Ill will grows between Japan and China

Could it grow any worse than it is today? Apparently so. I’m including the entire article because it is so relevant to so many of our recent conversations here.

Japanese lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution that plays down this country’s militarist policies in World War II, less than two weeks before ceremonies take place across Asia marking the 60th anniversary of the war’s end on Aug. 15.

Though expressing “regret” for the wartime past, the resolution omitted the references to “invasion” and “colonial rule” that were in the version passed on the 50th anniversary.

The action will most likely be seen by China and Japan’s other Asian neighbors as further proof of growing nationalism here. A right-wing vandal seemed to capture a growing sentiment last week when he tried to scrape off the word “mistake” from a peace memorial in Hiroshima that said of Japan’s war efforts: “Let all the souls here rest in peace, as we will never repeat this mistake.”

But in the weeks leading to Aug. 15, the leaders of China have been making sure that their view of the war, simply called the Anti-Japanese War there, gets across.

China is spending $50 million to renovate a memorial hall for the victims of the Rape of Nanjing in 1937, when Japanese soldiers killed 100,000 to 300,000 civilians, at a time when details of it are disappearing from Japanese school textbooks. Chinese state television is broadcasting hundreds of programs on China’s resistance against Imperial Japan.

The two countries find themselves playing out old grievances in a new era of direct rivalry for power and influence. Never before in modern times has East Asia had to contend with a strong China and a strong Japan at the same time, and the prospect feeds suspicion and hostility in both countries.

China has experienced 25 years of extraordinary economic growth, deeply extending its influence throughout Asia. But just when China’s moment in the sun seems to be dawning, Japan is asserting itself: seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, transforming its Self-Defense Forces into a real military and revising its war-renouncing Constitution.

Both governments are encouraging nationalism for their own political purposes: China to shore up loyalty as Marxist ideology fades, Japan to overcome long-held taboos against expanding its military. With the impending 60th anniversary, both are trying to forge a future on their version of the past.

In Japan, major newspapers have published articles defending the Class A war criminals convicted by the postwar Tokyo Trials, and a growing number of textbooks whitewash Japan’s wartime conduct. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi makes annual visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where war dead including Class A war criminals are enshrined.

In China, a new television series called “Hero City” tells of how cities across China “fought bravely against Japan under the leadership of the Communist Party.” In Beijing on Aug. 13, six former Chinese airmen from the Flying Tigers squadron are to recreate an air duel with Japanese fighters.

“On the one hand we have a victim’s mentality, and on the other we don’t see this much smaller country as being worthy of comparison with us,” said Pang Zhongying, a professor of international relations at Nankai University in the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin. “The reality is that they must accept the idea of China as a rising military power, and we must accept the idea of Japan becoming a normal nation, whether we like it or not.”

To Japanese conservatives, becoming a normal nation amounts to a revision of the American-imposed peace Constitution that they feel castrated – a term they use deliberately and frequently – their country.

Arguing that Japan must draw closer to the United States, Mr. Koizumi’s government has reinterpreted the Constitution to allow Japanese troops in Iraq and has reversed a longtime ban on the export of arms to join the American missile defense shield. Recent polls show an increasing percentage of Japanese favoring a revision of the Constitution.

The conservative news media have helped demonize China, as well as North Korea, to soften popular resistance to remilitarization. Sankei Shimbun, the country’s most conservative daily, recently ran a series about China called “The Threatening Superpower.”

I said just a few days ago it was a vicious game of tug-of-war, leading to an endless cycle of hatred, blame and counter-blame. I was hoping, however, that the leaders would look for a solution, not a continuation of the name-calling. Apparently I was wrong.

The Discussion: 82 Comments

War is brewing…

August 2, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

To elaborate…

Where do you see this unpleasant trend going? Will there be a cool-down? Or will it head towards a..uh..breaking point?

When is Japan going to announce it has pulled an Israel and has nukes? That’d be fun to watch.

August 2, 2005 @ 9:49 pm | Comment

What Japan lacks in personnel, it makes up for in technology when it comes to military power. Few people realize that Japan has one of the most strongest and most modern militaries in the world, behind the US.

Besides, Japan doesn’t need nukes as long as they have a defense pact with the United States.

August 2, 2005 @ 10:35 pm | Comment

I think things damn well better settle down, otherise Uncle Laowai is going to have to go over and give a good spanking to the nationalists on both sides. Play nice, boys and girls. Otherwise the belt comes off.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:44 am | Comment

Then again, what kind of bloody reaction does China bloody expect? I actually saw the Guangzhou riots with my own eyes and it was one of the most disturbing and ugliest moments I’ve ever experienced in China.

China likes to whip the population up into an anti-Japan frenzy and strernly berates Japan to “take responsibility” and “seriously” back up words with actions etc etc. This gives Japanese right-wingers a field day!

Oh well, let China cough and splutter. Nothing’s going to change and them’s the breaks.

August 3, 2005 @ 3:04 am | Comment

You should not be fooled by the tone of this article. You may be feeling something new and bad is happening in Japan, but this is something they do in every ten years. It is a boring ritual few people in this country pay attention to.

The writer of this article could have been a novice reporter.

August 3, 2005 @ 5:39 am | Comment

Will you people GET A GRIP. This isn’t a sign of war or nationalism, it isn’t even particularly significant.

Japan issued issues a small appology on a small aniversary and a big appology on a big aniversary in 95. You don’t put the red carpet out for 60 years.

Being realistic this kind of article will be published whatever Japan says. Have you forgotten the appology made at the Africa-Aian summit earlier this year, Primeminister Koizumi used all of the key words and used all of the areas that China wanted, and all that Beijing could say was that it wasn’t matched by deeds (which, it has been including article 9 and over 150 TRILLION yen in reperations).

Why don’t you vultures harrass the US for not appologiesing for Vietnam, Iraq, slavery and the extermination of the Indians, or Britain for 100 years of genocide in indian and africa. I’ve yet to see Rusia offer even half this appology for 50 years or occupation in Easten Europe that left tens of millions dead in peacetime. Why don’t you push China about appologiesing fo rthe great leap that starved 30 million people to death. At least Japan has appologiesed, you might not like it, but it has made more of an effort than most.

August 3, 2005 @ 6:21 am | Comment

The Vietnam War comparison is a good single comparison with Japan’s invasion of China.

Japan in China and the US involvement in South Vietnam approx 15 years each. The US in Vietnam a couple of decades after Japan in China therefore military technolgy jumped considerably. The US bombings of North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, massares like Mai Lai, 500,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs in Laos alone 25 years after the war ended. Mass civilian casualties. A north-south civil war.

The Vietnam War surpasses Japan’s invasion of China on several fronts.

And yet…..

Vietnam craves or seeks no apology. They have moved on, the country looks forward not back. They have no need for creating foreign historical bogeymen to unite the population in mass hatred.

Why not? Vietnam is Asian–just like China? Why such a huge difference in attitudes between the Vietnamese and the Chinese?

August 3, 2005 @ 7:19 am | Comment

Martyn

If you are American and can’t see the difference between the two, try not letting your bias to China blind your eyes and think again.

August 3, 2005 @ 8:08 am | Comment

What did Japan want to do in China and korea? Like what they claim nowadays, liberate Asia from colonism?

What they did is the same as what Hitler did.

What did US want to archieve in Vietnam? How could you say it’s the same as Japan?

And think about how nowadays Americans reflect on Vietnam war. Is that also the same as that of Japan?

From what you said in last post, at least you have a very biased mind.

August 3, 2005 @ 8:21 am | Comment

Martyn,

Why not? Vietnam is Asian–just like China? Why such a huge difference in attitudes between the Vietnamese and the Chinese?

Such comparison between Vietnamese and Chinese is pretty much like comparing Canadians with Americans. They might share much in common, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they should act the same.

The fact that you don’t see or hear things doesn’t mean they aren’t there. You don’t hear much about Koreans and Phillipinos bitch about Japan, but every single one of them I’ve met hates the Japanese to their bones.

Larger ogjects are generally easier to see or hear.

When people speak or act, there are usually two things behind–necessity and possibility.

The Vietnamese might lack either or even both. But the Chinese have both.

And the visibilities of these two countries are vastly apart.

To sum it up–
I have a tankful of beautiful fish, and I find out that small fish don’t fight big fish. They live with what they have and be thankful not being eaten alive. It’s the big fish that fight the big fish.

August 3, 2005 @ 8:27 am | Comment

Oh, it wasn’t so accurate to say they hate the Japanese to their bones. I apologize.

But they refuse to go to Japanese restaurants and drive a Japanese car.

…..

August 3, 2005 @ 8:56 am | Comment

The problem is the perception on both sides not how it realy is. I don’t see a lot of willingness to make the first step on either side.
Hope you have a big belt Laowai shushu.

For the record: I’m absolutely against violence in education.

ACB:
What about the hundrets of German scholars who deny the Holocaust. Do you have the names now?

August 3, 2005 @ 9:16 am | Comment

Vietnam suffered greatly when the French left Indochine and the US decided to intervene and support South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam. We can all agree on that.

This conflict ceased in 1975, a mere 30 years ago, compared to the end of WWII in 1945–60 years ago. All Vietnamese men and women over the age of 40-50 will clearly remember the conflict.

I’m directly comparing the attitudes of the current Vietnamese government (towards the US) and the current Chinese government (towards Japan) for wartime atrocities.

Can we all see the difference? THAT is the point I’m making. No more no less.

From the above comments, with respect, I don’t see anyone giving me an adequate reason as to the huge differences in attitude between Vietnam (US) and China (Japan).

Can anyone explain why China is so hostile to its former wartime enemies and why Vietnam is not?

August 3, 2005 @ 9:48 am | Comment

Martyn,

Good point. I think part of the problem is that many Chinese who “hate” Japan are actually embarrassed about the past – because China believed Japan was beneath it. So when a little island nation like that came and kicked the crap out of the Middle Kingdom, the sense of humiliation was as great as the pain suffered.

I like the bit in the article about how Japan needs to accept China’s military power is going to increase and China needs to accept that Japan is going to normalise its military. Both sides are at fault in some respects. They need to stop beating the drum of nationalism to suit themselves and just get on.

August 3, 2005 @ 9:49 am | Comment

Martyn,

Are you asking a question or making a statement?

Either way, I would say take a look at Korea. There’s your answer.

And BTW, please don’t think this is all about the painful past or the feelings of the Chinese people, or hostility of a government toward another. It’s a PR war among competing countries…spit fight among rivals. That’s it.

August 3, 2005 @ 10:16 am | Comment

It seems Japan will never give a true apology to Chinese and Korean people.

Japan’s tactic is “We say sorry in word, then act to hurt you again and again”.

August 3, 2005 @ 10:19 am | Comment

Okay, Okay, at ACBs request I’ll throw in Putin for being nostalgiac about the collapse of the USSR for being the greatest tragedy of the 20th century (um… 6 million jews? 60 million chinese? 1/10 the population of Rwanda…? the list just goes on and on, Putin, you have your head up your arse.)
And I’ll throw in Henry Kissinger even though as Martyn notes, Vietnam is the most forgiving nation on the planet… And I’ll throw in Bush and Clinton, because it seems like just about everyone has problems with one of them or the other. And Blair. Because I hate how he talks like he’s got a stick up his @$$.

Spankings all round. Bad Politicians.

I’d like to put ACB and BF in a room with two grapefruit spoons and see who emerges alive. They’re both… moderates… kind of…but it would be interesting….

Okay. I’m done with the silliness. My next comment will be meaningful, I promise.

August 3, 2005 @ 10:25 am | Comment

Okay, before KLS comes on and, quite rightly, berates me, let’s stop masking questions as statements–as Tetsuaki observes.

It would take a brave person to say that Japan’s atrocities in China were any worse than those in Vietnam or any worse than the Nazi’s killing Jews, communists, gypsies, gays etc.

In plain English, China uses Japan to focus attention on an external/historical enemy for its own narrow purposes. Never is a “nation” more united than when it faces an external enemy. The CCP uses Japan and America in almost equal measures to fortify its own rule.

Too cynical? I don’t think so.

August 3, 2005 @ 11:02 am | Comment

Tetsuaki writes:
“And BTW, please don’t think this is all about the painful past or the feelings of the Chinese people, or hostility of a government toward another. It’s a PR war among competing countries…spit fight among rivals. That’s it.”

Sorry, I didn’t give this statement its due. You’re absolutely right sir.

August 3, 2005 @ 11:07 am | Comment

Martyn

What are you trying to prove?

Or what on earth are you trying to say?

August 3, 2005 @ 11:19 am | Comment

Bing, I’m disappointed, but:

“In plain English, China uses Japan to focus attention on an external/historical enemy for its own narrow purposes. Never is a “nation” more united than when it faces an external enemy. The CCP uses Japan and America in almost equal measures to fortify its own rule.”

August 3, 2005 @ 11:21 am | Comment

Martyn

I explained in my previous post.

When you compare the reaction from Chinese and Vietnamese, can you compare the actions and attitudes of Japanese and Americans?

Was Japan forced to quit the war by its own people?

When you compare the invasion of China and Vietnam, can you compare the reasons and goals of the invasions of Japan and US?

Was US intended to colonise Vietnam?

And does US still threat Vietnam? Do they have all those teritory and resource disputes?

And do you really think the war in Vietnam is simply a copy of the war in China?

Why should we care about the reaction of Vietnamese while Japan does not give a sh*t the efforts of Germans?

August 3, 2005 @ 11:33 am | Comment

“In plain English, China uses Japan to focus attention on an external/historical enemy for its own narrow purposes. Never is a “nation” more united than when it faces an external enemy. The CCP uses Japan and America in almost equal measures to fortify its own rule.”

So in order to fufil your anti CCP campaign, you’d like to encourage Japan to insult and humiliate its victims and deny its past sins?

August 3, 2005 @ 11:37 am | Comment

man… I hate questions like “Does this skirt make me look fat?”

The answer is so obvious and yet every time I fall for it and get a slap on the face. ๐Ÿ™

August 3, 2005 @ 11:51 am | Comment

Bing come on, you are more reasonable than this. Saying that China uses Japan as a tool to generate nationalistic unity is not the same as saying Japan should humiliate and insult China. Martyn never said that. There are other ways to discourage Japan from doing this aside from a government-orchestrated hate-Japan movement.

August 3, 2005 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Richard

I think few Chinese posting here agree the way that CCP manipulates us.

But what do you think of the Japanese reaction to such manipulation?

They exploit such manipulation very well. They just like it.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

I just wonder what Martyn really wants to prove?

You got the point that CCP manipulates Chinese.

Then what? Anything else? Any conclusions?

Thanks

August 3, 2005 @ 12:04 pm | Comment

Bing, I can’t speak for Martyn, but maybe his copnclusion is that both sides need to grow up and move on. When the CCP is fanning the flames, it’s very hard to change things

August 3, 2005 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

Admirable points, as always, Bing. Many of your comparisons/observations are quite correct. Good for another debate but totally irrelevant to this argument.

You can make startling points about the differences between US involvment in Vietnam and Japan’s invasion of China but can you disprove the fact that China is using and abusing anti-Japan hatred for its own narrow ends? To unite China in the face of a common historical enemy and to focus less attention onto the tensions of China’s current economic transition (which would, incidentaly, be going a lot smoother without the CCP’s paranoia about preserving its corrupt rule)?

August 3, 2005 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

There is blame on both sides, Bing, and I said in a post only 2 days ago that the Japanese, too, are guilty of blind rage, not just the Chinese. Vicious circle. Time to stop it.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:13 pm | Comment

Okay, as Richard just pointed out, it is TOTEMO DAIJI/FEICHANG ZHONGYAO to point out that, in fact, the statement:

“The Japan issue (i.e. hating Japan as a political feeling) is being used to unite Chinese”

is not equal to:

“Japan should be able to do whatever they want.”

Although I WILL add a caveat, namely that China likes to protest they and the US should not mess in other countries’ internal affairs, and that this phenomenon of calling for Japan’s head on a stick is is really hypocritical in this light.

Doesn’t matter if lots of Black people are being killed by Arab militia RIGHT NOW, but if Japan so much as makes a conservative twitch, China goes into a frenzy.

Anyway, my point is that I can come right out and say “China shouldn’t incite such racism and hatred, but should work to reconcile the past with Japan in a constructive manner (i.e. a compromising manner)” and in the next breath I can say “Japan needs to do more to reconcile its war-time history. National pride is surely important (it might help with the suicide rate, for one…) but it needs to be done in such a way that does not recreate an antagonistic nationalism as was found pre-WWII.”

AND (here’s my point) – these two statements are consistent and humane, and not contradictory. It is not “Japan vs. China” it is “Hate vs. Working Things Out” and right now Hate is winning on both sides, I’d say.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

Bing writes:
“So in order to fufil your anti CCP campaign, you’d like to encourage Japan to insult and humiliate its victims and deny its past sins?”

Bing, I respect you as a person and as a Peking Duck comrade but this remark hurts me, it really does. I’m aware that this is a sensitive subject but I hope that you can understand that you are wrong here. None of what I wrote was meant to even hint at what you say. Thanks.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

Just to add some humor to everything.

Wisdom From Laowai’s Dad:

You can’t push on a rope.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

Richard

Yes, both sides need to grow up.

But take the example of Shrine visit, you could see how stubborn the Japanese government is.

You gotta look at the reasons that in recent years Chinese are more and more angry about Japan.

It’s not all about CCP’s manipulation, unless you think nowadays Chinese are still isolated and completely brainwashed puppets.

Many of you who have been to China should understand that’s not the case.

What caused the riot demonstrations?

The government was responsible for standing aside when students smaching windows.

But they were NOT responsible for organising those demonstrations.

Please don’t belittle the anger of ordinary Chinese towards what Japan did and is doing, just because there is a dictatorship.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:35 pm | Comment

Martyn

“Bing writes:
“So in order to fufil your anti CCP campaign, you’d like to encourage Japan to insult and humiliate its victims and deny its past sins?”

Bing, I respect you as a person and as a Peking Duck comrade but this remark hurts me, it really does. I’m aware that this is a sensitive subject but I hope that you can understand that you are wrong here. None of what I wrote was meant to even hint at what you say. Thanks.”

I didn’t intend to hurt anybody. But if what I said really hurt you, what about this:

The killing of Jews by Hitler is comparable to the killing of vietcongs by US.

Does this mean anything to your comparison of Vietnam and China?

August 3, 2005 @ 12:38 pm | Comment

I should say though, Bing, that the efforts by Chinese citizens at more peaceful solutions to the “japan issue” are not met with high regard by the Party:

(Richard should have put this up to, as it’s page two of the above article, I think. anyway, it’s on my site too. ;-0 )

“Today’s Chinese have been shaped by an anti-Japanese patriotic education, overseen by a government that is aware that its own domestic credentials depend, in part, on a hard line toward Japan. Having a hated neighbor shores up national solidarity and helps distract people from the failings of the Chinese Communist Party. Besides the party’s monopoly on power, few orthodoxies are as untouchable today as hostility toward Japan.

Yu Jie, a Chinese author who spent time in Japan researching a book on the two countries’ relations, “Iron and Plough,” and went on to write another book about his experiences in Japan, discovered that at his own expense.

The books are nuanced works, built around lengthy conversations with pacifists, right-wing activists, scholars of every stripe and ordinary Japanese. One chapter, “Looking for Japan’s Conscience,” warned against speaking of Japanese in blanket terms.

“In the 60 years since the war, numerous Chinese and Japanese people have worked for the difficult Sino-Japanese friendship, selflessly emitting a dim yet precious light,” he wrote.

The books appeared briefly in stores and then disappeared. In a country where censorship is routine, that is a sure sign, the author said, that officials had put pressure on the publisher or the stores to withdraw them.

Mr. Yu said China’s policy toward Japan was unlikely to become more balanced as long as an authoritarian government remained in place, because Japan offered an unrivaled distraction from China’s own problems.

“We criticize Yasukuni Shrine, but we have Mao Zedong’s shrine in the middle of Beijing, which is our own Yasukuni,” he said. “This is a shame to me, because Mao Zedong killed more Chinese than the Japanese did. Until we are able to recognize our own problems, the Japanese won’t take us seriously.”

______

August 3, 2005 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

Anyway I’d better stop before hurting anyone else.

Just a discussion, don’t be too serious.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

Thanks Laowai. I didn’t even know know that there was a second page.

Bing, I could easily rip apart your 12:35 post line by line due to it’s reckless emotion and outrageous hypocracy. However, I’ll just say—read laowai’s post..carefully mind you.

August 3, 2005 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

Nationalists unleash the anti-Japan wave backlash

Some foreigners living in China will tell you that they avoid discussing Chinese politics with the locals, but for me the hot button to avoid has always been Japan. Among young Chinese people, nothing leads to clenched teeth and irrational ranting qu…

August 3, 2005 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

Bing,

>What did Japan want to do in China and korea? Like what
>they claim nowadays, liberate Asia from colonism?

This is something East Asians are saying, especially Indonesians. Lots of appreciation come also from Taiwanees, Thais, Indians, while many other countries describe positive aspects of Imperial Japan as well as negative ones in their history textbooks. The Japanese government never requested to do that to those countries. That is how they view and record their histories.

>What they did is the same as what Hitler did.

Eruopean countries were not under threat of being colonized. While all countries were either under colonial rule or under threat or time counting in East and South East Asia. The comparison between Asia and Europe bears little significance in terms of understanding the driving force behind the war. The German case is truely nothing but evil, being utterly selfish, with no positive element at all in their pursuit of war. How could Germans deny anything?

>What did US want to archieve in Vietnam? How could you
>say it’s the same as Japan?

The Imperial Japan was also fighting communisim. It is a well known fact.

>And think about how nowadays Americans reflect on
>Vietnam war. Is that also the same as that of Japan?

They visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. for soldiers who lost their lives for their country regardless whether the policy was right or wrong. The president visit there too.

August 3, 2005 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

>because Mao Zedong killed more
> Chinese than the Japanese did.

This is wrong. The CCP is now saying that the the Japanese killed 40,000,000 Chinese, jump from 35,000,000 last year, which was 20,000,000 five years ago, which figure was 12,000,000 including casuaties ten years ago. Of course the estimated figure was several million at the end of the war.

When Germans are told that they killed 60,000,000 Jews, I am sure that they start asking for evidence like the Japanese do.

August 3, 2005 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

>Please don’t belittle the anger of ordinary
> Chinese towards what Japan did and is
>doing, just because there is a dictatorship.

We need to take note, however, that those demonstrators were mostly students and young Chinese who were born 40 years after the war ended. My infomation says that ordinary citizens were calm even in the cities where big demonstrations took place.

The young tends to be easily manipulated. How could they be so angry for someting they had absolutely no experience with at all unless they were manipulated.

August 3, 2005 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

Bing,

>The government was responsible for standing aside when
>students smaching windows.

>But they were NOT responsible for organising those
>demonstrations.

But, Bing, the following is an message you wrote only two days ago. You clearly wrote that The CCP launched a students compaign.

_____________________________________

It’s not just about the visit of war shrine, legacy of comfort women, chemical and biological warfare and history textbook, it’s Taiwan, DiaoyuDao, east China sea and oil pipe. Japan is actually pouncing on all these issues to provoke China.

The CCP government is quite powerless facing such a combination punch.

All it can do often is “strongly oppose” and recently “launch a students campaign”.
______________________________________

August 3, 2005 @ 3:40 pm | Comment

“All it can do often is “strongly oppose” and recently “launch a students campaign”.

If you check my prevous comments, here I should have used “acquiesce” rather than “launch”.

That’s a slip of the tongue, not my real intention.

August 3, 2005 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

“The young tends to be easily manipulated. How could they be so angry for someting they had absolutely no experience with at all unless they were manipulated.”

That’s right. The yound can be easily manipulated. The same applies for TS in 1989.

They were angry in 1989 because they were disillusioned by the reality of China, something they were witnessing.

They are angry now not because of the past sins of Japan that they have no experience, but the present denial and provocations, which they heard and read from internet, media of both countries, and the actions of Japanese politicians.

August 3, 2005 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

“When Germans are told that they killed 60,000,000 Jews, I am sure that they start asking for evidence like the Japanese do.”

First of all, it’s 6 million, not 60, but I’m guessing you made that mistake because of the wacky conversion from Japanese numerical system to English.

Anyway, Germans don’t ask for proof anymore. And I’m not sure they ever did. Shulan will have to answer this, but the situations are very different. Germans, Jews, Britain, the US, France – there was a LOT of dialogue after the war which brought Germany back into Europe as a full partner. This process included deciding how to reach agreement on counting the dead.

Japan and China never reconciled like this.

August 3, 2005 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

“This is wrong. The CCP is now saying that the the Japanese killed 40,000,000 Chinese, jump from 35,000,000 last year, which was 20,000,000 five years ago, which figure was 12,000,000 including casuaties ten years ago. Of course the estimated figure was several million at the end of the war.

When Germans are told that they killed 60,000,000 Jews, I am sure that they start asking for evidence like the Japanese do.”

I haven’t spent time checking those figures.

But does any figure really matter to you? Is several millions not big enough to amount to a crime that should never be “ignored” in any case?

August 3, 2005 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

Bing, did you read the part in the article about how there ARE chinese out there trying to peacefully reconcile the differences. But they aren’t supported in China…

Those same groups in Japan, the ones trying to reach peaceful reconciliation, have a large mass of support in Japan.

August 3, 2005 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

The Germans never denied the numbers of the holocaust. Sure, individual Germans did, but the post-Hitler government and every government since has acknowledged the catastrophe for what it was, with no coverup or denial. To the contrary, it is against the law in Germany to claim the Holocaust didn’t happen.

Anyway, this (the Japan-China mutual hatred) is one of those topics where there is no resolution. Really smart people like Bing almost seem to take on a new persona when the subject arises, going back to government slogans and the well-worn victimization script.

We all know how the Chinese suffered. We all know how wrong it was. The Japanese have apologized, though not to your satisfaction. And we all know when it comes to lives lost, the CCP has more apologizing to do than the Japanese ever will. Yet life goes on, even without all the apologies we would like.

We keep repeating the arguments, but it goes around in circles, because it always returns to the victimization of the Chinese and the refusal of the Japanese elite to stop visiting the shrine, resulting in a display of irrational rage that appears very strange indeed to anyone looking on. We know what Japan did 65 years ago. We know they ahould apologize some more and stop going to the shrine, but the CCP should also do a lot of things they don’t do. So get over it.

August 3, 2005 @ 4:35 pm | Comment

Hear, Hear!

August 3, 2005 @ 4:49 pm | Comment

Curiously, no one brought up the fact that the CPC and various elites in PRC are by no means united even on the Japan issue. HJT himself presents a marked contrast to JZM in his attitudes to Japan and programme for the future. The broad statements that everyone hates Japan are patently false, as Richard points out there are groups in China trying to get greater emphasis put on living with Japan in peace and constructing a better future. Ma Licheng and Shi Yinhong are two intellectuals (well more than that actually) who tried to start a movement two years ago for a reassessment of China’s attitude to Japan. But they were torn apart as “traitors” and “apologists for the Jap dwarf bandits” by those ideologues who would present Japan as the eternal enemy.
Bottom-line: IMHO there is much more to this than just foreign policy, there is an intense political struggle going on in the CPC and the Japan issue is a core part of it. Go read the Party’s verdict on Hu Yaobang to see what happens to a leader perceived as soft on Japan.

August 3, 2005 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

Did you miss the bit about Yu Jie above? Richard and I both have said that it wasn’t as one-sided in China. Just that only one side seems to be supported.

August 4, 2005 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Laowai,

>First of all, it’s 6 million, not 60, but I’m guessing
>you made that mistake because of the wacky conversion
>from Japanese numerical system to English.

I know it is 6 million, but what if Jews should start insisting that the figure is 60,000,000 today? How would Germans react? Would they simply accept the number? Of course not.

Niether do the Japanese. China insists today that 40,000,000 were killed by the Japanese during Sino-Japanese War. The estimated figure was several million in 1945.

August 4, 2005 @ 5:52 am | Comment

Bing,

>But does any figure really matter to you? Is several
>millions not big enough to amount to a crime that
>should never be “ignored” in any case?

Yes, numbers matter to the Japanese great deal. When you are the side of the accused every detail counts. Things are not casual. The Japanese did it is not good enough. They need to know which individual did it, how he did it, why he did it. They want to know if it was illegal or not in light of the International Law?

If the number doesn’t mean much to the Chinese, why wouldn’t they use smaller number? Why would the Chinese keep faburcating numbers and evidence?

August 4, 2005 @ 6:00 am | Comment

I didn’t know there were any Chinese airmen in the Flying Tigers. The roster shows six Chinese nationals that were recruited in Asia in engineering capacities to help assemble aircraft.

It’s still cool that they are re-enacting it though…

August 4, 2005 @ 9:27 am | Comment

soudenjapan

I’m not historian and have no time, means or, to be honest, interest in verfitying those details.

If CCP did fiddle with the statistics, it would just add another shame to itself.

If Japanese government has strong evidence that the CCP is ridiculing itself, put it on the table please and I don’t mind the CCP being embarassed by their stupidity.

On the other hand, however ugly the CCP is will not allay the past sins and present denial, ignorance and provocation of your country.

August 4, 2005 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

soudenjapan

People are rightful to denounce the sins committed by CCP.

Japan has the right too, and could be a great help to China in the development of culture, enconomy and democracy.

Just don’t take that right as an excuse for what your country had done and is still dong.

August 5, 2005 @ 1:38 am | Comment

soudenjapan

You mentioned cooperation that I totally agree.

But cooperation relies on the efforts of both sides.

And you mentioned Japan wary of the rise of China because of the dictatorship.

Tell me which one of the following two is more difficult to do?

1. Japan to stop visiting War shrine and facing up to the past sins.
2. China to stop dictatorship and media censorship and get rid of poverty.

If a highly developed and democratic Japan couldn’t or wouldn’t solve a relatively simple (compared to achiving democracy and liberty) problem that concerns so many others, how would you expect China to get rid of dictatorship.

August 5, 2005 @ 2:30 am | Comment

I suspect not visiting the shrine is, for right wing japanese, as hard as it would be for right wing chinese to take the portrait of mao down from Tiananmen and remove Mao’s Mausoleum and cremate him like he wanted.

SoudenJapan, Jews would never claim 60,000,000, because Germany has successfully integrated into European society. If Japan and China has worked harder to reach consensus and harmony many, many years ago like Germany did, we wouldn’t be in this mess with China and Japan. But Japan did not do a few simple things, things that Germany DID do, and now we’re in a hard place. Because the people that were debating the terms of forgiving 50 years ago were the people that LIVED THROUGH IT, so they were talking about real things, real lives, their own. But now the vast majority of the people talking, the people hating, are too young to have experienced it, and so it has become ideological hatred, ideological problems. Which are much harder to solve. Germany was smart. Japan was stubborn, and is paying the consequences.

August 5, 2005 @ 3:17 am | Comment

Laowai,

>so it has become ideological hatred,
>ideological problems. Which are much
>harder to solve.

Let’s hope that they understand as they get older that historical issue, while it can always be an issue between China and Japan, should not be central in the bilateral relations.

>Germany was smart. Japan was
>stubborn, and is paying the
>consequences.

If Chinese protesters do not try to damage Japanese properties, private or public, the present level of interaction between the two naitons may not beso bad. Jsut maintaining the status quo may be good enough.

August 7, 2005 @ 3:17 am | Comment

>If Japanese government has strong evidence that the
>CCP is ridiculing itself, put it on the table please
>and I don’t mind the CCP being embarassed by their
>stupidity.

No. The Japanese government, anyone else for that matter, cannot prove anything that never happened. Only the Chinese government can prove its assertion if it has evidence.

August 7, 2005 @ 3:28 am | Comment

Soudenjapan,

You said,

“No. The Japanese government, anyone else for that matter, cannot prove anything that never happened. Only the Chinese government can prove its assertion if it has evidence.”

Never happened? You are losing me here. What never happened?

If you don’t have evidence, then it didn’t happen? Then unless you need it to have happened, you could always put your hands in the air and say, “I ain’t got no evidence. So it didn’t happen.”

Oh yes, if you wanted to prove something that never happened did happen…you could always go do something about and say you have evidence. But of course that’s another issue here.

I’m just curious…yes, just curious

August 7, 2005 @ 8:29 am | Comment

Tetsuaki,

It’s not such a big deal. I was not referring to any specific event. My comment was about a simple general principle on the method of proving something. All they can do is to point out the lack of evidence with regard to a charge raised against them.

Now, Bing’s suggestion for the Japanese government was to disprove that 40,000,000 Chinese WAS NOT murdered by the Imperial Army.

How would you do that?

Nobody can prove

August 7, 2005 @ 2:50 pm | Comment

Tetsuaki,

>Now, Bing’s suggestion for the Japanese
>government was to disprove that
>40,000,000 Chinese WAS NOT
> murdered by the Imperial Army.

Correction.

Bing’s suggestion for the Japanese government was to PROVE that
40,000,000 Chinese WAS NOT murdered by the Imperial Army.

How would you do that?

August 7, 2005 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

soudenjapan

That’s not my suggestion.

My suggestion is you government points out with evidence the alleged lies CCP has made on those figures.

August 8, 2005 @ 1:44 am | Comment

Bing,

What’s the difference?

August 8, 2005 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

Bing,

The war is a scarยกยชA huge one forever on China’s chest, as well as on Japan’s.

Numbers and figures are irrelevant here. Every life lost is a shame.

But keeping blaming others for what happened prevents you from taking the responsibility of reflecting and learning from what happened, and moving forward. In away, China was also responsible for the war, simply because it wasn’t strong enough.

China is the brightest rising star today. But in order to become a winner, thereยกยฏs still a long way to go. If one keeps looking back, one can not walk straight ahead. You canยกยฏt expect someone that dwells on yesterdayยกยฏs defeat to win.

The bottom line is neither an apology nor not going to the shrine will make China any safer and more prosperous.

A strong and prosperous China is the best guarantee of its security. A strong and prosperous China is the best memorial for the fallen. And all of that starts from within, from realizing oneยกยฏs shortcomings, and from striving for a better tomorrow for the people.

Forgive, respect and learn from your opponent, you have taken the first step of becoming a winner.

ยบยฃร„ร‰ยฐร™ยดยจยฃยฌร“รรˆรร„ร‹ยดรณยกยฃ

รร„ร€รฏรˆรยฒยปรร‚รร–ยตรœยฃยฌร”รตรƒยดร—รถยดรณยธรงยฃยฟ

August 12, 2005 @ 9:11 am | Comment

If X alleges that Y killed Z, the the burden of proof rests with X.
It seems that is all soundenjapan is trying to convey..
Most Japanese are informed that Japan has caused a great suffering in China.
They will admit that Japanese soldiers did atrocities to Chinese people.
They are willing to show appology for that.
But when the Chinese government has increased the numuber of people killed without grounds, it make them hard to admit what the CCP alleges.It is hard to be forced to aacept what didn’t happen.
One Japanese journalist asked a chinese why the number has increased, he answered the government took account of the feelings of Chinese people into the numeber.; that is not fair thing to do..The anger againt Japan might be great, but the government does not have to fabricate history.

August 14, 2005 @ 2:26 am | Comment

What is this bs about BOTH sides needing to do something??????

Going by your posts, the majority of you have completely forgotten who’s the victim and who’s the killer.

The killer needs to make amends, period!!!

And how many apologies would be enough, say, for the lives of your mom, dad, husband, wife or children????

C’mon, give us a figure. How many apologies will suffice??? How much money should the killer pay so that you will shut up about the whole injustice and suffering????

You people make me sick. You have no right to post about how the massacre victims [and their families and descendants] should feel or that their grief is manipulated until you have gone through the same – have your home burnt down, your spouse cut alive, your babies bayoneted.

They don’t want vengeance, just truth, justice, repentence, atonement and historical accuracy and acknowledgement of their suffering.

Is that even too much to ask???

Btw, the Americans were responsible for 1 million deaths in Vietnam, the Japanese 35 million Chinese. Vietnam was embroiled in a Civil War in which the Americans took sides. What about the Korean War? Should the Koreans hate Americans or the Chinese for interfering in their Civil War???

Only idiots will compare this apple to the WWII orange, and the Vietnam War to the Holocaust. What an insult to the dead.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:11 am | Comment

Truth, justice, repentence, atonement and historical accuracy and acknowledgement of their suffering AND for the killer to wipe that smirk off his face.

Everytime a Japanese asks, “how many apologies do they want?” and everytime he bows to the Class A war criminals, it is a sign that he has NOT even a shred of regret in him and he’s waving the middle finger at the victims.

Go tell a devasted old woman who was repeatedly raped and enslaved as a Comfort Woman and who is told by the Japanese like Ishihara, Mayor of Tokyo, that she was but a paid prostitute to bug off and make peace.

What a nice bunch you are.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:20 am | Comment

This is important:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GH16Ad07.html

The only part i disagree with the author is about the moral issue. It is oft mentioned and worth repeating that Germany feels GUILT while Japan feels SHAME over their WWII aggression and towards their victims.

Those who feel guilt believe that there is a moral right and wrong, and that they have committed sins against their victims and need to atone for them. They come clean, ask for forgiveness from their victims and strive for redemption.

Those who feel shame are humiliated by their failure or the fact that their crimes have been uncovered. They don’t feel that they were wrong, just that they’ve lost, suffered and their role in history is unfairly determined by their victors. They sweep the unsavoury under the rug and wipe the stains off their national honour. Their feelings and attitude towards their victims have never changed. Sure they caused suffering to others, but the end goal -Greater Japan- was worthy. The only mistake they made was to have failed, not the invasion, destruction and killing of millions. That is why those who died, including mass murders, are to be honoured at Yasukuni, because they died for Japan.

Imagine top German politicians declaring that Hitler, though a sinner, should be honoured because he fought for a stronger Germany, and that the Jews lied and exaggerated the Holocaust.

Imagine Europeans and Americans telling the Jews to shut up, get over it, and make nice.

And curiously, the West applauds Japan for that, and chides their former victims for getting angry and “interfering” in Japan’s internal affairs, forgetting that invading and killing other Asians means this isn’t JUST the internal matter for Japan, but the business of all of Japan’s victims.

August 15, 2005 @ 9:16 am | Comment

Japan needs the “Truth” and “historical accuracy” to acknoledge their sufferings and to do justice to the victims and and to repent.

Japan needs CCP’s sincere corporations to get the true picture of the war and to tell it to the younger generation:she needs no propaganda.

Japan should not hesitate to apologize for what she did in the past. However, some Japanese feel they don’t need to appologize anymore because they think the CCP is just using the war victims as a political card and using it as a means to divert attention from the domestic issues.

I, for one, am aginst the prime minister visiting shrine because it violates the separation of religion and the state.

However, might I ask you to know that they are paying tribute to the all war deads,
and I think the state is justified to pay respect to the war-deads.
They regretted.They have learned from the past. That’s why they renounced the war in the constituion and has in fact never engaged in warfare after the WW2.

Besides,in shinto, which is a Japanese traditional religion,it is believed that all the spirits are purified, A-criminal or not,so they are not worshiping the evil spirit.You might find it hard to understand, neither do I, but nobody has right to misinterprete the religion.

In addition,the government has no right to remove those souls of A-criminals, because the shrine is organized and run by the private citizens, and the state has no right to interfere with a religious group’s activity.

For sure, killing other Asian people is not internal affair, but interfering with a religion in the other nation is interfering with a domestic issue

I understand the feeling of the victims’ side who don’t want to see the killer worshiped and the Japan should listen to their voices.

In my opinion, Japan should construct the non-religious memorials where people can pay tribute to the war dead killed in the battle fields.

August 15, 2005 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

As to the shame and guilty, it was interesting.
But what is the point?
Or, do you want someone to prove that Chinese do not have the sense of shame and nor the sense of guilty because they don’t feel humiliated by their failure and because they don’t believe they have committed sins against their victims? Do you want someone to tell you that’s why they want to cover the failures in the past and do keep commiting sins against its people?
Stop being nationalistic.

August 15, 2005 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

You know very well that Yasukuni Shrine isn’t just any ordinary shinto shrine but a propaganda institution for this idealised “Greater, Superior Japan” prewar and postwar. It was complicit in the war effort. Kamikazes sing songs about being buried in the Valhalla of Yasukuni as immortal gods after they have sacrificed their lives for “Greater Japan”. Today, Yasukuni Shrine stands for the nationalist neo-fascist movement that insisted Japan was forced into war, was liberating backward Asians, that the Nanjing Massacre and other horrors were made up by its victims. It also supports a resurgent military and a new Great Japan. This view has become the mainstream Japanese view of WWII. It isn’t religious, it is a POLITICAL institution. If Yasukuni Shrine indeed admits that Japan DID start a war of aggression, that it killed millions, that it was a terrible ideology, that it was wrong to have gone down that path, and that it honours the victims of Japanese slaughter, the whole issue will be completely different. If you are Japanese, surely you would know this dark side of the Yasukuni!

Ever wonder why the Japanese ONLY build shrines and memorials to their own dead, but NOTHING, not even a war museum that depicts their terrible deeds, Nanjing, Unit 731, etc.? That it purges its history books?? It is to sweep the nastier side of their Greater Japan ideology under the rug, to wipe the stain off their national honour. What the victims feel and experience don’t matter as much as making the Japanese, especialy the young, believe they are superior, honourable, good to the core. Sure some pain was inflicted, but the goal was noble. This embodies the SHAME culture.

Again, the millions of victims and historical truths are sacrificed for the sake of whitewashing Japan’s past. they didn’t have any feelings [except despise] towards the millions they slaughtered then, and none today.

August 15, 2005 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

Very few nations build shrines to their bad deeds, wanker. Nazi Germany and few others.

August 15, 2005 @ 7:52 pm | Comment

This completely escapes me, how the hell is it “nationalistic” to point out the differences in the way the Germans and the Japanese approach their postwar roles? And which nationality am I? Do you even know? Did I sing the praises of my own country? Get a dictionary!

Elsewhere, if China hypothetically slaughtered another people they deemed “racially inferior” in the millions, plundered, colonised and enslaved them, and then behaved exactly the same way the Japanese did, then the whole question would arise.

The Chinese fought among themselves, in overthrowing the corrupt Manchus, in the Civil War, in Mao’s class struggles and revolutions. How should they feel guilt or shame towards another people? It is the way two irreconciliable groups within a country strugge to fight with their own lives for the way they believe their country should go. And why them rather than Russia, Spain, and many other countries that suffered great internal struggles and turmoils like civil wars?? Are you singling them out for “special” treatment?

Listen, if the Japanese killed eachother in millions and worshipped the victors at Yasukuni, it’s your internal, domestic business indeed. Japan has its own bloody internal wars and struggles. Should you feel guilt and shame about those too?? I assure you, no Asian would give a damn if you’d stuck to your own shores. But you tortured, murdered, plundered and destroyed the lives of tens of millions of OTHER peoples, UNPROVOKED. This history is shared history, and the victims will not have this terrible suffering swept under the rugs, whether they are Jews, Chinese or Koreans.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

Just tell me, why should Germany be held to a higher standard than Japan? Is it because Asians are lesser peoples and they don’t matter????

August 15, 2005 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

Time to get over it, dude. Hate to remind you, but it was, um, like 60 years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

August 15, 2005 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

Just tell me, why should Germany be held to a higher standard than Japan? Is it because Asians are lesser peoples and they don’t matter????

Are you crazy or just very, very angry? Or maybe you are just joking. Whoever said these things? Where are you coming up with this shit?

August 15, 2005 @ 8:36 pm | Comment

To Yea,
You are like a supler ringht winger in Japan.
The Japanese fought as an asian, in overthrowing the corrupt Manchus, in the Civil War, in world’s colonizaition struggles and revolutions to liberate Asian people. How should they feel guilt or shame towards another people?

“It is the way two irreconciliable groups within asian strugge to fight with their own lives for the way they believe the asia should go”

And there is still another point you sound similra to a supernationalist in Japan: You misinterprete a religion.

August 15, 2005 @ 10:19 pm | Comment

Does what Yeayea said prove the the Chinese has no sense of shame nor sense of guilty because he does not feel humiliated by the CCP’s failures and he does not believe CCP did morally wrong things to its people?
I don’t think so.

There are Japanese who are ashamed of, and feel guilty on what the Japanese army did during the war.there are Chinese who are ashamed of, and feel guilty on what CCP is doing to its people.

So the theory was wrong, and there was no point in presenting that theory.

.

August 16, 2005 @ 3:06 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.