Japan war remarks anger Chinese

AFP, The Straits Times, Wednesday 21 February 2001

BEIJING—China yesterday blasted as ridiculous comments by a Japanese lawmaker who argued that Japan’s aggression during World War II had helped Asian nations become independent.

Such a ridiculous allegation reflects the arrogance and ignorance of some people in Japan on historical questions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said at the ministry’s regular briefing.

He spoke three days after Mr Hosei Norota, a lawmaker from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and former defence chief, evoked Japan’s militarist and imperialist past in a speech.

As we fought the war, the Western nations colonialist policies fundamentally died out in Asia, Mr Norota said, according to the Jiji Press news agency.

When I visit South-east Asian countries, many people say even today it was thanks to Japan their nations were able to become independent.

Mr Zhu was clear that China had a directly opposite view of the past.

The war of aggression launched by Japanese militarists brought about tremendous disaster to victims in Asian countries, he said. Their crime was so serious that it brooks no denying.

North Korea yesterday also slammed the Japanese comments.