The Philippines should not forget history

By Wang Se
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 28, 2015
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 [By Luo Jie/China Daily]

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Tuesday announced that 49 countries have confirmed their attendance at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War being held in Beijing on Sept. 3. It is said that China had invited 51 countries to join with the Chinese people. Only the Philippines and Japan refused the invitation. This was not unexpected, given the attitude of Philippines and Japan toward China in recent days. The two countries have become allies against China in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, the Philippines should not stand together with Japan at this solemn moment. As a victor of the Second World War, the Philippines should attend Beijing's commemorations instead of declining the invitation that exposes its leader's disrespect to history.

During the WWII, Filipinos suffered cruel exploitation and abuse from the Japanese invaders. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Japan invaded the Philippines and was guilty of such atrocities as the "Bataan Death March" in 1942. About 15,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war died due to physical abuse while being marched into captivity. The Philippines, as a major battle field in the Pacific, was the worst ravaged among Southeast Asian countries. From 1942 to 1945, some 1.11 million Filipinos died in the war and economic losses reached US$8.07 billion.

According to Carlos Po Romulo, head of Filipino delegation at the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951, the Philippines should be considered the worst suffering country in Asia if its area and population are taken into consideration. Maybe the Filipino leaders have forgiven what Japan did, but they should not forget the history.

China's staging of the commemorations is not only to mark its own resistance against Japanese aggression, but also to mark victory in the World Anti-Fascist War. Therefore, the Philippines' attendance would be both commemorating its sacrificing forefathers and showing its role in and contributions to the victory of WWII.

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