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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 14 - 20  > Abe’s war-glorifying mind casts a damper on newborn panda cub
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2017 June 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe’s war-glorifying mind casts a damper on newborn panda cub

June 14, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

A giant panda at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo gave birth to a cub, attracting much attention nationwide.

The birth of a new life is truly wonderful. Beyond that, Japanese people are particularly pleased as only around 2,000 pandas remain in the world and they are in danger of extinction.

In 1972, the coming of the first giant pandas to Japan fascinated the entire nation. People rushed to Ueno Zoo and stood in long lines waiting for a glimpse of “Kankan” and “Lanlan”. Opening hours for the panda zone were very limited. Visitors were allowed to observe the pair in turn only once and for only a few minutes. When their turn finally came, all they often saw were the heads of someone in front of them. The whole of Japan was excited with the presence of the pandas.

The panda couple was a Chinese government gift to commemorate the 1972 normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations. These pandas were a “symbol of the friendship” after Japan had deeply damaged the bilateral relationship with its war of aggression in the past.

Now that the symbol of the friendship has taken root in both countries, various events are underway in Japan and China to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the normalization of their diplomatic ties.

However, the present government of Japan led by Prime Minister Abe, who shows no intent to reflect upon Japan’s past war, has been dampening the upbeat mood. While the people of Japan and China congratulate each other on a new life, one of the two governments is trying to turn the country again into a war-capable nation. This is totally incompatible with the spirit of peaceful coexistence.
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