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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's planned trip to Pearl Harbor under the cloak of "peace" and "reconciliation" will not distract the world from his administration's real pursuit of militarism.
During the Dec. 26-27 visit and accompanied by U.S. President Barack Obama, Abe will become the first sitting Japanese prime minister to visit the site of a Japanese sneak attack on Dec. 7, 1941.
"This visit is an opportunity to remember those who died in war, demonstrate a resolve that the horrors of war must never be repeated, and at the same time send a message about the reconciliation between Japan and the United States," claimed Abe's top spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshida Suga.
Perhaps there's been reconciliation between Japan and the United States. But what about reconciliation between Japan and its Asian neighbors?
Asian countries suffered greatly when Japanese militarism ran riot during the World War II.
The issue of "comfort women," the Nanjing Massacre, the Manila massacre and plenty more crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army have yet to spur any sincere apology from the Abe administration.
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrive for a joint news conference at the White House on April 28, 2015. The Nikkei reports that Obama plans to visit Hiroshima next month. Photo: REUTERS
On the contrary, the Abe administration has unveiled plans to reinforce the nation's missile defense system and expand its defense budget.
These are steps toward Abe realizing his ultimate dream of militarism, which will escalate tensions and undermine peace and stability in the region.
The moves also runs counter to the trend of peace and development and win-win regional cooperation; it is unlikely to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community.
The Pearl Harbor trip is expected to earn some bonus points for Abe's failed foreign diplomacy and also show the incoming Donald Trump administration that Japan is still America's loyal ally.
However, what kind of signal is the Abe administration sending to the world with a visit to Pearl Harbor? Not a good one. Japan is extending a friendly hand to the United States, its former foe in war, whereas it continues to turn a blind eye to its wartime atrocities in Asia while sharpening its militarism knife
Under the banners of seeking "peace" and "reconciliation" with America, the Abe administration can not hide its revisionist view of war history and ignore the crimes of its past.
Past examples always serve as a warning to later generations. The United States and the world must wake up to the Abe administration's true intention of militarism under its shameful guise of peace.