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Interview: Potsdam Proclamation indelible: experts

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- On the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the July 26, 1945 Potsdam Proclamation demanding Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies, experts in various countries have urged respect of history and lashed out at attempts to reverse historical verdicts on Japan.

In separate interviews with Xinhua, a number of Chinese and foreign experts agree that history cannot be reversed, that international rules cannot be trampled upon, and that the proclamation still bears indelible, profound and practical significance today.

Cha Jae-bok, chief researcher of South Korea's Northeast Asian History Foundation, charged that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe disregarded the opposition of the international community and the emotion of the neighboring countries which Japan invaded in the past, and unscrupulously amended Japan's constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, which fully exposed Abe's ambitions.

Therefore, Cha noted, all parties must inherit the spirit of the Potsdam Proclamation, urge Japan to continue to abide by all the articles of the proclamation, and strictly prevent the revival of militarism.

Japanese political commentator Jiro Honzawa said that the Potsdam Proclamation stipulates Japan's political and economic tracks and cannot be forgotten.

Any attempt to get rid of the proclamation will only beget opposition and isolation from neighboring countries and the international community, Honzawa said.

Meanwhile, he said that the Abe cabinet amended a core article -- Article 9 -- of Japan's pacifist constitution, which means a challenge to Asian nations and the international community, and which is also a symbol of Japan's isolation.

Ibrahim Yusuf, chairman of the executive board of Indonesia's Council on World Affairs, said the Potsdam Proclamation is one of the important legal documents signed at the end of World War II and also a key fruit of the war against Fascism.

The proclamation played an important role in safeguarding peace and stability and preventing resurrection of militarism in the Asia Pacific region over the last nearly 70 years, he said.

Till today, there are still many countries that commemorate the signing of the document and hold commemoration events to remind people of history and obeying the world order.

Hui-Yi Tseng, a research associate with the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, said documents like the Potsdam Proclamation and the Cairo Declaration were very important in history.

These documents contributed greatly to stability in post-war East Asia and, to some extent, determined the regional arrangement for East Asia, Tseng said.

For Japan, it could remind the public not to return to the status of isolation in WWII and not to repeat the war mistakes made in those years, she said.

Wu Enyuan, a researcher of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Potsdam Proclamation reflected the will of the Allies as well as the pursuit of the peoples of the Asian states that fell victim to the Japanese aggression.

However, the ultra-right wingers in Japan have been trying to deny the fruit of WWII for years, he said, stressing the need to firmly oppose Japan's denial of the fruit of WWII, to maintain impartiality and justice of the world order and ensure peace and stability in East Asia and the world at large.

Mohamed Ibrahim al-Saket, former Arab League ambassador to China, said that while denying the hideous wartime atrocities committed by Japan in China, the current Abe government is undermining the country's pacifist constitution and the post-WWII international order.

Such actions would add destabilizing factors to the region and the world, he added.

Saturday marks the 69th anniversary of the July 26, 1945 Potsdam Proclamation. The proclamation, issued by China, the United States and Britain in the German city of Potsdam, outlined the terms for Japan's unconditional surrender at the end of World War II

Japan declared its acceptance of the provisions of the Potsdam Proclamation on August 14, 1945, and signed the Instrument of Surrender on September 2 that year.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140726/interview-potsdam-proclamation-indelible-experts