To the Chinese & Japanese – Please forgive and forget the past!!! Look to the future!
Whew, what a week it has been since my last post. In between giving tutorials to my beloved students and moving out from my current place, I could not help but get drawn into the controversy over historical facts that had set people from three nations and three cultures that are very dear to me into a frenzy of outraged protests, demosntrations and riots.
I am talking about China, the country of my nationality but not of birth, South Korea, the country which had recently interested me due to my exposure of Korean people in the international school I used to work in and Japan, the country that has held my fascination for a long time in the form of old Ultraman series, Transformer toys and today… Japanime.
What was the fuss, you say? If you had been following the news, it would have been very obvious that even though the World War II is long over and that Japan is not the country that it used to be in the old days, it still have much to answer for the crimes that they did in that period. Is it a crime to whitewash a terrible past? Was it really a whitewash? I can’t be the judge of that as I still can’t read kanji and have no access to the historical books that the Japanese had been accused of covering up.
Still, I believe that Japan had suffered equally as much and deserved the penance they had to pay when the Americans dropped A-bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And if they want to honour their war dead (war criminals to the rest of the world) it is their right. Why must the Chinese and the Koreans read so much into Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to the shrine honouring their dead? It doesn’t mean that he will become like them. And many youngsters today hardly really give a damn about what had happened during those days. Its only the older generation thats making a fuss. Why couldn’t they just forgive and forget? Why do they still want to relive a terrible past? If only the people in the seat of authority take a step down to earth and see that we are living in different times.
I wish the three nations would wake up and smell the roses. Let bygones be bygones. Indeed, we should learn from mistakes done in the past so that the same mistakes would not be repeated but we should do so with an open heart and open mind. It is pointless to fight and argue and protest over something that had happened so long ago, something that Japanese of today’s generation are innocent of.