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German Ex-Chancellor Schröder To Attend China Victory Celebrations

Aug. 31, 2015 (EIRNS)—Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will be attending the Sept. 3 World War II victory day celebrations in China. Ahead of the event, Schröder gave a written interview with Xinhua in which he commented on the importance of the celebrations, because Europeans tend to not know that World War II also raged throughout Asia and caused tremendous suffering.

"Especially in China, people suffered from the consequences of the Japanese aggression," said Schröder.

"The successful resistance put up by the Chinese people at great sacrifice was a very important contribution to ending the Second World War. Therefore, I will come to China to express my sympathy to the victims and their descendants, and to pay my respects to the country,"

he said.

In 2004 Schröder became the first German Chancellor to take part in the D-Day commemorations in Normandy, France, on the 60th anniversary of the Allied landing that began the end of the war in Europe. Commenting on his participation then, he said he views it as a special responsibility for Germany to remember the suffering and horrors of war which were perpetrated by Nazi Germany.

"I think it is important for every country to shed light on its history and question it in an open and critical manner. And it is important to stand ready for reconciliation and forgiveness,"

he said.

"In Japan, there were also important initiatives," Genscher said, taking as examples the 1995 landmark statement by then-Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, who made apologies to Japan’s neighboring countries for war and colonial rule. Murayama will also be attending the memorial ceremonies in Beijing next week. "Peoples of Asia should continue treading this path of reconciliation," Schröder said, expressing hope that the celebration events in Beijing offer an opportunity in this regard.

Commenting on China’s role in the world today, Schröder said: "Over the past four decades, China has achieved an astonishing economic and political development, which is accompanied by increased international responsibility in Asia and beyond. Today we need the responsible participation of China for solving major global challenges."