China condemns sacked Japan general’s war comments

China was strongly critical on Saturday of an essay by a Japanese air force chief of staff who said Japan was not an aggressor in Asia in World War Two and was later dismissed for airing those views.

“We are shocked by and express our strong indignation over the senior Japanese military officer’s denial of Japan’s aggression and overtly glorifying its history of invasion,” the Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying.

General Toshio Tamogami, in an essay posted on the website of a Japanese hotel and apartment developer, said Japan was ensnared into World War Two by the United States and that Japan’s military actions in China were based on treaties.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said on Friday he would dismiss Tamogami, adding it was improper for the general to publicly state a view clearly different from that of the government.

Japan expressed remorse for its wartime actions in 1995, and followed with another apology a decade later.

Disputes over wartime history often stir tensions between Tokyo and Beijing, though relations have warmed in the past two years as both put priority on deepening trade and investment.

“We have taken notice of the attitude and measures taken by the Japanese government,” Jiang said, calling on the two nations to work together to safeguard bilateral relations.

“The war of aggression launched by the Japanese militarists brought untold suffering to the Asian people including the Chinese people, which is an undeniable historic fact,” she said.

She added that having a correct understanding of, and properly dealing with, that period was the political basis for the development of friendly and cooperative Sino-Japanese ties.

(Reporting by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Michael Roddy, Reuters)

Related:
Fired: Air Force Chief Said Japan Was Not an Aggressor in WWII

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Above: Troops from Japan in Nanking, China

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