There is a good blog post by Andrea about bloggers in China talking about the anti-Japan protests.

As a Japanese who has a great deal of sympathy and empathy for China, what I find difficult is trying to understand the various threads and how Japanese people can try to make a difference. In particular, the hateful and extreme actions of some of the Chinese make it difficult, if not scary to even try to open a dialog. At the same time, the extremes in China are fueling the nationalists in Japan and not helping the cause for the more moderate voices. I believe hate will never help communications.

One of the biggest problems is that most Japanese don't understand the issues. Another point is that most Japanese are not great supporters of the military. When I think about the military in Japan, I don't think dirty nationalist thoughts. Rather, I think about May 15, 1932 when Prime Minister Inukai was assassinated by the military which ended party-based politics in Japan until after WWII. I think about the Japanese military taking over the government and sending Japan into one of the worst periods in its history. I think about the small children being sent off to war as Kamikaze or human torpedos and I think about the letters homes from them that are enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine. There are letters from terrified little boys writing about how scared they are about going to war. Most Japanese do not trust the military and most Japanese believe that the military run government of the 30's was an illegitimate government as a result of a coup. Many Japanese believe that the Japanese people were victims of the military.

Having said that, I do think that the text books and teaching in Japan underplays the actions of the military in China and I believe the Japanese text books are a real problem that should be addressed. I really think that the Japanese don't understand how victimized the Chinese and Koreans were and I believe this education needs to occur. I would point out that it is not just this aspect of Japanese textbooks that is broken. Japanese text don't use the word "revolution" or "civil war". It was the "Meiji Restoration", "The American fight for independence", the US Civil War is the "North South War" etc. There was a move to simplify Pi to just 3. In other words, the Japanese ministry of education needs an overhaul. Maybe they should use Wikipedia instead.

I'm not trying to trivialize the issues that are being protested by the Chinese, but if they are trying to cause change in Japan, maybe some of them can try to talk to their allies in Japan like me instead of trying to force or scare into submission their enemy. A reasonable bridge building effort between activists and experts on both sides to try to address the issues through tactical maneuvers might be useful.

Or am I missing the point completely?

175 Comments

Just a quick note before I hit the sack tonight: I recall your post the day after the US elections, bringing up the subject of Collective Responsibility - how every citizen must take responsibility and acknowledge the actions and policies of his country in the past and present. I think that's basically what the Chinese are looking for - a frank acknowledgment by Japan of its war crimes. They aren't going about it the right way though....violent protests will only elicit a knee-jerk reaction from the Japanese, which will be one of defending their stance.

There might be a parallel worth drawing here between how Japan has handled its WW2 history and how the germans have handled theirs.

Nev said..
>I think that's basically what the Chinese are looking for -
>a frank acknowledgment by Japan of its war crimes.
The interesting thing is often people who defend Japan's position will say "Japan *has* apologized, how many times must we apologize?" Does anyone know in what official capacity Japan has apologized? Not including the massive ODA. Obviously they were less than sincere apologies given the current state of textbooks in Japan, at least that's how Chinese see it.

Well I would try not to forget how in the background this issue is really sadly politicized. An example of this is that the PRC covered up the Nanjing atrocity for many years because they wanted to downplay the influence the Guo Ming Dan (who defended Nanjing) had in the past. This is something almost no mainland Chinese people know.

But you know, it's politicized in a weird way, from on high. It's amazing how all the citizenry in China, it seems despite income level, know and care about this issue. But I can't shake the feeling that the sad things that happened to China is now being used as a political bargaining chip...I'm not sure what for though, either just to gain more general political hand, or maybe to ensure Japan's ODA to China doesn't dry up.

So I guess this important issue becomes a stupid one ruined by self-serving politicians, on both sides. Finally, some common ground ; )

Japan needs to call China's bluff. China's government's playing their people to get the most impact, supporting their demonstrations and using it to their advantage. There's no way that country capable murdering so many of their own people in Tiananmen Square can't stop a protest of just a few thousand people. There's no doubt that the Japanese textbooks are myopic but the chinese response is childish and manipulative.

It's also ironic that a totalitarian Chinese government is ridiculing Japan's educational materials. I'm sure that Chinese materials put out by the communist party are completely historically objective.


Japan should join the US and refuse to pay her UN dues in protest for not protecting their embassies and consulates. Those two countries could force the hand of the body. Japan should then call in any loans or other funds earmarked for china and ship them (and the SDF) off to Sudan or to fight AIDS--showing real international leadership instead of just following others with a checkbook like she often does.


And if they really wanted to get results, recognize the legitimate democracy in Taiwan.


Or, maybe they could just respond with a proverbial olive branch donate a boatload of Mountain Cedar trees to the reforestation effort in China :)

You've made some extremely good points.

The problem I think we have are two big & powerful nations with matching egos and some unfortunate history between them.

Japan might need to revamp their educational syllabus but China needs to engage the Japanese rather than take such a hard position. Generate goodwill and build long term relationship and better understanding will occur between the two people.

Visiting Singapore these last few days has given me some interesting perspective on this issue.

Put simply, this is a major PR coup for the Chinese government. For very little, they have managed to boost national image, local support for government, embarrass a troublesome trade partner, and draw attention away from various domestic problems. And Japan seems to be doing everything in it's power to help thhem accomplish this.

The international press is full of stories of demonstrations in China and damage to Japanese businesses and govenrment offices. While the stories always make the Japanese out to be the victims here, they can not help but explain why the Japanese are being targeted. Right wing organizations and an extrememly conservative govenrment approved some questionable textbooks for school. What sounds scarier, some rioters smashing windows and Toyotas or the fact that one of the largest economies in the world is being controlled by right wing conservatives who *might* be interested in reviving the good ol days of Japanese impperialism. Noo matter how you write it, the "victims" look less sympathetic than the hooligans.

On the other side, you have the Chinese govenrment. How many people who remember the demonstrations in Tiananman in the 90's are keen to tell the Chinese leadership to tone down "free speech"? Provided the government can excert enough control to make sure that human casualties are avoided, the more press these demonstrations draw, the more moderate the current leadership looks to the world.

At this rate, Japan's Security Council seat bid is pretty much squashed for years. China can put the thumbscrews into Japanese trade negotiators trying to open the Chinese market, the rest of Asia sees a more democratic "big brother" in China and Japan looks more like a beligerant, stubborn relic trying to relive the past.

This isn't a battle over the ideas and relics of the past. It's a PR war being waged for the future dominance of Asia. And so far the Japanese leadership has done nothing but provide extra ammunition for the other side to use.

Nev: Yes. I think the Japanese can learn a bit from the German response after the war. There are a few differences. The Japanese never had battle (other than bombs) on their soil and didn't see war up close. They didn't see the horror, although they did suffer. Also, as I pointed out above, many Japanese don't feel that they supported or even elected the people who ran the war. Although Nazi Germany was not a good democracy, in a way, I think people felt responsible for having elected Hitler. Finally, I think with Germany sharing borders and more physical proximity, it might have encouraged Germany to reach out more than the Japanese have.

With respect to apologies... I know the Japanese have apologized but I do not know the details. It might be interesting to do a bit of investigation on what, how and when the Japanese apologized about. I will note that Japanese companies have pushed for further apologies and it is typically the Government which tends not to want to apologize.

Nev: And yes. I agree with you. Japanese need to take collective responsibility. I feel the responsibility. I was pointing out in my post the way many Japanese feel and why. I don't believe that this passive view is necessarily politically appropriate.

As a lot of people saying, anti-Japan activities or protests has been driven by Chinese government itself because they can distract public eyes from domestic issues such as jobless problems.
Textbook, yasukuni stuff or whatever a just a part of probems. There is another big reason why they have to go freaky protests. Real problem is often covered by easily bashing stuff.
So, it is just my guess but Chinese protesters wouldn't quit protesting however all textbooks are revised as they want. They will pick something else up to complain and will throw eggs and tomatoes anyway. Until the real problem resolved, same thing will keep happening.
I heard Opium War is not taught in UK. I am not sure if it is true or false but, if it's true, why don't Chinese protest against UK? Why anti-Japan only?

Chinese government, actually current Hu Jintao cabinet, is very afraiding if those protesters would turn to be antigovernment activities. That's one of biggest reasons why they can not take action against protesters. For protesters, anything can be a target to offend. So far, Japan is their main target though, nobody knows when it turn to be something else.

In my estimation, these anti-Japan actions are just a different for m of anti-Hu Jintao cabinet. Japan may better to keep supporting Hu Jintao cabinet. Should not accept too much anti-Japan protests nor anti Chinese government protests in China either.

And what non-politician can do with it is having relationship in cultural scene. As we are already doing with Korea. It doesn't solve political issues but it helps soothing people's mind and realising that they are just also human beings.

Two quick things I'd like to note:

1. Chinese have almost no understanding of the modern Japanese psyche. They want to think those guys across the pond have some connection to those who did the bad deeds in WWII, but unfortunately, to the average Japanese that's just ancient history.

2. To say that Japanese should apologize for WWII implies something, doesn't it? It implies that they were wrong to go along with the Emperor and building the Empire, and therefore implies that they should have stood up and fought against their own government for some sense of moral right. If you understand Japanese culture even a little bit, you understand what an incredible mental leap it is to suggest not going along with their nation, government, and Emperor, no matter how 'wrong' they seemed to be... Japanese, as you said, Joi, felt this was not an option culturally or practically, and so all they can do (for the most part) is apologize out of pity rather than out of guilt.

I find myself responding in an irrational manner when I consider the Chinese protests against Japan. Mostly, I'm angry at the Chinese. That's strange, since I have no stake in the matter whatsoever. Except, of course, that Japan happens to be one of my country's most friendly and important allies.

In my gut, I suspect that the Chinese are looking for an excuse to be indignant. We are coming up on a century now since the Japanese violated China's shores, for chrissake. Those Chinese who protest most loudly, I suspect, are not deep thinkers.

The scenario is tragic and sad, in a way. Japan and China are like two lovers that cannot resist the temptation to lash out in times of crisis by opening old wounds. What bothers me most, is that Chinese folk seem to be indulging in the idea that they are in a position to push others around. First Taiwan. Then Japan. Better watch it... no joke.

First a link, cause some of you wondered if, when and how Japan apologized to its neighbors. It’s a post by ESWN about the schoolbook issue. Chronology of apologies and compensation-payment is at the bottom of the page:
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20050328_2.htm

Now, when it comes to comparing German and Japan during WW II. I don’t think the big difference is that Japanese never experienced fights on their soil. What is remembered in Germany very lively are not the fights at the end of the war, but the bombings of the cities and that happened in Japan too. I think the big difference is the Holocaust and the impact it had on the whole western world and culture. In the West Holocaust became the synonym for the evil itself and there was a lot of pressure from the outside world, but also from inside Germany - especially after the 60es - on the government and those who are responsible for the education to deal with it. What Japanese soldiers did on the other hand where war crimes, though terrible, “only” war crimes, like they happened in human history before.

Trevor -

I agree with your point numbered one. Strangely, I know many third or even fourth generation Chinese *Americans* who actually hold WWII grudges against the Japanese. Their grandparents drill it into them.

i have recently lived in jeju-do south korea where there is still angry feelings towards the japanese mostly by the elders, yet the korean youth embrace much of japan's culture thru j-pop and amongst the japanese youth there is a passion for korean soap operas. youth culture appears to be the ambassador for peace between these 2 asian countries who share an ugly past. the chinese youth seem to be bitter and reluctant to participate in modern cultural integration...they believe themselves to be above this!

The BBC reports only 18 schools will use the textbook, as most of the others rejected it as too biased. I think the others amount to 42,000 schools.

I don't think you miss anything, and I think you make a number of good points. Having said that, I don't think the Chinese protests are solely about Chinese/Japanese relations (now or in the past). These protests have been getting bigger, and they have been either backed by the government or allowed by the government - and the latter is interesting. Have a look here:

http://www.strategypage.com//fyeo/qndguide/default.asp?target=CHINA.HTM

There's a real possibility that the Chinese government finds anger at Japan (and Taiwan) to be a convenient way to let people blow off steam.

This is a complex issue and, as with other governmental posturing in East Asia, is usually linked to something else.

Japan is currently trying to get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and opposition of any current member - including China - would derail that.

Recently China has tied the two together and indicated that it won't support the bid unless Japan makes clear its regret over its wartime past.

As for Japan's apologies ... Murayama's was viewed as a personal apology because he said "I" rather than "we." We can argue forever about whether that was a slip of the tongue or something more calculated but the fact is he never repeated the apology using "we" even though he was well aware of the way it had been taken.

A few years later Obuchi repeated the apology but only verbally and wouldn't include it in a communique at the end of an official visit to Japan by China's Jiang.

I fail to see how anyone can take these apologies seriously and as coming from the Japanese government when they fail to clear up possibly unclear language and won't commit them to paper.

NoSpamPlease! wrote @17:
I fail to see how anyone can take these apologies seriously

Methinks the original Japanese text of these apologies — instead of the possibly distorted foreign language translations of them — leaves no doubt as to their seriousness. The problem is, who actually reads them outside Japan ?

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/日本の戦争謝罪発言一覧

these chinese protesters seem very well organized, i wonder who is finacing them. is the real issue the chinese government not wanting a japanese security council seat at the UN?

just to clarify the above, almost every new japanese history textbook has generated an official protest from the chinese government, followed by another apology from the japanese government. all of this gets very little international media coverage. these "popular" protest movements make good tv, and have been on the evening news now for days. prior to this, when was the last time we saw a "popular" chinese protest movement on CNN?

"Noo matter how you write it, the "victims" look less sympathetic than the hooligans." Wow. A voice from within the moral abyss.
Kakyou, your analysis ignores one other player here: the US. The real question is going to be, given China's adamant position on Japan joining the Council, what the US response will be. If Japan presses her case, the US will have to decide where to throw her chips, and the US is determined to get Japan on the security council, the Chinese are going to lose this chicken race. It all depends on the commitment of the US.

As a resident of the nation that, ahem, "removed the native American threat" I feel that I am in a poor position to lecture Japan about past crimes along these lines. Perhaps the Chinese protestors should gaze in the direction of Tibet for a while before returning to their righteous rage against Japan. The closer you really get to history, the cloudier the moral story becomes. As H. I. said in Raising Arizona: "Now, y'all without sin can cast the first stone..."

Above all, this is grand political theater designed to serve the interests of one particular actor, the Chinese state.

it should be noted that the intervention of the western powers during the colonial period bears responsibility for the actions of Japan during that period. History books (American history books) state clearly that for thousands of years the asian nations lived in harmony. It was only until the period of western expansion that the two came into conflict. The western nations, the history books say, were something of a "bad influence" on Japan.

The period of which the Chinese protesters complain was really only a brief one, which occured a relatively short time ago. These "historical tensions" are only a blip in the long history of peace between the asian neighbors.

George.

I see that you're a product of the Berkeley, California public school system. Me too, but I recovered.

Joi,

Thank you for a very balanced and informative article. I first heard about the present conflict while chatting online with a friend of mine who is Brazilian of Japanese descent. She is studying in Japan currently, and brought me up to speed on the issues. Your post clarified for me Japanese thinking on the subject.

Thanks

Are there any movies that document the Japanese occupation of China? Until recently, I grew up ignorant of the details of this history of Japan. It seems that US history books tend to downplay the significance of this event as well.

I agree with Joi here on the education aspect. We should all learn about indecent moments of history so it is not repeated. However, I do think that the Chinese need to get over it. The current Japanese population has nothing to do with the crimes of the past, and I doubt they would have condoned that behavior.

In my travels to Japan, I admired the non-violent attitude and public safety compared to the United States. A major cultural difference I noticed is that Japanese television contains very little violence, whereas popular US television is loaded with programs about murder and death (CSI, Law & Order, 24, etc.) It seems to me that Japan has learned from their mistakes and has taken a new road towards becoming a more friendly society.

Anyhow, I think the Chinese should take a note from other countries that have forgiven Japan for the atrocities they committed in WWII. It is the past and continuing the hate will only result in future cycles of violence.

Josh -

It's by no means a documentary or historical record, but an excellent film nonetheless. Empire of the Sun tells the tale of a young English boy (Christian Bale) who struggles to survive under the Japanese occupation of fallen China during World War II

Josh,

I agreed that nowaday's Japanese people are amongst the most polite and friendly people in the world. The current Japanese population truly has nothing to do with the crimes of the past. However, speaking for the chinese, the protest is against the Japanese government, not the people. The Chinese people/victims do not think that Japanese government has sincerely repent for their wartime wrongs throughtout the years.

The many visits to the Yasukuni shrine to Japan's war dead by Japanese Prime minister has triggered the bad memories for the Chinese. Those Japan's war dead are the soldiers that kill the Chinese 50 years ago. I think they have to stop visiting the Yasukuni shrine and be sincerely apologize for the wartime wrongs in the past. If Pope John Paul II can apologize for the church's wrongs in the past, why can't the Japanese government do the same?

In fact, I think the main issue is incorrectness in Japanese history textbook. If history is not taught correctly in school, how can the next generation learned from the mistakes in the past?

Please look at the big picture of the whole issue.

I'm not too familiar with the political strategies etc that have been employed by both the Japanese and Chinese governments in terms of handling this issue. Although I do believe that the politics played the major role in this whole problem, I also believe that the inherent negative emotions of the public in China, Korea and other Asian countries should not be ignored when considering this. I'm originally from Korea (now living in Australia) and my grand parents had to live through one of the most horrifying periods of Korean history. Even though they are no longer with us (well, apart from my dad's mother) when I think just how hard it must have been for them, I can't help but to feel extremely sad and angry.

Paying "visists of respect" to Yasukuni and playing with words (or even completely denying) in textbooks to cover up that period, without a doubt, are wrong acts. Japan has no excuse for that, and people in Japan should feel ashamed that their government's displaying dispeakable behaviours. Whether they like it or not, it's their national history and their modern culture exists on the basis of that.

I really like Japan. I'm extremely interested in Japanese culture, whether it be modern or traditional. And I think it's fantastic how the relationship between the Japanese and Koreans have been improving dramatically through pop-cultural exchange.

I'm not from China and I only have a pretty limited understanding in Chinese culture, particularly that of the modern days, so I can only speak from my Korean point of view - but as much as this issue is political, it is also cultural and even personal to a certain extent, to the Korean people. We know (well, at least we feel) that we don't hold a "strong global status" and feel that our voices are not being heard by the rest of the world. The majority of those Korean grandmas who were used as sex slaves during the war have not been compensated for what they had to suffer. Can you even imagine what it would've been like? Getting raped all day everyday. And can you imagine what it'd be like to be forced to change your name to Japanese (therefore deny your heritage) and forced to completely ignore and "trash" your own culture? That was what happened and that scar is not going to go away easily. Unfortunately this is the truth at least in Korea. This is why, I believe, many people in China and Korea are willing to participate in extreme actions. They want to be heard. They want to be heard by the world and they want to be heard by today's Japan.

Yes, definitely. The violent action taken by certain groups of Chinese public was wrong, and the Chinese government should've shown more initiative to prevent such terriblly violent actions/outcomes. I'm completely against it. There is no excuse. However, I do empathise with them. As a person of the Korean origin, I can understand why they wanted to take such actions in the first place. And I hope the world can feel, or at least "see" this issue from the Chinese/Korean perspectives as well.

As a peace-loving Chinese who's not usually interested in politics. I too, wish there's something we could do to stop the hatred and the violence. We have to respect the fact that the Japanese government does not always represent the wish of its people. At the same time, it is just too simplistic to call the protests a "political showdown", and doubt the real motivation of the protesters, which, first and foremost, is to prevent the Japanese government from entering the UN Security Council.

The Japanese invasion of China during WWII is unlike any other modern warfare in terms of violence and violation of international protocols. I was greatly disturbed to see the extremist opinions, overturned cars, smashed windows from anti-Japanese protests, but that was nothing compared to the anguish reading about the rape of Nanking and other historical records of the war itself. What would the Chinese people feel, when not only some of the war criminals are still unpunished, but the dead ones are also being honored at the shrines? Now it's not like anybody (especially the US government) cares about Security Council voting any more, but with all the questions unresolved, to consider Japan for a Security Council member still could be the ultimate insult to the Chinese people who lost their lives during the war.

Sadly enough, the more time I spent reading about the protests and related history, the more my opinion is influenced by my own biased emotions. This is how hatred and anger spread more readily than love and peace. I just hope people from the "other countries" can understand our frustration, the debt of war is indeed a neverending vicious circle.

Would it be something to note that at least, the official reaction from the Chinese government is still advocating "peace and friendship"?

 伊藤さん、はじめまして。私は上海に住む日本人です。例の暴力デモをこの目で見ました。このページは、私がよく読む中国語のブログとリンクされており、存在を知りました。以下はその彼に宛てた中国語の文面です。もし必要でしたら、和訳をつくりますので、おっしゃってください。

Issac, Ni不能逃避中国媒体就這件事情完全忽視了事実,如Ni想指出日本人或日本社会是怎麼様,Ni必須要談到中国媒体和Ni們的言論被封閉的情况,要麼太不公平了.
我認為最近在中国発生的一系列的暴力游行事件根源于中国人民在過去受到的很深的痛苦.当然一个是大日本帝国対无辜之民進行了大量屠殺,ling一个是从大躍進運動到文革的時代,那時候是中国人互相傷害的,結果莫大的人民死亡了.
最重要的是這両个事情有密切的関系,可如果Ni在這方面深入研究的話,応該面対有些政治団体的創立神話,這様的行為在大陸太危険了...我相信Ni会明白我的意思.
在這様的限制下,在中国人的集体意識上為保護自己只有最強烈的感情,就是報讐的観念通過了几次的濃縮留下来了.人突然得到自由的時候,這様的報讐的欲望是很不容易控制的.而且現在的年軽人,不管他是日本人還是中国人缺乏真正的歴史意識,結果我們不得不看到暴力的笑劇,是用SONY録像機来拍《抵抗日貨》的游行,za毀中国人営業的日本餐館的様子.
反思歴史,説起来很簡単,做起来就難。

Most of the valid points have already been covered. I'm one who thinks that this is all about the CCP making a power play PR move and using its own people as tools. As for the politicians themselves, this looks mostly like a case of "pot meet kettle", with the noted exception that at least one side has provided 17 official appologies over the years for acts of conquest while the other continues to deny its acts of agression.

As to the horrors of WWII, sure bad things happened, just like every other war everwhere at any time in history. East Asian has not always been at peace with itself and the 1930s werent even the first time Japan tried to conquer the Korean pinensula with the hopes of eventually conquering China. Granted the last time was hundreds of years ago, and before that the mongols tried to invade Japan, etc. etc. etc. Killing civilians in war isnt new, nor is organized prostitution as part of the "military industrial complex". Wiping out entire villages or towns goes as far back as war itself, and biowar has been traced back officially to the period of Brittish colonization of North America, although the Roman (and possibly Mongol) tradition of poisioning wells in conquered territory by dumping animal carcases in them, may also be considered biowar. There is a story about how during one of Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea, a high ranking official prostitute killed one of the Japanese generals by seducing him on a high balcony then pushing him over to his death. IIRC she is regarded as a war hero to this day (by Koreans of course).

My point with all this? Its really childish to point fingers and try and extort others over history without knowing history itself.

i have translated a large part of your writing into chinese and posted it to an alternative media in hong kong: http://www.inmediahk.net/public/article?item_id=26210&group_id=28

hope it can spread to chinese internet community and people can start to think the significance of border crossing people alliance.

Chris [32]: Of course pointing fingers is childish. But that doesn't mean that a condemnation should not be made for an instance of a crime - even though there may have been other instances of it by other perpetrators in the past. To take the stance of "Look, don't point at me. They did it too!" is merely another form of finger pointing. The emphasis, imho, should be on taking our lessons from history to develop a more informed and higher consciousness. China's tantrums for an apology will not heal anything - in fact, maybe they even derive a sense of self from the incident. Japan's defensive stand will also not get us anywhere.

We can only hope that they - and the rest of the us - can look at history and be aghast at what we (as a species) descended to on these occasions, and use that as a stepping stone to a more civilized way of life.

Chris_B, it would be greatly appreciated if you could get your facts straight. I'm sure you understand that geisha doesn't mean a prostitute. The woman (who is regarded as a hero by Koreans.. of course) was "Giseng." You probably don't know anything about this, but her role as "giseng" was in providing entertainment (like geisha), not prostitution.

My mistake there. There were a certain class of "gisengs" who worked as official prostitutes. However, she was a wife of an army official. The man commited suicide as the result of his army's loss in a battle with the Japanese, so the woman (Non-ge) disguised herself as one of the "prostitute class giseng" in order to kill the head of the Japanese army. Once they lost the head, the Japanese were easily defeated, and ran back to their own country. And seriously, do you think you can compare the story of a woman who killed the head army official to save her country with the story of the sex-slaves and dispeakable cruelty during the war?

and i forgot to mention that she didn't "push him over to his death." she "jumped off the balcony into the river with him - into their deaths."

jaz: Thanks for the correction on the woman. I did not mean to make light of the sufferring of the women forced into prostitution, nor to support any military's use of said practice. I see now that the annecdote was not a good one to support my point that the use of organized (often forced) prostitution to service an invading army is not isolated to the Imperial Army's activities in East Asia in the 1930s. As far as I know the practice has been historically more common in non Christian nations historically.
There is alot of context around the practice, none of which can be said to support it according to 21st century morals, to wit:

  • the practice is sometimes organized by the local authorities as a means to limit "collateral damage" to civilian populaces.
  • at times the practice is organized along the lines of opportunistic commerce by locals who wish to curry favor with the conquering authorities.
  • women forced into organized prostitution to service invading armies were sometimes gang pressed into slavery, or sometimes purchased from their families. Bear in mind that the idea of women having any rights at all is very recent, all the more so in societies where a daughter is a financial liablity (dowry must be paid, etc).

    Again this is not intended to support or "justify" the practice of sexual slavery in any form. I just want to illustrate that the incident is not in any way confined to the invasion of East Asia by the Imperial Army in the 1930s.


    nev: I agree with you. For both sides it comes down to if you dont know history you are doomed to repeat it.

  • Chris_B: yeah, I understand. Sorry, I think I got too carried away with the whole Non-ge's story. As a Korean woman, I feel quite sensitive about this issue. Thank you for your thoughtful response! :)

    jaz: no hard feelings! And after all, that woman was indeed a national heroine.

    The Chinese leaders are apparently miffed at the US-Japan joint communiqué labeling China as a growing menace to regional peace and stability, i.e., the Taiwan issue.

    Japan needs a domestically controlled nuclear armed deterrence w/global reach, thereby ensuring China's, and other nations, good will towards it. That so called 'Nuclear Umbrella' provided & controlled by the Zionist/JUDEO-Christian occupied US government is full of holes.

    This from Sun Tzu's 'Art of War':

    "If I am able to determine the enemy's dispositions while, at the
    same time, I conceal my own, then I can concentrate my forces and his
    must be divided. And if I concentrate while he divides, I can use my
    entire strength to attack a fraction of his. Therefore, I will be
    numerically superior. Then, if I am able to use many to strike few at
    the selected point, those I deal with will fall into hopeless straits.
    The enemy must not know where I intend to give battle. For if he does
    not know where I intend to give battle, he must prepare in a great many
    places. And when he prepares in a great many places, those I have to
    fight in will be few. For if he prepares to the front, his rear will be
    weak, and if to the rear, his front will be fragile. If he strengthens
    his left, his right will be vulnerable, and if his right, there will be
    few troops on his left. And when he sends troops everywhere, he will be
    weak everywhere. Numerical weakness comes from having to guard against
    possible attacks; numerical strength from forcing the enemy to make
    these preparations against us."

    The Chinese are employing a diversionary maneuver, attacking Japan's weak battlefield positions, i.e., alleged wartime atrocities, and text books, as a defensive measure to any Taiwan sovereignty initiatives.

    Well,we are all human,not Man of God,and we all get our brain turned easily.

    Take me as an example,my great grand father and great grand mother were killed in Nanjing massacre in WWII,my grand father luckly survived,but he had to sold himself to the rich as knd of slave in orther to feed himself.
    If anyone had such a family history,and heard that Japanese said it to be just a "nanjing affair",I think joining an anti-Japan protest is one of the most reasonable thing in the world.And what`s more ,my case is not the minorty in China.

    I knows many People in Japan also had their closest relatves killed in that war,but i have to say,they are not victim of the mlitary.They might be innocent individualy,but guilty as a group.

    oops,I definitely missed my point.And i think i should say,no one could make any changes in Japan if Japanese did`nt do any thing at all.We just express our anger against Japan`s denial on history and attemp to enter the S.C. before a complete penitence like Germans did.

    Well,we are all human,not Man of God,and we all get our brain turned easily.

    Take me as an example,my great grand father and great grand mother were killed in Nanjing massacre in WWII,my grand father luckly survived,but he had to sold himself to the rich as kind of slave in orther to feed himself.
    If anyone had such a family history,and heard that Japanese said it to be just a "nanjing affair",I think joining an anti-Japan protest is one of the most reasonable thing in the world.And what`s more ,my case is not the minority in China.

    I knows many People in Japan also had their closest relatives killed in that war,but I had to say,they are not victim of the mlitary.They might be innocent individualy,but guilty as a group.

    oops,I definitely missed my point.

    And i think i should say,no one could make any changes in Japan if Japanese did`nt do any thing at all.We just express our anger against Japan`s denial on history and attemp to enter the S.C. before a complete penitence like Germans did.

    why did I always missed the "I"?

    After reading all these rantankerous guess on Chinese government,I really disappointed if these are the major idea of the Japanese.You really don`t know what happend in China during WWII.Welcome to nanjing,i will show you what Japan did.

    And one more addition,I am sure that the number of protesters would leap if our government didn`t do any thing like blocking most communication channel of the protesters.

    The UN In-Security Council is really a non-issue.

    Any country whom possesses a nuclear armed deterrence, with a capacity to deliver them globally, has a de facto front row seat on every 'security council', UN or other wise.

    No formal recognition by some silly In-Security Council is required or need be sought.

    I wonder if all the westerners consider the Japanese invasion of China like Chris_B, that it's "just like every other war everwhere at any time in history", This is exactly why the Chinese people are acting everywhere to make themselves heard. No war is "just like very other war" in history, especially not this one, in which thousands of civilians, little kids, women, your great-grand-parents get killed and raped as if their lives were nothing. The Japanese army used everything, gas chambers, biological warfare, the only other historical event comparable in cruelty and loss was the Holocaust. Now imagine the Nazi officials going to the shrines to honour their "war heros" and re-write their history books.

    It was true that historically most wars were waged to conquer land, and when we talk about the people who died in them we think "collateral damage", this was not one of them. Let's get this straight before we start with the "but the chinese government killed their own people too" arguement. And no I don't even want to make that kind of comparision.

    dotann,
    With all due respect, this position is just silly. Can you quantify cruelty in war in some fashion that would allow this ranking system of yours to withstand any sort of meaningful intellectual scrutiny?

    The moment anyone says "lets get this straight" in a context like this its sort of obvious they need to think a little more deeply. History has precious few straightaways where we can "get this straight."

    And thuggish behavior is thuggish behavior. A sense of victimization has been the propellant for nearly every brute force in history (study, for example, the entire modus operandi of the Roman empire).

    Peter - I think dotann has a point, though you are passing in the night...

    The thing about Japan's prosecution of WWII is that by that time, most of the western powers had begun to decry some of the worst atrocities of war. I think this had something to do with the mustard gas and other horrible aspects of WWI. Also with Christianity and the resultant views of women, etc. - but I am by no means an expert on military history.

    If you look back to Roman times you'll clearly see that rape and pillage were accepted parts of waging war, but by the time of WWII, well, I think we had started to think of ourselves as above that. The Japanese, however, seem to still have had (for the most part) their traditional view of war as a no-holds-barred clash of power... You may be right that the western powers were no slouchers in the atrocities department, but I don't recall episodes (outside of Nazi stuff) of things like taking commoners and hacking them up for sword practice...

    Well,I think Japanese is a short-sighted people.If they continue to educate their youth with distorted history,not only those asian neighbors r being hurted,Japan will hurt themselves either. I'm afraid Japan would commit the same crimes as they did in WWII.

    In the early days of 1980s,when China was eager to find a foreign car company to invest,they first turned to Japanese car companies.However,those japanese companies r so arrogant and short-sighted that they miss that big chance.And that how Volkswagen became the first foreign car company to invest China,and in the last twenty years look how much Volkswagen earn in China.

    Yes,"the BBC reports only 18 schools will use the textbook, as most of the others rejected it as too biased. I think the others amount to 42,000 schools.",as a common Chinese ,I'm not so ignorant to fail to know that truth.But this is because the textbook is just coming out,who knows how many schools in Japan would take it next year??Can you imagine such a textbook be used in just one school in German??????

    Tha't true either,some Japanese or Japanese politicians did apologize,but what the Japanese goverment do today(so many things to tell) tell all Chinese that the Japanese never apologize sincerely,never apologize from the bottom of there heart.Maybe that's true ,japanese people is a hypocritical people.

    I know some Japanese r kind and know the truth,but sorry to say,the Japanese as a people,I think, is a short-sighted,hypocritical,cruel,cold-blooded people.They a good at find excuses,and,good at killing other nation's people.

    1.
    "A sense of victimization has been the propellant for nearly every brute force in history "That`s a good point,and that`s also the reason why Japan always blame on "China`s bluff" or "China`s oppress".

    2.
    Many westerners say that Chinese should get over the past like what is done all over the world,they ignored Japan`s position on their atrocities.
    Let`s see http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/日本の戦争謝罪発言一覧
    Throughout all these 34 apologies in 33 years,did Japan ever use the regular word "apologize"? The Japanese government even play paronomasia in this aspect,how can Chinese believe that they are really repented for their deed?

    3.
    Clearly can tell you guys,Chinese government never drive their people to this protese.You can ask anyone of your friends in china.cause holding or joining an uncalled protest is penal crime in China,all these a hundred thousand people who joined this protest was sticking their chin out.
    Western media shown their hypocrisy once again,they are calling for a suppress on protesters from a goverment who was blamed on a suppress on protesters years ago.

    4.
    Traveling the issue to Tiananmen or cultural revolution is totally nonsense,do japan`s atrocity becomes a little bit excusable if China killed their own people due to a horrible wrong policy?Let`s get t divided.

    Trevor,
    I do understand what you are saying, but I'm less persuaded that we have long behaved in some sense that the Japanese did not. A few examples:
    a. Christianity has a mixed track record as a moral break. See for example the persecution of Catholic/protestants in protestant/Catholic areas, the suppression of rival Christian sects (eg the Cathars), the horrific violence against Muslims from the Spanish re-conquest onward. Or, more recently, the disastrous consequences for Catholics of the protestant ascendancy in 19th century Ireland, etc.
    b. In more recent history, a full reading of, for instance, the US military's (and yes: the appalingly scary thing is that by and large the US military has indeed been *compartively* speaking a paragon in terms of adhering to some king of "rules of war") suppression of the Indians. Read about things like the Sandy Creek massacre, Wounded Knee, etc. that were pretty much part and parcel to a larger suppression strategy.
    c. In war Stalin was nearly as brutal with his own troops as the Germans or Japanese were with the "enemy"
    d. The Turkish slaughter of Armenians, USSR of Kulaks, etc. etc.
    e. Any of the more recent work on WWI suggesting that it was essentially a political decision to continue the unbelievable and pointless slaughter of WWI. Here Joi's point about collective responsibility becomes interesting. Britain was a democracy of sorts, but what does collective responsibility mean when lower class troops from places like Aus/New Zea were being slaughtered at Gallipoli? (Many US states have a concept of "depraved indifference" homicide)
    f. Sherman's march, or the later strategic bombing campaigns by the US airforce that that march presupposed. The whole idea was basically to break the enemy's will to fight by breaking enemy civilian population.
    g. moving away from war, the large literature on the appalling famines that accompanied 19th and 20th century European colonialism due to official indifference/profiteering/etc.
    h. along that vein, the Belgians in the Congo, French in the rubber plantations of Indochine, etc. etc.
    i. The strategies and tactics used to suppress anti-colonial uprisings. Read about the French in N. Africa (in the 1950s), the Dutch in Indonesia (in the 1940s) etc. etc. The only difference with the Japanese was one of scale.
    j. the US military suppression of the Philippines independence movement/"kill every tenth..." (I'm not trying to pick on the US, but as an American I know best US military history)
    k. the counter revolutionary tactics of the S. Africans, Rohdesians, etc. in sub-Saharan Africa. I have heard one particularly revolting story out of Rhodesia about a black girl who died essentially from septic shock after she was basically sexually assaulted by White (ie children of the European cultural experience) troops using scalding hot food. There was more to the story than that, and her treatment was as awful as anything you will find in one of Iris Chang's works. And it happened in the 1970s. For that matter read a good source about the treatment of the blacks by UK or Boer forces during the Boer war.

    I could go on but the alphabet does not have enough letters.

    I guess you can say the following in terms of progress. The Romans used crucifixion (one of the most brutal methods of execution ever developed) as a tool of their rule. My understanding is that modern Western forces essentially never used that practice (for that matter, the Romans quit using it at the time of Constantine). I have heard scattered reports that the Japanese did use it during WWII.

    But that is about as much moral difference as I can confidently identify.

    lamlam: I have been to China. Many times. The idea that the Chinese gov't isn't complicit in this is simply absurd. Have *you* ever read a newspaper (tightly controlled by the state, as you would point out)? It is just hysterical anti-Japanese bile.

    And, by the way, I am not on some anti-Chinese crusade here: I loved visiting China, my wife has Chinese ethnic heritage, etc.

    And neither am I on some revisionist history relativist binge designed to cloud the waters. For instance, I supported the Iraq war (and still do!). But I'm not going to claim that my country is somehow pure in a way Japan isn't. It is equally absurd for Chinese citizens to do so.

    I think Ito san has made some good points, but i think however you did downplay a bit the responsibilities of Japanese during WWII, I am from Hong Kong and I have been living in Japan(among many other countries) for a total of 18months over a period of 4 years. I can get a feel of Japanese culture, what i say might surprise lot of people here, but after living in Korea for 3 months, Egypt for 2 months, Russia for a month, Germany for 3 months, Thailand for a month, Vietnam for a month....etc. I find most of my culture shock in this culturally similar and geographically proximal neighbour- JAPAN. You go to any bookstore, yes, just ANY bookstore, no matter how big KUNOKUNIYA or small it is, or even the KIOSK in the subway, you will never fail to find sick SM novels which i believe cant even be found in adult bookstore elsewhere. from a look at the title of the novels, it talks about bundling, rape, SM teachers, incest with sister, mothers, grandma...etc. the vast availability of literature like this together with other TORTURE and EROTIC culture indicate a big demand for this.

    OK, you said the Japanese government was taken over by the military, Japanese citizens were forced to go to war, but dont tell me that they were also forced to rape and torture people for fun. the other year i had a fight with a German friend, I said Nazis was not as evil as Japanese, Nazi set up gas chamber to kill people quick while Japanese rape and kill for fun. (rape and torture for fun are common theme of japanese adult video and novels), She got very angry for she thought Nazis is the most evil. With similar speech, some japanese decided that they are offended too as they dont consider Japanese to be that evil.

    There is something not so right about the japanese culture that need to be fixed. Hiding everything inside one's mind and commit suicide once it reached boiling point simply isnt a good way to solve problem.

    世界を平和に

    Here's a quick gloss of Shanghai Boy's post - he copied in a post he did to a Chinese site after explaining this in Japanese...


    Isaac, you can't avoid the fact that the Chinese media has completely ignored reality here. If you want to point out that Japanese or Japanese society is thus and so, you absolutely have to touch on how the chinese media and how your political speech has been blocked, otherwise it's just too unfair.

    I think that/recognize that the recent series of violent demonstrations in china originate in the deep pain of the past in chinese people. of course, one example is when the "great nippon empire" [what it was called in WWII] committed great massacres of innocent people, and another is from the great leap forward and cultural revolution era, when chinese people harmed each other, with the result that a huge number of people died.

    The most important point is that these two things have a very close relationship. But if you do in-depth research into this, you'll likely come to face with some myths about the establishment of some political groups, and this sort of act is very dangerous in mainland china. i trust that you understand what i'm saying here.

    under these sorts of restrictions, based on the group consciousness of chinese people, in order to protect oneself you had to express the most intense emotions, so this concept of revenge has passed down through a number of events that have concentrated it through the years.

    when people all of a sudden are given freedom, the desire to take revenge is very difficult to control. What's more, young people today, whether japanese or chinese, lack a true understanding of history, with the result that we must watch these violent comedies, using sony camcorders to take these "boycott japanese goods" marches, and destruction of chinese owners' japanese restaurants.

    To think back on history: very easy to say, but hard to do.


    Hong Kong guy:
    I have noticed what you are talking about-the porn in Japan is shocking b/c it does involve so much twisted shit *and* is so out in the open. But are the Japanese really sicker? Have you ever looked at all of the fetish categories at easily accessible American porn sites? Have you ever heard the "legends of Thailand" that you hear from fucked up ex pats? I've watched some German guys in HK try to pick up girls that looked to be about 10. For that matter, I've had to sit through many looooong and upleasant flights back from Japan where I had to listen to some demented asshole countryman of mine talk about the ingenious way he degraded some Japanese hooker (or ordinary Japanese girl) while out on the town. I've heard tons of jokes in Hawaii by Americans and others about what an easy mark Japanese tourist girls are. We might be more discrete about it, but what lies behind Japanese porn is universal human sickness.

    Every society has it extremers,speicially for the victimed one.I also heard that Japan`s Chinese embassy received several death threat,someone even drive a car and clash in it ,can i say all Japanese are just the same extreme for this?

    Anty-Japaneseism is popular in China,and the news paper you read is just consistent to it,but can you just ascribe it to the Chinese gorvenment?

    My previous words mght be harsh,sorry for that,sushi is also my favourite :).


    Peter -

    Yes, your points are well-taken. I am not really conversant enough to that level of history to say whether Japan has been on the whole worse in terms of wartime behavior...

    But from what I do know about western vs. Japanese culture, I have to think that there was a difference at least in attitude, because of the historical place they were in at the time. Japan moved out of feudalism with the Meiji restoration, around 1908(?) I believe, whereas the U.S. was founded with freedom of the press and all sorts of equitable doctrines floating around before 1800. In comparing the U.S. and Japan, the west had at _least_ a few hundred years' head start on moving away from brutal torture and lack of respect towards human life.

    It's amazing to read accounts about how, for instance, a British delegation to Japan in the late 1800's or thereabouts had someone walk across the train tracks unaware that a Daimyo was on his way to that station. A samurai who saw him do so cut off his head immediately, as it was a grave offense to cross the path of the Daimyo. I really don't think the Japanese had moved _too_ far beyond these attitudes by the beginning of WWII, and certainly the military buffs hadn't. Maybe they even felt nostalgia for the days before Meiji...

    To give another sense of time, Ueshiba Morihei founded the martial art of Aikido after studying other arts including Aiki-Jujutsu. He was born in Taisho and lived until 1969 when he was about 85, I think, so he lived through the whole WWII ramp up and disaster...

    Anyway, one of his teachers was Takeda Sokaku. Takeda was one of the last people to give up wearing his katana in public - he was fined for it a number of times, I believe. Once, he was berated by a group of construction workers for wearing his sword - I guess they thought he was a fuddy duddy at that point, maybe in the 20's or 30's... He summarily whipped out his sword and killed most of them...

    These are the sorts of things that make you realize that the feudal mentality was still intact in the years leading up to WWII... I think this became further corrupted by the government through state shinto (not real shinto) and a lust for colonial conquests to feel equal to western powers...

    Here is a site dedicated to preserve the truth of the Sino-Japanese War (1931-1945). If Japanese and other people really want to understand, to have a look may help.

    http://www.sjwar.org/

    It's neccessary for Japanese to face the history.\
    Just I write a lot about the problems,but my PC....
    All right, as a Chinese,I can't forget the history.
    I think your opinions are very nice.
    Japan should stand in our side to think!!!!!

    lamlam wrote @51: 1. A sense of victimization has been the propellant for nearly every brute force in history "That`s a good point,and that`s also the reason why Japan always blame on "China`s bluff" or "China`s oppress".
    I don't think that in this particular case, protesting against physical violence against Japanese persons and properties is a symptom of unjustified victimization feelings...
    2. Many westerners say that Chinese should get over the past like what is done all over the world,they ignored Japan`s position on their atrocities. Let`s see http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/日本の戦争謝罪発言一覧 Throughout all these 34 apologies in 33 years,did Japan ever use the regular word "apologize"?
    Well, what are your Japanese language credentials ? Can you actually read and understand these quotes ?

    中山太郎外務大臣: “[..] 心から済まなかったという気持ちを持っております”

    海部俊樹首相: “[..] 率直にお詫びの気持を申し述べたいと存じますv

    宮澤喜一首相: “[..] 反省の意とお詫びの気持ちを表明いたします”

    加藤紘一内閣官房長官: “[..] 改めて衷心よりお詫びと反省の気持ちを申し上げたい”

    河野洋平内閣官房長官: “[..] 心からお詫びと反省の気持ちを申し上げる”

    etc. etc.
    3.Clearly can tell you guys,Chinese government never drive their people to this protese.You can ask anyone of your friends in china.cause holding or joining an uncalled protest is penal crime in China,all these a hundred thousand people who joined this protest was sticking their chin out. Western media shown their hypocrisy once again,they are calling for a suppress on protesters from a goverment who was blamed on a suppress on protesters years ago.
    You need more flexibility in your thinking. Even when protests, like the latest ones, get violent and degenerate into physical violence, surely there are other means than gunning down the protesters to control the crowd ? Do you seriously think that Japan, or any other country for that matter, is advocating the use of brutality to “suppress” these (somewhat misguided) expressions of public opinion ?
    4.Traveling the issue to Tiananmen or cultural revolution is totally nonsense,do japan`s atrocity becomes a little bit excusable if China killed their own people due to a horrible wrong policy?Let`s get t divided.
    Huh, nobody said that. However, the fact remains that today's Japanese mentality as well as its government and policies are totally different from the militarist government of yore (a fact that a lot of Chinese can't seem to understand). In China, on the other hand, we still have very much the same political system in control today as in the (Tien An Men & Tibet) eighties.
    Hong Kong guy wrote @54: The other year i had a fight with a German friend, I said Nazis was not as evil as Japanese, Nazi set up gas chamber to kill people quick while Japanese rape and kill for fun. (rape and torture for fun are common theme of japanese adult video and novels), She got very angry for she thought Nazis is the most evil. With similar speech, some japanese decided that they are offended too as they dont consider Japanese to be that evil.
    My general impression is that criticism of the Japanese government's policies, its apologies, or the state of Japanese history education or the editorial policies of one second-rate Japanese textbook publisher would be more credible if it was actually based on facts and correct understanding, instead of uninformed impressions gleaned from superficial reports.

    The same thing can be said for Germany, I suppose. People, especially in Asia, who like to contrast Germany's good relations with its neighbours seem to overlook the geopolitical needs in Europe to:

    • on the eastern side, legitimate the ex-RDA communist regime by presenting it as a totally antithetic, clean government that bears no responsibility for Nazi exactions

    • on the western side, prevent a reoccurence of German economic hardship caused by misguided war reparation policies, and integrate Germany as a solid member of the western bloc, facing the Warsaw pact.

    Germany sharing a common Christian heritage with its neighbors also helped its re-integration. Let's not forget that the (fundamentally anti-communist) Catholic church didn't do as much as it could to prevent the Shoah. Antisemitism was also a deeply ingrained cultural trait shared by many other European nations (witness e.g. the pogroms in Poland, Russia, the Dreyfus affair in France, the Shylock character in the Merchant of Venice). In an European psyche shaped by that continent's tumultuous history, wars and the accompanying massacres also seem to have been considered as almost inevitable events, parts of a destiny.

    lamlam wrote @57:Every society has it extremers,speicially for the victimed one.I also heard that Japan`s Chinese embassy received several death threat,someone even drive a car and clash in it
    Would you start to wonder how (un)reliable your information and understanding about Japan is, if there actually was no such event as a car crashing into a building, as you've “heard” ?


    What do you think about this?

    Wow, lots of good comments. Thanks for keeping this thoughtful an civilized. A few thoughts from me...

    I think that making generalizations about the cultures of a country are dangerous. Social norms are easily swayed. Our racist Governor of Tokyo talks about the "Criminal DNA" of the Chinese and some Chinese are talking about the basic evil nature of the Japanese. These sorts of stereotypes are corrosive and not constructive. Every culture has good behavior and bad behavior. It's better to amplify the good behavior than to focus on the bad behavior.

    I would like to clarify my use of the word "victimized" in my post. I agree that the Japanese people were not victimized in any way that is similar to the way that the Chinese and others were victimized by Japanese soldiers. I was just trying to express how people feel in Japan.

    I agree that many of the soldiers who went to China engaged in activity which was unnatural and quite disgusting. However, I tend to blame the leadership than the people in these cases. For example, I believe that it is the leadership of the US should be blamed for Abu Ghraib more than the soldiers. There are many psychology experiments that show that normal people end up doing atrocious things when put in unusual situations. Please don't blame the acts of the Japanese soldiers on some kind of basic cruelty of the Japanese people.

    It would be interesting for me to find out what the real priorities, if there are any, are for the Chinese people. Is it the islands? Is it the apologies? Is it the texts? What would make the most impact? I think that if we focused on one issue at a time, maybe we can get some of the liberal people in Japanese society to focus and try to sort some of this out. Some of it may just be a matter of fixing stuff that is lost in translation. Other stuff may be an issue of mounting media efforts to raise awareness in Japan to put pressure on Japanese government. But I would like to reiterate on of the points in my original post. I think we can change Japan from within if we clear the communication channel for constructive dialog instead of throwing hate at each other. We have to build trust. Even if Japan apologizes and changes texts based on pressure from China, if the Chinese continue to teach each other that Japanese are somehow genetically evil or sick, I think you'll be teaching young Chinese that the Japanese are sick, but they can be beaten with violence. I don't think that is the correct message.

    I think for the time being, we have to ignore racist comments from both sides because these people can never be part of the correct solution. It may be a thin bridge, but we have to build the first bridge with people who have mutual respect and who know better than to paint whole societies with broad brushes of stereotypes and hate.

    Well, perhaps you might consider this again to be racist comments of no value. OK, i will try to sound less misleading, but i experienced all those first hand, afterall, i lived in japan for 18 months over a period of 4 years. (i was never 'brainwashed by my govt' or something as you might think.)

    伊藤さん、you might not be aware of this, but what you have just said got the air of the very attitude against which the Chinese are protesting. One of the reasons for the protest against the textbook is a sentence like this 'In all the wars ever happened in mankind history, rape, atrocities and killing of innocence always played an inevitable part, Japan was no exception.'-ー新しい歴史教科書 I got to know your website from Pheonix TV, days before they mentioned your website, the host of the show was criticizing the above sentence for downplaying the crime of the war and responsiblities of Japanese. You can not say normal people will also behave like that under the war, or killing of innocence, raping , looting happens everytime while japan is no exception, then the whole thing can be justified.

    I believe in a way that we are all born human being, sometimes we just can not be ourselves and we are moulded by the culture. I believe that had those angry protestors in China and Japan been born across the sea, they might have believed and behaved totally different. Right wing japanese would have been right wing China, being radical is a character trait.

    The reason for my post was not to condemn every single Japanese as sick perverted because of their vast availability of sick literature. 5 years ago, There was a post by some Japanese online that i think really make sense. They say 'we have done wrong, you(to right wing) can not say we just went in your home while you were weak, but we didnt kill your whole family, i only raped one daughter out of 3, stole two pigs instead of a dozen cows, killed your father but not grandpa. there was only 50000 dead instead of 300,000 in nanking. Wrong is wrong.' Another Japanese post said something which might answer some of your replys to mine: it said:'I keep hearing Colleague talking about buying women in Thailand with all kindof sick stuff. I can imagine what would happen 60years ago in a city where they can do whatever they want.'. Therefore, by refering to the vast availability of SM novel and stuff, i was trying to see if his line of logic might manifest better, most of us weren't there during the war, it is fruitless of arguing what should have actually happened by looking at old documents. By projecting the current situation and deduce what have happened, it might serve as a better proof.

    I do have a lot of Japanese friend, and as long as they don't bring up this topic, i seldom talk to them about history, the younger generation got nothing much from that either. but knowing the history well is the responsibility of everyone. At the very least, 2005 is the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII, Germany held lot of activities commerorating it, while Japan government act as if nothing happened.

    I will apologize should I offend anyone, and i think all wrong-doers should do this.

    COMPARISON between GERMANY and JAPAN
    ON RACISM.

    Well, there is some point that i want to add, I think there is one reason that most people left out while comparing Japan and Germany, Germany might feel better about themselves as Hitler himself can be considered as foreigner, He was born in Austria and got German citizenship only months before he became the chancellor.

    My comments and some of the protests really make Japanese get personal as the criminals that we were talking about are their grandfathers.

    I had a very good japanese friend, she just ended this 4 year friendship with me because of historical issues. She said I mentioned too much about history which bothers her.
    HOW CAN THAT BE? I swear, i never mentioned anything related to war to any Japanese unless he/she brings it up. She did bring it up herself first, as her parents are from Japanese communist party, they are more pro-china than regular Japanese, i felt we had more bonding here. 4 years later which was last month when i was in Tokyo, we had this conversation in a isagaya, as another Japanese friend told me his grandfather didnt go to China because of health problem, out of curiosity, i asked if her grandpa went to war in the most innocent manner, we had a nice chat on war and everythign else(love,life, study, career, my busines with Japan...etc. btw she is going to marry a Chinese). Days later, i got an email from her saying that she was very bothered and dont want to see me again. i also have similar experience with other Japanese. they brought up the topic themselves, not with an intention to apologize or open discussion, just for the sake of seeing if they can hit the jackpot by hearing me saying 'I love Japanese, they are all nice people, what happened just happened. '. When i mentioned my opinion, some got offended.
    This is quite opposite to my experience in Germany. When i was in a school in Egypt, and i was in the same group with lot of other German. we were asked by the teacher to sing a song, as I dont think thye can sing chinese and I knew only one German song which is their naitonal anthem, they show a face of digust and said they dont want to sing it. (I am talking about the official German national anthem, NOT the nazist one.) (nowadays, japanese army flag, 君の代songs are still in use).

    The least pleasant thing to know and admit is that one's grandfather is a criminal. both Austria and Germany disown Hitler as foreigners. However, japnaese have no way out, it is also human nature not to frame the court verdict of one's grandpa's criminal sentence and put it in the living room. I also admit that if Japan is not such a big economic, pop culture and technology power, should it be a 3rd world country and remained as it was right after WWII, few people will care about how it behaves, Ghiskhan of Mongolia might have done things worse than Japan and Ghiskhan was also worshipped like a hero in Mongolia(more so than in Yasukuni).

    HOWEVER! without letting everything out, make issues like this visible to everyone, what happen between China and Japan will be like what happened between me and my japanese friend - broke up overnight for god knows why. 何となく絶交した。

    Behind the Anti-Japan
    One of the most controversial news in Far East is the Anti-Japan riots happen in China.
    The alleged reasons of China side are, first, Japan’s Government amended the history textbooks and China said that Japan Government intends to cover up some truths about their brutal intrusion to China during WWII.
    Second, the attempt by Japan to become a permanent member of the UNSC(United Nations Security Council) and China disagreed with Japan and wants to block Japan’s move.


    In fact, Sino-Japanese relation is such complicated.
    If we retrieve back to Chin-Dynasty, they were enemies and China lost in a war then ceded Formosa and the Pescadores (Taiwan and Peng-hu). Therefore Taiwan became Japan’s colony.
    During WWII, Japan reached out its tentacles into Mainland China again and slain thousands and thousands of people of China.
    As we all knew, Japan finally surrendered after U.S. dropped two atomic bombs onto Japan homeland. And those Japanese who conspired to start the war and conduct the brutal slaughters were brought to International Court Justice because of their unforgiven commitments.
    And this is completely a smoke that blaming Japan amended its history textbooks. We can open China’s history textbooks. Do they mention that 30 millions of people in China were starved to death during “The Great Leap Forward” (1958~1961) under its Communist governing? Do they mention anything about China’s bloody slaughter in India in 1962? Do they mention anything about China intruded Vietnam in 1979? Do they say any sorry to those victims were killed by China Communist at Tiananmen Square in 1989? So how can China accuse Japan hasn’t written the whole true story about WWII in the textbooks?



    After several decades of striving, Japan recovered from the recession of the War. Japan seemed recall its interests in China. But this time, Japan took other actions instead of the force intrusion. Japan started its ODA (Official Development Assistance) plans in China from 1979. Then the following 80s, Japan and China had a really close-up relationship and enjoyed their honeymoon period very much.
    As a matter of fact, since 80s, Japan really helped out China a lot, including loans, technology transfers, infrastructure constructions…
    However, China never appreciated and seemed to take everything for granted. And beyond this, Japan helped China getting thrived and China used the money took from Japan to buy more weapons. Japan then figured out those weapons can threaten not only itself but the whole world.

    In the meanwhile, after decades of Communism practicing, China Government could no long sugarcoat its failure in convincing people to trust the Communist regime. Therefore, China Government intendedly redirected people’s focus to “outside” and appealed to Nationalism. China had to find scapegoats. Thus those Anti-America, Anti-Japan shows are kept putting on the stage, and by means of proclaiming the “oneness of realm” which lately reflected upon the enacted “Anti-Secession” Law, China wants to threaten those, such as Taiwan and Tibet, who intend to declare their independences and stop them from secession.
    What China Government uses is a very simple theory, as a leverage to aggregate the loyalty of Chinese people, Nationalism is definitely not only the miracle drug, an antidote to prevent the thoughts of freedom from flooding into China, but also a decoy to distract people’s complaints, dissatisfactions about China Communist regime.
    So, no matter what are the reasons they’re proclaiming, behind the Anti-Japan incidents, actually exists a Nationalism and Great China ideology. And this first results in the tensive Taiwan-China relation. In the a latest meeting between China Foreign Minister Li and Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura on 2005 April 17th, the words were slipped out from Li’s mouth, “the most concerned issue for China is Taiwan.”

    Yes, that’s right! The reason why China is so overreacted, is Taiwan issue.
    At the very end of WWII, Japan signed up the San Francisco Peace Treaty. In the Treaty, Chapter 2 Territory, Article 2, Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores(Taiwan and Peng-hu), and that’s all. There’re no further words saying that who’s going to take over Taiwan or anything about Taiwan’s future.
    And recently, in 2005 February, Japan and U.S. renewed their Joint Declaration on Security (U.S. Japan Guideline for Defence Cooperation). They include Korea and Taiwan as their new defence areas. In addition, Japan announced in 2004 December, that it will adopt a new defense policy guideline, officially called the new National Defense Program Outline. In this very new outline, Japan clearly points out it will shift its focus from Russia (used to be Soviet Union, when Japan first issued the old National Defense Program Outline in 1976.) to the south: the new guideline seems also to aim at strengthen its rivalry with China.
    It’s so obvious these two powerful countries, Japan and America, are setting the barrier to block China.
    The last sparkle was that Japan showed his strong attempt to the new permanent member of UN Security Council. This means Japan can gain an absolute power to intervene the international conflicts, especially if China launches a military attack against Taiwan.
    China surely pisses off.




    From the first minute China revealed its intention to enact a ridiculous Anti-Secession Law, almost all the global society denounced China’s tyranny and overbearing attitude, Japan was one of them. And not only the accusations from all over the world, America and Japan also reaffirmed their roles as peacemaker to keep Taiwan in safe and peace.

    After Americans accidentally bombed China Embassy in Yugoslavia (in 2001), Chinese almost tore down and burned up the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Lots of media and observers implicated that China Government secretly encouraged behind those so-called “patriot-youths” who conducted the riots. This time, more patriot-youths are standing on the street to Anti-Japan. How could we don’t make any connections that China Government is not behind them? Especially while Japanese Foreigner Minister asked Chinese Foreigner Minister Li do something to stop the Anti-Japan incidents and related violence, Li answered him right away: “China Government has not done anything sorry to Japan.”

    So, what is the next step China would take? Anti-America? Because the Americans interfere China’s internal affairs too much? Anti-Vatican? Because Vatican wants to appoint Bishop and China doesn’t allow so? And anti those who stop China from expanding its military force, anti those who want to bring democracy and true freedom into China? We will see.

    Hong Kong Guy: I don't think I made my point clearly. I don't think that people who commit crimes should be forgiven or excused. I'm just saying that mob behavior, especially under bad leadership can be cruel and inhumane regardless of your race or creed. I think the Japanese should take responsibilities for their crimes, but I don't think the fact that some Japanese committed war crimes should reflect on some kind of genetic or "basic nature" of Japanese. This may be too nuanced to be useful to discuss, but among racists in every country I have encountered them, there is a basic undertone of thinking the other race is inferior or basically evil. When you have this kind of emotional bias, all dialog leads to conflict. Until you dive into the core issue of racism and get beyond that, you can not reach consensus. Without consensus, you will not get sincere apologies. Forced apologies are not true apologies and will lead to further fighting in the future.

    Nodoubt,both Chn and Jpn media filtered information for political purpose.


    Joi:
    I think the most important issue is the attitude of the government,included the text and official apologies.Yeah,the island is strategically important,but it`s more beneficial to have one more allies than to have one more island.

    I wanna say that Japan gov. handle those things like a kid and Japan's diplomatism like a kid!

    The Massacre of Nanking is another war propaganda. Period.

    http://jpn.dyndns.ws/~nanking/index2.html

    You got that right, Yamamoto. As is a great deal of politically correct his-story taught in public/private indoctrination camps (schools) around the world.

    Japan needs a nuclear armed deterrence. Say around a thousand/two-thousand warheads with a reliable and redundant delivery platforms in place - ICMBs, SLBMs, Cruise Missiles, etc.

    That'll get the Chinese, and others for that matter, to pipe down and hold their peace.

    Nukes are the telepathic international language of 'diplomacy' everyone understands and respects. It's the silent friend and partner that speaks volumes. Clears up any confusion entering the little minds of dip-shit national leaders.

    Japan: Nukes are a force of GOOD! Get 'em now. Get 'em while they're hot!

    Yamamoto,
    Regardless of how I feel about current Chinese actions, your post is way out of line. That site you direct us to essentially rests on debunking Iris Chang. And Chang was, in my view, a sloppy scholar. I feel very badly about what happened to her, but I thought she set a new low for scholarship for the masses.

    But that only proves she was sloppy in the context of her own work: it does absolutely nothing to disprove that the Rape of Nanjing occurred. Overwhelming credible evidence suggests that it did.

    I hate the mob mentality that you are currently witnessing in China (no good will ever come from a mob), but at the same time this revisionism is a big part of what sows ill will between nations.

    For instance, I will not accept the violence like groups like AIM (the American Indian Movement). For instance, if Leonard Pelletier did kill FBI agents, then he is right where he belongs. But at the same time I am not going to claim that Wounded Knee and Sandy Creek never happened. They did, and they are a moral stain on my nation. That does not justify violence by the descendants of the victims, but it happened.

    Hi Joi:

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Actually, I was reluctant to touch on the issue, mainly because I fear receiving a lot of attacks from others. But I saw your post which captures my feelings. Scares kept me from any thinking on the issue. But I wonder if Chinese people are also scared and frustrated because they cannot even see what Japanese think.

    I cannot understand why textbooks need to be revised in such a disgusting way. I believe that many Japanese want to know what we did and what we didn't during WW2. And I'm surprised to see many Japanese don't know anything about what's wrong with the revised textbooks. So I plan to translate the articles from Japantimes.

    I would like to have a meeting and know how others think about Japanese textbooks and education.

    all: concerning textbooks: in a country with a free press, any sort of foolishness may be published as a "textbook". Governments may approve a range of opinions to be taught and whichever national or local authorities select the texts may vary. The key thing here is freedom. Just as some fool is free to write a book of historical distortion, a school board may also be free to choose it or not.

    Hong Kong Guy: Its great that you've spent time visiting here and you encoutered what alot of visitors encouter in that attitudes towards relationships may differ. By way of my own experience I've noticed that sometimes people terminate relationships because they became too close, or too uncomfortable. There are people I've known for almost 10 years who I would not ask about their family because they have never volunteered any information about it and so I assume they consider such matters to be too personal to discuss. Fine by me.

    lamlam: 2ch is not a considered a credible source of information.

    peter: nice to see that a few people can dust off the old history texts.

    Joi: you are right about forced apologies.

    lamlam & HongKong Guy: I cant think of a good way to say this so I'll just say it. One reason that some people have a hard time taking statements about the historical suffering of the Chinese people as seriously as you might want is that overall China is viewed as a world power and so when people from a very large nuclear armed world power with a permanant seat on the UNSC repeat statements about how they are really "victims" its just not believable and in fact looks childish. I just cant think of a more diplomatic word, sorry. No matter where I've been people take complaints more seriously when they are not accompanied by temper tantrums. I'm not trying to insult you deliberately, just to say that if you want to be taken seriously, engage people in a way that they will respect and listen to you.

    CHRIS B:
    So, you are a GAIJIN having lived in Japan for 10 years?

    well, here are some of my thoughts towards your statement below:
    =================================================
    One reason that some people have a hard time taking statements about the historical suffering of the Chinese people as seriously as you might want is that overall China is viewed as a world power and so when people from a very large nuclear armed world power with a permanant seat on the UNSC repeat statements about how they are really "victims" its just not believable and in fact looks childish. I just cant think of a more diplomatic word, sorry.
    =================================================
    Like most Japanese and pro-Japan foreigners, you are again using double standards, It is PR China, as a country that got nuclear power, seat in UN, a big world power. The victims were the citizens of China (then ROC) in the 30s and early 40s.

    and we were told that we should protest not against regular Japanese citizen, but only the right wing Japanese or the government?

    Well, I think CHILDISH better be used to describe someone else.

    lamlam wrote #63:
    MostlyVowels: http://news.searchina.ne.jp/2004/0423/politics_0423_001.shtml
    Apologies. I thought we were talking about that Molotov cocktail thrown by a clusmy right-winger in Tokyo against a Chinese bank... It indeed seems that some right-wing moron drove a car into the Chinese consulate's gates at Osaka. Due to timezone differences, I hadn't been informed of that occurence yet. Especially as the article is dated — and speaks of — an event that took place on April 23 (it's still April 21 where I live ;-)
    I think this will help you understanding my position,:)
    http://www.sjwar.org/htm/germany.html

    Sums up the Chinese “truth” and worldview quite well, I guess. There is the usual disturbing disingenuity, lack of critical thinking and misinformation that permeates every single item of the list. For example:

    • it makes it sound as if revisionist textbooks are used in most, if not all of the Japanese schools

    • it glosses over the fact that in Japan, war reparation payments amounted to about 30% of the state's budget in the fifties

    • there's still that amazing contention that paying respect to war deads — the hundreds of thousands of conscripts — at Yasukuni is tantamount to worshipping war criminals. I have an extremely low opinion of Japanese politicians, but when a Japanese PM goes to pay his respects to the war dead, and pledges before the hundreds of thousands of souls enshrined there that such barbaric misdeeds as had happened in the past century will not be repeated, I will not assume that what he's doing is honoring war criminals. OTOH, I'm sympathetic to the contention that Japan should build a new war memorial totally cleansed of any connection with the militarists and the war criminals, to end once and for all these misguided insinuations.

    Hong Kong Guy wrote#67:
    (I am talking about the official German national anthem, NOT the nazist one.) (nowadays, japanese army flag, 君の代songs are still in use).
    君が代 is controversial in Japan, too, and a large segment of the population understandably is against e.g. Tokyo Governor Ishihara's detestable policy to make it obligatory for school staff and pupils to sing it at school graduation ceremonies. OTOH, for those who understand it, the Japanese national anthem's lyrics are much more innocuous than the semantically laden “Deutschland über alles”, which was sung even before WW2...

    Hi all,
    Being of overseas Chinese descent, who was born in Malaysia and grew up in Germany with a pretty much Anglo-Saxon education, I have followed this debate with great, but silent interest until now and feel compel to inject some perspectives.

    My personal contact with Japan’s war past were from digging through my grandparents’ belongings that included extremely disturbing photographs of the Nanjing ‘incident’ in Life magazines which they were trying to shield me from when I was eight years old. The rest was through my later studies and research in Germany.

    Firstly, while undoubtedly there was certain degree of PRC government involvement in either organising or allowing these protests, just as democratic governments too will consent, refuse or control demonstrations, it is equally undeniable that most if not all Asians and Chinese, whether mainland or overseas, are genuinely emotive about the Japanese’ government’s continuous spinning, distortion and outright denial of its war crimes, irrespective of their feelings towards the Chinese Communist Party.

    Secondly, while Japanese government officials individually have in the past voiced their 'regrets' over the war or the many 'incidents', these were not regarded by other Asian governments as officially representing the Japanese government and thereby of the Japanese nation and its people, precisely because of the wording and the capacity in which it was given. These are matters of agreed international diplomatic protocols.

    Thirdly, while such Japanese 'regrets' were given on many occasions, their value and sincerity is worthless when over the last 50 years, successive Japanese government continue to allow privately sponsored revisionist history books on to the officially approved reading list and successive Japanese Prime Ministers continues to visit Yasukuni.

    Sometimes apologies after the fact are simply not enough when what is truly required is for the Japanese government, at the minimum, to desist from such repetitive provocative and unproductive acts, that serve no purpose other than pandering to Koizumi’s right wing supporters to show how ‘patriotic’ he is. Otherwise such apologies are simply hollow and cynical platitudes that fools nobody except for the politically unsophisticated, making Japanese governments no better than the Chinese Communists in hijacking history to serve their own narrow political purpose.

    Furthermore, should any readers doubt the veracity of the Nanjing ‘incident’ they can simply ask themselves why of all the cities the Japanese Army occupied during the length of its occupation of China and Korea was Nanjing so special that made it historically significant. Was it because of a mere ‘incident’?

    As regards to different interpretations of history, however many interpretations there may be, there is only one truth. I challenge all Japanese readers of this web site to look for primary sources of historical evidence and to have the courage to go to their grandparents and their friends’ grandparents and politely ask them what they did during the war and what they felt and to think not just about what the old timers say, but also their mannerism in how they said it and what they would not say. I would also suggest readers to google the name ‘David Irving’ together with ‘Nazi’ and separately ‘Yoshio Shinozuka’ and ‘China’.

    Unlike western societies, to Confucian Chinese and Korean societies, with its ingrained reverence for its ancestors and elders and the corresponding awareness and intimate attachment to a sense of history, 50 years are but an eye blink in the 5,000 years of recorded history of the only surviving civilisation. To put this into perspective, unlike my European and Arabic friends, I can still read engraved Chinese characters that date back 2,500 years ago, so that for many Chinese and Koreans, the Japanese government’s actions, however seemingly insignificant to western perspectives, are particularly grating and extremely insensitive and distasteful, considering Japan’s historical territorial ambitions on China and Korea. I am not just referring to modern history but Japan’s long record of semi-official piracy of China and Korea and its many invasions of Korea as a prelude to invading China during the Shogun era.

    While many may fear China’s rise as an economic, political and military power there is in truth very little anybody can do or ‘manage it’, short of a full scale war, to stop China’s modernisation and raising its people out of poverty, (see Venezuela and Chavez’s refutation of US influence) so that engagement remains the best policy. Japan should also be wary of American neo-conservatives’ motives in pushing for a less pacifist Japan less it becomes one of the firsts to suffer in any possible armed confrontations between the PRC and the USA. The USA is geographically much farther away.

    Personally I have little doubt that China will become democratic, be it US electoral college or UK parliamentary style or managed democracy as in Singapore. It is only a matter of time, because unlike the mostly conformist Japanese culture, the Chinese people do have a historical tendency to overthrow its irresponsible governments should their dissatisfaction reach a certain boiling point.

    Oliver,
    I think the differing time perspectives are a newer phenomenon than you realize. For my Irish ancestors, that long view you describe was the only one.

    By the way: I am of also of Sicilian descent and can read and understand much of the engraved Roman writing, grafitti at Pompeii, etc. Chinese are not exceptional for the reasons you describe.

    (Though the ancient Chinese writing tablets are spectacular-I just visited Xi'an this summer and saw a bunch. )

    I entirely agree with Ito(65)'s opinion that every culture has good behavior as well as bad behavior. The important thing is that bad side of human behavior can be dangerously augmented by incorrect teachings to our kids using misleading textbooks. I know numerous relatives in China whose family members were brutally killed by Jap troops in WW2, and there is overwhelming evidence that their recent demonstration was spontaneous. In fact they complained the government's clamp-down effort. We want to emphasise that the Chinese are only against the ring-wing elements of Jap government but NOT Jap people who were also victims of Jap militarism. To heal the wound once for all, the Jap government should make a high-profile formal sincere apology out of sin but not out of pity. The so-called apologies in the past were half-hearted and followed by contrary deeds. What are "the real priorities for the Chinese people"? First, the sincerity and courage of the German chancellor kneeling down in deep remorse in front of a Jewish memorial moved the hearts of the world and convinced the victims' families who gave their pardon without reservation and without further demand. I challenge Mr. Koizumi to do such brave act as a clear expression of repentance for the past Jap army. Secondly, Jap government should refrain from following the US to interfere in the internal afffairs of China. Taiwan has been an integral part of our country for centuries and remains now a rebel province for several decades mainly because of foreign encouragement. Chinese people had been humiliated, despised and exploited by foreign powers for two centuries until recently, old wounds in our sentiment will be traumatised again if former invader tries to prevent our homeland from reuniting to a wholesome one - by peaceful means or otherwise should there be no other choice . We condemn the blunders of Mao's era and even now we still do not agree with some of our government's policies, but we fully support its good works in safeguarding our soverignty and bringing us unparalleled prosperity and opportunities. Thirdly, both countries should solve disputes by peaceful negotiations. This means Japan should withdraw its forces or constructions on Diaoyu(Senkaku)Island and negotiate.Before any mutual agreement is reached, both countries make attempt to JOINTLY explore or develop all disputed areas like what is being arranged in the South China Sea. I earnestly hope these two great peoples of Asia will co-exist peacefully, because in this age of globalisation, our relation is inter-dependent and complementary, not to mention our traditional cultural similarities and our geographical proximity.

    Sam,
    Whether it is internal is a strange question. My friends from Taiwan certainly bring a more complicated perspective on that to the table. You criticize the position of the US, a nation whose independent and unique sovereignty is without question. But we were founded by a group of Englishmen who decided they were no longer British. These things are never cut and dry.

    Lets all just take a step back from the heated emotions on Taiwan-they will lead only to disaster. Whatever happens in the end, cool heads on all sides of the Taiwan issue need to prevail.

    Oliver: "50 years are but an eye blink in the 5,000 years of recorded history of the only surviving civilisation. To put this into perspective, unlike my European and Arabic friends, I can still read engraved Chinese characters that date back 2,500 years ago,"


    I don't want to digress too much but I though I'd point out that what you just said there was a somewhat arrogant and misplaced statement, revealing an embarassing gap in your knowledge of world culture and civilizations. To this day, not only can Indians read the same script but they read the very same scriptures in the Original language as they were penned down five thousand years ago. And that's just once instance to counter your claim.

    As long as people egoically cling onto their sense of individual and provincial SELF, they're going to end up talking past each other.

    By the way, I am not afraid of the rise of China. China is one of the most impressive places I have ever seen. China's rise to power on the world stage is inevitable and carries enormous promise for the rest of the world. Lets consign the politics of the mid-Twentieth century to the mid-Twentieth centry, where it belongs.

    Hi Peter,

    Yup, I'm new to this, usually keep my thoughts to myself, except when in person...apologies for forgetting about the latin civilisation, but what I meant was China being a cohesive and continuous physical and cultural entity.

    Re: Hong Kong guy's experience with Japanese and Germans' reaction to discussions of of WWII, I have similar experiences with Japanese schoolmates I grew up with, so that, without meaning insults, the Japanese attitude is akin to ostriches burying their heads in the sand or three monkeys that speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil, thereby rendering sensible discussions virtually impossible nor furthering any sort of understanding.

    Japanses people must understand that it is precisely this attitude that contributed to japanese militarisation of its society in the 20's and 30's and which makes many in Asia distrustful of Japanese society in general and its government in particular.

    Indeed, I feel that the Japanese people should be more worried about why their successive governments consistently continue such deceit and distortion than Chinese and Korean demonstrations. Is there a shadowy hard core right wing group in Japan consistently running things from the back?

    As an English author once wrote, for evil to arise all that is required is for ordinary decent people to do nothing.

    Hey, watch your language, ya commie-Sambo-chinko!

    That'll get ya nowhere, doggie diner. :-D


    Thank you for your thoughtful post Oliver. I agree with most of your points. I am just curious about your statement: "considering Japan’s historical territorial ambitions on China and Korea. I am not just referring to modern history but Japan’s long record of semi-official piracy of China and Korea and its many invasions of Korea as a prelude to invading China during the Shogun era." I may just be ignorant, but other the 600's and the invasion of Korea in the 1500's during the reign of Hideyoshi, was there a history of invasion by the Japanese? After that there was 280 years of isolation and peace during the Edo (Bakufu Shogunate era), so no territorial ambitions there. Then after the Meiji Restoration, Japan wanted to join the Western world, so they started acting like a colonial power (mimicing the Europeans albeit a bit late). And I guess the Japanese did invade once in 1904, before the Russo-Japanese war. But I'm not sure Japan had any "historical territorial ambitions" that exceeds that of British, French, or Germans for instance. Am I missing something?

    Don't forget Kublai Khan tried to invade Japan in 1281... and Korea tried to invade Tsushima in Tsushima.

    I just noticed that there is a good wikipedia article on Japanese military activity. Do you disagree with the facts in that article?

    Oliver, there is indeed a shadowy racist right wing in Japan, but I believe every country has them. The point is whether you allow them to gain power and control over the "normal" people. One of the problems which was pointed out earlier is that the Japanese people have never really overthrown their government and tend to get dragged along by the government or those in power. It is something deeply troubling to me about Japan and one of the reasons the Japanese democracy is so dyfunctional and easily manipulated by external forces.

    I don't think I want anything from the Japanese people in terms of expressions of remorse or even embarassment. If they oppose elements of Japanese governance that are bad for Chinese sense of worth, that's great but I don't think they do it for the Chinese or that these Japanese feel beholden to any Chinese. I would think that they are doing it for themselves and for Japan based on self respect and it's for other Japanese to pat their backs and themselves feel reinforced in their valuation of themselves. Japanese don't have to feel bad in my presence because I am an ethnic Chinese. I don't expect anything from them. I guess I don't want anything from Japanese people except to get the same amount in my bowl when I order from a Japanese eatery if I pay the same price and to get the correct amount on my receipt. That's as far as I can see what I want. I still want to visit Japan but I never expected anything from Japanese people such as friendship but now that I know it is official that Japanese government has imposed the revisions, I think probably I will never have a true friend who is Japanese because it's not worth my time to do extra work to overcome the fact that I am in the category of people who will never be worth as much as someone else who is not subjected to being portrayed in a diminished position so any friendship towards me will probably not be first class and I deserve no less and I refuse to appreciate less. Perhaps many Japanese feel they can never trust Chinese because they saw that the Chinese threw rocks at Japanese places. I don't blame them. It's inexcusable and dishonest - it's not really because Japan has hurt a Chinese's feelings that the Chinese can make his hand reach for a rock and actually strike a window with it or reaching a hand inside another person's car and pulling their hair. It's just bad behavior, that's it and even a government influence would be no excuse for it.

    p.s. I totally oppose the textbook revisions and I am not going to forget that the Japanese government is responsible despite the English language media's efforts to obscure that essential truth. I object completely and I am not a Communist.

    OK, Nev apologies for letting the Indian civilisation slip my mind, and any other civilisations for that matter, no offence intended. And not to digress too far without starting another front of regional rivarly, it is difficult to qualify one's statement writting like this, however, what I am refering to is the continuous developments of a culture/civilisation that has withstood dynastical changes, invasions and ideologies while yet maintaining its own core heritage and culture.

    I have discussed this issue with many of my Indian friends and most of them agreed that the Morghul invasion and islamisation of India and the British colonisation of India has changed India profoundly, and that had these two events not occured India would be a very different country and that only in the last twenty years or so are we seeing the resurgence of 'Indian Pride' with the BJP as one of its manifestations, for better or worse.

    By contrast and just to raise an interesting point, the Chinese civilisation is different in a sea of differences, in that it does not have its own home-grown religion, possibly due to the histroically jealously guarded central powers of the emporer that broker no rival to threaten the empire's stability (thus see CCP's attitude towards the Vatican).

    Before somebody mention Taosim and Confucianism, I personally liken these isms as more akin to philosophies, with Taoism being quiet alchemistic and naturalist in nature, while Buddhism originated in India, and accepted by the emporers because of its avowed pacificism.

    Oliver,
    You raise a good point about religion. In some sense Taoism and Confucianism are I think similar (in terms of the role they serve, their basic nature, etc.) to things like Stoicism and Epicureanism in the Roman world.

    For instance, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations have the same basic spirit (in terms of philosophy v. religion) as alot of Taoist and Confucian writings.

    OK Joi, another qualifier winging its way...see semi-official piracy and 'mini-invasion' of China and Korea. I am also refering to the geographical imperatives of physical Japan that have historically driven may of the greater or lesser Japanese clans to invade Korea and engage in pirate activities along the Chinese coasts, often together with Chinese and Korean criminals or renegades/rebels/freedom fighters (see Qin dynasty and Ming dynasty and Taiwan), because of domestic pressure or 'lebensraum' (distasteful as this word is)if you will.

    Btw, Kublai Khan as you would surely know is Mongolian who back then were considered not Soong/Ming/Han Chinese, who to my knowledge had never invaded Japan and were probably too busy ruling/managing/suppressing its own population.

    While I am no expert on Korean history, I would be interested to find out the context of this invasion and its date in that was if before or after the first Japanese invasion of Korea.

    Also Joi from your own comments, how many invasions does it require before it can be regarded as a seeminly 'regular' histroical occurence??

    European imperialism is no excuse for Japanese imperialism. As an example, just because my kindergarden friend misbehaved, though it may encourage me to and circumstances allow me to, does not give me the right to misbehave too, particularly towards my neighbours or cousins, whom I have to live with everyday.....

    But Oliver, by and large I do not think that has been the point. My points and those raised by others (whether they agreed with me or, as in for instance Trevors case, did not) above were not meant to suggest that Western behavior excuses Japanese behavior. Rather, the debate was about the exceptionalism of Japanese behavior.

    Chris_B:
    1,
    When adults finished an ordinary book,they have their own judgement,you are free to believe or not.
    But text book got some difference,it`s intended to be taught as part of the truth.Cause students don`t have the abilities to prove it true or false,if these "truth" are not as true as what the were wrtten,the values of the society distorted(probably advantageous to some,militarist,dictators,ect.).
    So,only the closest thing to truth(at least the most widely recommended truth) shuold be allow to be written in text books(for instance,1+1=3 is obvious not allowed),especially history,cause writing a country`s own history isolated from others is dangerous to both this country and it`s neighbors.
    Falsity in A thesis is allowed,but falsity in textbooks should be avoided,especially arranged for political purpose.


    2,
    I really don`t want to prove my evidence one by one,trust me on my personality,please.
    Here`s some more authoritative information:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/news/nn04-2004/nn20040424a9.htm
    http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&id=296266


    3,
    I just want to ask,do Japanese or *all* westerners protests with *no* disorder or chaos?There`s about 7 people arrested in the protese last week,and the number of people who take violent action must be more than this ,ten times?I am just kidding,okay,we take it a thousand times,so there`s 7000 people who should be arrested.According to the newest number ,there were more than a hundred thousand people protested(mostly in Shanghai),about 7% people should be blamed,what about the 93% people who protested peacefully and suddently found themselves "mobs","riot" the other day?Do you think it`s fair?Do western media report anti-golbalization protests in the same way?

    I just had to say ,both our media made ideological modification on the information we received(People`s Daily,CNN,BBC,NHK,ect.).There`s an old chinese motto"hear with both your ear",I think it`s sagacious.

    And for this "Chinese riot"issue,I have countless thoughts to say,about china`s protest culture,about the fact in Tiananmen I knew,maybe I will talk about it tomorrow.

    4,The childish victim issue
    Firstly,if Japanese gov did not tried to cover up the history ,I think we have no need to mention it,cause it`s known all over the world.
    Secondly,The fact that China has become a world power has nothing to do with our commemoration things happend in WWII,Just like Jews still repeat statements about how they are really victims even after their revive.The point is not to get pity from the world,the point is to memorize the fault and prevent it.

    There seem to be 3 broad perspectives on this:

    1. It's a singularly big deal and hence Japan must repent or show some sign of true penitence.

    2. It's not as big a deal as it's made out to be, since there are many similar occurrences in history (citation, citation, citation...) and Nanjing is not unique.

    3. It doesn't matter whether or not it's exceptional or common. Certain acts are morally reprehensible on an absolute scale and must be condemned and gravely apologized for.

    I'm inclined to align myself with this last perspective...the choice seems almost blindingly clear at a first glance. However, when one factors in the layers of political machinations and psychological undercurrents that have festered and are still thriving in the lee of these events, the grime of it all starts to cloud the picture. But I wonder if it's logically acceptable (or even possible) to wipe away that grime and look at the blindingly clear picture (point 3) again.

    Oliver: You force me to digress again :-). No doubt India has been influenced in many ways by the Mughals and the British colonization, but the effect of these has always been add-ons - NOT a wiping away of what was extant in the cultural and spiritual practices. What was practised in ancient India is practised today, in addition to the cultural and other influences that came along with the mughals and the british. In any case, it's a very complex issue so don't take my or your Indian friends' opinions on the subject as anything authoritative. But enough said on this...it's not relevant to the thread.


    I do think that Oliver and Hong Kong Guy have a point about the behavior of average Japanese people nowadays though, regarding these things.

    Now, of course it's hard to make any generalizations, and no culture is completely conformist or homogeneous, but I think we'd agree that Japanese culture is moreso those things than most western cultures.

    I lived in Japan as a kid and speak fluent Japanese, and had lots of Japanese or half-Japanese or multinational friends. I think among those foreigners or multinational people deeply familiar with Japanese culture, there might be an agreement that most Japanese sort of have a brain-turn-off mechanism when discussion touches on something uncomfortable. Avoidance and retreat seem to be the most common reaction. I think this really is just a product of the fact that everyone's always so worried about social stigma and others' opinions about them, so many become completely unable to talk about uncomfortable subjects.

    Of course, then there are Japanese with beards (academics/artists), and the modern drop-outs and nonconformists who are different.

    But aren't we seeing a social phenomena here where Chinese and others interpret a Japanese learned social behavior as a willful or even malicious denial of guilt? I think even the rightist rhetoric of some politicians is probably based in a psychological fear of accepting and living with guilt, or with uncomfortable realities.

    The point, pared down:
    In Japan, you just don't talk about uncomfortable realities.

    Someone earlier suggested Japanese go talk to their grandparents about the war! I have news for you, man. Most Japanese I know don't even talk to their parents about their jobs, how they met, how they got married...

    If the Chinese want to overcome this, it's going to be very very hard, IMHO.

    Nev: Good breakdown. I guess my point about European imperialism was in response to your framework 1. Why is Japan so particularly bad that they are singled out compared to say the British. But as you point out, maybe your 3rd point about, if it's bad, it's bad, is the healthiest. I think that in order for the average Japanese to believe that this was fair though, I think that PR that made it look like Japan were singularly bad compared to others should be toned down a bit so that any apologies, text reviews, etc. were politicially in the context of "normal" activities that every country should be doing. NOW. Including talking about the new Pope's background, talking about Chinese activities in Tibet, etc. A good dose of transparency for everyone would seem like a stronger position for us to take with a higher moral ground. I realize this is impossible at the main stream media level, but at least at the level of the discussion we are having here, wouldn't it be more fair if each country started reflecting on its own problems rather than pointing only at the problems of others? Clearly help from other countries for outside perspectives is essential to understand the truth, but I think it would be more constructive if it were driven by people in-country rather than from the outside.

    Which brings me to Trevor's point. There is a basic problem with the Japanese ability to think for themselves. A lot of this has to do with post-war education which was a obedience based educational system tuned for creating a machine rather than a "think for yourself" kind of education. (Incidentally, I believe that this obedience base system is what Bush's "no child left behind" system is driving towards.) It is an important issue that goes beyond just history education in Japan and something I have been fighting for for a long time. I think the Internet can help, increase in local politics can help, but we really need to work on this. Sometime I think we need a true revolution in Japan for Japan to get over this problem.

    And to Oliver's point about invasions and piracy... I'll have to look into this more. Can you point me to some resources? I don't have much knowledge about the history of Japanese piracy, but would be interested in learning.

    Nev,
    I think my position would seem under your taxonomy to most clearly resemble point 2. However, while I think that this was not an exceptional thing, it was a big deal. Things like the Rape of Nanjing are not unique (that is the idea, the exceptionalism hypothesis, to which I most objected). But they were a big deal. Both things are true: they are part of a larger human story, but they are also in and of themselves horrid.

    However, what does one make of point 3 (or even 1, if you subscribe to it)? Is the path to a better world pointing out that the Japanese have "incorrect attitudes" (a phrase that has been bandied about in the news)? I submit that the real path to progress is to first recognize that morality must begin at home.

    Yes Peter, without superficial generalisation I believe there is a certain exceptionalism in the Japanese people's 'weltanshaung' or world view in that from a sociological perspective it is a very conformist society that avoids unpleasant or confrontational dialogues, however politely intended, and I wonder whether if this is because of past Shogunate and later Military hierarchical ordering/control of Japanese society under the samurai clans that allowed no dissent because of a scarcity of resources or perceived external threats.

    My general impression of mainstream Japan is that it is a psychologically repressed society that occasionally finds release in extreme sub-cultures, such as the SM pornography etc., or in spectacular violence, as in hara-kiri or cutting off one's own finger (I see the Korean demonstrators who also did this as being influenced by Japanese culture or to make a point that Japan will understand). To many Chinese and westerners, we find such self-infliction of harm as inimical and frankly baffling.

    To give a mild everyday anecdotal example, when my wife was visiting Japan as a tourist for the first time, unbeknownst to her she inadvertently and contrary to local customs reclined her seat on the bus without asking for the passenger sitting behind for consent. After some time, the back passenger, a middle aged Japanese woman, rather than simply asking my wife to reposition her seat, instead began to silently, but violently bang on my wife's seat to get her to put her seat back.

    Needless to say we did so, but nevertheless found such suddenly extreme behaviour surprising and gave us a possible hint of a glimpse of the possible mental and cultural state of the Japanese soldiers at the time of the Nanjing 'incident'.

    Before objections are raised to such comparisons, I would further suggests that the development of Japanese culture and attitude in general and towards WWII in particular in the last forty years have been suppressed due to Japan's need to rebuild after the war and the US' perceived need to contain Communist Russia and China during the Cold War (contrast the allies enforced abdication of Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm and non-action towards Hirohito who many feel are equally responsible, either through active participation, by not opposing the military or by tacit consent).

    Indeed I feel that many in Asia would feel far more comfortable if Japan, before embarking on a course of 'normalising' its foreign diplomacy, as some in Germany are now trying to do through the ‘normalisierung prozess’, undertake some thorough and fundamental soul searching and public debates from the grass roots up, perhaps starting with a debate on why it is necessary to have different versions of history textbooks.

    Otherwise, Japan would only be in the same position as Germany was in after the First World War during the Weimar Republic, with right wing extremists advocating that the war could have been won, had it not been for the Jewish conspiracy and spineless politicians who sold out. The stage would then be set for history to repeat itself in another war in the Far East with even more tragic consequences, for how many nuclear war heads can Japan as an island nation absorb, or any nations for that matter?

    By contrast, I also worry about the CCP and its leverage of nationalism together with delivering prosperity to justify its own ideologically and philosophically bankrupt rule, before traditional Chinese values and morality such as Confucianism/Taoism/Buddhism can be reintroduced or allowed to flourish again in the mainstream as they are just beginning to do now. Indeed, Mainland Chinese society, particularly among the farmers and uneducated masses, have an easy historical tendency to rebel when all that is required is irresponsible governance and a convincing demagogue (see CCP’s attitude of knee-jerk fear and suppression towards the Falun Gong cult).

    Furthermore, on the subject of Japanese development aid as war reparations, such aid packages are hardly unconditional nor comes without strings attach. Such ‘aid’, as in practically all developed nations’ developmental aid programmes, are often conditional upon the aid giving nation’s own companies doing the bulk of the construction work or supplying the machinery and amount at best to an indirect form of national subsidies for their own industries and, at worst as an alternative form of market penetration in the form of continuous supply of spares and servicing requirements thus locking out alternative competitive suppliers. Thus, confronted with the choice of having conditional aid or no aid at all, it is my personal experience that many genuinely responsible developing nations’ government would see itself as having no choices at all.

    It would therefore be disingenuous to advocate and to regard such self-serving ‘aid’ as reparations and many Asians and Asian governments would also regard it as being cynical in the extreme, thereby contributing to Asia’s distrust of Japan’s motives. Nor do they serve any symbolic gestures that are vital to international diplomatic discourse.

    Forgiveness and acceptance cannot be bought, but can only be earned through actions and genuine contrition.

    Oliver,
    I guess we are at an impasse. I just do not agree with you: I cannot say, given my life experiences and my reading of history, that one can say with any confidence that the Japanese behavior was exceptional in either its overarching intent or impact. To say that Japanese culture has exceptional elements is probably true but without any real empirical content. I'm Irish and Italian but I've never met another people on earth quite like either in certain respects. What does that prove? Does that make the evil committed by either group more or less chilling than that of the Japanese?

    By the way, your story about the bus actually made me laugh. Why? Because that is exactly what my grandmother would do. And she is a....Sicilian

    Oliver: Again, I have to generally agree with you, but still take exception with your characterization that Japanese are particularly violent or more inclined to S&M than other races/cultures. The finger chopping comes from an old and very practical punishment. In Japanese sword fighting, the pinkie is the most important finger to stabilize the sword. Without the pinkie, a swordsman is practically disarmed. Chopping off the pinkie is a pretty simple way to disarm someone and I don't think is particularly more cruel or violent than (again comparing to other cultures) chopping off people's hands for stealing or binding women's feet. As for harakiri... I don't think this has a lot to do with violence either, but rather an old Japanese tradition of suicide as a ritual. I'm not particularly proud of it, but I can't imagine how this relates to rape or atrocities on others. Again, I will add the caveat that I may be missing something here being somewhat embedded in the culture, but I've seen just about as much weirdness with respect to sex and violence in other countries as I see in Japan, but it is just underground in many countries because of religious morals or other methods of hiding them from view.

    oliver wrote @85:
    the Japanese attitude is akin to ostriches burying their heads in the sand or three monkeys that speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil, thereby rendering sensible discussions virtually impossible nor furthering any sort of understanding.
    Well, there's this tendency by Chinese people to consider as the only valid ones their interpretation of History, and their views on national borders or “renegade” province issues...

    Somehow, a suprising number of Chinese seem magically knowledgeable about the mentality of the average Japanese, the thoughts and motives behind the visits by PMs to a war memorial like Yasukuni, the process by which the council of ministers shapes the content of an apology statement read by the head of the government, the state of History education in Japan, the detailed contents of the textbooks used in Japanese schools, the government's role in the textbook publishing business...
    Such people are apparently experts in the Japanese language too, and are able to competently analyze the meaning of the Japanese text of these government-issued apologies, and will also often throw in their extremely informed views on the Nazi regime or the post-WW2 reconciliation processes in Europe, or the exceptionalism of the WW2 Japanese army's behavior in human warfare history.
    The cosmopolitan, multi-faceted and open to the world Chinese sociopolitic system is producing very original and unpredictable thinkers, indeed.

    Frankly, wouldn't it be a bit unproductive for the Japanese vulgum pecus to tangle with such experts, whose beliefs have, er, a “solidity” and “resilience” that is readily apparent after but a few probes ?

    oliver wrote @102:
    Indeed I feel that many in Asia would feel far more comfortable if Japan [..] undertake some thorough and fundamental soul searching and public debates from the grass roots up, perhaps starting with a debate on why it is necessary to have different versions of history textbooks.
    Yup. “Pluralism” is such a passé notion. Better let the government dictate what shall be taught to the young minds. Ein Volk, eine Gechichte, ein Lehrbuch. Sounds attractive.
    Furthermore, on the subject of Japanese development aid as war reparations, such aid packages are hardly unconditional nor comes without strings attach.
    Actually, according to the OECD, Japan's ODA has one of the highest “untied” ratios among donor nations...

    To Joi, a relatively modern piece of history on Japanese piracy is the story of Koxinga (being the westernised version of his Chinese name) whose father was a pirate that raided the Chinese coast off Taiwan around the 1500's and 1600's, but who was later co-opted by the Ming emporer as a Ming general to fight Japanese pirates. In doing so, Koxinga's father later married a daughter/princess of a southern Japanese samurai clan, who later gave birth to Koxinga.

    However, upon the Manchurian invasion of Ming, the Ming remnants retreated to Taiwan, from where Koxinga, together with some help from his maternal Japanese grandfather, resisted the Manchu dynasty (hmmm, seems like histroy repeating itself). Koxinga later went on to defeat the Dutch attempted colonisation of Taiwan in the Sino-Dutch War of 1660, but was later finally defeated by the Manchurian dynasty because of internal strife and betrayal.

    Can google 'japanese piracy' and 'china' or 'Koxinga' and 'Taiwan'---makes fascinating reading :)

    Oliver: Great post [101]. I think you're right in drawing the parallel to post WW-1 Germany's vulnerability to right wing radical ideology.

    This isn't simply a childish i'm-sulking-coz-you-didn't-apologize issue. As you pointed out, there could be serious political and ideological developments in the future unless this issue is OPENLY addressed in Japan. I'm not familiar with the Japanese, but if your assessment of their mindset and their outlook on issues such as this are even partially accurate, I find that alarming.

    It's going to be very hard for anyone to get a half-decent perspective on this without the benefit of debate and discussion - such as this one. If this is indeed the state of affairs in Japan, then I must support the protests - not because I think the *apology* is what's important (as a lot of people seem to think), but because this protest bringing the topic out into the open, into everyday conversations the world over, and so HOPEFULLY into Japanese homes, schools, universities and friend-circles.

    Like I said, I'm not familiar with the Japanese and so if this was way out of line then I apologize.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I personally find the Germans' instinctive withdrawal from anything nationalistic (their flag, their anthem etc) as a little too far. I dunno...it makes me uncomfortable to see someone with an *emphasized* lack of national pride.

    With all this talk about Japan tendering an official apology by the head of state, I have a curious (and maybe ingenuous) question - how would a popular march by the Japanese public apologizing for Nanjing be viewed, both by the Chinese and the Japanese, officially and unofficially?

    Today we can make the step of discussing this issue not only at the governmental level, but also globally at a popular level with blogs and whatnot. I see no erason why this can't percolate down to a popular march of the kind that I'm referring to.

    Unless, of course, no Japanese feel the need to apologize.

    Nev:
    Despite your hope, I see the extreme of some protests made many Japanese just scared of China, away from further thinking and talking on the issue.

    I lived and worked in HK for three years. To be honest, I've been scared of HK and China before. During my younger days, what I knew about HK was Triad. My general image on China was mainly from the articles on the Chinese mafia in Shinjuku Kabuki-cho. Some Japanese, including politician and media, continue to have such a silly image on China. I'm sure that the intention of Anti-Japan Protests is not making them happy.

    As you may know, many Japanese, even housewives, start learning Chinese or Korean not only for their business nowadays. I believe that learning your language may help Japanese realize what Japan did during WW2.

    To Peter, I am curious, while you said that it is something that your scilian grandmother would do, but is it something that she has actaully done?

    Furthermore, as regards national exceptionalism, such things are not forever fixed, but rather mutable because of all the usual factors, such as internal and external interactions, histroy, etc. To make any sensible discussions possible, one must necessarily, correct me if I am wrong on this, limit oneself to the possibly dominant traits as we, outsiders/insiders percieve it now.

    To Joi, my characterisation of the Japanese culture is not intended as an insult, but rather what I and many outsiders, regard as a perversion/corruption by right-wing extremists of the Bushido creed of the warrior poet, akin to the western ideal of the knight on his shiny white horse (see Himmler and his SS Aryan knights).

    While mainstream Japanese culture is undoubtedly no less prone to violence than any other societies, I am refering to the apparent popularity/neccesity and open existence of such sub-cultures that dehumanises another human being in a society as advanced and sophisticated as the Japanese. This together with the usual and typical military training/conditioning by all nations of its soldiers to regard another being as non-entity to enable him/her to kill in war and the Japanese government's percieved distortion/denial of facts is precisely what gives many in Asia the perception/impression that the wider mainstream Japanese public possessed the submerged potential to be led back towards brutal and cruel militarism by its government.

    On feet binding, this was a practice that was introduced by the Manchus after they invaded China, considering that prior to this the Manchus were a nomadic people, and is not part of the Han Chinese culture. Furthermore, it was something that was mainly only practiced by the rich and the nobility, thus there appearances in the then novel medium of photgraphy at the turn of the century, just as with the then corsets in Europe and America. The majority working and peasant classes required their mobility too much to eck out a living much to indulged in such practices.

    To MostlyVowels, are you seriously suggesting that there is such a thing as a 'pluralism' of facts? Oh well, I suppose there are facts that suggest the Holocaust never existed and there are facts that suggest that it did (google David Iring and Holocaust denial). What about the Atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Maybe there are American facts that suggest it was never atomics, but rather the result of a few incendiary bombs, coupled with the then Japanese propensity of building their houses out of timber and paper. Hmmmm....

    What I would suggest is that Japan, China and Korea perhaps form an inter-governmental commission, as between Germany and France, and perhaps with moderation from an impartial third country, to decide on mutually acceptable facts in a common official history textbooks, without excluding pluralism of ideas that can be introduced in supplementary texts or at university level. My only fear is that it would take another war, before every body would come to their senses.

    Furthrmore, the 'multi-faceted and open to the world Chinese sociopolitic system' that you refer us to is in many ways the direct consequences of foreign dominance of Qin China, civil wars, the Japanese invasion and revolution, except we call it the experience of the overseas chinese diaspora (HK Chinese, Malaysian Chinese, UK Chinese, American Chinese etc.). We are a bit like the Jews if you like, sould you be more comfortable with that concept :)

    And trust me when I say that we are hardly homogenous nor, becuase of our experience of coexistence in various host societies, would we have the arrogance nor the temerity to view our world view as the only viable one, though some of us, especially of the older generations may hold to it too tightly in order to preserve a semblance of cultural identity, thereby giving the impression of cultural arrogance.

    Again to MostlyVowels,

    Actually, according to the OECD, Japan's ODA has one of the highest “untied” ratios among donor nations...

    OK, taking a 'pluralism of facts' approach, lets look at the the total value of Japanese foreign development aid and the way such aid is targeted and to which counturies and whether it benefits the targeted country as a whole or just certain groups conducive to Japanese private and public interests.

    Personally, I view direct governmental foreign aid with great cynicisim and am far more in favour of fair market access.

    Give a man a fish and he eats today, but give him a fishing rod and he eats everyday and all that, (provided he has fair access to the pound/river/lake/sea of course....)

    I have no idea but it sounds like something she would do. She'd probably be a little more violent.

    Look, I am an Irish and Italian man married to a Chinese and Vietnamese woman, and whose best friend is an Orthodox Jew. As such, I may have no more experience with the mentality of tribes, but I certainly have accumulated my own particular experience with them. Yes, the Japanese can have the closed circuit mentality that people refer to, but it hasn't struck me as exceptional.

    And yes, I have lived in Japan and China.

    This has been a good discussion, but it is starting to become sort of circular and repetitive. We have over 110 posts here and could go further. Someone say something outrageous to stir it up and get it going again. MostlyVowels, we're counting on you.

    Nev/Peter, one of the reasons I was attracted to participate in this discussion is because of Japanese natives' participation and I would personally welcome more of such participation to find out more of mainstream Japan's oppinions, reasonings and to discover why the japanese mainstream is so reluctant to challenge their own government on such issues. Is it out of a misplaced sense of solidarity or is it something else that we should be more concerned about?

    On a more cliche level, one can say that I am trying to understand the Japanese people in its majority and minorities.

    HongKong Guy said:
    Like most Japanese and pro-Japan foreigners, you are again using double standards, It is PR China, as a country that got nuclear power, seat in UN, a big world power. The victims were the citizens of China (then ROC) in the 30s and early 40s.

    Thats very disengeneous. You realize the same logic could be applied to the aggressors and say that the Imperial government of Japan in the 30s should not be treated as the same nation as the democratic constitutional monarchy with a war renoucing constiution of Japan after the war? You cant have it both ways. Both the agressor nation and the victim nation have changed their government structures and normalized state to state relations. I stand by my point that one nation can not simultaniously claim victimhood and regional power status on the world stage if it wants to be taken seriously.

    lamlam: thank you for your considerate reply. To adress your points in order:

    1: Again, in a free country, different opinions and ideas can exist simultaniously. As far as having other countries approve a nation's history texts, I'd say thats pretty much out of the question. For example, I spent most of my youth in the US state of Texas. Texas has been claimed by Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas and The United States of America. Several of these nations have fought wars with each other over this land. There are even some people who believe that the Republic of Texas was illegally annexed by the USA and that Texas's rights as a sovereign nation are violated since then. They even publish history books saying this. There are groups which publish books saying that the US state of California is still a part of Mexico. Which nation should approve another nation's texts, especially when one of the nations has a legal protection for "wrong" ideas to be published?

    The counter example to this is present day Germany. It is illegal to publish any book in Germany which denies the Holocaust or the actions of the Third Reich against other nations. In Germany, school texts are approved at the regional level, but about this matter, they must follow a set of national guidelines.

    2 sorry, I was delayed on the news.

    3 good point.

    4 I dont agree. I dont think the government is trying to cover up history at all. There is a wide range of publications available in Japan on wartime history going from one extreme to the other. If you mean by allowing certain texts to be considered for approval by local school boards "covering up history" I'd have to say you are way off base there, especially considering that the national teachers union has objected to the text which has caused the recent controversy.

    As far as commemoration goes, no one could object to that. What I'm talking about is the continued, repeated, instistance that japan appologize as though its never been done before. The continued, repeated mischaracterizations about the Yasukuni issue, etc. Making repeated demands of another country is not commemoration in any way I understand it.


    To Chirs B on the subject of Japan's apologies, see line 79 on my personal perception of the nature and substance of Japanese government's many 'sincere regrets' and on why many Asians regard Japanese government's 'apologies' with increduity.

    Staying on this subject, BBC World News in English have just announced that there are speculations that Koizumi might issue another 'apology' to the Chinese Premier at the Asian-African Summit in Bandung, Indonesia.

    I wait with bated breadth to read a succint translation of this latest 'apology' and the context in which it is given, should it be forthcoming...

    I haven't read all the posts here and I will soon. But one question to Chinese ppl;

    Today, Koizumi appologied in Jakarta.
    Today, I googled in Chinese for searching this news and I found none. I live in Hong Kong and get all these questions, "How come Japan never appologise?". My reply to this is, "How come you guys don't know that Japan did?".

    So, here is the question, are there any Chinese articles reported about Jarkarta? Can you please post the web page of the article here? Thanks!

    Oliver: Thanks for the pointer to Koxinga. How many of these sorts of guys were there? It sounds like a good story, but it doesn't sounds like imperialist tendencies as a nation as much as the actions of a opportunistic man.

    oioi: I would be interested to see references too. Maybe we can pick apart the translation as well. Does anyone have the Japanese language of Koizumi's comment?

    oliver wrote @111:
    To MostlyVowels, are you seriously suggesting that there is such a thing as a 'pluralism' of facts?
    History is basically “lies that have been agreed upon”, and cannot be reduced to a mere aggregate of “facts” — inasmuch as facts can be reliably established at all.

    History is always accompanied with a post-facto explicative framework, and the natural variety of human opinion ensures that there will always be some legitimate divergence as to how facts are perceived.

    Take the Nanjing massacre, for example. I believe it realistic that the IJA killed in “pacification”, anti-guerilla and reprisal operations 10 to 20 thousand military (often civilian-clothed) and civilians there. I do not lend any credence, however, to the 300,000 victims number that has been the official-ish Chinese dogma for some time. This is based on these simple observations:

    • Nanjing was a city of about 300,000 people. The Society of Nations, alarmed by the reports about the massacres commited by the IJA, sent an inspection mission about 40 days after Nanjing was conquered by the Japanese. The report explicitly states that it couldn't find any evidence of the alleged large-scale massacres taking place there. Besides, kill 300,000 people in a city of 300,000 and you've got a ghost city, and one would think that a massacre inspection team would have noticed that characteristic.

    • Eliminating large quantiites of human bodies — e.g. 300,000 in 40 days — is a challenging task. It would require a sinister ingenuity and scale of means larger even than those deployed at the Auschwitz/Birkenau camp, where 1 to 1.5 million people were killed and their bodies eliminated in about three years. I simply do not believe that an IJA combat unit would have the logistical capabilities to plan, construct, bring into operation and then dismantle body/evidence elimination facilities in such a short period.

    Given the above, I find it understandable that Japanese textbooks do not report the accepted Chinese dogma verbatim. This might outrage some Chinese people, who will instantly proclaim themselves as experts about Japanese culture, politics, language and education, and argue that Japanese people do not “know” History, and will then go on into diatribes as to the exceptionalism of Japanese evil, and how Japanese schoolbooks gloss over “truth”, and that PMs actively pay homage war criminals etc.

    I thus understand the Chinese rationale that pluralism in History is undesirable, and for clamoring for the enforcement of Chinese-approved curricula in Japanese schools, as it would be the simplest and most elegant method for weeding out the Japanese people's subversive, incorrect, militarist and ignorant interpretations of History...

    I am Korean, so I may be opinionated about Japan. However, I believe that my opinions and sentiment are quite warranted. As a disclaimer, when I use the word, "Japanese", I do not mean all Japanese, but mostly to those of a right-wing disposition. I find it curious that many Japanese believe that any amount of apologies will amend anti-Japanese sentiment among Asian nations. In short, words are cheap. Yes, Japan has made a few apologies, however, Japan has hardly made any practical actions to validate them as sincere. Visiting the World War II shrine, disputes over Dokto Island (what is rightfully Korea's through several historical documents and pre-colonial ownership), discrimination against Korean residents in Japan, and the approval of textbooks with skewed historical data must be changed in practical terms. Koizumi's recent so-called apology comes at a time of tense Chinese-Japanese relations. This was obviously mere diplomatic rhetoric to ease tensions. Apologies like this have come and gone without any tangible solutions nor future plans to ameliorate relations with other Asian countries. The Japanese often tell Koreans and Chinese to stop "whining" or "complaining" about something that has happened decades ago and they tell them to forget the past. The Japanese should, instead, take full responsibility and accountability for their past egregrious sins against humanity and their present ignorance and audacity to insult the Korean and Chinese people with insubstantial apologies and patronizing remarks about how they should simply forget the past. The Japanese are no different than the Nazis. Germany, however, has made significant steps toward reconciliation with the Jews as evidenced through their carefully written textbooks and other publications. Japan needs to be accountable for its past aggression and needs to take practical steps to prove its sincerity to change. If you would like to respond to me, please email me at exonoxon@yahoo.com. I would happily debate you on any of these matters.

    Sorry, exonoxon@yahoo.com may not work as I have not used it in a while and I'm not so sure if I remember the password. Just post here. I will try to find this website again. Cheers.

    Via 3quarksdaily via NYT:

    Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologized on Friday for Japan's wartime atrocities and said he would meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in a bid to repair ties that are at their worst in over three decades.

    Koizumi, speaking after making the apology in front of world leaders at a multilateral forum, said he would meet Hu on Saturday on the sidelines of the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta.

    "Nothing is produced by antagonism," Koizumi told traveling reporters. "Friendship is most important. I would like to hold the meeting from that perspective."

    They also link to this discussion in their post.

    To: Joe Ito

    Hi, first of all, I want to make my position very clear that I am pissed by the both Japanese & Chinese governments and I am a Japanese who lives in Hong Kong. I think Japan has to be a leading country to study fascism and we need to listen old stories to create the new story in between Japan & China & Korea. We have so many materials to study and so many tales to listen from both the victims and assaults. I learn Japanese atrocities in Japanese school and I grew up listening my mother telling me about the Japanese flag, "This is a symbol of all the atrocities Japan did in China and Korea. You should not forget about that.". I am no pro-democracy or anti-communism. I am anti-terrorism and anti-imperialism. My logic is simple, hatreds only creates another hatreds.

    By posting this, I hope I don't provoke the bashing from those who are defending China side. But I really want to see how China responds to Koizumi's statement as so far, they have not responded yet. I wonder why Koizumi's word today does not make the headline news in Chinese newspapers when the whole country is in turmoil creating thousands of ppl to demonstrate demanding for it. What does the China government want? Having said that, I think what word exactly China wants is "Sorry". In these Japanese apology dialogs in the past I am posting here including that of Koizumi's made today in Jakarta, you don't see a word of "Sorry". Some say Japan's intentionally reflaining from saying that to avoid the China to demand more money in the pretext of it. But I also think that kind of attitude is up-setting the consensus in China. But anyhow, this is all the dirty political game played by hands that benefits by causing tormoil. I think the far-too-gone consensus blinds ppl from the core issue. I am not impressed by the protecters in Beijing at all either. Demographically, they were the young exectives so called yuppies. They didn't demolished their flashy MP3 players or Nissan SUV cars in frot of the cameras but smashed up other ppl's Japanese cars parked on the street.


    -- September 1972: Japan normalizes relations with China. A joint
    communique says: "Japan is keenly conscious of its responsibility for
    the serious damage inflicted in the past on the Chinese people through
    war and deeply regrets it."

    -- May 1990: Emperor Akihito, the son of wartime emperor Hirohito,
    says during a banquet for visiting South Korean president Roh Tae-Woo:
    "I think of the sufferings your people underwent during this
    unfortunate period, which was brought about by my country, and cannot
    but feel deep regret."
    Then-premier Toshiki Kaifu goes further in his summit with Roh: "I
    would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere remorse and
    apology for Japan's acts that made people on the Korean peninsula
    suffer unbearable agony and sorrow during a period in the past." He
    notably did not use the words "colonial rule" or "aggression" which
    have appeared in later statements.

    -- October 1992: Emperor Akihito on a historic visit to Beijing
    tells a banquet hosted by president Yang Shangkun: "In the long
    history of relationship between our two countries, there was an
    unfortunate period in which my country inflicted great sufferings on
    the people of China. I deeply deplore this."

    -- August 1995: In a landmark statement, prime minister Tomiichi
    Murayama -- only the second socialist to head a Japanese government --
    apologizes on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
    "During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan,
    following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war,
    only to ensure the Japanese people in a fateful crisis and, through
    its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and
    suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of
    Asian countries," Murayama says.
    "In the hope that no such mistakes be made in the future, I regard,
    in a spirit of humanity, these irrefutable facts of history and
    express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my
    heartfelt apology."

    -- April 2005: Koizumi says Japan "through its colonial rule and
    aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of
    many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations."
    "Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of
    humility. And with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology
    always engraved in mind, Japan has resolutely maintained, consistently
    since the end of World War II, never turning into a military power but
    an economic power, its principle of resolving all matters by peaceful
    means, without recourse to use of force," Koizumi says.

    I think the Japanese government needs to atone for the past sin of losing the war, fully recognize, and apologize for, the enormous sacrifices made by brave soldiers and Japanese people whom died and suffered untold hardships in the Zionist orchestrated global conflict.

    They need to chant that Jew monopoly media HollowHoax mantra, played a million times over, 'Never again', and 'Those whom forget history are doomed to repeat it'.

    The best way to avoid repeating it, is to deploy a nuclear armed deterrence with a capacity to reliably-credibly-redundantly wipe any city off the face of the Earth in flash.

    That'll keep dip-shit leaders from other countries on the up-n-up. Dip-shit leaders like bitching and saber rattling from the comfort of their luxuriant, insulated surroundings (e.g., the Bush Regime), but don't wish to become a casualty of war, anytime soon, themselves.

    Nukes appeal directly to the inherent cowardice of those whom make war. It's real simple math. The war makers sitting on the throne, and the string pullers behind it, do not wish to sacrifice their very own pathetic lives in any armed conflicts they are responsible for instigating.

    I think we should part the issues in two as for China & Japan.
    That of war compensation and the competition of who's the leading Asian country.
    Japan has so many issues left as for the compensations.

    For KP, I have some questions. Have you actually tried to search any Japanese actions for the compensations that were made in the past?
    Do you know the story behind of Yashukuni shrine visit?

    I quote your word here;
    ---------------------------By KP ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I find it curious that many Japanese believe that any amount of apologies will amend anti-Japanese sentiment among Asian nations. In short, words are cheap. Yes, Japan has made a few apologies, however, Japan has hardly made any practical actions to validate them as sincere.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree that the words are cheap. I agree that any amount of 'word' of apology will not truly compensate anything.
    I think Japanese government just had begun compensating to China & Korea.
    Of course there are many theories to why it is happening so late. I too think it's too late and I am angry for this too.
    What 'peaceful last 55 years' for Japan for the country who never killed anyone in the war for the past 55 years and never bombed or invaded any countries wasn't the same for the rest of Asia. In China there was Cultural Revolution, Korea had wars so did Vietnam. After Asia 'settled down', then they started thinking back the past wars and Japan's responsibilities. One of the cause of today's continuing conflicts between Japan and China & Korea roots to this delay. Inside Japan, there were many conflicts in the cabinet, politicians, amongst citizen realisation regarding the deal of the compensation. One of the reason for delay was that the same government remained after WW2. Emperor remained, too. It was different from how Nazis surrendered and the new government took over Germany. Americans did not invade Tokyo (other than the bombs and killed thousands) nor did they took Tokyo palace. Not like what they did to Iraq recently either.
    Japanese surrender is I think is very unique. Therefore the whole issues relating war and its compensation is something the world pays attention for. I want Japanese government to take more actions on the compensations instead of provoking China & Korea for their political interest. But as for the outrage in Chinese consensus, I don't agree at all either as the same as the Japanese government disapproves. I think many Koreans and Chinese are whinging without the proper knowledge of the past. So as many Japanese ppl are being arrogant without the proper knowledge, too. I am not the one who all-it-know. I keep looking into this issues and I just think the both sides need to try to at least listen what the other 'shore' is saying. Without knowing the others view, how would you know where your opinion stands?

    To Joi Ito:

    "Or am I missing the point completely?"

    Yes you are. As are many others.

    The point is: A NUCLEAR ARMED DETERRENCE FOR JAPAN. That should blow away the thick blanket of fog clouding the capacity for sober analysis of the issues/non-issues by dip-shit leaders around the globe.

    They''ll sit up and take notice; everything will become crystal clear for the dip-shit leaders. :D

    hitory is always about war, and bad things happen in wars. it is also “lies that have been agreed upon”, but those lies are written by the winners. was the bombing of dresden anything but a civilian massacre? was hiroshima? isn't there a lot of bad things happening to the civilian population in iraq today?
    japan, being on the loosing side in the second world war, isn't allowed to rewrite history the way the british and americans have. chinese and other asian neighbours will continue to remind them of this whenever it suits them.

    Firstly some quickies, sort of....

    To psyhro at 110 on the Chinese Triads

    Frankly, like you, when I was growing, we too hear all these horror stories except it was about the Japanese Yakuza, how organised they were, their violence and brutality, how their tentacles extends into coporate Japan and Japanese Politics and their politics of right wing extremism being the public remanant of Japan's militaristic past, as portrayed by the popular media of course.

    Likewise the modern Chinese Triad also have its roots in right wing nationalism that originated in the Soong dynasty and popular underground resistance against first the Mongols (ex. the first Ming emporer was an opportunistic bandit who overthrew the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty) and later the Manchus.

    The Triads would later participate in resistance against the Japanese invasion under Sun Yat-Sen, Chiang-Kai Shek and the Chinese Nationalists, who had financial and personnel support from and also used the Triads as an informal spy network in the Chinese resistance while continuing to participate in common criminality.

    However, they were later wiped out by the Communists in Mainland China or fled overseas, because of their close association with the Nationalists and what the CCP regarded as its bourgeoise corruption. Nowadays it has degenerated into common organised criminality and the Chinese people view members with either ambivalence or outright disdain.

    Likewise, and Peter can correct me if I am mistaken, the Scilian/Italian Mafia also have its roots in right wing nationalism that can be traced back to Italian resistance to the French invasion and occupation during the Napoleonic wars in the 1800's, which later brought about the unification of the numerous Italian kingdoms and principlities under the House of Piedmont and Garibaldi during what Italians call the Risorgimento or Unification of the Italian Penninsula between 1815-1871 into the modern Italian State as we know it today.

    To Joi on Koxinga

    Koxinga himself was not a pirate, but his father was, as well as being a merchant. However, I only wanted to highlight Japanese piracy by using the history behind Koxinga as a starting point (can further google 'ancient japanese piracy' to find out more).

    While his father was perhaps just an opportunistic individual, you can ask yourself, how much of all our history are actually made by opportunistic indivduals just such as these? Irrespective of whether we were brought up in a conformist socitety or not.

    Furthermore, imperialist ambitions/nationalism do not suddenly appear fully formed, but are like everything else a long gradual process that are often a direct response to percieved external threats (see above Italian unification and German unification under Prussia/Bismarck). Likewise, I would suggest that ancient Japanese piracy were conducted by southern Japanese clans in order to gain resources to resist/defeat their own domestic/near rivals (see Queen Elizabeth I/ Sir Francis Drake and piracy against the Spanish and see how all this ties in with the Triads/Yakuza/Mafia above).

    It is from this that germinate into later imperialist ambitions when the Western powers arrive on the scene.

    MostlyVowels wrote @111

    History is basically “lies that have been agreed upon”, and cannot be reduced to a mere aggregate of “facts” — inasmuch as facts can be reliably established at all.

    History is always accompanied with a post-facto explicative framework, and the natural variety of human opinion ensures that there will always be some legitimate divergence as to how facts are perceived.

    Take the Nanjing massacre, for example. I believe it realistic that the IJA killed in “pacification”, anti-guerilla and reprisal operations 10 to 20 thousand military (often civilian-clothed) and civilians there. I do not lend any credence, however, to the 300,000 victims number that has been the official-ish Chinese dogma for some time. This is based on these simple observations:


    OK, let me point out that what MostlyVowels expanded on above is but one approach towards the analysis of history and I seriously hope that this is not the only approch to historical anlaysis that is taught in Japanese history classes. An alternative is for historians/interested laymen to classify and distinguish between primary or secondary sources of evidence, or in jurisprudence/law this is commonly distinguished as evidence, which is admissable in court, and hearsay, which, while inadmissable as evidence, trial lawyers will nevertheless use to set the context or background of the case.

    Up till now I have been extremely reluctant to recommend any specific history books nor websites in this discussion. Why? Firstly, while the internet is a very useful research tool, it is also a rumour mill full of hearsay and I rather interested parties google /research the topics themselves and let them reach their own conclusions by judging the quality of the evidence presented on individual website. This is also why @79 I, as an overseas Chinese person who was not born on the Mainland, challenged open minded and non pre-judgemental Japanese participants to look for primary sources of evidence, namely from talking to their grandfathers and their friends’ grandfathers and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll learned, not only from what they say, but also their attitude in what they refuse to talk about, so that it is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth if you will’.

    As regarding history books, whether school texts or popular history books, they too can become a combination of unvarnished primary and tainted secondary evidence, including Iris Chang’s book, and again I would urge readers to learn to know and recognise themselves and try to distinguish the two sources free of their own ingrained prejudices, for it is often our own ulginess that is most difficult for us to face up to (The Bible: those free of sins can cast the first stone).

    Returning to MostlyVowels’ approach, while it is initially useful as a tool to distinguish primary and secondary evidence, to blindly follow his approach to historical analysis till the very end is ultimate unproductive in that it achieves precisely nothing, but takes us down a metaphysical quagmire. Scepticism, however healthy can only take you that far, otherwise there would be no human progress in all spheres of life and we would spend all time incessantly questioning facts.

    To put this into more graphical terms:

    If a tree in a forest falls and there is nobody to hear it, does it make a sound?

    Or

    MostlyVowels, if I kill your father and erases all evidence of him and there is nobody there to see me doing it , does that mean the act of me killing your father never occurred?

    It is precisely because of the limited usefulness of this approach that respected historians have relegated to that of an approach towards evidence, rather than the end all and be all approach to historical evidence.

    As mentioned before I am reluctant to recommend any single book, but I shall break this habit and suggest the following books and google topics and urge readers to nevertheless make up their own mind….

    Richard J. Eans, ‘Telling Lies About Hitler’ – on how not to approach historical analysis
    Ian Buruma, ‘The Wages of Guilt’ – on different treatment of the memories of war in Germany and Japan
    Hannah Arendt, ‘The Origins of Totalitariansim’ – exactly as it says on the box


    As google topic of primary evidence, google:
    ‘Ienaga Saburo’ and ‘Japanese history textbooks’
    ‘Yoshio Shinozuka’ and ‘chemical/biological research’

    Apologies for the typo error...

    its Richard J Evans, 'Telling Lies about Hitler'

    I think when MostlyVowels said 'Society of Nations', I am hoping he meant the League of Nations, who was the precursor of today's United Nations.

    As to that old chestnut about history being only written by the victors, this may be true a couple hundred years ago, however when it comes to events in modern history it simply does not hold up to scrutiny as a hypothesis with the advent of forensically and scietifically verifiable photography, modern travel and eyewitness accounts of third party foreigners (google John Rabe and Nanjing) and surviving victims and war veterans.

    Interesting Story from the AFP:

    China has shut down several anti-Japanese websites to prevent people from organising more protests through the internet, in a further indication on Friday that the government feared demonstrations would get out of hand.

    The websites had carried messages calling for large-scale demonstrations on May 1 and May 4 in Shanghai, Nanjing, Wenzhou and Chongqing. May 1 is marked as Labour Day in China, while May 4 is the anniversary of the landmark 1919 May Fourth Movement - in which students led protests against the country's weakness in standing up to foreign countries, especially Japan.

    The protest announcements predated a government warning on Thursday banning all demonstrations organised through the internet or mobile phones not approved by police, in the strongest expression of opposition following three weekends of sometimes violent anti-Japanese rallies.

    The marches, some of the biggest in China in recent years, were largely organised through internet chat-rooms and mobile short messaging, methods that the government appears to have difficulty controlling.

    The websites shut down include www.gd918.org; www.cfdd.org.cn and www.china918.cn/forum.asp.

    "This website's bbs [discussion forum] - Strong Country Forum - is temporarily suspended. We are carrying out maintenance work on our database," one of the websites said. Others did not offer an explanation.

    The Japanese consulate in Shanghai meanwhile posted a warning on its website to Japanese expatriates about the possible protests.

    "It's telling them that although we don't have anything to confirm the reports, because this is put up on the Internet, be aware of this, be very careful of their behaviour and don't go near possible sites of demonstrations," a consulate official said. The consulate also called a meeting of Japanese representatives of businesses and associations on Thursday to alert them.

    Some trips by tourists and businessmen to China had been cancelled and two Japanese fairs planned for mid-May - one in Shanghai and another in the eastern city Yangzhou - had been postponed, the official said.

    "A Japan Fair was supposed to take place on the streets of Shanghai and would attract thousands of people," the official said. But he added: "This is not an appropriate time to hold such an event."

    While some protestors said on Friday that they understood the government's decision to clamp down, other expressed disappointment.

    "I've seen some of the footages from the protests, showing people hitting Japanese things. I don't think this is good. ... This could cause social unrest if the government doesn't put a stop to it," said protestor Dance Wu.

    However, another protestor said he was "very angry" the government allowed them to protest only when it found it useful to put pressure on Japan and stopped them when it found it inconvenient.

    "In the end, we were just pawns used by them," said the protestor, identifying himself by his internet name, Xiaodao.

    But he said: "Even though we were used, we still wanted to keep protesting. Many people feel this way."

    The protestors opposed Japan's perceived lack of atonement for its wartime atrocities and its bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

    "The protestors opposed Japan's perceived lack of atonement for its wartime atrocities and its bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council."
    [http://joi.ito.com/archives/2005/04/19/chinese_anti-japan_protests.html#c022599]


    Not the for the same reasons the Chinese leadership is using the protestors though, i.e., Taiwan independence, Russian oil pipeline, and the islet gas field dispute.

    MostlyVowels wrote @ 120

    Take the Nanjing massacre, for example. I believe it realistic that the IJA killed in “pacification”, anti-guerilla and reprisal operations 10 to 20 thousand military (often civilian-clothed) and civilians there. I do not lend any credence, however, to the 300,000 victims number that has been the official-ish Chinese dogma for some time. This is based on these simple observations:


    Regarding MostlyVowels’ scepticism of the extent of the Nanjing Massacre.

    While the League of Nations representatives visited Nanjing 40 days after Nanjing was conquered by the IJA, the actual conquest and ‘pacification’ period was from December 1937 to March 1938 which meant it was just over four months before the representatives arived in Nanjing. Furthermore, I would argue that 40 days is plenty of time for the IJA with resources and forced labourers to hide the evidence.

    Indeed, it does not even need to hide/destroy all the bodies, roughly half to two thirds will do it, with the rest attributable to ‘collateral damage’ in the course of battle. Additionally, how many of these representatitives were Chinese or speak Chinese? I would also point to eyewitness accounts, particularly those of foreigners and foreign missionaries, such as one John Rabe, a German Nazi who was supposed to be a Japanese ally, maybe he was liar too or worse yet part of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

    Nanjing was a city of about 300,000 people – . Where did this come from??? Nanjing was one of the on and off ancient capital city of China, I very much doubt that its population was just 300,000, this is the approximate number of Chinese citizens/soldiers that was purportedly killed during the Massacre. Also, to say that the majority of this was Chinese soldiers would be disingenuous, when at the fall of Nanjing large majority of the nationalsit Chinese army have already retreated west. Even if in the end Nanjing was a ghost city, refugees flowing back into Nanjing seeking shelter would sufficiently reoccupy the city with a population the size of China’s back then.

    Eliminating large quantiites of human bodies –. Yes, 300,000 in 40 days is a challenging task, but not impossible with the resources of the IJA (how big was an IJA combat unit and was there only one involved at Nanjing?) at the time and enforced labourers as mentioned earlier. The German concentration camp system of Auschwitz/Birkenau was not just about killing jews. It was about ‘processing’ them by the smaller organisation of the Nazi SS rather than the far larger IJA equivalent of the German Wehrmacht (the regular army), which the Nazi high command believed was untrustworthy or cannot be relied upon to carry out the ‘final solution’.

    This ‘processing’ included the retention of relatively fit/healthy jews and other ‘undesirables’ to work in surrounding factories to aid the German war effort, while ‘culling’ the weak and the old, thereby by requiring the three years you said it took it took to eliminate 1 to 1.5 million people. Having briefly been a soldier and anybody here who are doctors can attest to this, I can safely say that human beings are actually physically very fragile animals and very easy to kill compare to other predators in the animal kingdom, 300,000 people would theoretically at the most minimum only required 300,000 bayonet puncture, unless the IJA was inclined to be creative….and how big is an IJA combat unit?

    As to the ‘dismantle body/evidence elimination facilities’ MostlyVowels believed would be required – at Nanjing in 1938 the IJA was not interested in prisoners or labourers to aid the war effort, why they have plenty of those in the rest of Asia, plus America has not entered the war yet.

    I would further say go and look at all the war photos where massacres and atrocities were committed and not just that in Nanjing (modern examples include ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda) and you inevitably find photos of ditches full of bodies, simply and usually duged by some prisoners with shovels, while a couple hundred jerry cans of gasoline would be optional to burn the bodies. High-tech Japanese Auschwitz/Birkenau not required.

    Furthermore, through Nanjing runs the world’s third longest river, the Yangtze, which peole who have seen it in Shanghai and further upriver, closer to Nanjing, can testify that it is a very wide and swift flowing river. The assault and massacre at Nanjing took place between December and March/April 1937/1938, thus being early spring when snow melts and rivers are typically particularly full and rapid flowing, dosen’t take a genius to see that the river becomes MostlyVowels’ readily available ‘dismantle body/evidence elimination facility’ (anybody saw pictures of those corpses of Rwandans floating in the river like ‘logs’?) that easyily flushes the bodies into the sea within 40 days. Look at a map, Nanjing is actually not very far away from Shanghai which is on the coast and take into account speed of river flow during those seasonal months. Thus, what logistical capabilities requirements are there that the IJA would further need???

    Lastly, has anybody here, including those who are Japanese, declared themselves an expert on Japanese culture, politics, language, education etc. ? I sure as hell didn’t think I have done so, but if I have inadvertently and arrogant;ly come across as so, then I shall ‘sincerely express my heartfelt remorse’, which I hope would be sufficient by way of an apology ;)

    As Peter earlier said, we are here to discuss and debate with reference to our past experiences and interactions with Japanese people and culture, which in my case included a wonderful Japanese ex-girlfirend of mine who introduced me to many of the more positive sides of Japanese culture.

    As to Chinese ‘rationale that pluralism in history is undesirable’, well, I humbly refer visitors to what I have said earlier on this issue.


    So I googled today for first Japanese Google and confirmed that Koizumi's appology was on top news. Then I googled Chinese Google and I didn't find any again in the page. So I searched with the word "Koizumi" in Chinese charactors (it consists of two Chinese charactors means 'small' and 'fountain') and I found four mainland Chinese news articles reporting what he said in Jakarta. Which wasn't different from what it is reported in the other countries. But I have a sense that they're trying to playdown at little bit and I am sure that upsets the many "protesters" in China. I think the government at the same time hoping those "protesters" would not turn their angre towards to them next.

    Then I found many opinions, Chinese op-ed, Hong Kong letters to the aditors etc demanding the actions not thw words. So, it started making sense to me for Chinese reactions. They want the actions not the words. That's what I ask Japanese government too. And like I said, it's happening though happning too late. Asia 'settled down' only recently. I travel places like China of course for business once a week or so, Vietnam, Cambodia, Phillipines, Indonesia, Thailand, I have not visited Korea though I am very interested in. For Chinese who went thru all the other invations from Russia, Korean, then Japan, then their communist government (cultural revolution) ended and settled down at last in 80's. For Japan at 80's they were already the 2nd biggest economic country in the world. These two countried stepped absolutly different history for the last 55 years. They have diffrent stand point of view on every aspect.

    Hey, have any men and women ever agreed on anything by the way? Not really. Are we arguing all the time? Yes. But can we not make a good relationship? I believe yes. Like someone said above, "History is basically “lies that have been agreed upon”, and cannot be reduced to a mere aggregate of “facts” — inasmuch as facts can be reliably established at all." I agree with that. We all have differnt stand point of view. Diversity. Importance is to listen the others.

    Hong Kong Guy --

    -----------quote-------------
    When i mentioned my opinion, some got offended.
    This is quite opposite to my experience in Germany.
    -----------------------------

    Because German history with Nazis and Japanese history of imperial government is structually different. I don't know why ppl still want to compare the way they compensate and that Germany regain the trust from its neiboughring countries. They did well but without disarm Nazis like they did, they would'n be succesful on taking care of aftermath. This is one and big tragedy of Japanese government now, empeor remained, too not that I am being againt to it but just as a fact.

    Some Chinese appear to be suffering from a long bout of constipation.

    I've got the cure.

    I'll stick a nuke up their ass and light the fuse!

    I'm making a point of not deleting any comments, but please ignore the clearly hateful and inflamatory messages. If anyone feels strongly that I should delete a comments, email me at jito[at]neoteny.com and I would be happy to discuss it.

    Joi, you should be receiving very strong objections to my comments from Chinese and other commies, and global slave plantation facilitators.

    There's nothing hateful about what I've posted. I don't hate the Chinese or anyone else. I'm trying to provide some perspective, i.e., things could turn out much worse than any, alleged, recorded his-story atrocities.

    There are people, living and breathing and yet to be born, who'd make Genghis Khan, Alexander the Not-So-Great, Caesar, Pharaoh, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Tojo, Roosevelt, Churchill, all combined into one big pile of shit, look like a troop of snot-nosed Cub Scouts given the opportunity.

    Some further thoughts on 'pluralism of historical facts'

    Frankly, there is nothing wrong with a pluralism of speculation, hypothesis, conclusions etc. However, there would be something seriously wrong if there is a 'pluralism of historical facts'.

    Why? I forward the example of a multi-coloured cube. Whilst different people looking at the cube from different angles may perhaps only see a colour that is different from what another person sees and argue over what colour we each see. However, the fact remains that it is a cube and it is only when we all move back a little that we realise and can all agree it is in fact a multi-coloured cube. Its call an agreed upon perspective.

    As a multi-coloured cube remians a cube, to argue that there is a 'pluralism of historical facts', either implies that we are each looking at a different thing, ie me looking at a cube and another looking at a pyramid and another looking at a sphere. Because if that was not so, then we are either not taliking about the same thing, we are each using a different language, or we are each living on different a planet. So maybe when I was taliking about the massacre of Nanjing, MostlyVowels was perhaps taling about the occupation of Shanghai.

    Facts can be disputed, it can be challenged, it can be proven or disproved, but a fact remains a fact. There is no many facts of one fact, otherwise somebody have double vision or is seeing double.

    As regarding Nanjing and the extent of the massacre or Auschwitz/Birkenau or Rwanda, by the time you reach hundreds of thousands, what does it matter whether its 200,000 or 300,000. What matters is the way these people were killed, how and why one person can do this to another, what caused and enabled so many to do it, and the sheer cruelty and humanity of it all.

    Now I must go and relieve myself before I take Pectral's comments @ 137 too seriously.... :)

    when one or two peole are killed, it is a personal tragedy, but when 200,000 or 300,000 people are killed, it is a human tragedy and all of us, no matter who or where we come from should remember it and remember it with truth and honesty.

    Oliver, you should actually read the references you cite. John Rabe, who was a leader of the International Safety Zone Commitee, estimated in his diary that Nanking's population to be less than 300,000 when the city fell into Japanese hands.

    Population numbers provided by Rabe, and the League of Nations' inspectors' report stating that no evidence of large-scale massacres could be found, are elements that I actually give consderation to, as they have much more credibility than the possibly fabricated statistics that have been presented more recently. This is just rational thinking, an attitude that strives to ascertain whether notions that are deemed to be true can actually be true, by checking them for consistency.

    Here are some other issues where, IMHO, some critical thinking would not go amiss:

    Assertion: The schoolbooks used in Japan are revisionist, inspired by the right wing or teach an erroneous view of History.
    Verification: Have you actually read the textbooks used in Japan ? If not, how do you know, barring some kind fo magical expertise, that the above assertion is true ?

    Assertion: Japan hasn't apologized for its past misdeeds
    Verification: Have you actually read and understood the Japanese text of these apologies ?

    Assertion: The Japanese PMs and politicians worship war criminals
    Verification: How can you so confidently know what is inside a person's mind ? Have you God-like powers of insight into the human soul, or at the very least an array of substantive observations about a person's behavior, relationships, writings and sayings that makes such an assessment plausible ?

    Assertion: What the Chinese government says, on History in particular, is true.
    Verification: Are these facts, assessments or statistics corroborated by reliable, preferably non-Chinese sources ?

    Assertion: the fact that a middle-aged woman has (silently ?!) “banged” on your girlfriend's seatback in a bus after she reclined it provides insight into the possible mental and cultural state of the Japanese soldiers at the time of the Nanjing 'incident'.
    Verification: How reliable is your mental model of the Japanese psyche that can connect such apparently disparate phenomena as the behavior of a modern middle-aged lady in a bus, on the one hand, and that of a male soldier in a war zone 70 years ago, on the other ?

    Oliver,
    Responding to 129, there are many theories about the orgins of the Italian mafia/la cosa nostra. To my knowledge there is even real uncertainty regarding the origins of the word 'mafia.' (I've heard/read/seen on TV at least 5 different theories.)*

    I know the mafia itself woulf probably prefer that we embrace the idea that its origins are patriotic. As far as right wing-it depends on what you mean by right wing. Il Duce was a rightist in many respect, yet I think he had a poor relationship with the mafia.

    Its hard to say when the mafia organically arose. In its structural arrangements and aspects of its ethos, you can actually see a distant echo of ancient Roman culture. But its hard to say-that might be spurious.

    I think the mafia's true origins are not well understood. I think that, by comparison, the Yakuza has much clearer roots.

    *La Cosa Nostra is a much more recently adopted phase which basically means "this thing of ours."

    For those of you have an interest in the speech made by Prime Minister Koizumi on April 22, 2005. It contains the whole speech and is officially (but provisionally) translated in English by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.
    http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/meet0504/speech.html

    Hi there.
    Thanks for all your attention and comments.

    I guess everyone has their own standpoint to look at certain issues. Like there is an "angry at Chinese people" guy stating his opinion coz his country happens to be one of "the closest and friendliest allie" with Japan. And one of you guys have mentioned about rarely anyone in mainland China know about the fight of "Guo Min Dang" to defend Nanjing City from being captured by Japanese. It is wrong. Actually the military leader in Nanjing at that time is from my hometown and I knew how hard he has fought to stop the then capital falling into the hand of Japanese. But how on earth could he sustain with his limited troops and weapons when the main part of both "Guo Min Dang"'s arm force and wealth and intelligence have fled to ChongQin and instantly made there a temperoray capital in war?

    Well, I'd like to present an original Chinese's voice if you would allow me.

    I am surprised how rooted and influential the idea of the overwhelming and dominant role Chinese government plays at every single aspect of China's life still remain so prevalent around. It is like every time something happens, people would just quickly pull over political power as a quick and comfortable conclusion.

    Please, dear all, the diplomats who are unwilling to "apologize for the damages the protestors caused", the government officials who didn't even think about sending out arm force to threaten the people on the streets, there is every chance they might be victims themselves in the evil invasion, with their respected and dearly beloved family members being ruthless killed by Japanese. Chinese people couldn't be more united on this issue, that kind of determination could never, never be understood by any outsiders who haven't been through those horrible slaughters and humiliations themselves before.

    It is just like that we could never, ever understand what Japanese are thinking or feeling on this issue, just because we couldnt understand how it feels to be on the other side as blood-loving killers and rapers.

    [quote]It is just like that we could never, ever understand what Japanese are thinking or feeling on this issue, just because we couldnt understand how it feels to be on the other side as blood-loving killers and rapers.[/quote] *145- Qian @ April 24, 2005 11:07 PM


    Very intersting point of view, ya Chinese commie!

    Peter @143

    I defer to your greater knowledge of the various origins of the Italian Mafia and I can only relate to readers the information that I have personally come across on the Chinese Triads.

    However, I know practically nothing regarding the origins of the Japanese Yakuza and would welcome any brief intro from any knowledgeable readers.

    Responding to MostlyVowels @142

    Dear MostlyVowels, I am glad that you have finally moved away from ‘pluralism of facts’ to ‘strives to ascertain’, so that we can finally find some common ground (perspectives?).

    However, before I proceed to address the points you raised, I politely suggests that you go back and carefully and calmly reread what I wrote, my choice of words, my use of adverbs and adjectives (apart from those that were obvious typo errors ) and differentiate between assertions I may or may not have made, how I made them and those raised by the media and PRC/ROK demonstrators as reported by the media, I further kindly suggests that you do not put words into my mouth. Lets raise the general standard of this debate, shall we? Before I proceed to my alleged ‘assertions’ however….


    On population of Nanjing at the time of the Massacre (Sigh!)
    The approximately 300,000 people purportedly killed during the Nanjing Massacre, far from it being the ‘official-ish Chinese dogma’ (now, I don’t know what you mean here by ‘Chinese’- do you mean the CCP, the Chinese people in PRC, Chinese people everywhere, or the world-wide Chinese conspiracy that seeks to brainwash the rest of the world? Pardon my exasperated flippancy.), was the number forward as evidence at the War Crimes tribunal by Chinese humanitarian charities involved in the relief effort and compiled burial records after the Massacre, it may or may not included guess/estimates of those bodies dumped into the Yangtze River and swept into the sea or those already buried/destroyed by the IJA.

    Absent of any other available evidence to the contrary from the Japanese side at the tribunal (hmmm, I wonder why?), this number was accepted by the tribunal and later by most historians, including some Japanese ones, as authoritative (here again, the theme of the 'common perspective').

    Of course, one can say that the tribunal consisted of the victors and thus hardly impartial, however to delve any further into the motivations of the tribunal at this point would require a doctoral thesis if not a major book, thus we shall leave it at that.

    Whilst there have been many debates as to how Nanjing’s actual population at the time can be defined and counted, whether by geography, as in did it included people living in Nanjing’s suburbs, Suzhou itself or just within the ancient walled city? By time frame, as in from the time the IJA pushed out of Shanghai until the end of the Nanjing Massacre on March/ April 1938 or from the beginning of the assault on Nanjing until the end of March/April 1938.

    Whether it included soldiers and resistance fighters, who may be deemed lawfully killed, or civilians, who were illegally killed, or those civilians who were falsely accused of being resistance fighters and summarily executed. And finally, also consider the fluidity and dynamics of civilian population movement in wars.

    Although, the exact number lends itself to the gravity of the Massacre and appeal to the emotive side of our human nature, we must all surely know that as these ‘statistics’, whether supplied by John Rabe, any other foreigners at the time or Chinese charity organisations then, is opened to interpretations/criticisms and in this case, profoundly so due to the few factors briefly expanded upon above. However, this does not/cannot and should not detract from the irrefutable fact that hundreds of thousands were both lawfully (as during the course of battle) and illegally (civilians/POWs) killed.

    Hence, throughout this discussion and with obvious reasons I have never asserted a definitive number as absolute, though others in the media or elsewhere may have done so, as based on the figure accepted by the War Crime tribunal, so that MostlyVowels either attributed it as my ‘assertion’ or misunderstood my argument.

    I have rather sought to address MostlyVowels’ contention @120 that the killing of 300,000 people and the corresponding elimination of evidence in just 40 days has ‘no credence’ and this being the reason why ‘Japanese textbooks do not report the accepted Chinese dogma verbatim’ (substitute ‘Chinese’ with ‘War Crimes Tribunal’ here).

    I hope I have achieved this by giving the possible means and opportunity of the Nanjing Massacre and the subsequent elimination of evidence as described @134 and by further providing ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda as contemporarily and relative/comparative examples, hoping that MostlyVowels and other participants can google them and discover their causes, motives, means and opportunity against the Massacre at Nanjing. For example, in Rwanda it is purported that 800,000 dispersed Tutsis were murdered in 100 days by both Hutu soldiers and civilians, who were less organised.

    Sometimes, just because something is so beyond the pale and so unimaginable to us who grew up and lives our comfortable lives in the developed world, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible, have not happened before or cannot happen again.

    I hope by doing so that my argument @134 have satisfied the standards of proof required as based on ‘a balance of probabilities’ as well as that based on it being ‘beyond reasonable doubts’. I invite all debate participants and readers to be my jury.

    Oliver, to summarize your points:

    • The Chinese presented the 300,000 number to the International Military Tribunal, and as the indicted Japanese couldn't prove a negative, it means that the number must be true (never mind the report from the League of Nations' inspection team, or eyewitness accounts like Rabe's which give a quite reliable idea of the city's population)

    • The functioning and impartiality of the IMT and the rules of evidence accepted there would require books and doctoral theses to analyze, and are thus too complicated to analyze, so for the sake of simplicity we'll just assume that they were fair

    • Anyway, there is always enough flexibility in how we, the Chinese, define or redefine the Japanese occupation's geographical and time scope, and the meaning of "Nanking" and "massacre", to make any of the numbers we advance realistic

    • Snow happens to thaw in December and January in China, making the overflowing rivers ideal to surreptitiously dump hundreds of thousands of bodies; the IJA duped the League of Nation's inspection team by taking advantage of the fluidity and dynamics of population movement during wars to replace Nanjing's eliminated population with hundreds of thousands of Chinese people they found elsewhere. Never mind “why” the IJA would go to such trouble — we all know that the Japanese psyche is impenetrable

    • Massacres by the Nazis, or in Yugoslavia or Rwanda actually happened. We'll disregard the fact that in all these cases, there existed a (sinister) consistency in the religious and ethnic criteria, and the policies which motivated these killings. Anyway, the mere fact that it's possible in theory to kill large numbers of people plausibly indicates that the IJA has actually eliminated their victims' bodies. The fact that the IJA didn't implement a policy of ethnic cleansing in other cities they conquered, like Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore is irrelevant, because we know that the Japanese psyche is special and we cannot expect consistency in their policies

    • The fact that the Official Chinese™ version of History is not taught in Japan proves that that country still hasn't come to terms with its past, unlike e.g. Germany which is a country that we Chinese know so well

    "The fact that the Official Chinese™ version of History is not taught in Japan proves that that country still hasn't come to terms with its past..." MostlyVowels@149
    You've got some screws lose, buddy.

    The fact that the official Japanese version of his-story is not taught in China proves that country still hasn't come to terms with its past. China has to view his-story objectively and reflect those views faithfully in their textbooks before any healing can begin. Any forthcoming official apologies by China to its' own people and East Asian neighbors would also be a step in the right direction.

    China will forever be haunted by its' brutal, bloody, tyrannical past if it continues on the presently charted course, dispensing centralized state propaganda, lies, and distortions to its' hundreds-of-millions of ignorant subject-slaves.

    China can lead and set an example for others to follow by implementing these measures immediately! The world is watching.

    Banning the consumption cats, dogs, rats, and other furry creatures would be of great benefit to the soiled, tattered image of Chinese as well.

    Hope that helps.

    My alleged ‘Assertions’ as suggested by MostlyVowels @142

    MostlyVowels:
    Assertion: The schoolbooks used in Japan are revisionist, inspired by the right wing or teach an erroneous view of History.
    Verification: Have you actually read the textbooks used in Japan ? If not, how do you know, barring some kind fo magical expertise, that the above assertion is true ?

    Oliver:
    Before I address the above ‘assertion’, I shall exapnd on the ‘nature’ of lies and the act of lying. As we all know, there are mistakes, outright lies, white lies, half-truths and ommissions, just to name a few within the whole range of the spectrum in between. What many demonstrators and the governments of PRC/ROK, as reported by the media, have accused the Japanese govt. of in allowing alleged revisionist textbooks onto the approved reading list are half-truths and ommissions, which I believe are far more insidious and nefarious than outright lies.

    Why? Because half-truths and omissions distort the context of facts thereby potentially distorting, ‘downplay’, ‘spinning’, ‘whitewashes’ historical facts and events into something that it is most definitely not (see Bush/Blair/Rumsfeld/Cheyne on evidence of Iraqi WMD. My personal sympathy is with Colin Powell for having been duped by his bosses before the UN).

    In truth, I have actually read the translated passages of these revisionist textbooks, including those that evoked protests from Asian governments in the past, namely Japanese revisionist textbooks from the 1980’s, 1990’s right up to the most recent ones (yup, this is not the first time the Japanese government have done this). I’ve read the American English, British English, Chinese, German and French translations of these passages from the relevant Japanese textbooks and they are all pretty much in agreement as to the content, context and nature of the texts.

    As to whether I’ve actually read the textbooks used in Japan, I shall refer readers to what Sir Isaac Newton once said, ‘we but stand on the shoulders of giants’ or the way my father more prosaically puts it, ‘We are living in the 20th Century, if I want eggs, I don’t need to raise chickens myself’. Hence, no, I have not actually read all the textbooks myself, but instead I have relied on others’, who are more competent in translations to do it for me, hopping that they have the professional integrity to translate the relevant texts truthfully and honestly, just as all of us rely on others for other things in our everyday lives, be it our doctors, our postman or our colleagues. Its called society.

    Furthermore, I and many others know that the relevant textbook(s) is just one(a few) of many that are on the approved reading list and that many of the others are not revisionist, just as many of us know that many of those soldiers/civillians who are buried at Yasukuni alongside the 14 Class A war criminals were themselves duped by Japan’s ultra-right wing military government of WWII Japan and that modern Japanese politicans go to shrine as much to pray for the souls of these duped soldiers/civillians.

    (Coincidently it would be interesting and fair to find out how many schools haveadopted such texts in the past, whether it is the only textbook adopted, and the alumni members of these schools, whether it included government officials and other social leaders past and present.)

    However, it only takes a few drops of ink to turn a glass of clear water blue, rendering it unpalatable. Likewise, it only takes a few passages in a few textbooks to raise the suspicion and with reasons, considering Japan’s past and its neighbours’ feelings about it, that Japan is ‘rewritting’ history. Similarly, it only takes 14 Class A war criminals to sully the memories and tragedy of both Japanese and non-Japanese victims of Japan’s militarism, unless these politicians and the Japanese people do not really believe that these 14 Class A war criminals were in fact guilty of any war crimes or indeed that these textbooks were not revisionist at all.

    In international diplomacy as it is in Japanese and many other societies' social customs, sometimes symbolism is everything and particularly regarding issues of wartime atrocities. Thus, see German Chancellor Willi Brandt's kneeing before Polish WWII memorial in 1971 and the later holding of hands between French President Francoise Mitterand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to signfy friendship and forgiveness.

    I don't think anybody can doubt the power of such symbolic gestures which also give rise to PRC/ROK's assertion that words alone are not enough, indeed I would say that even arguing that reparations disguised as ODA is enough is risible, just as to say that all the old ladies who were once forced to become 'comfort women' just wanted money is unpardonable, when what many of them perhaps truly want is their dignity.

    Some courage would not go amiss.


    MostlyVowels:
    Assertion: What the Chinese government says, on History in particular, is true

    Oliver:
    Maybe apart from MostlyVowels, I think we are all mature enough to know not to fully trust anything ours or any governments have to say absolutely (Iraqi WMD anyone?), including ‘democratic’ governments and politicans who are mainly interested in getting our votes just prior to elections. In many ways I wonder if authoritarian governments are not preferable in this regard as you can usually see their lies from a mile away, because of their often lack of sophistication in ‘spinning’ and distortion (anybody here in advertising or marketing?).

    MostlyVowels:
    Assertion: the fact that a middle-aged woman has (silently ?!) “banged” on your girlfriend's seatback in a bus after she reclined it provides insight into the possible mental and cultural state of the Japanese soldiers at the time of the Nanjing 'incident' .

    Oliver:
    Dear MostlyVowels, I again suggest that you go back and read what I wrote VERY CAREFULLY and VERY CALMLY and might I politely suggest the use of a dictionary. Noticed my use of the words ‘mild’, ‘anecdotal’ and ‘possible hint’? They are not there without reasons and it wasn’t my girlfriend’s seatback, but my wife’s (I think my wife would take exception to me still referring to her as just my girlfriend).

    On the whole, I agree with what oioi and others have said here that Japanese history and its developments, and to a certain extent that of China’s too, are out of steps with each other and with that of other western societies. I would further suggest that during the Meiji period whilst Japan, under the guidance of its then elites, undertook to adopt western technologies, means of production and economic doctrines to reach parity with western powers, it consciously refused to adopt western social/humanitarian philosophy, such as concepts of ‘liberty’, ‘equality’ and ‘brotherhood’ (solidarity?) as borned out of the French Revolution or those of the Scottish Enlightenment on moral and humanist philosophy among others prior to the Industrial Revolution in Europe.

    This Japanese refusal, possibly out of the percieved need to preserve national cultural identity or because of Japan’s then elites fear of social unrests/revolutions and corresponding lost of power (see also Ming emporer, the end of Zheng He’s sea voyages and maritime explorations and Ming China sealing its borders) or the imperatives of percieved western threats/pressure, have I believed subsequently led to Meiji Japan having all the western means of production and technology without the corresponding social/cultural/psychological constraints/brakes on how such means of production and technologies are employed and applied, thus culminating in the brutality and cruelty of its wars with its neighbours, thus further giving rise to the then western descriptions of the average WWII Japanese soldier as ‘peasant’ soldiers of the Emporer rather than ‘citizen’ soldiers of a nation.

    Indeed, as Japan has never had a revolution from the grassroots nor overthrew its government, this exceptionalism finds contemporary echoes in the admirable, but nevertheless disconcerting, unwavering dedications of its workers (the so called ‘salarymen’) to their companies up until perhaps the 80’s and 90’s and the Japanese people’s relative meeknes vis a vis the leadership of its government, which makes people like Ienaga Saburo all the more remarkable and extraordinary. Japanese readers currently living in Japan should perhaps talk to some of the homeless men among its midst about their experiences working for their company and ask them how they felt they were treated.

    Furthermore, unlike what MostlyVowels said at @ 120’s end, discovering, considering or accepting foreign viewpoints, arguments, phiolosophy, culture etc. is not about ‘weeding out the Japanese people’s subversive, incorrect, militarist and ignorant interpretations of History…’ (MostlyVowels @120). Frankly, I don’t think the Japanese people need the help of foreigners to socially condition its people. The samurai clans, the shogunate, the militarists and modern day Japanese mega-corporations and government bureaucracy have already done an excellent job of this (see the whole scandal involving the Japanese crown prince and his diplomat wife regarding the imperial household bureaucracy).

    Considering or accepting foreign viewpoints is about mutual understanding and acceptance. As Nev said it is not about a total change of culture, but add-ons, and which I believe the Japanese culture is strong enough to accept, but the question remains whether the Japnese people have the courage to face it and to self-reflect and self-evaluate.

    While I too am worried about China’s social developments not being in tune with its economic developments, I am more optimistic because of the few brief points below:

    1. The Chinese (and also the Korean) cultural icon, because of its Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture have often been that of the scholar rather than the warrior (often I find that not enough emphasis or studies have gone into the scholarly side of the samurai and the Bushido creed).

    2. China is becoming more open to foreign culture through the extraordinary large number of its students studying overseas and interactions with foreigners and Overseas Chinese who have had first hand experience of foreign culture and is a unquely foreign culture in its own right. Simultaneously these Overseas Chinese are also and have been reintroducing traditional Chinese culture that have withstood the foreign experience back into China leading to a revival/re-examination of its Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist heritage by people disillusioned with the hollowness of Communist ideology and economic success/hardship against the blank cultural canvass created by the Cultural Revolution (see popularity of Falun Gong).

    3. Most PRC Chinese are very cynical about the CCP, unsurprisingly because of its track record, however, the CCP itslef is not the same as it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago and nor will it be the same 10, 20 years from now (see the metamorphosis of the Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan from being an authoritarian dictatorship to being just another party within a democracy). The CCP is only accepted by its people because it brings relative stability, social peace and prosperity. The worrying question is whether the furture CCP will beome a fascist or a nationalist, but democratic government.

    4. As before, the Chinese people is ‘normal’ in that it has tendency to suffer bad governance poorly and woe to the CCP if it fails to change with the times or becomes unaccetably venal (which was one of the causes and complaints by the Tiananmen student protesters and student protesters towards the end of the Qin Dyansty that heralded the Guo Min Dang (Kuomintang or Chinese Nationalist Party) in the early 1900’s).

    In many ways, China is perhaps just now undergoing its social enlightenment period, but the question is whether it is allow to transform itself and whether it transform itself in time, before its transformation is derailed or into something undesirable by another war to become a China that is fascist.

    Ha, Ha, Without intending to elicit a homophobic response, Pectral, I hope you know that we all, including your parents do actually love you very much, you know :)

    Some forgotten his-story for the brainwashed Chinese subject-slaves.


    Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20040407213228/www.jiyuu-shikan.org/e/db4c.html


    Japan's Record on China

    Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China was one of the 48 allied nations which signed the Treaty of Peace with Japan, in 1951. In the treaty, Japan forfeited all its overseas assets, including even those in neutral countries. Japanese assets in China were vast, including not only governmental monetary deposits, but also railroads, factories, even monetary deposits of private citizens and private property, which are not normally forfeited. It is impossible to know the total value, but the Bank of Japan estimated total overseas assets at 111.1 billion dollars immediately after the war, a majority of them in China. How these assets were later utilized have been up to the discretion of the individual governments.


    The following year, Japan concluded a peace treaty with Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist China, with which Japan had fought the war, and not the present-day Communist regime of People's Republic of China which came to control China as a result of civil war in the years following World War II. The world also recognized nationalist China as the major fighter of the Chinese battlefront, as witnessed by the fact that Chiang Kai-shek's China had been given one of five permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

    In this treaty, China deemed it fit to renounce any rights to demand war reparations, reciprocating agreements concluded in the Treaty of Peace with Japan the year before.


    In 1978, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China was concluded, which normalized bilateral relations.

    Prior to this treaty, the two governments issued a joint communique (1972) in which China waived demands of war reparations from Japan. This is because the matter of war reparations between China and Japan had already been settled in peace agreements concluded in 1951 and 1952. In addition, People's Republic of China gained an international strategic benefit, of attaining recognition as the ruling government of China.


    In order to create constructive relations with Asian countries, Japan has spent huge amounts of taxpayer money on development aid .


    So far, China has been the recipient of 2.26 trillion yen worth of government aid (1997)*1 When President Ziang Zemin visited Japan last year, Japan agreed anew to provide 390 billion yen aid.


    In recent years, Japan has been China's no.1 aid donor. The most recent figures available for international comparison (1994-1996) shows that Japan has provided more than one half of aid that China receives from foreign countries.


    For 1996, Japan's official development aid was about 862 million dollars. The second donor, Germany, provided 461 million dollars. The third donor, France, provided 97million dollars. For 1995, Japan's aid was 1.38 billion dollars, and for 1994, 1.48 billion dollars. The sudden drop in the amount of aid for 1996 is attributed to the fact that Japan stopped certain grant cooperation from mid-1995 to mid-1997 in protest of China's nuclear experiments.


    *1 Telephone interview with Ministry of Foreign Affairs


    Unfortunately, the Chinese people remain totally ignorant of these facts. Apparently for political reasons, the Chinese government has made little effort, if any, to inform the public that Japan has been the greatest aid donor to China, and has constructed numerous facilities and infrastructure to contribute to the welfare of its citizens.


    Additional sources:


    Sankei Shinbun, Jan.22nd 1999 issue

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs on ODA figures



    Regarding MostlyVowels @ 149

    I find it interesting that while many historians and I called the International War Crimes Tribunal by its proper name, but that MostlyVowels calls it the ‘International ‘Military’ Tribunal’. I sincerely hope that this is because of language barriers or tanslation error, for otherwise I would be seriously worried about MostlyVowels’ ideological leaning or educational upbringing (did he come from one of those Japanese schools that used one of those revisionst textbooks???).

    On the impartiality of the International War Crimes Tribunal (or the ‘International ‘Military’ Tribunal’ as MostlyVowels likes to call it) – If MostlyVowels want to go and research it or write a book about it, hey be my guest! I will be very happy for MostlyVowels, provided he learns some of the methodologies of historical analysis, intellectual considerations, patience and rigour and abandon all that trash about ‘pluralism of facts’.

    On League of Nations – Many historians know that the League of Nations was a joke, it failed to stop Italian fascist aggression in Abyssinia, it failed to stop repeated Japnese aggression in Korea, Manchuria and finally China, it failed to mediate in the Spanish Civil War, it failed to prevent foreign involvement in the same Spanish Civil War, it failed to prevent Germany from rearming itself. The list goes on and on and is precisely this reason that it was abolished and that after WWII the United Nations was set up in its place. While the UN have its flaws and is often unable to mediate when a conflict involved one of the Superpowers (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Sino-Vietnamese War etc.), it’s what we have got now and on the whole (though some administrative and structual reforms with considerations of the failure of the League of Nations, would not go amissed), I would personally prefer it over the League of Nations anyday.

    On extent of Nanjing Massacre – I have just about said what I have wanted to say on this (Finally! Phew!). I have tried to present what I hope was a balanced viewpoint that takes into account of the competing arguments regarding the exact number of deaths without dismissing the authoritative number outright as an impossibility and why it was accepted. As to the cause of the Massacre, that’s another topic altogether and was what we were discussing and what I have alluded to previously, before this debate was hijacked by the numbers of deaths debate. I therefore raise my hand and plea guilty to the charge of participating in hijacking the deabte but ask for mitigation because of provocation by MostlyVowels :)

    On snow/river/elimination of physical evidence – Dear MostlyVowels, if you don’t know why somebody who have committed a crime (unless of course you don’t think it was a crime to kill so many people at Nanjing) would want to eliminate evidence, then I must agree with Pectral that you ‘have got some screws lose, buddy’ as he/she so succinctly puts it. I seriously hope for your own sake that you keep to your day job and don’t try to become a master criminal. On second thought, maybe you should try and become a master criminal. Yes! Go, please do….

    On ‘Massacres by the Nazis, or in Yugoslavia or Rwanda actually happened’ (MostlyVowels @149) – Dear MostlyVowels, I seriously hope that you are not implying here that you believe that the Nanjing Massacre of 1938 didn’t ACTUALLY happened, are you???

    On ‘The fact that the IJA didn't implement a policy of ethnic cleansing in other cities’ – Who the hell (pardon ma francaise) was talking of an IJA ethnic cleansing policy here? Qui? Moi? I definetly didn’t. MostlyVowels, that’s why its calll the Nanjing ‘Massacre’ and not the Nanjing ‘Genocide’, though no doubt some uneducated, right-wing extremist Chinese person would like to call it that, while some others may percieve it as such, provided there was or still is an apparent racist trait in the Japanese society then and now from which soldiers are recruited from. Indeed, what happened in Rwanda is called the ‘Rwandan Genocide’ for a reason and I suggest that MostlyVowels go and look up what it is and how it is defined as under International Law.

    On ‘The fact that the Official Chinese™ version of History is not taught in Japan’ – Dear MostlyVowels, I am afraid you don’t do irony or sarcasm very well. It is no good if I don’t understand what you are trying to say here….

    On ‘Germany which is a country that we Chinese know so well’ – Well, actually, Germany is a country that I DO understand AND know very well. You see I AM German, as well as being Chinese, just like Peter earlier, who is Irish AND Sicilian, or his wife who is Vietnamese AND Chinese (apologies Peter, sorry to be personal), just like there are Indians who are also Kenyan, or Ugandan or British, just like there are Japanese who are also American or Peruvian (Remember Fujimori, ex-Peruvian President, now disgraced). From my paternal ancestor I am also Manchurian and Han Chinese as well as Irish American, while from my maternal side I also have Malaysian Chinese. I also have a French Godfather from whom I got my name (Oliver being the anglized form of Olivier) who always disdain to speak English to me and would only talk to me in French (now Pectral will probably call me a ‘cheese eating surrendering monkey’ :)

    Now, I am not sure whether ‘multi-racial society’ or ‘multi-culturalism’ are concepts that MostlyVowels can grasp or not, but it is otherwise known by the rest of us variously as the ‘international society’, the world or our mother earth if you like. And if MostlyVowels still cannot grasp this concept, then I shall remind readers to what a right wing, racist Japanese politician/corporate leader once called the USA during the 1980’s, namely that the USA is a ‘mongrel society’ (sometimes Joi, just sometimes, I feel that the shadowy right-wing extremists are already in power in Japan, but we can’t recognise them because they are wearing sheep’s clothing, but thankfully it occassionally wags its tail, hence my concern for the Japanese people and the future of East Asia).

    And maybe the USA should be more careful who or what it supports (no news here, see Iraq, Panama, Egypt etc. or for China, see Burma etc.)

    Frankly I’d rather be a mongrel than an inbred, and now MostlyVowels, maybe you would like to tell us all a bit about yourself, come on, don't be shy or coy....

    Oliver wrote @151:
    half-truths and omissions distort the context of facts thereby potentially distorting, ‘downplay’, ‘spinning’, ‘whitewashes’ historical facts and events into something that it is most definitely not
    Completely agree here. One is reminded of a country where student unrests in 1989 made the leadership realize that maybe some reinforced patriotic education was in order, impressing upon these ingrate and unknowing students the sterling, totemic achievements and successes of the Communist Party and the government, including e.g. how they liberated the country of the dastardly Japanese and of the Kuomintang threat. The young minds must be told how the CP has been doing a great job during the past sixty years !
    Look! We are the only Asian country with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council ! We have an agricultural development record that is better even than recognized international development references like Laos or North Korea ! “Omissions” in the official information flow ? Never ! We're just “protecting” your mind against the subversive counter-revolutionary propaganda of ne'er-do-wells, and corrupting foreign influences ! “Freedom of Speech” is overrated anyway, and a non-firewalled Internet is dangerous, you know ? You might get viruses or unpalatably capitalist spam messages ! Our main priority is to give you a well-balanced education that is fully open to the world and encourages diversity of opinion and critical thinking !
    In truth, I have actually read the translated passages of these revisionist textbooks, including those that evoked protests from Asian governments in the past, namely Japanese revisionist textbooks from the 1980’s, 1990’s right up to the most recent ones (yup, this is not the first time the Japanese government have done this). I’ve read the American English, British English, Chinese, German and French translations of these passages from the relevant Japanese textbooks and they are all pretty much in agreement as to the content, context and nature of the texts.
    Quite frankly, if the topic encompassess vocabulary, interpretation, nuances, what might be said in Japanese texts, and how it is said, I'm not really interested in debating the issue with a person who might rely on foreign language translations, as I find translated texts often lacking from a linguistic or cultural background awareness point of view. You have your standards and views as to how language or (original) source materials should be pondered, I have mine.
    I find it interesting that while many historians and I called the International War Crimes Tribunal by its proper name, but that MostlyVowels calls it the ‘International ‘Military’ Tribunal’. I sincerely hope that this is because of language barriers or tanslation error, for otherwise I would be seriously worried about MostlyVowels’ ideological leaning or educational upbringing (did he come from one of those Japanese schools that used one of those revisionst textbooks???).
    Apologies. I will defer to your superior knowledge of nuance, as I suppose your incomparable Chinese education gives you an advantage in detecting, be it in English or Japanese, the subtle whiffs of dastardly revisionist thinking embodied in improper terms like International ‘Military’ Tribunal.

    There was indeed no reasonable basis for me — apart from my suspect ideological leaning — to use such a terminology, and I'll have to warn, for example, the editors of this book:

    Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Vol. 4, North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam/New York/Oxford, 1982,

    that the term is not Politically Correct and should be expunged.

    Besides, what were general McArthur and judge Keenan thinking when they came up with this IMTFE Charter, I wonder.

    These revisionist German jurists should rework their unusual or improper vocabulary too, I suppose:

    Kastner, Klaus: Der Nürnberger Prozeß. Das Internationale Militärtribunal 1945-1946
    in: Juristische Arbeitsblätter 1995, pp. 802-811.

    (Can you actually read German ?)

    Anyway, if we follow you, terms such as this should presumably be declared anathema: “Internationale Militärtribunal für den Fernen Osten”, and it would of course be morally bankrupt to translate such a term into Chinese, e.g. 远东国际军事审判. (Can you actually read Chinese ?)

    One wonders what the people responsible for the contents of presumably ideologically suspect web sites like the 人民日报 are thinking, using such a revisionist vocabulary...

    On ‘Massacres by the Nazis, or in Yugoslavia or Rwanda actually happened’ (MostlyVowels @149) – Dear MostlyVowels, I seriously hope that you are not implying here that you believe that the Nanjing Massacre of 1938 didn’t ACTUALLY happened, are you???
    Um, re-read what I wrote: I said that I find it plausible that 10 to 20 thousand people might have been killed by the Japanese is Nanjing. The point I'm making is that there might be a peculiar leap of logic in your inference that “as large-scale massacres happened in Germany, Yugoslavia or Rwanda, it follows that the IJA managed to get rid of hundreds of thousands of bodies so that the League of Nations' inspection team wouldn't find any evidence.” “Theoretical ability to kill” is not necessarily equal to ”bodies were thus eliminated”, you know ?

    There is also a peculiar leap of logic in your argument that “as the League of Nations failed to stop e.g. Italian aggression in Abyssinia, their inspection mission to Nanjing that couldn't find any evidence of a massacre should be disregarded". By that standard, Hans Blix and the UN inspection team reporting that WMDs could not be found in Iraq should be ignored because they failed to stop the subsequent US invasion ?


    Pectral @ 153 on Overseas Development Aid as reparations

    While my previous cynicism regarding ODA in general still stand, on the whole, yes, I agree with you that it would be better for international relationship that the rest of Asia and Asians to know the amount of ODA Japan has contributed to all the regional economies’ overall development.

    However, in reality I wonder if the Asian nations’ governments or its people, who suffered under Japanese invasion and occupation, without refusing it, would even then be that appreciative nor that enamoured with the Japanese governments’ largess.

    Firstly, as I said before, money does not buy forgiveness and the German leaders and the German people understood this very well since the end of WWII. Indeed, many Asians would wonder exactly for whose benefit is such Japanese largess intended? Many Asian people would regard Japanese ODAs as nothing more than a sop or balm to alleviate Japan’s guilty conscience over its wartime atrocities.

    Secondly, imagine this scenario: A person who is known in your neighbourhood as a rich bully one day invades your home, kills your child, rape and kill your wife, daughter, mother and then kills them. Upon leaving your home, he burns it to the ground. He then ‘apologises’ to you and pay you lots of money which he hoped would make up for it and expects you and him will not speak of it again.

    With this in mind and some empathy, I hope you can understand why many Asians, whether from Confucian societies such China and Korea or other cultures would find the whole notion extremely distasteful. Or worse yet, regard it as part and parcel of an unreformed Japanese character, especially when taking into considerations the symbolic meaning of the textbooks issue, shrine visits by Japanese politicians and territorial disputes that echoes Japanese territorial ambition before and during the WWII, however simplistic this analysis may be.

    I do not expect Japanese readers to immediately accept this very brief analysis, but only hope that they think and consider it before regarding ODAs as the end or the solution to the matter of Japan’s wartime atrocities.

    As to Japan’s forfeiture of its assets in China or Korea or any other countries after WWII, I don’t know what it is that you expect? Are the Koreans or the Chinese or other Asians who suffered during the Japanese occupation supposed to feel sorry for the lost, destruction or forfeiture of Japanese assests???

    MostlyVowels @ 155

    Dear MostlyVowels, I think we all agree on the absurdity of the CCP’s propaganda machine, this issue is a very dead horse, you can’t make it any more dead than it already is. Shish! Get a grip!

    However to blame all protests and demonstrations on CCP manipulations would be to ignore some of the very true feelings and emotions that many Asians feel towards Japan’s wartime atrocities, simmering under the surface. The question is whether they are given the opportunity to vent such feelings in public or that they continue to simmer in private.

    Before you attribute all such feelings to CCP textbooks over the years of indoctrination, how would one account for the Korean demonstrators, Overseas Chinese, who never studied in the PRC, but in other more democratic countries that have no axe to grind with Japan, such as Germany or Sweden (Yup, I also have a cousin whose mother is Swedish and who grew up in Sweden), or other Asian people? I would find it very difficult to accept that there is a world-wide conspiracy against Japan. One would have to be very paranoid indeed.

    Btw. You REALLY don’t do irony, sarcasm or flippancy very well…

    Re: translated textbook passages

    Yeah, I see what you mean, but never mind that the translations were done by Japanese academics and professional translators who are Japanese themselves. They must all be leftist traitors…

    Re: Extent of Nanjing Massacre

    Well, I’ve said what I wanted to say about this previously and hope that I have provided some rational arguments so that readers, both Japanese and non-Japanese, can make up their own mind about it.

    Re: International Military Tribunal for the Far East & International War Crimes Tribunal

    Dear MostlyVowels I am very glad that you have actually done some historical research, even if this was via google. After your ‘pluralism of facts’ and ‘Nanjing Genocide’, I was beginning to despair of the quality of this debate and being naughty, I simply couldn’t resist a spot of intellectual baiting :)

    As to whether I understand German…. Oh well….

    Als Deutsche Staatsangehoeriger, Ich glaube es waere ganz schoen bedauerlich wenn Ich die deutsche Sprache entweder nicht lesen, sprechen oder schreiben koennen. Obwohl wenn Sie moechten wir koennen unter uns von jetzt an nur noch auf Deutsch unterhalten, es waere aber sehr schnell ganz schon langweilig sein fuer die Anderen hier, die kein Deutsch verstehen.

    Ou, si vous voulez ou preferez, nous pouvons parler en Francaise seulement, parce que ca m'est egal. Je suis tres confortable avec les deux langues, mais comme j'ai dire plus tot en Allemand, si nous parlons en Francaise tout les jours, c'est pas tres amusant pour les autres qui pas comprend Francaise, n'est pas?

    As to whether I read Chinese…yes, I do occasionally read the ‘Ren Min Le Bao’ (Crude translation this, but it means ‘People’s Daily’ a Chinese newspaper). Indeed, I not only read Chinese, but I also speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese (or Hokien if you like) and can understand Hainanese and Hakka, (I just hate writing it using a qwerty keyboard). People who are familiar with Malaysian Chinese will probably know that many Chinese dialects are spoken there, whereby it isn’t that unusual to see Indians or Malays speaking Hokien or Cantonese. MostlyVowels, you should definitely go out more….

    My, I think maybe I was too optimistic earlier about the quality of this debate, it is degenerating into a juvenile pissing contest…:)

    Oliver wrote @157:
    Before you attribute all such feelings to CCP textbooks over the years of indoctrination, how would one account for the Korean demonstrators, Overseas Chinese, who never studied in the PRC, but in other more democratic countries that have no axe to grind with Japan, such as Germany or Sweden (Yup, I also have a cousin whose mother is Swedish and who grew up in Sweden), or other Asian people?
    That's why, I presume, we're seeing mobs throwing stones at Japanese embassies and consulates, or attacks against Japanese businesses and students in Berlin, Stockholm, Paris or New York. A global Kristallnacht ! Raus mit die Japaner !

    Anyway, have I pretended that living outside China was a necessary or sufficient condition to become an educated person with some critical thinking abilities ?

    Als Deutsche Staatsangehoeriger, Ich glaube es waere ganz schoen bedauerlich wenn Ich die deutsche Sprache entweder nicht lesen, sprechen oder schreiben koennen
    Es ist aber bedauerlich daß Sie, als Deutsche Staatsangehöriger, mit einem allgemein bekannten Ausdruck wie “Internationale Militärtribunal” scheinbar nicht gewöhnt sind.

    Oder vielleicht haben Sie, trotz angeblicher Kenntnis der Deutschen Gesellschaft, Historie und Kultur, nicht viel über Nebenumstände, wie zB der Nürnberger Prozeß, gelesen ?


    En ce qui concerne le français, ce qui serait fatigant, ce serait d'être forcé de lire la prose bancale et truffée d'erreurs d'une personne se prétendant “confortable” avec la langue...

    My, I think maybe I was too optimistic earlier about the quality of this debate, it is degenerating into a juvenile pissing contest…:)
    I happen to think that for a discussion to be useful, it's often necessary to have an attitude that considers source material as important, and the ability to access such.

    Anyway, I'm not interested in debating what a Japanese text says, or how it says it, or its alleged “revisionist” character with a person who thinks he can rely on its translation in German, or French, or whatever...


    As for Japan's ODA, you're missing the point. It had just been mentioned in response to an ignorant allegation that unlike Germany, Japan didn't do much in way of economic compensation...

    I'm really happy to see a post of this nature by a person who is actually Japanese. I read in the newspaper somewhere that some Japanese don't know why the Chinese are so mad. I was disheartened upon knowing, even though I'm like the 3 generation of Chinese after WWII. I'm happy to see your thoughts are unbiased and that you're really looking at the situation. History cannot be erased but I'm sure we can accept what has happened by now. To rewrite will be another thing. Some of those pictures from the war really speak a million words. I worry about the future generations who read back to find history (changed but they do not know that it has been changed) and stirrup other problems.

    My concern about Japan is that it wasn't all that long ago (10 years or less?) that the Japanese government officially denied that there had ever been "comfort women". Of course, it was Japanese people that dug up the records to prove them wrong. But was there a massive outcry in Japan that their own government would lie about what it had done to so many innocent women?

    Let's not confuse the comfort women with paid, voluntary prostitution. Early on, the Japanese government would trick them by advertising for women to cook or do laundry for the military. Later, as word spread about what really happened, families would hide their girls when the Japanese army came, and the soldiers would drag the girls out kicking and screaming to take them away. The girls were locked in a room and raped repeatedly, day after day after day, until they became diseased. Then the Japanese army threw them out, and the girls' families sometimes refused to take them back because they were "damaged goods", or sometimes the girls didn't even try to return, out of shame.

    Has there been a widespread, popular movement in Japan to compensate and help the few remaining comfort women, before it's too late? Were the politicians that lied about what Japan had done to those women voted out of office, their careers over because they were complicit in covering up such crimes?

    Traveling in Asia, I have been surprised at the amount of hostility to Japan. Many Asians seem to believe that many Japanese still believe that Japan was simply protecting its Asian brothers from Western Imperialism. Perhaps they're wrong, but I was shocked to learn how much anger and distrust still exists, and not only in places fed by communist propaganda.

    When I visited Singapore, I was surprised at what seemed to be a very positive attitude towards the British. I asked people why they weren't angry at the British for colonialism. The answer I usually got was that "after the Japanese occupation, the British didn't seem so bad". The Japanese treatment of Chinese, Koreans, Malaysians, etc. may not have been bad by ancient historical (Genghis Khan or Roman?) standards, but it was very, very nasty, and people affected by it would like to be reassured that it won't happen again.

    And of course the Chinese Communist Party is using all of this for their own political benefit. But the reason that anti-Japanese (at least anti-Japanese government) sentiments can be so easily manipulated is because they're still very strong.

    Ann wrote @160:
    My concern about Japan is that it wasn't all that long ago (10 years or less?) that the Japanese government officially denied that there had ever been "comfort women".
    Sources, please.
    Has there been a widespread, popular movement in Japan to compensate and help the few remaining comfort women, before it's too late?
    Though their plight caused by heinous Japanese behavior is tragic, from a pure legalistic point of view, there needs to be a basis, both in Korea and in Japan, for arguing why these womens' cases should be distinct, and severable, from the comprehensive war victims compensation settlement agreed upon in 1965 between the Korean and Japanese governments.

    Anyway, yes, there's a fund in Japan that has been set up to assist these women.

    When I visited Singapore, I was surprised at what seemed to be a very positive attitude towards the British.
    For some more variety of opinion about the impact of colonisation by the British or the Japanese, India and Taiwan could be instructive cases.

    UnRaping Nanking: Photographic evidence.

    http://www.jiyuu-shikan.org/e/fujioka/index.html


    Exploding the Myth:The Problem of Photographic "Evidence"
    by Fujioka Nobukatsu

    This article is the official homepage translated version of a chapter on photographs from "Za Reipu obu Nankin no Kenkyu" (Study of "The Rapeof Nanking")co-written by Fujioka Nobukatsu and Higashinakano Shudo, published in Tokyo, 1999, from Shoden-sha. It has been offered for this site by special kindness from the author.


    PART 1: Manipulation of Documentary Photos in China / Fanning Flames of Hate in the USA

    PART 2: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Chang's "Comfort Women Being Rounded Up" Are Actually Villagers Returning From Working in the Fields


    PART 3: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Chang's Photo of a Flame-throwing Tank That Didn't Exist in 1937


    PART 4: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Corpses of Nanking Citizens" on the Banks of the Yangtze Were Actually Those of Combatants

    PART 5: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    "Sword Practice" on a Chinese Is Actually a Propaganda Photograph

    PART 6: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    A Japanese Soldier About To Decapitate a Chinese Man?

    PART 7: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Severed Head With Cigarette: A Photographer's Joke?

    PART 8: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Row of Severed Heads Has No Connection With the Nanking Incident

    PART 9: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Chang's "Japanese Military Police Officers Inspecting Civilians" Actually Shows the Segregation of Civilians from Soldiers

    PART 10: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Japanese Soldiers Watching the Bayoneting of a Chinese Citizen?

    PART 11: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Photograph of "Rape Victim" Is Actually Souvenir Photograph Taken at a Brothel

    PART 12: Photos from The Rape of Nanking
    Other Photographs of Dubious Provenance

    Sad about these non-constructive posts,Joi,maybe it`s better to delete all the posts above. :(

    lamlam: Yeah, I've thought about it, but I haven't deleted any comments yet so if possible, I'd like to keep that policy. I am trying to put together a summary and do a joint piece with some of the other Chinese bloggers. Stay tuned.

    different from chinese, japanese can vote their leader of nation. since their primer opposes china, i can deduce that most of japanese oppose china too.

    Lili: That's a good point. I think that in a democratic nation, the people are more responsible for their leaders actions. I think that the people have to be responsible, but I don't think it accurate to decude that "most Japanese oppose China." I don't think that's true. Like in many countries, the extremes are over-represented in politics. If you poll average people in Palestine and Israel, you will find that most want peace and do not support the extremist in their government. This is also true in the US. The extremes are able to mobilize more voters than moderate voices and they are therefore overrepresented.

    Another point about democratically elected leaders... wartime Japan was not run by a democratically elected government, but a rogue military that took over the government. Even the Prime Minister was assassinated by members of the military.

    One thing I did think about a bit after watching the Hitler movie, The Downfall... There are a lot of similarities between the visions of Hitler Germany and some of the right wing in Japan during the war. One of the problems of post war Japan was that the US collaborated with the right wing in Japan to fight against communism. Many of the left wing and liberal groups were stamped out or marginalized. I'm not going to blame the Americans for everything, but I think this allowed right wing views to continue to be held in Japan, whereas it was clearly stamped out for the most part in Germany. Even though this right wing are not a majority, they were tolerated and some of this has become part of the visible extremist positions in Japan today, which don't exist in German... or at least in any legitimate way.

    China needs to be more honest about the two periods of recent history that caused a huge amount of misery there. The 'Great Leap Forward' (1958) and the 'Cultural Revolution' (1966 to mid 70s) periods.. The 'Great Leap Forward' was the worst human-caused famine in history, and at least 30 million people (actually, I suspect many more) died during it.. It stands as a incredibly mind-numbing monument to the horrors of groupthink and political orthodoxy... It's a lot like the nightmare that has been happening in North Korea since the mid 90s, people ate their own children...it was that bad. Meanwhile, the leaders ate well and deliberately ignored the desperate conditions in the rural areas.. The only book that documents this nightmare is Jasper Becker's 'Hungry Ghosts' . Its a must-read for anyone interested in recent Chinese history..

    But, anyway, the point I wanted to make is that we can't have a double standard in truth-telling.. All nations need to come clean on their pasts. That includes the US as well.

    What we need is something like Wikipedia that specializes in oral histories.. I have heard that something like that exists in Germany.. why not do it for the entire world.. Seriously..

    Several things..

    First, I meant to say in my previous post that the Great Leap Forward famine was from 1958 to 1962, not just in 1958. And while it was going on, food sat in warehouses and rotted.. and some was even exported to keep up appearances to the outside world. (Notice how obsessed these governments are with appearances, how little with substance)

    It also shocks me that ALL of the governments with these truth problems are so rigidly male-dominated and heirarichal.

    For example, why would nobody acknowledge Japan's debt to the comfort women, even today?

    We in the US have a similar debt to repay. Few Americans realize it but there was a significant amount of US backing for fascism before (and after) WWII and there still is a significant amount today. Talk about terror. That is terror.

    As long as all of our countries play this lying game, the probability of our all, in various ways, being forced to repeat history's worst mistakes is *very* high.

    When I think about it, I realize that many of the world's problems spring in various ways from our shaky house of lies.. So I'd even say that truth and reconciliation is perhaps the #1 issue of our times..

    More important than global warming. More important than nuclear proliferation.. Because our future depends on our understanding the lessons of the past..

    At least that is what i think..

    :o

    Every time I read some callous post about how the Chinese have no right to demand redress and a truthful account of history because of the following, I lose hope in humanity.

    1. The Chinese protests are manipulated by politics. See answer below.

    2. The Chinese have no right to demand that the Japanese acknowledge their WWII crimes because of Tibet/Great Leap Forward, etc. It's like saying that the Chinese, who have suffered abuse at the hands of their Govt and who didn't have any political choices, should also forfeit their right to demand that Japan stop historical revisionism. And yes, they had their own reckoning when the Gang of Four were put on trial. The two events are apples and oranges!

    3. The Chinese lie about the war crimes committed by the Japanese. Most of the evidence were provided by foreigners living in Nanjing at that time. What is the difference between 200K from Japanese scholars and 300K? It's still a massacre. Imagine the Germans declaring that the Jews lied and that the Holocaust wasn't true. The world would be outraged, but then when it's the slimy Chinese, of course it's a different matter.

    4. The Japanese paid $30 billion in Aid to China, have said "sorry" 17 times and thus shouldn't need to do anything to address rampant revisionism. In fact, Germany paid $80 billion in war reparations alone to former victims in addition to giving aid.

    I feel like asking people, "do you even consider the Chinese as human beings capable of feelings and emotions?"

    Over 20 million Chinese were killed [6 million Jews died], many in the most gruesome manner possible, live vivisection in bio warfare experiment, pregnant women cut up, and my friend's own grandmother had her baby bayoneted right in her arms, almost every young Chinese I know has some tragic, horrendous family tale. The wounds run deep, they don't need some politician to manipulate their feelings, just a catalyst like a new govt approved, white-washed history text or Ishihara, Tokyo's highly popular Mayor elected by 70% votes, using the Japanese racial slur for Chinese, Koizumi visiting the Shrine that worships the Japanese equivalent of Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels. Most of you don't have grandmothers who have been repeatedly raped 30 times a day for years, or most of your family slaughtered, you simply don't know how this hurts the descendants, especially when most of Japan's politicians, top CEOs, judges, and even some posters here deny Japan's crimes and insist that Japan "liberated" Asia.

    Recently, an old Japanese ex-soldier visited a Chinese war memorial to atone for his past deeds. He was immediately embraced and forgiven. Everyone was crying, but it was carthartic, for both sides. One found redemption, the other found peace and closure that the wrong/injustice was acknowledged and the aggressor feels remorse.

    The Chinese don't want to hate the Japanese. They don't hold the current generation responsible for their ancestors crimes, but they hold Japan as a nation responsible for a truthful account of history. They also want to put the past behind them, but they cannot if the wrongs are not addressed and history becomes twisted to justify the horrors visited upon them in the name of Japan's self-defense and "liberation" of inferior Asians.

    Joi,

    You are unique in that you are one of the very few non-defensive Japanese I've come across. Most are indignant and echo the same arguments I wrote about. The Chinese [and other Asians, especially the Koreans] have only one issue with the Japanese, i.e. WWII and how it is portrayed by official Japan. If that is resolved, I'm quite sure that it'll be like dark clouds lifting. Learn from Germany about how to atone for past history and heal the victims. Please support constructive efforts by many fellow Japanese [eg.the amazing Ienaga] to ensure that young Japanese learn the truth about Japan's history because we all fear that if the lesson is not learnt, we are condemned to repeat it. Speak up when the top politicians whitewash history or play up the Chinese threat. For the sake of peace, while you never did anything wrong yourself, help your country move towards reconciliation with its former victims who have yet to find closure. This is very difficult because most of Japan's top politicians are nationalist rightwingers and revisionists, but even grassroot efforts will help.

    Me, my family haven't suffered at all during WWII, but I live among HK Chinese now, and I empathise with how they feel. There is also a lot of propaganda out there against China and the Chinese, painting them as the new phantom menace to global security in a cynical geopolitical game of hegemony, but I can assure you that every Chinese I've come across is no less human than you or me.

    Hmm, since so many posters brought up Tibet, in the spirit of finger-pointing, can I raise Japan's annexation of the Ryukyus/Okinawa [an independant kingdom for centuries] in 1874 and successful incorporation ever since? There are some overseas Okinawans who are attempting to attract attention to their cause to demand greater autonomy/independence. Imagine if the CIA has offered them the same generous support they have offered to the Dalai Lama!

    The reality is that your perception is very much influenced by the information/disinformation you are exposed to, which you seldom question if the source is from the "west" to decide whom should wear the black or white hats.

    China annexed Tibet = Bad, Japan annexed Ryukyus = Good/Normal

    Nice one, but i think you should focus on improving a little bit and putting new content. Ohterwise i always encourage such ideas.

    the sad things is,

    nationalist and antijapan, antichina sentiment and in japan and china reinforce each other, its will take nothing short of a powerful movement to break this lock...

    maybe the doves/moderates on both sides can work together, because doves/moderat policies reinforces each other too.

    I am CHINESE and now in France.So I have almost forgotten my English,it's very poor.I hope you can understand.
    Maybe now it's too late that I tell you my opinions.In fact,the chinese anti-japanese protests have passed severals monthes.
    I have made many japenese friends here and they have also asked me about the event.During long time,I want a chance to talk,but not at that time when the event happened.
    At that time, I was in SHANGHAI,China,my hometown and I was the witness of that event.So what really happened,I thought everyone could listen to me,not from the media.
    That day,I was in a french exihibition.When I've gone out of the Shanghai Gallery,I felt a unusually tense ambiance.
    Beside the Shanghai Gallery,it's just the Shanghai governement building.And there's also a big square where the people usually meet there for an appointment.That day,it was full of people in the square,who looked like very awful.At the first sight,I didn't like them because they looked very dangerous and I wanted to come back home immediately.But I couldn't do that.Because the avenue in the front of the government building was banned to cross and was guarded by a group of police who carried full of armes.I couldn't get to my station to take a bus,even more because there were too many people,many buses changed their routines and there was no taxi.I had to walk to another station(that day ,the governement of the city anounced the metro didn't stop at the station of the square for the reason of security).It's the same direction of the contingent of paraders.And just in very short severels minutes the paraders grew more and more,it attacted many people in the road to participate and they destroyed and enjoyed the destriction.They were mad.when I walked beside them,I was really scaried.At last,I catched a bus I didn't care what it was,and left there.
    What I want to mention is the government's attitude:
    The police didn't prevent the people from the manifestation,only when you try to get into the area of the government,that is to say, because it's a total choas,they couldn't manage it,they just leave it alone.
    Because Shanghai is the economic and financial centre,the principle of the management is all for security,stability and normal fonction.That's different from Pekin.The people here is usually more sensible,they care about only the economics(money)and they dislike the politics.But it's most of the people,the adults.So is the government here.
    But now the chinese people is in fury,so the government decide not to offend the people's volonty.

    Then there emerge two key points:
    Where are the furies from?
    Their furies for what?
    Why there are so many people?
    The first question,I can answer,from the nation's government.But I think the foreigners maybe didn't understand:the government fan up the people's emotions,but their real purpose is not to protest Japanese,it's just because in recent years,there are many problems in our country,the people need to let their unsatisfaction off,and the government need to someone to receive the people's furies.At the time,we need a commun ennemy.And Japon,unfortunately because of the historic problems,is the easiest to evoque the hate of the chinese people.And the recent program of Japan's entrance to the UN's usual member is just a good excuse.In this aspect,the chinese government has also his political consideration,they use the people to protest the Japon's action.So it becomes the film director.I will explain it later.What our government do?It remind me of the Cliton's scandal.Why he chose that time to start a war,I think it's the same reason:to change the public's attention from the scandal to whatever else.

    And the second question.
    I have told that most of the adults in the my city are not fond of the politics.Who will stand up?Certainly,the students.But in this event,few students had taken part in.Because when the information of the manifestations is on the internet,most of the universities decide to resist it and they took efficient mesures.And I think the students here,also different from in Pekin,more sensible,who care more about their future,are also indifferent with the politics.
    Then,except the workmen and the students,who took part in the riot?Shanghai has a huge population:12 millions habitants and 5 millions flow population.Many people come here to chase their dream and to purpue a better life.But the competition is very cruel,many can't really obtain what they want,in particulier,those who haven't got a good education and have some kinds of skills.They have no job,they have no place to live and they become furieous mainly to those who are rich.
    Let's look at what they did that day,what I saw.
    1,They destroyed the personal cars.
    In Shanghai,a big and crowd city,we can afford a car,but we can't maintain it.The parking area in the city centre is little and very expensive,and around the appartment almost no parking area.If you buy a villa at outskits,then you can park your car.So in some extent,car is yet a standard to mesure the richness.And to the poor,they hate the rich.They destroyed their car.The name,the mark,ex,Toyota,etc is just an excuse.It's the Chinese who conduct the cars.Why they destroyes it?In the name of patriotism?It's a blind patriotism,a narrow nationalism.I suppose it's just for their richness.
    2,And they made a crazy robbery of the supermarkets,ex,Rawson,7-11,familymart(In Shanghai,the 3 japanese marks is everywhere.).
    It's funny,because they destroyed the shops in the name of the country and then took the food in a so-named"japanese food"to eat.Oh,incredible!And also,this is the Chinese who manage the shops.Why beat them?Because the people are already fou.
    My friend lives in a neibourhood where there are many japanese.And during those days,she was really scaried.She's frightened that someone crazy mistook her as a japese girl when she went to school and got out of the neibourhood.When I heard this,I was really angry for her experience.
    What they did really?Just made the damage of the chinese and what else?

    The third question.
    The chinese people become more and more fragile,in my opnion.Their emotions are too easy to excite.And unfortunately the chinese government know how to utilise.
    What I mean,besides the furious poor,there are really the people full of patriotism who took part in it.
    Espectially,it shows in the event in the Pekin.
    It's our capital who has a history of thousand years.In the history,it's already a city full of politics.And the people there like oftens take part in the politics.My friend there told me:It's a tragedy of the manifestation there.
    We can know that it's true that at first,the chinese government has some ideas to manifest,to show to Japan and international society.And then it's the people who were made furious did it.But when it had successfully attacted the international attention,the government began to say that's not his idea,this is the people's.To make other countries,in particulier,to make Japan believe it,he takes mesures to stop it.At that time,we can't go to Pekin,and we can't read any news from any media in China about it.The students in Pekin felt be betrayes and be cheated.But still the people who spread the information are in prison now.
    In the case,I think the people who took part in it is really patriotic but tragedilly failed.I don't appriciate this manifestation,for it can change nothing.The historic problems exist yet.
    And I saw,in a secret video of the manifestation,there were the people who just found it interesting took part in it.When they walked in the queue,I saw their smiles.
    So now you know who took part in the Chinese anti-Japanese protest.

    Why the chinese people even now hate the japanese so much?
    For the education of the chinese propagands.When we were little,we began to see the films of chinese anti-japanese war.In the film,there's no personal characters.The japanes are oftens so cruel and percecute the chinese people,and the chinese hero is usually brave.And even now ,at the memorial date of the war,we can watch the same film of 50 years ago in the TV.
    If I can say the japanese government's politics is to make the people forget the war,the chinese government to make the people memorize and hate.
    At least,I grew up with the films,so do my generation and the genenration before me and behind me.

    Fortunately,for me,I can speak several languages and like to read all the different ideas.Under the chinese education,I can still consider independantly.So I want to speak out my ideas.
    I detest to combine the people of Japan and the government.And also,I dislike the chinese combine the national hate in the politics with the culture.At those days,if someone say he or she likes some japanese star in the internet,she will be attacked by numerous gangsters.Still in Pekin,I heard two chinese girl who played the Cosplay in a park were beated and deadly injured at that time.I felt really sorry to them.It's inreasonnable.

    The history,the war I don't mention here.My opinions today don't mean that I was on the side of the Japenese government.Every government will do the best to embellish it.I know.
    But the history is a problem ,a big problem.We should all face to it.

    I grow up in China,most education finished in China.
    I can say I know the chinese side clearly,include the gray part.As I know the logics of the chinese,I understand how those things happen.But I'm really tired to the issue.
    I find many of my chinese friends can consider the problem reasonably,but others hate still the japanese.And I feel also my japanese friends are lovely.What can I say now? Write the e-mail adresse is a little dangerous for me

    Our generation now who know how to use Internet like all of you here know sh*t about what were those Animal (I call it animal because of non-human action) Japanese did during WW2. Please remember, not ONLY China, but almost every single little places which were invaded by them had billions of true story to share, the articles maybe overwhelmed, much greater then what "wikipedia" server could hold. =)

    I've heard so many experiences sharing from the oldies. I went to NZ for studies, I stayed in a Rest Home built by my homestay, with a bunch of retirees around the world. I heard same true stories from them. Some were British retired army, some were nurses during the wartime.

    I live in Borneo, my mum, aged 75 now, saw with her own eyes how Japanese "soldier?!" captured those beautiful lady (one of them was her beautiful and just got married! cousin), after GANG-RAPED them, feed them with MERCURY to DIS-ATTACH their bone from their flesh n skin!! Then they pulled OFF the BONES from the Skin, dry the skin and made it into HUMAN LATTERN! to be hang up during night time in the forest. It was the Iban tribe's head hunters who managed to defeat them. Visit Borneo's museums to open up your eyes.

    They had killed too many, simply too many until they ran out of idea on how to kill. The compete and challenged each other to kill differently and special. Those armies was brain-washed to be killing dogs. It was insane and nothing YOU! and me can ever imagine. This is just ONE, O-N-E of the horrible and SICKENING 'KILLING IDEAS' during the mass-acres. If this happened in a small village where my parents from, imagine how horrifying it could be in China and other places?

    Everything happened for a reason and cause. Some hatreds can The insanity of their war tactics and action, had implanted deeply in every brain cells of Chinese. You can use all your knowledges and understanding to criticize the Chinese. It doesn't matter, they don't care, they forgive your ignorances.

    You were NOT there, at that time. You are here, at this time, sitting comfortably criticizing based on your............. hmmmm.... where did u learn all that you've commented just now?

    Leave a comment

    13 TrackBacks

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