Flying Tigers veteran: Japan should first apologize to China

Updated 2016-12-26 09:30:55

A Chinese-American veteran of World War II has said that Japan should first apologize to China for what the Japanese military did during the war, the Xinhua News Agency reports.

John Yee was chosen to work as a translator with the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force, also known as the Flying Tigers, who landed in Kunming city, Yunnan province to join the fight against the Japanese two weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack in December, 1941.

In an open letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will pay a visit to Pearl Harbor later this month, 95-year-old Yee recalled the Nanjing Massacre: "It was a horrible, sickening event, and shocked everybody in China. It started a long period of atrocities committed by the Japanese military against innocent Chinese people."

"Just like Hitler trying to exterminate the Jews in Europe, the Japanese committed genocide against the Chinese," Yee said. "But Western educators and media have yet to recognize the extent of the atrocities committed by Japan."

Describing Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor as "U.S.-Japan theater," Yee said the first people the Japanese should be apologizing to are the Chinese, for their invasion of China and the murders of millions of Chinese people.

"It seems like more Japanese-American back-rubbing in Pearl Harbor this month," said Yee. "There are several countries that Japan should apologize to, and China is at the top of the list."

Yee went to the U.S. in 1942 and later became a history professor at the University of Denver and University of Colorado. He enjoyed an award-winning, 30-year teaching career.

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