Abe’s Version of History Doesn’t Sit Well With Chinese

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tags: World War II, China, Japan, Shinzo Abe

Historians and columnists have made comparisons between Britain and a rising Germany in 1914 and the current tensions between Japan and China; a hot topic at the start of the centenary year of World War I.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, in his appearance Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, raised the bar when he agreed with the thesis, saying that he saw a “similar situation” between now and then.

During a discussion with journalists, Mr. Abe said that the strong trade relations between Germany and Britain in 1914 were not unlike the economic interdependence today between Japan and China.

In 1914, economic self-interest failed to put a brake on the strategic rivalry that led to the outbreak of war, Mr. Abe said. He criticized the annual double-digit growth in China’s defense budget, calling it a source of instability in the Pacific region, an implicit comparison to Germany’s rapid build-up of arms before World War I....

Read entire article at New York Times

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