(Presidentialwire.com)- By criticizing his Japanese counterpart in Canberra and cautioning Australians against trusting their old adversary in case Japan launches another military strike on the country, Beijing’s top ambassador to Australia has moved to sever Australia’s strengthening ties with Japan.
Chinese ambassador Xiao Qian delivered the remarks on January 10 during a New Year press conference at the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.
The Japanese ambassador to Australia, Shingo Yamagami, was singled out by Xiao for criticism. Citing Beijing’s threats of retaliation against nations that required COVID-19 tests for Chinese arrivals, Yamagami wrote in an opinion piece for The Australian that Australia and Japan need to be “vigilant” toward China.
Asserting that Japan had never regretted its actions during the war, he also mentioned the Japanese attack on Darwin and the treatment of Australian POWs held by Japanese forces in the Pacific. He added that Japan refused to admit its bad behavior and warned that “history might repeat.”
During the Second World War, Japan invaded the Australian-controlled New Guinea and Papua areas and launched approximately 100 air raids against Australia, including assaults on Darwin and Broome.
Nobusuke Kishi, the Japanese prime minister at the time, did apologize for his country’s wartime conduct and expressed his nation’s remorse for what had happened during the war in 1957 after Japan had unconditionally surrendered at the end of the war.
“It is both my official obligation and my desire to convey our deep regret for the events of the war to you and the people of Australia through you,” Kishi stated.
In response to Xiao’s remarks, Yamagami stated that everyone knew Japan’s reputation as a peaceful, law-abiding nation and that what happened more than 80 years ago shouldn’t be a point of contention.
Japan’s envoy to Australia, Yusaku Maehara, says his country’s peaceful post-war trajectory is not the issue. “We place a lot of stress on the necessity of upholding the international system based on norms,” he tells Australian media.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “We have a positive connection with Japan.”
Australia’s ambassador to China, Xiao Qijun, has called the Australian government’s plan to acquire a nuclear-powered submarine a “crucial recalibration of Australia’s defensive posture.”