President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he is not only disappointed, but also puzzled by the “Japanese leader’s” recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.
By paying a visit to the shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, including convicted World War II war criminals, the “Japanese leader” has injected uncertainty into the peace enjoyed in Eastern Asia, Ma said.
The visit has also shown his disregard for the feelings of people of the other states that had been invaded by Japan before and during World War II, he added.
Although Ma did not mention any name, his criticism was obviously leveled at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who raised the hackles of Japan’s neighboring states by visiting the Yasukuni in Tokyo on Dec. 26 last year.
Ma made the remarks in an article posted on his facebook page on Saturday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Republic of China’s (ROC) revoking of unequal treaties concluded by the Qing Dynasty with the US and the UK.
Ma said that the ROC declared war against Japan on Dec. 9, 1941, one day after the US did the same following Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and annulled all treaties between China and Japan.
Among them was the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, in which the Qing Dynasty ceded Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan, Ma said.
The annulment of that treaty was reconfirmed in the 1952 peace treaty between the ROC and Japan following the Second Sino-Japanese War, Ma said.
After recounting the nation’s long struggle to break free from a number of unequal treaties signed with other countries, Ma vowed to lead the ROC to become a major contributor to regional peace.
He urged Japan, as well as other nations in the region, to do the same.