Saturday, April 16, 2005

Japan and China: A Japanese Commentary



Yoshi Ishida, an MA graduate from the University of Warwick, now residing in Tokyo, has a strong opinion about the recent diplomatic row between China and Japan:

Japan has tried to be ESPECIALLY friendly with China and South Korea, (and North Korea as well until the 1980s) because of what happened in WWII. That is why Japan has spent a lot of money (which comes from Japanese taxpayers) to help SK and China
develop their infrastructure. Japan has also apologised for WWII many times to SK and China.

The anti-Japan rows will happen again tommorrow... and it will never end. Please do not forget China also has problems with Taiwan, Tibet, and the ASEAN countries.


I think Japan also has its own problems. Japan was too apologetic for what it has done in the past and it did not try to explain its own position e.g. why Yasukuni Shrine is important to the Japanese. Now many Westerners believe what China and the protesters says and misunderstand the significance of the Yasukuni shrine. Did you know a group of Taiwanese politicians visited the Yasukuni Shrine last month? Perhaps not....

Your comments are welcome!

6 comments:

cookiesap on-line said...

Cookiesap chooses to disagree with Yoshi. The situation between Japan and China might not be Japan's fault alone, but a solution is only useful when it works... Japan's approach to reconcile with China has apparently not worked, and must thus find new ways to mend the situation. Most Chinese people, or Koreans for that sake, cannot remember any of the 18 or so apologies that Japan has made. Is that because they are closing their ears or because Japan is not being sincere about its apologies?

Now, what China has to do to improve the situation - that's a completely different story...

Harass No More said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Other Lisa said...

I'm going to have to second Cookiesap's disagreement. I do know a little about the Yasukuni Shrine - the problem is that the presence of those 14 Class A war criminals contaminates the higher meaning of that shrine, and the Japanese Prime Minister is well-aware of this.

brooksfoe said...

I agree with Yoshi about the source of the problem, and completely disagree about the solution. It's true that Chinese animosity towards Japan at this point is completely unmoored from legitimate historical grievances; the Chinese are demonstrating because they're going through a bout of insane jingoistic nationalism, the people demonstrating have no personal experience of Japanese oppression, they and their parents and grandparents are far more likely to have been oppressed by the Communists or "struggled" by Red Guards than to have been oppressed by the Japanese, and as for Japanese refusal to admit historical truths one doubts that a tenth of the Chinese protestors have even the foggiest understanding of their own history or could guess within an order of magnitude how many people starved to death during Mao's idiotic and murderous "Great Leap Forward".

However, I cannot for the life of me fathom why Japanese find it so freaking hard to just apologize. Who cares if it's the fifteenth or twentieth or hundredth time? An apology costs nothing. Why can't Nakasone just get on the freaking tube and say Japan acknowledges that the rape, slaughter and pillage committed by its troops during the 1930s and its unprovoked war of aggression in Manchuria were horrific war crimes of the first degree, and it apologizes to the victims and to the Chinese nation and declares that it will never again fight a war of aggression? What's the big deal? So you lose face. So what? Would you rather lose face, or lose a billion Chinese customers for Sony?

brooksfoe said...

I agree with Yoshi about the source of the problem, and completely disagree about the solution. It's true that Chinese animosity towards Japan at this point is completely unmoored from legitimate historical grievances; the Chinese are demonstrating because they're going through a bout of insane jingoistic nationalism, the people demonstrating have no personal experience of Japanese oppression, they and their parents and grandparents are far more likely to have been oppressed by the Communists or "struggled" by Red Guards than to have been oppressed by the Japanese, and as for Japanese refusal to admit historical truths one doubts that a tenth of the Chinese protestors have even the foggiest understanding of their own history or could guess within an order of magnitude how many people starved to death during Mao's idiotic and murderous "Great Leap Forward".

However, I cannot for the life of me fathom why Japanese find it so freaking hard to just apologize. Who cares if it's the fifteenth or twentieth or hundredth time? An apology costs nothing. Why can't Nakasone just get on the freaking tube and say Japan acknowledges that the rape, slaughter and pillage committed by its troops during the 1930s and its unprovoked war of aggression in Manchuria were horrific war crimes of the first degree, and it apologizes to the victims and to the Chinese nation and declares that it will never again fight a war of aggression? What's the big deal? So you lose face. So what? Would you rather lose face, or lose a billion Chinese customers for Sony?

cookiesap on-line said...

While I agree with your very diligent and clever intrepretation and opinion, I still think it is the most diplomatic viable option to approach both countries on an equal, non-favorable basis.

As we speak, Japanese legislators are planning an official visit to the Yasukuni shrine -- is that a good move?

Also, today various Japanese reprisals hit Tokyo in the form of vandalism and gunshots.

I think the situation is slowly developing into a crisis.