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Commentary:World forces of peace are responsible for stopping Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent conduct has gone too far in alienating the international community.

First of all, he openly visited the Yasukuni Shrine to relive the "glory" of the Japanese Empire. Afterwards, he declared in his New Year speech that the fight to rebuild a "strong Japan" has just begun and that the time has come to take a leap forward in "building a new country". On January 1 of 2014, Japan's Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo also visited the Yasukumi Shrine. According to Japanese media, Abe now plans to visit several island countries in the South Pacific, paying homage to the Japanese soldiers who died there during the Second World War.

Abe's behavior has triggered acute uneasiness and strong condemnation in the international community, but he has reacted with indifference, treating truth and justice with contempt. It seems as if in his eyes, these actions are just a beginning.

Why does Abe's cabinet have the nerve to ignore pressure from the international community? The answer lies in the current unhealthy political ecology of Japan.

After the cold war, triggered by nationalist sentiment and the dream of becoming a political power, Japan's list to the political right became more and more pronounced, and the conservatives gained a stronger foothold in the country's political system. As a result, statements and actions aiming at rehabilitating Japanese aggression have become increasingly open. Japan's intention to break with the pacifist constitution, and to gradually develop its own military forces, have become ever more obvious. As a typical right-wing politician, Abe has tried to give the Japanese pride in their history by calling white black.

The path to the right followed by Abe has been widely welcomed by right-wing politicians and scholars. Right-wing organizations are less constrained in their actions and there is a general rightward trend in the whole social atmosphere.

Abe's clumsy performance suggests that Japan is trying to shift the direction of its development, challenge the post-war international order, and become a military power once more. The peace and stability of Asia, and indeed the wider world, will find themselves at risk.

The international community is quite clear about this. In the past few days many countries have condemned Abe's reckless behavior. The US has expressed its disappointment at Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on several occasions, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel even canceled his conference call with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

The international community shares many important interests, and has the responsibility to turn Japan back to the road of peaceful development. Without a strong external force, Abe may never have to face up to reality and put a stop to his misguided policies.  (Peolple's Daily)

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