China Trying To Block Japan’s Push For Hiroshima Commemoration At UN

By | May 14, 2015 03:42 AM EDT
Nagasaki Bombing

A mushroom cloud rises above Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped.(Photo : REUTERS / The National Archives)

China on Tuesday clashed with Japan at the United Nations (UN) Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty when it attempted to block the latter's bid for world leaders to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings' 70th anniversary.

Tuesday's clash is part of China and Japan's growing fight to strengthen their World War II legacies amid the month-long UN meeting which is set to end on May 22. Japan had invited world leaders on August 6 and 9 to visit the two cities subjected to atomic bombing by the U.S, according to Al Jazeera.

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However, the invitation at the UN meeting resulted in a spat over what would be mentioned during the commemoration of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The twin bombings left around 129,000 people dead in 1945 and caused deep emotional and physical wounds to their inhabitants, the report detailed.

"There were discussions in one of the main committees as to whether or not there should be specific mention of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and an invitation to visit those cities in the draft report of that group," according to UN's Office for Disarmament Affairs spokesperson Ewen Buchanan.

There are some who are against the commemoration because there are other World War II aspects that need to be mentioned also, Buchanan explained.

In a statement to Japan's Kyodo News firm, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs Fu Cong said they are against the mention of the two bombings because Japan is only trying to portray itself as a World War II victim instead of a "victimizer."

Japan, through a spokesman of its UN delegation who spoke under conditions of anonymity, responded to this by saying their only intention is to remind people of what happened in 1945. They want the world to know about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings to make people understand what a world without nukes would be.

Buchanan said they would have to wait until next week to know the outcome of the negotiations between China and Japan in relation to the UN Treaty.

In the last few years, Beijing and Tokyo have engaged in heated dialogues over Japan's historical accounts of the World War II in its local schoolbooks, and over territorial issues in the South China Sea as well.

Zhu Zhiqun, the director of Bucknell University's China Institute, explained that Japan's role in the World War II serves as the foundation for the Chinese Communist Party's legitimacy after its victory over Japan when the People's Republic was still emerging, Al Jazeera reported.

Both countries have been investing in public resources and promoting war accounts to twist history and push their own political purposes, according to critics and analysts.

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