The “Southern Mongolia Parliamentary Alliance” of Japan is of historical significance
Japan reached a historic milestone 76 years after the end of World War II. On April 21, he officially launched a parliamentary alliance in support of Southern (Inner) Mongolia.
Reaction to China’s assimilation policy
The formation of the alliance was triggered by the Chinese government’s abolition of Mongolian language education from fall 2020.
As part of the decision, schools in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) have been ordered to switch from lessons taught in Mongolian to instruction in Mandarin.
However, in response, Inner Mongols living in the region rallied and organized protest movements. There was support from Mongolia and elsewhere. Inner Mongolians living in Japan, the United States and Europe have expressed their opposition.
The world community has criticized the Chinese government’s cultural genocide at IMAR, comparing the situation to that in Xinjiang.
Japanese politicians Hiroshi Yamada and Hiroshi Ueno have shown deep understanding and sympathy. We share the recognition that Japan, as a great democratic nation, must help end the tyranny of the Chinese government.
Yamada and Ueno turned to other PLD politicians for their support, which led to the launch of the parliamentary alliance.
Alliance leader former minister Sanae Takaichi described the situation in southern Mongolia as a global problem as opposed to an internal one.
The formation of the alliance is historically important not only for southern Mongolia, but also for Japan.
Break with the historical visions of the post-war period
A key first step for Japan has been its detachment from its post-war historical views – particularly regarding its historical involvement in regions such as Taiwan, Manchuria and Inner Mongolia.
Since World War II, Japan has severed its political ties with Taiwan and “forgotten” Manchuria. Japan may have done so because it saw political consideration towards China as a priority.
However, Japan’s ties with Manchu migrants and the local region have not really been severed.
Japanese research on Manchuria was at the forefront of world colonial studies, and young people born in ancient Manchuria still regard Japan as an awesome country.
Their ancestors knew the good old days of Japan, and told their descendants that it was better than the harsh regime of China.
There are currently over 10,000 Mongolians with Manchu connections studying and working in Japan.
China continued to view the Mongols in eastern IMAR (former Manchuria) as a threat, seeing them as “spies working for Japan.” During the Cultural Revolution, 340,000 people in this region were arrested and around 30,000 were killed.
The formation of the parliamentary alliance in Japan is important because it illustrates a constructive involvement with a former colony. It is similar to the positive work of the UK and France with its former colonies.
Instead of summing up the past with words like “invasion” and “regrets,” Japan should be proud to support the region in areas like self-determination and modernization.
Break through the darkness of Yalta
Second, the formation of the alliance is linked to the “Yalta Accord”, which violates international law.
The Mongolian people regard their territory and civilization as different from that of China. After World War II, the Mongolian People’s Republic wanted the Southern Mongols to be liberated from Chinese and Japanese rule.
However, in the end, half of its territory was taken by China. The secret Yalta deal was one factor – a deal that was struck without any Mongolian or Japanese representatives.
Any agreement or treaty entered into without the parties concerned being involved is illegal. The Mongols and the Japanese should join forces and question the legality of the Yalta Accord. The formation of the parliamentary alliance therefore represents progress in this area.
Part of 20th century Japanese history was created with the Mongols on the Asian continent. The Mongols still view Japan as a trustworthy ally.
Going forward, Japan must help ensure that the Mongolian plateau becomes a foothold for Eurasia, in order to move the region away from China.
(Find access to the Sankei Shimbun article in Japanese at this link.)
Author: Haiying Yang