The United States should not support Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe under all circumstances, Britain's Financial Times said Monday.
"That is especially true when it comes to relations with China. Above all, Washington must not give the impression that it wants to use Japan as a tool of containment," the newspaper said in an article published as Abe starts a week-long visit to the United States.
During Abe's visit, both the attitudes of Japan and the United States toward China will be tested on three fronts -- history, defense and trade, it said.
Abe, widely considered to be a right-wing politician, is among those who believe that Japan has apologized enough for the atrocities it committed during World War II.
He has suggested that he wants to drop language used in previous apologies referring to "colonial rule," "aggression" and "remorse," the paper said, noting that "any manifestation of 'Abenesia' would be a big mistake." In other words, whitewashing or pretending to suffer from amnesia and forget historical atrocities would be a mistake on Abe's part.
As an aggressor in World War II, Japan should not be given the option to decide when the apologies end. If Abe wants to persuade the world that Japan can be trusted as a "normal" nation, he should repeat the old formula of apologizing, the paper said.H Regarding defense, Abe wants to reinterpret Japan's pacifist constitution, the newspaper said.
Regarding trade, it must be clear that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement, not a geopolitical one in disguise, the paper said.
"During Mr. Abe's visit, the subtext should be that both the U.S. and Japan want to draw China into the international community -- not shut it out," the paper said.