Will China's holiday to celebrate the end of WW2, and thus Japan's surrender and defeat, offend Japan?

Will China's holiday to celebrate the end of WW2, and thus Japan's surrender and defeat, offend Japan?

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Memorial ceremony at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on China's first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims
Memorial ceremony at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on China's first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims
Photo: AFP

On September 5, 1945, Japan surrendered, ending the second world war. To celebrate the 70-year anniversary, China will have a three-day holiday, on September 3-5. Many people, especially workers, are thrilled to have a holiday. The holiday will also remind everyone of how horrible war is, and hopefully will make them think before entering another conflict.

But the holiday might also really upset Japan. I'm sure they don't want to treat their defeat as something to be celebrated, so it is sure to make China's relationship with its neighbour worse. Japan has been in denial about a lot of what we consider to be war crimes, such as the Nanking Massacre and their soldiers' systematic abuse of women. Japan has even taken out content from their schoolbooks that used to deal with their part in the war.

Right now, China and Japan are in dispute about territory in the ocean. It seems China wants to punish Japan even more. So I don't think this holiday is a good idea, as there's just too much to lose.

Andrew Ng, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School


From the editor

Thank you for your well-thought-out letter, Andrew. I think, though, that you're going to find few students who will be glad to give up the chance of a "free" holiday. Of course the holiday will not be "free" because each school still has to complete their set syllabus, and losing the hours over the holiday will just make matters even more stressed for students.

The second world war took a huge toll on many nations. There is no end to the stories of horror and cruelty that came out of it. Surely anything that signalled its end is worth celebrating. What do other readers think?

Susan, editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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