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Japanese WWII orphan awakens conscience with memoir

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-18-2015 16:29 BJT

By Gu Jianjun, post doctorate of Central Compilation and Translation Bureau

At the press conference of two sessions in 2015, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answered questions from NHK reporter and said "the more responsibilities inflictors take the less harm victims suffer from." Seventy years ago, Japan lost the war; seventy years later, Japan shouldn't lose conscience.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the victory of China's Resistance War against Japanese Aggression and the world's anti-fascist war, Nakajima Yohachi, a Japanese war orphan raised by Chinese people in China, published a memoir about his experiences with his own money, to show gratitude for China, but also to have more Japanese review the history and learn more about the kindness of Chinese people.

Return good for evil, boundless love

The militarist Japan left behind thousands of children in China after its defeat in World War II in 1945. Japanese orphans were adopted and raised by broad-minded Chinese people. They later returned home to Japan with the help of the Chinese government and people.

The Japanese aggression war caused devastating damage to China and Chinese people.  More than 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians died with a loss of 600 billion dollars. 

However, after the Japanese army was defeated, the war-torn Chinese people didn't turn their hostility against the over 5,000 Japanese orphans left in China. They overcame many difficulties and saved food to bring them up in hard times.

Nakajima Yohachi, 73 years old, lived in northeast China for 15 years. He said, "How noble it is for Chinese people to save us and foster us, descendants of enemies."

On May 23, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the China-Japan friendly exchange meeting and said that Japanese people were also victims of the war too. After the Sino-Japanese war, Chinese people returned good for evil and raised these orphans up, reflecting their boundless.

Japan is my motherland, but China is my real home

Most Japanese orphans returned to Japan. But they still consider China as home and hold profound feelings towards their foster parents. Some of them have shouldered the responsibility to support their adopted parents or invest in China to help.

On July 13, 2015, 54 Japanese citizens, all orphans, visited the graves of their adopted Chinese parents in Fangzheng County in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, expressing their gratitude and hope to promote friendly communications between Chinese and Japanese people.

Face up to history and future

It has been a much-told story of Chinese people adopting Japanese orphans. But what the Japanese government has done seems to be "treachery": Abe's cabinet still has not offered an apology for Japan's flagrant crimes in World War II, denying comfort women accusations, recomposing history textbooks,  and even passing the new security bills regardless of public opposition, which have hurt Chinese people's feelings all over again.

As Nakajima Yohachi said, "Abe hurried to put forward new security bills and didn't reflect on history and war. My book is also a story of being a victim and has some concrete meanings."

On July 15, 2015, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao met 54 Japanese orphans in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  During the meeting, Vice President Li said the two countries suffered a tragedy caused by Japanese militarism, and Japanese orphans are promoting friendship between the two countries.

Noting that China will mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression this year, Li said China is ready to push for improvement of China-Japan relations on the basis of four political documents signed by the two countries and in the spirit of taking history as a mirror and facing up to the future.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on August 14 issued a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. He mentioned that future generations should not keep apologizing.

China has called on Japan to recognize and reflect on its history of aggression through concrete actions, and to follow the path of peaceful development to win over the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community as well.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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