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Sunday, February 07, 2010

中日历史共同研究取得进展 China-Japan Joint History Research Committee Released Research Papers

China-Japan Joint History Research Committee concluded the first phase of the history research project and released research papers. These papers include historical events that have have often been disputed, including the Nanjing Massacre. Some agreements have also been reached between scholars from the two countries, like the understanding that Japan waged a war of aggression against China.

These papers can be downloaded from MOFA website (Japanese and Chinese version):http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/china/rekishi_kk.html

Bu Ping, the coordinator of the Chinese side and the director of the Contemporary History Institute of Chinese Social Science Academy, was interviewed by XinHua News of China. Here is the report from Xinhua News (in Chinese)
http://news.xinhuanet.com/society/2010-02/02/content_12921839.htm

and our English translation:

随着“中日共同历史研究”工作取得阶段性进展,中日两国之间的历史问题再一次浮现在人们面前。参与这项研究的中方首席委员、中国社会科学院近代史研究所所长步平说,对于中日战争历史的认知,一直是困扰中日两国关系的问题之一。这项研究主要是希望先从学术上理清历史事实,分析历史认识的差异与问题,增进两国交流,加深两国间和平友好关系。
The history issues catch attention in China and Japan, since the Sino-Japan history research program achieved its partial goals. Bu Ping, Director of the Contemporary History Institutes of the Social Science Academy of China, says that understandings of the Sino-Japan War have long been a problem, deteriorating relations between China and Japan. We expect that this research program can sort out historical facts in academic studies, analyzing the causes of the different historical understanding, facilitating bilateral communication, and building a friendly relationship.

  共同历史研究 原则问题已达成共识

  尽管中日战争已经结束60多年,但日本社会部分人士否认侵略战争的态度,让中日两国的友好发展道路始终布满荆棘。
  2006年10月,中日两国领导人就启动中日学者之间的共同历史研究达成共识。同年11月,中日两国外长在举行会谈之时就中日共同历史研究的实施框架达成协议,确定基于中日联合声明等三个政治文件的原则及正视历史、面向未来的精神,开展中日共同历史研究。
  在这一共识与实施框架的基础上,中日双方各10名学者组成共同历史研究委员会,分为古代与中世纪史、近现代史两个组,开展了共同研究。
---Consensus has been reached at the basic level by studying history together

The Sino-Japan war was over more than 60 years ago, but some Japanese deny the aggressiveness of the war, and this has been the barrier of the friendship between the two countries. In October 2010, leaders of the two countries agreed to launch a research program of contemporary history together. Each side provided a committee of ten historians, divided into two groups of ancient history and contemporary history studies, and started a study program in November of the same year.


  中日共同研究的目的在于通过学者间的冷静研究,首先从学术上理清历史事实,缓解围绕历史问题的对立情绪,促进两国友好交流。
  据介绍,此次共同研究与以往的学术研究最大区别,在于一是有共同确定的研究题目,二是对重要问题都进行充分讨论,在吸收部分对方意见的基础上多次修改,形成各自的论文。概括地说就是“同一题目,交换意见,充分讨论,各自表述”。虽然是“各自表述”,但因为研究题目是共同确定的,两国学者能够在同一题目下围绕关键问题展开研究和讨论,不回避分歧,已经是向前走了一大步。
According to Bu, this program has two unique characters: 1) Studies have been done on the same topics, which are strictly and clearly defined to both sides; 2) Discussions are widely held on important topics. Each article has been revised several times according to the opinions from the opposite sides. This program is conducted under the principle of “Under the same topic, exchanging opinions widely, discussing fully, but expressing separately.” Although the final papers are released separately, it is still a great improvement because scholars from the two countries have been able to directly face the key problems and challenge each other.

  步平介绍,近代史组的双方学者对中日战争的性质进行了充分讨论,在各自的论文中都明确指出:自1931年开始到1945年的中日间的战争是日本对中国的侵略战争,阐述了侵略战争给中国人民造成的巨大的伤害与损失,表达了谴责侵略战争和维护和平的愿望。中方委员会认为:对侵略战争性质的认定是中日之间大是大非的原则问题,必须首先达成共识,然后才能开始学术研究。
  同时,日本学者也在相关研究成果中明确承认了日本军国主义对中国的侵略和给中国人民造成的巨大伤害,日军的种种非法行为给大量中国平民带来了深刻的战争伤痕,认为那是新的中日关系的绊脚石。他们的论文还认为:近年关于细菌战、遗弃化学武器、强制征用劳工、对妇女的暴行等问题的诉讼,都是战争带给中国人民深刻伤痕的表现。
According to Bu, the scholars had intensive discussions on the character of the Sino-Japan War. Both publications have clearly indicated: the Sino-Japan war (1931 - 1945) was a war of aggression, which Japan imposed on China; this war of aggression brought significant loss and damage to Chinese people; and wars shall be condemned and peace shall be maintained. Japanese scholars confirmed that Japanese militarism brought significant suffering to Chinese people, and the war-crimes committed by the Japanese Army are still barriers in the China-Japan relations. They also recognized that, in recent years, the law suits that have been filed regarding the biological weapons, abandoned chemical weapons, forced labour, and the sex crimes against women represent the scars of the war that are still bleeding.

  不要因历史学术分歧影响两国关系的发展

  “学术分歧、争议都是学术界进行研究的一个过程,不要因历史学术分歧影响两国关系的发展。”步平认为。
  “学术研究是允许存在争议的,双方学者由于掌握资料及观察问题的角度有所不同,在细节问题上难免存在分歧。两国学者在历史学术上的分歧不等于就是中日两国关系的鸿沟。从另一个角度讲,也正是因为存在学术分歧所以才要进行共同研究。”步平说。
  步平表示,目前我们所说的历史问题,其实表现在政治判断、学术研究和民众感情这三个层面,现在这三个层面相互交错,让历史问题变得尤为复杂。我们需要理顺这三个层面的关系。中日共同历史研究项目研究的目的首先是解决学术层面的问题,从而为政治判断和民众感情提供正确的依据。虽然对于战争民众是有着记忆依据的,但毕竟视角有限而且已事隔多年,就需要学者通过研究把历史比较健全和准确地呈现给大众。
  “学术研究需要时间、过程,不能让这个过程影响到两国关系的发展。”步平说。
---Don’t let disputes in academic studies damage the bilateral relations.

Bu comments: "Academic disputes are common in the process of learning. We shall not let the academic disputes deter our bilateral relations."
“We should allow disputes to exist in the academic world. We have different angles of viewing the question and different ways of accessing information, so it is unavoidable that we have disputes on the details of the issues. These academic disputes shall not be amplified as the gap between the two countries. We need mutual study programs like this.”
“Now when we talk about the disputes on historical issues, problems exist in three aspects: 1) political decision making, 2) academic studies, and 3) the emotion of the general public. Right now, these three aspects entangle each other, making the issue extremely complicated. We should rethink about the relations between the three aspects, and decide which one we should work on first. This study program aims at solving the academic aspect of the history issues first, so we can provide an intellectual base of rational judgement for dealing with the other two aspects of the history issues. Academic history studies are valuable, because we can provide a comprehensive and accurate record of history events to the public.”
“Academic research is always a long process. We need time. But we don’t need to wait till we have the final answer. We shall start building a friendly relationship now.”

  以大国胸怀面对历史问题

  步平介绍,中日历史共同研究的前提是,坚持中日邦交正常化以来的几个重要文件精神和原则,就是日本应反省发动侵略战争的责任,以史为鉴,面向未来。因此共同研究也是把日本对中国的战争是侵略战争作为前提确定下来。
  “现在我们国家的发展日益富强,我们的国民也应该树立大国意识,包括对历史问题,要站在更高的角度观察,如果我们能够同日本的进步力量一起来思考战争历史,与亚洲所有的战争受害者一起来谴责战争,就能够逐渐使历史认识跨越国境,真正实现正视历史,面向未来。这样,日本的右翼与保守势力否认侵略战争责任的言行就不会有任何影响。”步平说。(王茜)
--- Show our tolerance to the historical disputes:

Bu says, “The premise of this research program is that Japan recognizes its war responsibility, and we should learn a lesson from the history, for the sake of a peaceful future. This premise has been well recognized by both sides.”
“Now, China is growing very fast. Our citizens also should have a sense of being a member of a responsible major country. We should be more tolerant and confident. To the history issues, we should view it from a higher place (rather than the lower level nationalistic views). If we can first reach reconciliation with the progressive members of the Japanese society, we can unite all the victims of the war in Asia and condemn the war together. Then we can align ourselves with all the international peace-loving forces, and then we can finally solve disputes on the history issues and create an everlasting peace. In that process, Japanese right-wing conservatives won't be able to deny the war of aggression anymore. ”


For more information, here is a collection of initial reactions from the media, in Japanese, Chinese, and English, compiled by George Washington University's "Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific" website.
http://memoryreconciliation.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/china-japan-joint-history-report-released/

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