was neither a show of force nor did it target particular countries. Seventy years on from the end of WWII, what we should remember is not historical grievances, but lessons drawn from the most destructive period of human history, in a bid to avoid the repetition of past horrors.