China-Japan tensions: Manchu issue not relevant

In the commentary ("China can take a leaf out of Manchu issue"; last Friday), Mr Jason Ou is essentially calling for China to forget the past and not let historical feuds with Japan get in the way of building good relations between the two countries.

He cited the example of how China had largely forgotten about the millions of Han Chinese who were brutally killed by the invading Manchus in the 1600s and under Qing rule.

He said China had chosen to play down the atrocities of the Manchus, and implied that this has allowed the Han Chinese and Manchus to coexist in peace.

Mr Ou fails to see that the Manchus have been completely assimilated into China and are now Chinese nationals.

In contrast, Japan is a separate nation and Japanese militarism, under the wrong leaders, may rear its ugly head again. The brutalities inflicted by the marauding Japanese army during World War II are well documented.

While the Germans also committed heinous crimes, they have not only acknowledged that but also apologised. There is even a Holocaust Remembrance Day for remembering the suffering of those who were tortured and murdered by the Nazis, as well as for reminding the world that such atrocities should never be allowed to happen again.

Also, if any German leader dares to claim that the Holocaust did not take place and tries to rewrite history books, like what some Japanese leaders are doing, he would be roundly condemned and perhaps even prosecuted.

China and South Korea should push the United Nations to dedicate a day - the date of the Japanese surrender would be apt - in remembrance of the millions in Asia who were tortured and killed by the Japanese army, and to remind the world that such heinous crimes should never be allowed to happen again.

Han Cheng Fong

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