• President Xi Jinping invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the military parade in Beijing.

President Xi Jinping invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the military parade in Beijing. (Photo : Reuters)

If one is in any way unsure about the overall impact of historical events, Wai Haiqing's commentary for Xinhua, titled "Only genuine historical retrospection paves the way to future," provides an indication of how long the memories of both individuals and nations can be.

However, the context is far from ordinary, as the subject is the Second World War, a historic event that left an indelible entry in the collective memory of the planet.

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Published on Tuesday, the op-ed references Adolf Hitler, the Hiroshima bombings and the Auschwitz concentration camp, as Wei expresses the despair of the Chinese societal landscape after the cessation of World War II--the 70th anniversary of the war's conclusion occurs this year.

Likening a country to a person, the writer calls upon Japan to display remorse for the actions of the Japanese forces in China during the war.

Tuesday is a significant day in World War II terms, as it is Holocaust survival day, with this year representing the 70-year mark since the camps were shut down. In Poland, 300 Holocaust survivors gathered at the "Death Gate" of Auschwitz-Birkenau, while numerous other gatherings and events occurred around the world.

The day is essentially somber, but it is also infused with a sense of hope, courage and resilience, as not only did people endure and survive torturous conditions, but a segment remain alive today.

For Wei, though, such a sentiment of honored remembrance and inspiration was missed by Japan's leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who reportedly "made remarks that exposed his lack of repentance for his country's wartime atrocities."

The prime minister's exposure occurred during a publicized statement, in which he announced a plan to rephrase the 1995 Murayama Statement, which Wei says is "a landmark" document containing Japan's post-war statement of repent in the wake of the war and the devastation it caused.

Words like "colonial rule" and "aggression" are slated for the revision process, and for Wei, this will only further entrench the denial of a nation that has not properly apologized for China-specific war atrocities.

Ultimately, readers will find it difficult to know exactly how they should orient themselves. As Wei asks Japan to "earnestly reflect on its past"--seven decades later--so that the mistakes of World War II will never be repeated, Abe continues his leadership role after visiting Jerusalem's Holocaust museum, where he laid a wreath as part of a three-day tour.

Only time will tell what his commemoration speech will consist of.