China pulls books on Japan-hatred

These books sound terribly radical to me, and we have to congratulate our Thought Police leaders for protecting us from evil propaganda.

Two books on Sino-Japanese history and modern political relations have been pulled from shelves in China for undisclosed reasons, after selling about 50,000 copies apiece.
“Ambiguity’s Neighborhood” and “Iron and Plough,” both by author Yu Jie, disappeared from major bookstores in late December after four months of normal circulation, Yu said this week.

In the runup to the annual National People’s Congress plenary session that began March 5, independent booksellers were also told to stop selling it, Yu’s Beijing distributor said Wednesday.

Yu, 32, argues in “Ambiguity’s Neighborhood” that Chinese should learn more about modern Japan before saying they “hate” the people — common parlance for today’s younger generation influenced by anti-Japan media reports and school texts that discuss Japan’s 1931-1945 conquest of China.

“The two countries are so close, so this hate, this lack of understanding, doesn’t help at all,” Yu said, citing “arrogance” for the lack of more understanding. “Chinese people should understand the situation before they criticize it.”

If that’s not dangerous, evil, harmony-destroying propaganda, what is? As long as books like this are available to the Chinese masses, none of us is safe. Thank God they’ve been banned.

Via ACB.

The Discussion: 21 Comments

OR another example the CCP is not seeking an anti- Japan policy.

April 6, 2005 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

who is ralph jennings? and why is he writing this? unfortunately, i don’t have a copy of this so-called “ambiguity’s neighborhood” book to look up what yu jie actually wrote. for one thing, i can’t seem to find this book listed in yu’s bibliography. at
i’ve have previously translated some of yu jie’s article in respect to his attitude towards japan.
yu thought that the chinese government was not tough enough on japan, unlike the koreans who issued very tough messages.
has ralph jennings perhaps confused authors?

April 6, 2005 @ 5:37 pm | Comment

ah, sorry, i found the articles on “Japan: The Ambiguous Nation” at
i’ll be reading it.

April 6, 2005 @ 5:39 pm | Comment

The irony here is that this Japan Times article is accusing the CCP of misleading the Chinese public about Japan while that is exactly what it is doing to the Japanese public about China. The article conveniently left out the following background information and facts:

Yu Jie is a prolific writer and outspoken social critic. His writings (most of which have nothing to do with Japan) cover a wide range of problems in contemporary China such as freedom of speech and human rights, and these writings have sometimes gotten him into trouble with the authorities.

In December of last year (when Yu’s books were pulled from bookstores in China), Yu was detained (articles here and here) along with several others in a crackdown on intellectuals who had been calling for more freedom of speech.

It is typically the case in China that when a writer gets into political trouble, all of his works gets pulled irrespective of their subject matter. I’m guessing that this is what happened in this case. Maybe someone in China can verify if all of Yu Jie’s numerous publications (again, most have nothing to do with Japan) have been pulled from bookstores. If this is true, then it would mean that Yu’s writings on Japan were pulled not because of the content of these writings but because the writer himself was in political trouble for his advocation of freedom of speech and human rights.

By purposefully leaving out the above pieces of information, the Japan Times article gave a very misleading picture, it blames all the problems between the 2 countries on China without looking at Japan’s own failure to face up to its past. Articles like this in the Japanese media are a large part of the reason why people in China and Korea don’t believe Japan has truly repented for her actions in the past.

April 6, 2005 @ 5:44 pm | Comment

If you google his name, you’ll see Jennings is a fairly prolific reporter writing for a broad array of media on Asian issues. He definitely puts a lot of blame on the the CCP for encouraging Japan-bashing by the Chinese, if only by remaining silent. Sorry Hui Mao and ESWN, I tend to agree. No, I didn’t say they are actively encouraging it, but it’s pretty clear they’re not too troubled by the anger and the threats. Relative silence by the CCP on a big issue like this is, I think, a kind of tacit endorsement.

I would definitely like to see the inconsistencies raised by ESWN addressed.

April 6, 2005 @ 6:04 pm | Comment

i have translated some of yu jie’s works at
this is certainly a completely different picture. so maybe yu is saying you ought to look first before you hate; he looked and he found it repulsive (not everything; but some part of it).

April 6, 2005 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

Daily linklets 7th April

This is a daily collection of links, some with commentary, to news stories and interesting blog posts. It will be updated throughout the day with a new timestamp for the updates. Scroll down for today’s other posts. Asia’s already pushing its candidate…

April 6, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

Although I always have high regard of Yu Jie and his wonderful pieces exposing the immoral nature of life under CCP rule, I have to say that unfortunately, he penned some pieces well beyond the boundry of hate speech against Japan. That’s sadly true.

Someone suggests that just because Yu Jie is perceived as ‘pro-America’, he has to bash Japan to prove his patriotism. Sounds pretty making sense.

On the other hand, those smaller contingent of ‘pro-Japan’ Chinese are nothing better. Richard may want to read it, just yesterday I came across a piece calling for balanced view on Japan from a liberal leaning media based in Guangzhou. It has the following line: “America is a very much jewish state, for it’s all about conspiracy and calculation. Japan doesn’t understand that, and blindly follows America.”

Still think your beloved China is racism-free? Good luck.

April 6, 2005 @ 8:02 pm | Comment


Thanks for your great work!

Regarding Jennings, Ralph Jennings works for the English side of Kyodo News, the major wire service of Japan, covering all kinds of news around China.

Japan is entering an interesting time. It is having territory dispute with all his neighbours, Russia, Korea and China.

Recently China and Russia quietly settled their border dispute. China and South Korea also calm down on old histroy. But none of three countries can reach a compromise with Japan. I am wondering what Koizumi is thinking?

April 6, 2005 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

“Recently China and Russia quietly settled their border dispute. China and South Korea also calm down on old histroy. But none of three countries can reach a compromise with Japan. I am wondering what Koizumi is thinking?”

The next PM of Japan may be even more right wing than Koizumi, according to a japanese friend.

April 6, 2005 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

A Revealed Preference for Hate

Here’s why I don’t take claims of the

April 7, 2005 @ 2:37 am | Comment


The reason why Japan can’t settle its border disputes quietly is that neither China nor Korea will sit down and talk quiety. With them, everything must be in the media.

If you knew anything about Japanese culture you would know that the first thing that you do when negotiationg anything in Japan is shut your mouth and throw any confrontational dialog away. The more confrontatonal and angry you get, and the more you bring the issue into the media, the more Japan will refuse to deal.

In business and politics in Japan, everything must be done behind closed doors or not at all.

If either country was really serious then they would cut all of this media garbage and sit down somewhere private. No media reports, no victory parties, no angry cries of defeat. Silence.

If China and co had done a decade ago, there would be a signed and accepted deal by now.

April 7, 2005 @ 5:22 am | Comment

The important thing here is not whether Yue is for or against something, it is that he called on Chinese to look seriously at Japn before declaring that they hate it.

Most people in China only get a limited view of the world, and with Japan, this view is even more restricted.

YOu only get to here the bad news and never the good.

How many people in China know that Japan is the largest supplyer of ODA in the world, or that it is still paying war reperations to China. Do people actually know that Japan’s war shrine is a Shinto Shrine and not a Budhist shrine (BingFeng apparently doesn’t) making some of the claims made about what it represents or the purpose that it serves utterly ludicrious, because they are based on the presumption that Japanese people treat their ancestors and former leaders in the same way that Chinese treat theirs.

Maybe if people did take a good hard look, they would feel a lot less hatred, and instead feel a desire to bring this to a peaceful close.

Yue actually visited Japan, and he saw for himself what the country was like. He visited places that most chinese only here about from the state controlled media, and at the end of the day he concluded that despite Japan’s history, it was getting a raw deal.

He still believes that what went on in the past was wrong, but he doesn’t belive that its historic actions rate its present day reputation.

April 7, 2005 @ 5:31 am | Comment


History aside, Japan today is an honorable member of world community, absolutely. It certainly deserves a permanent UNSC seat.

I once met a guy from Shanghai, who had spent a few years in Japan. According to him, for his entire life before that in China, he had never known that people can be so decent – honest, hard working – as Japanese people. Even those Shanghai criminals know that in Japan they could find their target easier. No wonder China’s government never worries about let them off to Tokyo.

I think on people to people level, that tells Chinese people a lot, about the real difference between China and Japan, which no textbook would talk about.

However, IMHO, it’s more because of its civil society and business, than of its government. Japan needs and deserves better politician to match its economic prowess. More civil participation could be a good start. That’s your challenge ahead.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:12 am | Comment


I disagee with the approach you suggested to settle the dispute, though you are right on futile route China and Korea are seeking (they don’t want to settle anything to begin with). No one should be required to adapt to Japan’s way. They should sit down, and not necessarily shut up and retreat to behind the closed doors. Of course, I don’t think the current steam can lead anyone to anywhere.

In a word, they should adopt a more business-like approach, which not necessarily be a Japanese one working in clandestine.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:22 am | Comment

Bellevue should get his facts straight before he goes mouthing off again. Chinese perceptions of Jews as calculating and shrewd can be construed as anti-semitic, because these same qualities have been used by the west for millenia to fuel anti-semitism. However ask people in China, and they will respond that these are positive qualities are usually to be admired and emulated.

April 7, 2005 @ 10:40 am | Comment

Jing, I definitely believe what you’re saying about the shrewd/cunning stereotype being seen as a positive in CHina. That said, I was shocked to see all the anti-semitic posts on CHina Daily’s forums. When Iris Chang committed suicide, there were many posts claiming Jews had murdered her. Where on earth does this nonsense come from? Why Jews??

April 7, 2005 @ 10:56 am | Comment

“When Iris Chang committed suicide, there were many posts claiming Jews had murdered her. Where on earth does this nonsense come from? Why Jews??”

Jews killed Iris Chang??? sounds like the works of some trolls. You have to be imaginative and creative to connect the two together.

April 7, 2005 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

I agree, it sounds like the work of trolls — but long-time CD posters were buying into it. I couldn’t believe it.

April 7, 2005 @ 12:12 pm | Comment


Shocking, this is the first time I heard the conspiracy theory about Iris Chang’s death like this.

They probably didn’t know that Iris Chang’s White House visit was made possible by a Jewish-American group. The holocaust memorial organization raised attention of then First Lady Hillary Clinton to Chang’s book, and Mrs. Clinton invited Chang.

About anti-semitism, a lot of popular Chinese beliefs is a borderline type of it, like the claim that ‘Jews control the US’. Sounds familiar? Yes, right there on white supremist website.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

There is no such thing as homegrown anti-semitism in China. However, with increasing western influence, you are going to get increasing anti-semitism too. However, this is a price worth paying as Chinese society slowly syncretize the good parts of western culture: democracy, rule of law, and the sanctity of life.

April 8, 2005 @ 5:52 pm | Comment

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