“It’s the shrine, stupid!”

When will it ever end? Once more, China (soon to be followed by South Korea) protests visits to Yasukuni Shrine not only by Koizumi but by the man considered most likely to succeed him as Japan’s prime minister.

China urged Japan on Monday to stop visits by its leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine for war dead, as speculation grew that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi would make a pilgrimage next week on the anniversary of Japan’s World War Two surrender.

South Korea, which also suffered under Japanese military aggression, is expected to make a similar demand this week when its foreign minister, Ban Ki-moon, visits Tokyo.

Tokyo’s relations with both Beijing and Seoul have been damaged by Koizumi’s annual visits to Yasukuni since he took office in 2001, and are likely to worsen further if he pays his respects there on August 15.

“We want top Japanese officials to call an immediate halt to visits to Yasukuni, where Class A war criminals are enshrined,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters during a visit to Tokyo. “Dealing with the history problem based on a correct view of history will be to the benefit of both the Japanese and Chinese peoples,” he added.

Yasukuni is seen by many in Asia as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism. Fourteen wartime leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as “Class A” war criminals are honored there along with 2.5 million war dead, and a museum within the shrine grounds is often criticized as glorifying war.

Last week media reports said Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, the front-runner to become Japan’s next prime minister, had secretly paid his respects there in April. China has not specifically criticized the reported pilgrimage by Abe, seen as the most likely candidate to succeed Koizumi when he steps down in September.

South Korea’s Ban is likely to raise the topic in meetings with Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Aso during his visit to Tokyo this week.

“It may be that people mistakenly believe that China’s attitude toward Yasukuni has changed in some ways,” Liu said when asked why China had not issued an immediate condemnation last week. “In fact the attitude of the Chinese government and people to the history problem is consistent and has not changed.”

Abe reiterated on Monday that he would not confirm or deny whether he had made the pilgrimage.

I have said again and again that the only thing stupider than Koizumi’s visits to the despicable shrine is the hysteria these visits whip up in China (and to a lesser extent in S. Korea), keeping alive a near-fanatical hatred of the Japanese, which the CCP shamelessly exploits for its own political purposes. I can only conclude that both sides derive some benefit from the situation, making it worthwhile to persist in this endless game of tug-of-war. Juvenile, idiotic, an exampe of shameless pandering — yes, it’s all of these, on all sides. But there must be a payoff somewhere, so don’t expect to see any changes, any maturing on either side any time soon.

Due to Japan’s level of development, and due to its hideous and sickening crimes throughout the Japanese War of Aggression Against China, I wish with all my heart that they would make the first move and denounce the shrine and cease all visits there. It would be so fascinating to see what would follow. We’d know soon enough whether it’s really “all about the shrine,” or whether the shrine is just an excuse to keep alive a hatred upon which the CCP banks to keep its young people focused on an eternal and convenient enemy. As I said, I think both sides are guilty of exploitation here. I just wish Japan would finally call China’s bluff on the matter. I think we all know what would follow, though I’d love to be proven wrong.

The Discussion: 37 Comments

Japan’s PM shrine visit is good for China and Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s annual visits to the Yasukuni Shrine have put Japan’s WWII atrocities in the limelight. The controversy has helped China and South Korea by raising the worldwide awareness of Japan’s sins. Otherwise, most people outside China and Korea would have never had the opportunity to learn or heard about what Japanese had done in WWII.

The shrine visit hurts Japan more than it hurts China and South Korea. Currently, both China and Hollywood are separately working on making movies about the Rape of Nanjing. I believe it is the continual provocation of Koizumi’s visits that prompted film projects.

There is just one thing that I do not understand: why doesn’t Japan just remove the dozen (or so) Class-A war criminals from the Yasukuni Shrine? That seems the obvious and simple solution.

August 8, 2006 @ 2:42 am | Comment

The continued visits force the Chinese I speak to (especially the generation that still remember the Anti-Japanese war) to question the whether the Japanese have in fact “outgrown their madness,” or whether indeed the impulses that drove Dai Nippon to seek regional dominance merely lie dormant beneath the surface.

I’m no expert on domestic Japanese politics, but the problem seems pretty straightforward. The LDP still sees the support of the most nationalist ranks of the Diet and the country as being more critical than making the Chinese or Koreans happy. Until it is possible for the LDP to build a political coalition without the far right (and without the implicit threat of the far right forming a populist/nationalist breakaway party), nothing will change.

August 8, 2006 @ 3:40 am | Comment

I think it’s a matter of hard-headedness all around. I’m no Japan expert, and I’ve never lived in Japan, so I can’t speak for it; but most people in China, especially the younger ones, are near-fanatical. I have an unshakeable feeling that, were it not for this mad hatred of Japan, one would find a lot more people being critical of the Chinese government.

Also, it’s not entirely an objective thing– it isn’t just about Yasukini. It appears to be an ingrained reflex: hate Japan! (I actually wrote an essay about this some time ago, but lost it. :P)

August 8, 2006 @ 3:53 am | Comment

I think it’s a matter of hard-headedness all around. I’m no Japan expert, and I’ve never lived in Japan, so I can’t speak for it; but most people in China, especially the younger ones, are near-fanatical. I have an unshakeable feeling that, were it not for this mad hatred of Japan, one would find a lot more people being critical of the Chinese government.

Also, it’s not entirely an objective thing– it isn’t just about Yasukini. It appears to be an ingrained reflex: hate Japan! (I actually wrote an essay about this some time ago, but lost it. :P)

August 8, 2006 @ 3:54 am | Comment

both China and Hollywood are separately working on making movies about the Rape of Nanjing. I believe it is the continual provocation of Koizumi’s visits that prompted film projects.

In China: “The flames of rage against unrepentant Japanese imperialists shall burn anew!”

In Hollywood: “It’s in the news? I bet we can make money off it.”

August 8, 2006 @ 3:54 am | Comment

There is just one thing that I do not understand: why doesn’t Japan just remove the dozen (or so) Class-A war criminals from the Yasukuni Shrine? That seems the obvious and simple solution.

Probably because some of those Class A war criminals, and many in general, went on to become prominent members of society. Like the famous Col. Tsuji, writer, spy, commander, cannibal, torturer, member of the Diet…

Plus, it is in’t merely the presence of torturers and murders that offends, it is the shrine itself, with its absurd representation of the war as defensive. Yakusuni is just a dumb idea.

Of course, Chinese society offers us shrines to the mass murderers Mao and Chiang Kai-shek. It seems reverence for murderers is OK when they are on your side.

Michael

August 8, 2006 @ 4:39 am | Comment

I think Koizumi does it just because the Chinese get pissed off. Good for him! Japan has paid for its sins. I shouold get bent out of shape that Communists pay homage to the PLA which killed lots of Americans in Korea.

China has enough atrocities of its own. It should not be commenting on another nation.

August 8, 2006 @ 5:50 am | Comment

I used to think that it was indeed all about the shrine (and the textbooks and right-wing Japanese extremists). But lately I’ve had a change of heart — in a way, who was the aggressor and who was the victim 50 years ago is all but irrelevant. The situation as it stands right now is self-aggrandizing contempt for other countries on one side (Japan) and senseless hatred on the other (China).

I live in Taiwan right now, where we’ve been getting more tourists from the mainland. They are big spenders who think nothing of dropping big orders at the souvenir stores to be boxed up directly and sent back home. I’ve read a news report that the souvenir owners have to be meticulous that no merchandise display any Japanese writings on the packaging whatsoever, or else they go nuts. That absolutely freaked me out — that people would have such a negative reaction to something as innocuous as…labels on cookies or tea leaves or whatever it is that they sell at the touristy stores.

It’s not inconsistant at all to say both that some of the vitriolic antipathies displayed by many Chinese is hateful and racist AND that the visit to Yakusuni by Koizume (which is supported by a good swarth of the Japanese) is a callous celebration of past atrocities.

Skippy-San,
Imagine that it is 50 years down the line and the muslim world and the western world are on peaceful, but not chummy, terms. The Muslim leader goes to a mosque that celebrates Osama Bin Laden and other past terrorists. How would the Americans react to that, and would they have the right to?

August 8, 2006 @ 7:52 am | Comment

the_round_peg

Because “Japan”, i.e. the government, can’t do that. Only the priests at the shrine can. The government cannot do anything to make them remove them – their independence is guaranteed under the Constitution.

Michael may have some valid points to make about what happened to people after the war, but that has no effect on what the government can and can’t do.

As to the priests, they think the post-war trials were unfair and so don’t think they were legitimately sentenced. Although the 14 may have been, it is sadly true that in all the post-war trials there was an element of seeking revenge and punishing people for things they didn’t do/weren’t responsible for.

August 8, 2006 @ 7:54 am | Comment

Ah, so Arabian Nights is the troll “Hello” in Birmingham, AL – I knew something was “off” with his comments. They’ll all be gone shortly.

Richard

August 8, 2006 @ 9:13 am | Comment

China was not the only country that fought with and suffered at the hand of Japan during WW2.
A commentor above brings up a point worth looking into. The hypothetical question is asked what American reaction to Osama bin Laden’s shrine would be.
But a more pertinent question is how have and do American people, or Dutch people, or Australian people, or Indonesian people, etc for that matter feel about past actions by the wartime Japanese? And what do they do about it?
What makes the situation here seem like such hopeless farcicality is when government decided to take over the issue shape it for its populace and run with it the way the Chinese and Korean governments do.
It is also interesting to note the various ongoing territorial and prestige related frictions Japan have with these two countries.
One is inclined to think the said present frictions is what gives both governments the motivation with an eye towards some future resolution in their favor.
One is also reminded of the constant vilification by the Arab Governments and their ‘streets’ of Israeli atrocities, both imagined as well as actual(The Jewish state did as a matter of fact give them a hiding on two or three previous occasions). A case of similar purposes being served and same methodology deployed.

August 8, 2006 @ 9:40 am | Comment

Ah, so Arabian Nights is the troll “Hello” in Birmingham, AL – I knew something was “off” with his comments. They’ll all be gone shortly.

Richard

August 8, 2006 @ 10:15 am | Comment

“Hey Koizumi, Its me Hu. I’m having some problems with people wanting higher wages and more jobs. Also, peasants are starting to realize that we’ve been destroying their environment for decades now. For some reason they seem to like drinking safe water.”

“I know Hu. I’ve had some problems too. People are pissed about North Korea, and I can’t really do much about it. You know, I bet I could help both of us out. I’m gonna go back to the shrine. The Japanese jingoists love that stuff.”

“Could you! That would be great! We’ll have some government sponsored anti-Japanese rallies, and maybe some of the protesters will leave me alone for awhile. It’ll be almost as good as when America bombed our embassy.”

“Could you make sure there are lots of protest signs that say ‘Koizumi’ on them? That will make me look better here in Japan.”

“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

August 8, 2006 @ 10:36 am | Comment

LOL at Tom’s post

This issue has become stale, so stale. What used to provoke a visceral reaction in me can now provoke barely anything at all. Koizumi with his flippy Bryonic hair and Abe his heir apparent can have an all-night rave at Yakasuni for all I care.

Pavlovian reactions all around. Shrine. Outrage. Outrage. Shrine. The soap opera that is Sino-Japan relations.

August 8, 2006 @ 11:03 am | Comment

Arabian Nights: I disagree that American, Australian, or Dutch suffered much with the Japanese. Most of American deaths by the Japanese were military personnel and during battles.

Please don’t write stupid things here. Whether the men on the Bataan Death March and countless other places in the South Pacific in WWII were soldiers or civilians, the atrocities performed by the Japanese upon them are as well documented as those against the Chinese, Koreans, etc. A captured American soldier had a far better chance of leaving a German POW camp alive than if here at a Japanese camp. Don’t try to argue that the Chinese have a monopoly on suffering at the hands of the Japanese. That’s like Jews claiming a monopoly on suffering at the hands of Hitler; while their numbers might be higher, the horrors of the Nazis affected many people of different nationalities and religions.

Your comment about how the Dutch and Australians “shouldn’t be there in Asia in the first place” is despicable, and by that logic any atrocity carried out against Chinese soldiers in Tibet, no matter how henious, would be acceptable.

August 8, 2006 @ 11:04 am | Comment

A necessary disclaimer before I begin: I like Koizumi but detest his shrine visits.

“Despicable,” well, those are pretty harsh words, Richard. Yasukuni is a shrine to all of Japan’s war dead, a shrine desecrated by the inclusion of the remains of the fourteen Class A war criminals to be sure, but a shrine with a morally legitimate purpose on the whole. Michael Turton is wrong — it’s not the shrine but the museum next to the shrine that presents the war as a “defensive” act and rewrites history to do so, and I wouldn’t shed a tear if some kind soul firebombed the place. But back to the business at hand — the purposeful desecration of the shrine in the 1970s was a despicable act, as the Emperor reportedly admitted to his aides, but I would no more call the shrine itself despicable than call Arlington National Cemetary despicable, and I admit, as an American, that Arlington likely has more war criminals interred than Yasukuni.

However, as Voltaire might say, if Yasukuni did not exist, Chinese (and Korean) nationalists would have invented it. Hatred of Japan is reflexive here, as Aramel says, and it’s almost a kind of social programming fostered by the schools and the popular media. Urban youth grow up watching Japanese cartoons and loving Japanese electronic products, then something happens when they reach a certain age in high school and they start declaring they hate Japan with all their hearts. A few go against this trend, while many embrace it with contradictions, such as girls who say they hate Japan but won’t give up their Hello Kitty bags.

Even without Yasukuni, Chinese media would still be talking about Japan’s “dangerous military buildup,” Japan’s “unprovoked” hostility to North Korea, Japan’s “overseas deployments,” and the like. Nevermind that China’s vassal state North Korea provoked the Japanese turn away from pacifism by test-firing missiles towards Japan, kidnapping Japanese citizens, and threatening to turn Tokyo into a “sea of fire.” Chinese never hear these things in their media, which presents North Korea as a pacific, if slightly addled, little brother. And not surprisingly, Japanese contributions to UN peacekeeping since 1992 are talked about by the press here as if Japan were embarking on grand imperial quests. Everything is framed here as Japan = evil, even the Taiwan issue, as people are told that the clownish A-Bian and his supporters want Taiwan to separate from China in order to rejoin the Japanese empire.

Lastly, why does Koizumi go? Besides the interest group factor mentioned above, it’s a matter of pride that drives Koizumi to the shrine. He’s doing it just because China and South Korea want him to stop doing it. This is the same kind of pride that keeps Mao’s portrait hanging in TAM even as Party historians admit even greater percentages of Mao’s badness as opposed to goodness. The pride will keep Mao’s portrait hanging even though the outside world by and large reviles Mao. In the end, only Chinese can remove what one brave Chinese writer called “China’s Yasukuni” from TAM, just as only Japanese can end the shrine issue. It’s stupid, but it’s Asia.

P.S. The Marmot had a good post about other controversial visits to a shrine that honors war criminals.

August 8, 2006 @ 11:12 am | Comment

When I said “despicable” I was referring more to the museum and the maintenance people – they truly are despicable. I agree with your other points. I am being totally ironic when I say, “It’s the shrine, stupid.” Of course it’s not the shrine. It’s irrelevant. As soon as Japan agrees never to visit it again – hell, even if they bomed it to bits – China would soon find a substitute cause to keep the flames going.

August 8, 2006 @ 11:27 am | Comment

Japanese (and their supporters) love to rationalize that it must be the evil communists who are responsible for the anti-Japanese conspiracy. The rationalization is really just a attempt to deny history or shift the blame to someone else instead of facing up to history. Another pathetic attempt of Japanese (and their supporters, usually Americans) is to take the cheap shot of using the rhetorical “Chinese people are not free of sins!” Usually they would try to change the subject by pointing to Tibet or the Cultural Revolution. What does one have to do with other? Why we are at it, why don’t we bring up black slavery and the genocide of native Americans as well? (You know, Chinese should really start bringing up the genocide of the native Americans everytime Americans bring up Tibet. I am sure Americans would just love that.)

It is a serious mistake for Japanese (and foreigners who take the side of Japan) to naively think that anti-Japanese sentiment is the fault and conspiracy of the Chinese communist govenment. Because it is not. Hatred for Japan is the sentiment shared by many Chinese from outside China — in America, Canada, Taiwan, pre-1997 Hong Kong, Singapore and Southeast Asia. None of those places are under the control nor influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Moreover, South Korea is a democratic nation. There is no communist propaganda in South Korea, but South Koreans hate Japan as much as if not more than Chinese.

I am an American-born Chinese who had never been to China until my late 20’s. I was never educated nor conditioned in China by the “communist propaganda”. So why do I have negative feelings toward Japan? Because of all the wartime horror stories my grandparents and parents used to tell me when I was little. They were *not* from China as well. They separately were from Taiwan, and Singapore, Malaysia, and they all despise or dislike Japan to various degrees. I am sure if I have children and if they are pure Chinese, I will teach them about the horrible things Japanese did to us during WWII as well.

August 8, 2006 @ 12:18 pm | Comment

troll

August 8, 2006 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Round Peg, read John Pomfret’s new book Chinese Lessons. He details how anti-Japanese propaganda is used to keep the hatred going strong. And he’s a great friend to the Chinese people. The CCP’s use of anti-Japanese sentiment – deserved or not – to deflect from its own incompetency and crimes is a matter of fact, not supposition. That doesn’t mean the Japanese of 60 years ago don’t deserve all that animosity. But recognize that the Chinese are being used by the party.

August 8, 2006 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

There is no communist propaganda in South Korea, but South Koreans hate Japan as much as if not more than Chinese

That is an understatement! Nobody wallows in hatred of the Japanese more than the Koreans.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:05 pm | Comment

I’ll buy that. CCP propaganda is not the only thing that keeps the hatred of the Japanese in China going. But it sure helps. Mao, after all, had all but forgiven the Japanese and the blind rage that’s now so common among Chinese youth wasn’t around in Mao’s time; it’s been cultivated, as Pomfret explains as a first-hand witness.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:10 pm | Comment

Round Peg, read John Pomfret’s new book Chinese Lessons. He details how anti-Japanese propaganda is used to keep the hatred going strong. And he’s a great friend to the Chinese people.

Well, then I said the book is WRONG.

How does the book explain overseas Chinese like me who’s not from China? It can’t.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

Honestly, I have no idea what the CCP teaches its people in China. Maybe the CCP does propagate anti-Japanese materials. However, even if the CCP goes away, Chinese will still be pissed at Japan as much as South Koreans do. I am certainly not from China, and I am somewhat pissed at Japan. (Of course, I am not going to riot and burn car — that is just stupid.) But I think it is important to keep the memory of war alive so Chinese people in China and Nanyang did not die in vain, especially when most of the world and Japanese themselves have forgotten what had happened.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:25 pm | Comment

There are no absolutes. Not everyone who feels such-and-such does so neceassarily due to such-and-such. Maybe you are just a hateful person. There are always anomalies and freaks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, your post on clubbing seals told me a lot about you, square peg. You have a lot of hatred inside. (“I say whack all the dogs and seals. We all be clubbin’!”) The CCP didn’t need to influence you.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

“I say whack all the dogs and seals. We all be clubbin’!”
Well, if you have to take that literally.

As for being a hateful person, no, I’m not. But there are a few things in life that just really irritates me. I don’t really even hate Japan that much, but I insist that Japan has to take most (if not nearly all) of the blame for its own wartime and colonial actions.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

Well, then I said the book is WRONG

Round peg,

Just because your family rightfully feels resentment regarding its treatment by the Japanese does not give China the right to exploit those sentiments among its own people.

I think that richard’s point is that leaders do stupid shit for domestic political reasons that are in the long run counterproductive in an international setting.

It is because of enmity between Japanese and Chinese people that makes the visits to the shrine popular with some in Japan. The more the Chinese protest, the more popular Koizumi will become with some important fringe groups. And the more the CCP will not have to deal with the serious issues facing the country.

It is just like the old May Day parades, where Soviet politicians could have a parade with big ICBMs in red square, and Nixon could show those videos in order to get more defense spending, ICBMs, submarines, or whatever. The soviets knew the americans would see the videos, the US would spend more, and the Soviets would need to spend more as a result. Then the next year the soviets would show off their new ICBMs at the May day parade.

The consequence? Both countries became more imperilled.

The only people who benefit from the shrine antics are the casts of characters running the respective governments.

August 8, 2006 @ 1:54 pm | Comment

ArabianNights,

What I think Richard is saying is “blame the victim.”

That is ridiculous. Just stupid.

Maybe you should read my first post. The visits to the shrine benefit the leaders of the countries politically; thought they hurt the people. I bet Hu is very pleased everytime Koizumi visits the shrine, as offensive as it is. It means he gets to whip up some pro-Chinese sentiment and people stop protesting their crappy wages and polluted water.

Maybe America should condemn the visits, but what would that accomplish? America doesn’t run the world. Should America make Tony Blair eat potatos in honor of those Irish who died in the potato famine?

As an American, should I not be able to eat turkey at Thanksgiving, because it “celebrates” the beginning of the extermination of the American Indians?

And a visit to the shrine is not equivalent to paying tribute to Adolph Hitler. It is more equivalent to a US president visiting a Confederate cemetary from the US Civil War. Visiting people who fought for some evil shit (slavery), but were still americans.

Worry about what the Japanese teach in their schoolbooks. That is where the scary crap is.

August 8, 2006 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

Tom, “Arabian Nights” is a long-standing troll who has been trying to destroy this site and the Forum for several months now. He always posts from a computer at the U. of Alabama in Birmingham, and he carpet-bombs both the blog and the forum with a flood of posts designed to irritate and disrupt. I have politely requested many times that he find another place to hang out, but he’s obsessive. You won’t come to any reasonable conclusions with him, as he is here only to make mischief. Thanks for your excellent comments, though.

August 8, 2006 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

“But I think it is important to keep the memory of war alive so Chinese people in China and Nanyang did not die in vain, especially when most of the world and Japanese themselves have forgotten what had happened.”

Round Peg,

The best way for us all to honor the memories of those who have died in war is to work for peace and justice, not to perpetuate hatred.

August 8, 2006 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

Visiting the shrine is equivalent to paying tribute to Adolph Hitler. If Koizumi really cares, he would have the war criminals removed from the shrine.

Japan was not Nazi Germany, Japan was imperialist. Japan’s goal was colonization, Nazi’s goal was extermination of a race. Yasukuni is the equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery. People will say that Arlington doesn’t honor war criminals, but that’s nothing but their point of view. Shall we go to the middle east in 10 years and ask? Or perhaps go to China today and ask? Should we stop Arlington Cemetery because some brainwashed Muslim extremists don’t like it? Can you think of a better way to describe the large masses in China? Now I don’t think everyone in Arlington is a war criminal by any means, but lets not forget some of Americas more modern wars. Not everyone in Yasukuni is a war criminal either.

Also, it’s been mentioned many times that 1) separation of church and state, which says their is no state religion and allows freedom of religion meaning Koizumi can practice whatever religion he wants as a Japanese citizen, also means that the government can not tell a religion or Yasukuni what to do, that would be even more unconstitutional then a court in Osaka taking away one’s freedom of religion, especially humerus when it has no jurisdiction on the defending party.

AND yes, I do believe America should condemn Koizumi’s actions, as it has done with Iran and Russia. Seems to me America is just selective about whom to condemn and whom not to. Just because Koizumi committted 3000 troops to Iraq, America is somehow turning a blind eye to what is happening in Japan. Any German chancelllor who visits some shrine elevating the status of Nazi war criminals would have condemned immediately.

American simply cannot condemn Japan in this case because America is doing the same thing — depending on who you ask worse, however I do not agree with latter part. China too does the same thing, as does Korea. America may not be perfect, but it’s not a hypocrite either — China and Korea are lying hypocrites. Again, people need to realize that 1) Japan was not Nazi Germany, Japan was more like EVERY NATION IN EUROPE during their colonial days 2) This shrine is not a shrine to pay homage to the war criminals as it 3) wasn’t just randomly built yesterday but was built way back in 1869.

Really all these Nazi comments should fall under Godwin’s Law because they are incorrect references and are just used so that if someone disagrees people can say, “blah blah you love the Nazi’s too huh?” Really the extent of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germanys alliance was timing. They both shared a common enemy at the same time, but weren’t really fighting together (but certainly did have diplomatic relations). Were America and Russia allies during WW2? Not really, they just both were fighting against Hitler at the same time, not until nukes were dropped to Russia declare it was on anyone’s side. Japanese/Germany relations extended about as far as to Japan saying, “are you gunna need those islands?” in reference to the European colonies throughout South East Asia which would have come under German possession as Hitler conquered more.

August 8, 2006 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

Darin, don’t waste your time, please – “Arabian Nights” is trolling and all his posts were deleted. He always invokes Hitler and always deifies the CCP and makes Japan the root of all evil. His name is Joseph and one day, if he keeps pushing me (you should see how many comments he dropped throughout my site today) I’ll post his phone number here. I’ve tried to be civil, but he’s really pushing things.

August 8, 2006 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

Richard,

Really, I can understand your frustration (I think), but don’t out people. Too many of my favorite blogs have been consumed with these types of discussions, with right wingers on the side of outing people.

I don’t even like the notion of banning people – I think it is done too often. But it is your site, and you know better than I do what this guy has written.

Anyway, just my too cents. Thanks for the site. As an young american who has taken a trip or two to china, I enjoy your site.

Thanks.

August 8, 2006 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

Tom, I’ve known his contact information for months and have never used it. I’m not that kind of person. But he’s really provoking me….

August 8, 2006 @ 10:01 pm | Comment

1) Japan was not Nazi Germany,

Oh please. WWII Japan was a totalitarian rightist police state, exactly like the Nazis, with socialism-for-the-rich, screw-the-little-people economy that was, well, exactly like Nazi Germany’s. Japan had no industrialized killing machine; instead, they tended to do mass murder manually, like they did everything else, with their inferior technology. There was no serious way in which Japan was not like Nazi Germany, except that the Germans leadership probably cared more for their (perceived Aryan) people than the Japanese leadership cared for theirs.

Japan was more like EVERY NATION IN EUROPE during their colonial days

Hogwash. Especially during the later days, the industrialized colonial states of Europe had enormous public debates about colonialism and its purposes and remuneration. In Japan there was little to no public debate. The European states all hosted free presses, had frameworks for civil and human rights, hosted open public associations devoted to stopping colonialism, etc. Japan had nothing like that. The European nations permitted each other to trade with their colonies, but Japan shut out the other Powers — indeed, had Japan enabled the Powers to trade with its colonies, we probably would not have had WWII. No European nation treated a colony the way the Japanese treated China, except perhaps Belgium in the Congo, and Spain in the early days of its colonization of the Americas.

2) This shrine is not a shrine to pay homage to the war criminals as it 3) wasn’t just randomly built yesterday but was built way back in 1869.

A non-point, as it currently honors murderers, rapists, torturers, and cannibals on a global scale. It hardly matters what the shrine was built for.

But I tend to agree with the analyses that suggest that Koizumi and Hu benefit from the spats…

Michael

August 9, 2006 @ 3:21 am | Comment

All hail the right and powerful CCP. May their rule be long and just.

I just threw up a little in my mouth. really.

August 9, 2006 @ 3:57 am | Comment

Oh please. WWII Japan was a totalitarian rightist police state, exactly like the Nazis, with socialism-for-the-rich, screw-the-little-people economy that was, well, exactly like Nazi Germany’s.

Since when was a poorly run economy a crime? Last time I checked, Japan’s economic policy isn’t what people are getting upset about in China and Korea.

Japan had no industrialized killing machine; instead, they tended to do mass murder manually, like they did everything else, with their inferior technology.

Exactly, that’s a huge difference. They tended to do their “mass murder” manually, just like every other nation. The industrialized attempted extermination of an entire race is how the US and other nations say they are different from Nazi Germany in their wars, why is Japan different?

There was no serious way in which Japan was not like Nazi Germany…

Except your last sentence, which is a major point, in fact, the whole point.

Especially during the later days, the industrialized colonial states of Europe had enormous public debates about colonialism and its purposes and remuneration. … The European states all hosted free presses, had frameworks for civil and human rights, hosted open public associations devoted to stopping colonialism, etc

And that worked so well to stop Europe’s colonization of the world now didn’t it?

It took Japan to colonize South East Asia for Europe to realize how wrong colonization was. It was wrong when Japan did it, it was wrong when the European nations did it. Japan did it for less then 50 years, apologized on many occasions, and paid huge sums of money and continues to make donations to those nations today. European nations colonize the entire world for over 2,000 years, apologized to no one, and wouldn’t think of doing anything to help their former colonies out financially. You’re right, Japan is nothing like the European colonial powers, it’s much much better.

No European nation treated a colony the way the Japanese treated China, except perhaps Belgium in the Congo, and Spain in the early days of its colonization of the Americas.

“No European nation except a majority of them…”? Shall we look further at China? My understand is for all the cold prickly feelings China holds for Japan, it is 10 fold as bad when the issue comes to England. I’m sure you know of the reasons why.

A non-point, as it currently honors murderers, rapists, torturers, and cannibals on a global scale. It hardly matters what the shrine was built for.

It honors souls lost in a way to remember that war is bad, no more war. Please do me a favor and never attend a Christian church, because all of Europe’s colonization was a direct order from God let’s not forget. Or is that also different somehow? Shall we count the years and lives lost under the name of the Christian God and compare it to the years and lives lost under the name of any Japanese emperor? Should we count the number of lives lost in the Christian God’s name yesterday? Perhaps Christianity was original founded with good intentions, but that’s a non-point because it has stood for domination and destruction on a global scale since 10 years after it’s founding all the way to present day.

I’m not saying Japan was good for what it did, I’m saying that it’s no different from any of the other colonial powers, and that’s why America nor any European nation will say anything to Japan on this matter because they know they have a far worse track record. And although the past can not be changed, Japan has also worked to repay what it has done wrong in the past, while the European powers have done what to right their wrongs exactly? I’m not saying what did happen didn’t, I’m saying that we need to understand what it truly was, and not just say “they’re just like the Nazi’s” when you yourself even point out the major difference, and frankly the only difference that really matters.

August 9, 2006 @ 4:26 am | Comment

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