The Southern Mongolian Parliamentary Alliance of Japan is historically significant
Japan has reached a historic milestone 76 years after the end of World War II. On April 21, he officially launched a parliamentary alliance supporting 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 teaching from the fall of 2020.
As part of the decision, schools in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) have been instructed to switch from classes taught in Mongolian to teaching in Mandarin.
However, in response, Inner Mongols living in the region gathered and organized protest movements. There was support from Mongolia and elsewhere. Inner Mongols living in Japan, the United States and Europe have expressed their opposition.
The global community has criticized the Chinese government’s cultural genocide in IMAR, comparing the situation to that in Xinjiang.
Japanese politicians Hiroshi Yamada and Hiroshi Ueno showed deep understanding and sympathy. We share the recognition that Japan, as a great democratic nation, must help end the tyranny of the Chinese government.
Both Yamada and Ueno turned to other LDP politicians for support, which led to the launch of the parliamentary alliance.
The leader of the alliance, 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 significant not only for southern Mongolia, but also for Japan.
Breaking with post-war historical views
A key first step for Japan was its detachment from its post-war historical views – particularly regarding its historical involvement in areas such as Taiwan, Manchuria and Inner Mongolia.
Since World War II, Japan has severed its political ties with Taiwan and “forgotten” Manchuria. Perhaps Japan did this because it considered political consideration towards China a priority.
However, Japan’s ties with the Manchurian migrants and the local region were not severed.
Japanese research on Manchuria has been at the forefront of world colonial studies, and young people born in ancient Manchuria still regard Japan as an impressive country.
Their ancestors knew the good old Japanese days and told their descendants that it was better than the harsh regime of China.
There are currently over 10,000 Mongols with Manchurian ties studying and working in Japan.
China continued to view the Mongols of eastern IMAR (the former Manchuria) as a threat, viewing them as “spies working for Japan”. During the Cultural Revolution, 340,000 people from this region were arrested and around 30,000 were killed.
The formation of the parliamentary alliance in Japan is significant because it illustrates constructive engagement with a former colony. It looks like the positive work of the UK and France with its former colonies.
Instead of summing up the past with words like “invasion” and “regret,” Japan should be proud to support the region in areas like self-determination and modernization.
Crossing the darkness of Yalta
Second, the formation of the alliance is linked to the “Yalta agreement”, which violates international law.
The Mongols see their territory and their civilization as different from those of China. After World War II, the Mongolian People’s Republic wanted the Southern Mongols to be freed from Chinese and Japanese rule.
However, in the end, half of its territory was taken by China. The secret Yalta Agreement was a factor – an agreement that was made without any Mongol or Japanese representatives.
Any agreement or treaty concluded without the parties concerned being involved is illegal. The Mongols and the Japanese should join forces and question the legality of the Yalta agreement. The formation of the parliamentary alliance therefore represents progress in this area.
Part of 20th century Japanese history was created with the Mongols of the Asian mainland. The Mongols still see Japan as a trustworthy ally.
Looking ahead, Japan must help ensure that the Mongolian plateau becomes a bridgehead for Eurasia, to draw the region away from China.
(Find access to the Sankei Shimbun article in Japanese at this link.)
Author: Haiying Yang