Tuesday, April 12, 2005

China to Japan: Suck it.

Well, almost:
Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday China supports India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

"We fully understand and support the Indian aspiration to play an even bigger role in international affairs and in the UN," Premier Wen said while addressing a question at a press conference before winding up his four-day visit to India.
Ah, so what does this have to do with Japan? Oh, not much:
Increasingly anti-Japan demonstrations in China have sent bilateral ties to their lowest ebb since diplomatic relations were normalized in 1972.

On Saturday, about 10,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Beijing. The protesters hurled stones and plastic water bottles at the Japanese Embassy and damaged Japanese restaurants. Demonstrations also spilled over to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong province in the south and Chengdu in Sichuan province. In Shanghai, two Japanese students were beaten and injured by protesters.
These protests in China have been fueled by a number of things, but the two most important are the perennial "textbooks" issue (China and South Korea accuse Japanese textbooks of whitewashing the Pacific War) and, more directly important today, Japan's attempt to get a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

The sad thing is, in this case, Japan hasn't done anything wrong. There are textbooks which do try to justify the war as "defending Asia from the White Man" or some crap like that (seriously) but they're almost never used in actual schools. That they exist is a sign of Japanese publishers' freedom, not necessarily racism*. Moreover, Japan has apologized for its conduct in the war a number of times. On top of all this, Japan has been central in driving the growth of both China and South Korea - and not entirely out of its own self-interest, either. South Korea was given billions in reparations for the war in 1964.

It goes without saying that Japan deserves a permanent seat on the Security Council. Certainly, if nations like China and France have them, Japan meets the threshold.

*One caveat to my defense of Japanese textbooks. While very few schools actually use the textbooks put out by the ultranationalists, their existence seems to have created a trend in the other national textbook publishers to become more forgiving of Japan's wartime activities. Obviously, this is a bad thing. All the same, this really shouldn't prejudice Asian international affairs as much as it does - but that's history for you.


Battlepanda said...

You're living in a dream world. I've spoken to many Japanese people. They are uniformly ignorant about the atrocities committed in China by Japanese soldiers during WWII. Atrocities of such a magnitude that I would not hesitate to compare their crimes with the crimes of the Nazis in term of cold-bloodedness and even greater in cruelty. Their Prime Minister often visit shrines dedicated to WWII Japanese soldiers -- they're revered as heros instead of shunned as war criminals.

How can the Chinese be blamed for not letting bygones be bygones when Japan continues to be oblivious as a nation to their crimes, and are even increasingly casting themselves as the victim of the conflict?

Here is a post I wrote about this. It's personal for me because I am Chinese. It's troubling to me that the Rape of Nanking and other massacres are in danger of being swept under the carpet.


Battlepanda said...

Oops! URL too long. Try again:


Just graft the second line to the first for the whole url.

Anonymous said...

Are you a ignoramus or a revisionist. The fact is that 99% of all historians believe that Japanse committed unspeakable war crimes across the Pacific. Shut the hell up and live on your dinky island of Japan. The US did a good thing when they nuked Japan and while bombing the shit out of their cities. Innocent or not, their nation needed to pay in blood.

Anonymous said...

Japs suck! the u.s should've nuked japan at least 5 more times the last one with a hydrogen bomb. Most people don't know what japs did to pows and chinese during the war. It was a 2nd holocaust that noone remembers. since the us should be lowering their nuclear stockpiles, why not drop em on japan?

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Anonymous said...

How can you expect us not to be pissed?! Have you read about jap experiments on chinese,asian and even russian people? Go read bout it and then tell me whether Japan or the countries it fucked up are worse off.