Japan’s recent moves to lift constitutional restrictions on its armed forces are a flagrant violation of the Potsdam Declaration, a major international agreement for establishing the post-World War II international order, sources from a briefing by the State Council Information Office said on July 23.
“Japan’s behavior has greatly undermined the political base for the Sino-Japanese relationship and hurt the feelings of Chinese people, as China was the most affected by Japan’s invasions during World War II,” Zhao Jianwen, a researcher at the Institute of International Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the briefing.
Japan’s ruling coalition pushed its contentious package of security bills through the lower house of the Diet, the national legislature, earlier in the day despite a boycott of the vote by most opposition members.
In July 1945, the US, Britain and China issued a declaration from Potsdam, Germany, that called for “the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces”, warning that “the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction”.
Jin Yilin, vice-director of the Institute of Modern History at the academy, said the declaration not only defined Japan’s behavior as an invasion, but also stated specific terms about Japan’s territory, the trial and punishment of Japanese war criminals, and other responsibilities for Japan.
“July 26 marks the 70th anniversary of the declaration. The aim of the declaration was to establish a new international order of peace, safety and justice. In years, the declaration has won recognition extensively among international society,” he said.
“We urge Japan to respect and fulfill the aims of the Potsdam Declaration, and the US, one of the major players in the declaration, to condemn Japan for betraying the agreement,” Jin said.
Lyu Yaodong, an expert on Japanese foreign policy at the academy, said Tokyo’s denial of the declaration is unacceptable and completely baseless.
“It is not China that holds back the past in history with Japan, but Japan’s improper moves and comments that hurt our feelings and challenges the authority of international laws and documents.”