Thursday, April 12, 2007

Today in False Balance

The "shape of the Earth: opinions differ" award goes to the AP for this story on Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan:
The two countries have been at odds in recent years over Japan's invasions and occupation of China in the 1930s and '40s. China has accused Japan of not fully atoning for its aggression, while some Japanese feel accounts of their wrongdoings have been exaggerated.
Look, some Germans still don't believe the holocaust happened. There's no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt in an international wire piece.

The larger problem is not that "some Japanese" don't believe the accounts of WWII atrocities, but that those same "some Japanese" frequently have prominent roles in Japanese government -- such as Prime Minister. When the Chinese say that Japan hasn't fully "atoned" for it's aggression, they're on far more solid footing than the Japanese who say nothing happened.

1 comment:

Kevin Rooney said...

I lived in Japan for 10 years. As a nation, Japan feels it did nothing particularly wrong in WW2, other than to lose.
Pity. Japan and China could learn a lot from each other. Both were old, established civilizations and were overwhelmed when the West showed up in full force in the 1800s. China tried "just say no" to the outside and Japan tried self-Westernization, but these two responses are both pieces of a larger shared experience.