Instead of admitting and apologizing for historical aggression, Japan has chosen to brainwash its young with new propaganda at a time when the world is preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Perfect timing for Japan to show its irresponsible attitude and unapologetic stance.
On Monday, the Japanese government authorized 18 revised high school textbooks which assert Japanese ownership of neighboring countries' islands, including China's Diaoyu Islands.
The books also downplay Japan's responsibility for WWII by rewording the description of the infamous Nanjing Massacre in which more than 300,000 Chinese people were killed by the Japanese army after they occupied the then Chinese capital in 1937.
Seventy years on, the war waged by Japan and the suffering it brought to the Asian people has become acknowledged history, with legally binding international documents signed during and after the war, postwar trials of war criminals, witnesses and historical research as indisputable evidences.
History should not be recklessly tampered with.
Japanese leaders must admit the country's historical aggression and reflect on the responsibility for wartime atrocities -- this is the only way for them to lead the country beyond its reprehensible history and to restore trust with its Asian neighbors.
Despite iron-clad facts, there have always been right-wing forces in Japan seeking to whitewash the country's wartime atrocities, this time, by cramming the younger generation with skewed perceptions of geography and history.
A recent poll by Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun showed that only 5 percent of respondents were fully aware of Japanese aggression, compared with 49 percent who said they either did not know much about it or had no knowledge of it.
The poll also showed that education and school textbooks are the main ways for students to learn the truth about past warfare.
People cannot help doubting the direction a generation imbued with a distorted sense of history can lead Japan. Or whether the young will repeat the country's wrongdoing?
In China, we often say history is a mirror for our guidance.
During her visit to Japan earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also advised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to learn from her country in confronting a heinous role in WWII.
Perhaps, regarding adopting a truthful perception of history, Germany could also serve as a mirror for Japan.
Germany has won forgiveness from its European neighbors over Nazi Germany's role in WWII first because Germany did face its past squarely.
Japan issued its annual blue book on foreign policies on Tuesday. While expressing "deep remorse" over the war in the document, the country continues to play up the fallacy of historical and disputed territorial issues.
Asian neighbors have been taught by Japan's leaders in recent years to observe not only its words, but also its deeds, taking into consideration their efforts to whitewash wartime atrocities and challenge the international order set after WWII.
Maybe the Abe administration could start to show its sincerity in "deep remorse" by stopping playing up school textbook as a tool to stay in power, and passing on correct historical perceptions, instead of lies, to the young generation.