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Australian PM's praise of Japanese soldiers WWII triggers criticism

CCTV.com

07-12-2014 13:29 BJT

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's comments in praise of Japanese soldiers during World War Two have triggered public anger and widespread criticism. Abbott made the remarks during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's three day visit to Australia. But many experts and senators have denounced Abbott's comments as dangerous.

Speaking well of the enemy, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott showed admiration for what the Japanese forces did during World War II.

"We admired the skill and the sense of honor that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did," he said.

But igniting fire at home for Australians, it was appalling and disappointing that Abbott could be so insensitive towards people who had suffered greatly as a result of the "advanced" war skills of Japanese troops. And his comments have dragged Australia into a sensitive discussion of historic issues.

Australian Senator Sam Dastyari said, "When you have the Prime Minister of Australia standing up in Australian Parliament to praise Japanese soldiers, for their honour and bravery, that doesn't help our relationship."

In 1942, a series of Japanese attacks on the cities of Sydney and Newcastle killed more than 20 Australian sailors.

And in the next two years, the Australian mainland, domestic airspace, offshore islands and coastal shipping were attacked at least 97 times by Japanese aircraft.

More than 17,000 Australian soldiers were killed. And a large number of Australian captives were used in chemical experiments by Japanese troops.

As a retired Australian soldier, Don Rowe said he could never accept Abbott's words.

Don Rowe, President of Returned & Services League of Australia, said, "They are not honourable army. That example are everywhere. They slaughter China when they occupied in parts of China in World War. of course the way they are treating their prisoners of war, they did not upon Geneva convention and their captive were treated inhumane."

Abbot has urged Japan to explain in more detail to other countries, including China, its decision to reinterpret the nation's pacifist constitution. He also called for more openness on Japan's defense shift.

Many experts and senators have denounced Abbott's comments as dangerous, expressing great concerns over Japan's re-militarization and Australia's tilting foreign policy.

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