Monday, April 18, 2005

Anti-Japan protests in China: what's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture (anti-Japan protests in China, via the NY Times)?

It still seems strange to see mass protests in China at all, post-Tiananmen--even ones such as this, apparently organized by the government for its own murky purposes.

What's stranger still is that these protests are ostensibly over the interpretation of history--although of course that's not what they are really about.

But strangest of all is that here we have massive demonstrations by people in one nation protesting the acts of another nation--and the target of the protests is neither the US nor Israel. Now, that's surpassingly strange.


At 3:22 PM, April 18, 2005, Anonymous meander said...

You are so right...everytime I come across a headline saying "thousands of Chinese gather to protest the Japanese", I feel like I am in an alternative universe. It just doesn't seem right not to have America be the major culprit somehow.

At 6:54 PM, April 18, 2005, Blogger Loyal Achates said...

Not everything is about you, you know.

At 10:00 PM, April 18, 2005, Blogger Tran Sient said...

In addition to the textbook thing, they are also protesting possible Japanese entry to the UN Security Council and a demarcation line dispute in the Sea of Japan.

At 1:08 AM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Emmunah said...

What they are protesting is the rape of Nanking, which killed 1 million or more Chinese civilians. Not only were there the usual rapes, torture and mayhem, but the Japanese used chemical weapons and then removed fetuses while the woman was still living to test the effects of the chemicals. They also used ovens to incinerate people. The Japanese captured children, and used them for target practice for their army as they were tied up and made small targets. They also liked to rip the hearts and entrails out of the Chinese, bayonet them one at a time and toss them into mass graves still alive and bury them. There were millions in slave labor camps. It was by far the biggest genocide In modern history.

It might be okay, except that each year the Japanese PM goes to the memorial to the general of a specific unit in charge of the gassing, and pays tribute to them. Japan will not acknowledge any of these horrific crimes even though I have seen the pictures myself, and the videos too. They are really the worse things I've ever seen.

Maybe China is not the "moral authority", but we are not totally the moral authority either and we would raise hell in a similar situation. Please look up the Japan Chinese war and see for yourself, because it is a paradigm changing event.

I'm also one of those neo-neo-...or let's say "Hard Wilsonians" but the Chinese actually do have things right this time.

I was never in favor of relations with communist china and I remember my parents crying when the Taiwanese had to turn over their UN seat to the Maoist mainland Chinese. The UN nor even the UK recognizes the existence of Taiwan, I'm not sure that the US does either. But, just because I'm no fan of the Chinese, doesn't make the Japanese extreme atrocities any less brutal. The Japanese had to promise never to militarize for very good reason. What they did with their military was so deplorable that they did not have the right to such force or power, and they haven't changed enough to warrant any re-evaluation either. There are plenty of other candidates for the security counsel, and Japan is not one I could support either.

Israel would be good:).

At 6:05 AM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Wait until Japan has a nuclear arsenal, then the Chinese will really have something to protest.

At 6:34 AM, April 19, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

The Chinese and Japanese have had a long history of enmity. As to genocide I would disagree-remember the "Final Solution?" Chairman Mao and his crew murdered about 60 million people more or less. Nanking was horrible, but put it in perspective !

At 10:54 AM, April 19, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

I'm certainly aware of the terrible behavior of Japan vis a vis China during the WWII era. However, these demonstrations, occurring about seventy years later, are widely reported to have been encouraged and orchestrated by the Chinese government at this oint in time for a variety of present-day strategic reasons, none of them having to do with WWII or that behavior.

At 7:55 PM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Tran Sient said...

'What they are protesting is the rape of Nanking, which killed 1 million or more Chinese civilians. Not only were there the usual rapes, torture and mayhem,'

Um, that would be the textbook thing...relax.

At 11:20 PM, April 20, 2005, Blogger Emmunah said...

I went and did more research. It would appear, as usual, that the different history textbooks is indeed true. The Chinese no nothing about their atrocities. That's probably true everywhere. I would love to have a translated copy of every textbook about one single period in the past few hundred years just to see how much they differ on what they leave in, ephasize and leave out.

I have three Chinese students in my program and they are furious and gave us all a presentation about why they are opposing the Japanese so much. It was very horrible and they were visibly mad, which is not characteristic of them. The one student with the presentation, named the file "damn Japanese" and THAT is highly unusual...they are a well mannered bunch, and this really bothers them.

I still don't know if Japan should really have a sec. coun. spot. It doesn't seem right since they don't participate in "warrioring" anymore. I would rather see South Korea if it were to be another Aisan country. At least they are with us in Iraq.

At 6:20 PM, April 23, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

South Koreans told us to get the pock off of their soil, and then told us to stay when North Korea started acting. That's really honorable...

The Japanese are my sort of people, even though I'm Chinese. That doesn't bear any difference since I'm fully assimilated into the American culture of Imperial politics as it is. (Think Roman Empire not the piss poor European colonialists)

I don't love the Japanese, just as I don't love the French. The difference is that one society may be admired, the other may not.

You learn whether to admire or despise a society only by fighting it or fighting alongside it. And I saw much of Japan that was honorable and courageous through the WWII histories. Their problem was the same as the Germans, inefficient and cruel leaders that took fanaticism to a whole new level.

We treated Japan and Germany, those that we defeated, with honor and dignity. Emperor Hirohito showed the path of the new Japan through his surrender, one of the first truely honorable acts of the Japanese in the war. Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of Pearl Harbor, was also a good leader that you could respect if not admire. Yamamoto understood that America once awakened, would spell the doom of Japan unless quickly defeated through a surprise attack.

As the new generation of Japan comes to fruition, they are assimilating many values of the Americans. I don't know where they get it from, but their new generations have assimilated much of American culture. I do not refer to popular culture, I refer to our viewpoints on honor, dignity, human rights, and etc. The Japanese have converted their fanatical styles of virtues and values into a more temperate system. More along the lines of the military virtues, honor, loyalty, duty, sacrifice, and etc. To the Japanese, dishonoring one's name and family by failing in one's duties, is the worst of the worst.

And that is why I would be honored to have such a fiercly loyal and honorable ally as the Japanese. They will have to ammend their Constitution, but that was due to MacArthur's actions. They are standing up to China, a bigger and more violent neighbor than the US ever had in Canada or Mexico. They are willing to aid us in Iraq, they are willing to committ to an alliance with American hegemony in the Pacific for their own interests. And they have not forgotten the uses of violence as the Europeans have.

In the final equation, Japan turned out much better than spoiled Germany. Two countries that America occupied, our first occupations in the real international world, was only a 1 for 1.

As you can see, Afghanistan and Iraq are 2 for 0. We have learned much it would seem.

Any true fan of America would sympathize with the Japanese. Once more, a freer and more prosperous country is being blamed for the ills of an autocratic and stymied country. Like Wendy, they are fighting back, they aren't taking the insults or the flack or the attacks as a peasant. They are fighting back.

The South Koreans do not have the history that the Japanese do, therefore I would NOT count upon them to mature as adults rather than as adolescents. Adults can make their own judgments, adults defend themselves and their own, adults don't complain about how they are protected. South Korea may have shut up given the fears from NK, but Japan has actively sided with the US.

For a more contemporary study on Japanese popular culture, watch the hit anime show "Naruto" to see what I mean.

Some people belong to other countries are more American than people that are citizens in America.

Naruto Example

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