Chinese ambassador salutes Worcester veteran who was Japanese prisoner of war

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THE Chinese ambassador has saluted a Worcester World War Two veteran after he wrote to tell him of the horrors he went through as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Fred Seiker, who lives in Raven Drive, St Peter's, saw an article by Liu Xiaoming in the Daily Telegraph about Japan's refusal to face up to its aggressive past and its serious threat to global peace, and wrote to the ambassador.

He thanked Mr Xiaoming for condemning Japan's primeminister Shinzo Abe for his aggressive attitude towards re-militarising the country as he and many of his friends were captured to work on the Thai-Burma railway.

Mr Seiker said: "Me being an old prisoner of war, I thought it was a nice article so I wrote to him and lo and behold he writes back."

Along with his letter, the 98-year-old included two copies of his book 'Lest We Forget', first published in 1995 and now on its fourth edition, in both English and Chinese to give his harrowing experience at the hands of Japanese military, which included many prisoners working to death and horrendous torture.

He said: "When the war finished, they signed an agreement that they would never start a war again but they have never agreed that they lost the was because of inferior military conduct. SInce then, over the many years, they have changed the lessons in the schools and colleges making out that all the bad things they did didn't happen so they students don't have a clue what their grandparents did to us, and now they want to re-militarise."

In his reply, after reading Mr Seiker's books, Mr Xiaoming agreed that Japan had attempted to 'airbrush' its past.

He said: "As an old Chinese saying goes, 'the departed are gone, The living must live on,' However, the wounds of war are not healed. People have a right to know what happened in that tragic past and should not forget what horrendous crimes Japanese militarists are capable of. The forestall resurrection of militarism, there is a compelling need to record history as it is and truly learn the lessons."

The correspondence between the two has attracted a lot of worldwide attention and both of the men were due to be interviewed by film crews for a Chinese news channel.

Mr Seiker said he was happy to be sharing the true history of what went on in the Anti-Fascism War which he described as the most brutal in history.

Lest We Forget by Fred Seiker is now being used as part of the curriculum in America and Japan, which the author felt was a success for history, and is available to buy on Amazon.

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