The Flying Tigers was formed in 1941, by volunteers from the United States Navy, Army and Marine Corps. They fought together with the Chinese, against the Japanese, until 1945, when China’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression ended in victory in 1945.
Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, the memorial where 14 war criminals are paid tribute to, the Flying Tigers have become as upset as Chinese and Korean people.
The Flying Tiger Historical Organization wrote in a letter to the Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, about the disappointment in Abe’s inconsiderate actions and for disregarding those who suffered so much from Japanese oppression during the Second World War.
The chairman of the board of the organization, Major General James Whitehead Jr insisted that by visiting the memorial which honors Japanese criminals of war can only hurt more the people who already suffered enough during World War Two. He continued saying that many nations have turned against Abe’s visit to the shrine and that the real goal of the organization is to promote friendship, understanding and cooperation between nations. “This visit by Prime Minister Abe can do nothing toward healing the deep wounds left by WWII and to promote world peace, understanding and harmony,” said Major General James Whitehead Jr.
He said the organization’s goal is to preserve the shared history, memories, sacrifices and efforts between Americans and Chinese during the Second World War. They are also planning to establish a Flying Tiger Heritage Park in Guangxi Zhuang and to restore General Claire Lee Chennault Command and Operations Cave, the ChinaDaily USA reports.
Chennault, also known by his Chinese name, Chen Nade, was the founder of the Flying Tigers and the most popular American in China. Chinese people would sometimes visit Chennault’s tomb, in the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC.
The letter sent by the Flying Tigers Historical Organization is just one of the most recent signs of protest against the visit at the shrine, which has been criticized by both the United States and Russian government officials.
Both South and North Korea are disregarding Abe’s visit to the shrine. South Korea has continuously criticized the visit, while North Korea expressed its anger on Tuesday, by saying that Abe is an “Asian Hitler”, being totally against and disappointing by Abe’s decision to revise the Japanese pacifist constitution and work on the expansion of the Japanese military.