Blind rage

We all know about the near-uncontrollable hatred today’s young Chinese harbor against Japan, but I didn’t quite grasp the scale until I read this intriguing article.

The explosive growth of the web in China, where the number of users is growing by more than 25% a year, is often cited by advocates of political reform as a source of hope for greater openness in the world’s last big communist state.

But there is increasing evidence that the opposite may be true. Sites advocating democracy, religious freedom or union rights are closed down by the authorities and their operators often arrested. But there are countless sites like Mr Song’s devoted to one of the few political passions permitted by the government: hatred for Japan.

Every day on the “My View of Japan” bulletin board, Mr Song and his contributors post reports of perceived slights by their neighbours, who are referred to at least once as “shitty little Japanese”. Many predict that military conflict is inevitable, and some wish it would come sooner rather than later. “I’m 30 and a fire burns in my heart,” writes one contributor. “Only war can extinguish these flames.”

While hate-mongering is a feature of extremist internet chatrooms around the world, in China such inflammatory comments appear to represent anything but a small minority. In the past two years, small anti-Japanese protests have mushroomed into nationwide campaigns through the internet and mobile phone text messages.

The article focuses on one prosperous young man in Beijing who seems to have it all, and yet is a burning pillar of rage and fury, obsessed with Japan’s refusal to acknowledge and take responsibility for its monstrous crimes against the Chinese people in World War II. I can understand the anger, but I have to admit I can’t understand the obsession, where one’s entire life is focused on and consumed by the events of 65 years ago. Read the article to see just how all-consuming this hatred can be.

Thanks to the reader who alerted me to this.


Chinese submarine making mischief off the coast of Japan?

It’s been quite a while since China was involved in a newsworthy “international incident.” Could this be the next big incident?

Japan took up with China the issue of a suspicious submarine that intruded into its waters amid alarm in Tokyo that the vessel was a show of strength from its neighbour and growing competitor….

The submarine spent about two hours in Japanese waters Wednesday near the southern island of Okinawa before being chased on the high seas by two Japanese destroyers and a surveillance plane.

Both countries have been cautious in identifying the nationality of the submarine. If confirmed as Chinese the incident is expected to damage already sour diplomatic relations between the Asian powers….

The Sankei Shimbun called the submarine an “alarming sign” and suspected China wanted to show its military might to Japan, the United States and Taiwan, where support has been growing for a declaration of independence from Beijing.

“It is unlikely that China will come forward to reveal the submarine’s nationality and purposes,” said the daily, which is sympathetic to Taiwan.

“But if it was aimed to demonstrate the (Chinese) presence to Japan and the United States as well as Taiwan,” the Sankei said, “the objective seems to have been fully achieved.”


(And thanks to the emailer for the link.)