10 April 2005

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Anti-Japanese Sentiments Heat Up in China and Korea <p> China and Korea still harbors resentment towards Japan for its aggressions in WWII in the current events of today. Just to illustrate how China and Korea STILL hold intense national animosity towards Japan today from its actions in the 1930s, three issues have flared up in the past few weeks sparking intense anti-Japanese resentment in those two countries.... My purpose here is just to bring the reader up to speed on the issue of anti-japanese sentiment flaring up in Asia, not really take one side or the other in the dispute.... The Textbook Issue The newest rekindled debate arose when a new edition of textbooks for Japanese school nationwide were just approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education. The accusations from hHina and Korea is the 'whitewashing' of Japanese middle school textbooks of Japan's role in WWII as an aggressor and barely mentions the Nanking Massacre, Comfort Women, or the annexation of Korea so that young Japanese have no knowledge of their country’s true historical involvement (and so are doomed to repeat the mistakes of their grandfather's generation). The thinking goes that these textbooks are ultranationalist and right wing in their presentation and will shape the way young Japanese view the world to the extent that it may create a jingoistic generation of Japanese who might once again try to establish militaristic Japan in hegemonic role in Asia (when clearly this is what China wants to do in the coming years ). The response from the Japan side is that the textbook writers don’t want young Japanese growing up to feel depressed or ashamed of their country: http://english.people.com.cn/200504/06/eng20050406_179790.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4415147.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4416593.stm http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&#38;sid=5660053&#38;cKey=1112763920000 http://news.inq7.net/breaking/index.php?index=1&#38;story_id=32764 The second and related issue is China's bid to stop Japan's inclusion in the UN Security Council. With anti-Japanese riots and the boycotting of Japanese goods in China in recent days due to the textbook issue, China finds it hard to satisfy the nationalist fervor at home against the Japanese while trying to come across as globalist in the eyes of the UN. This, while China denies that it doesn’t itself have hegemonic aims in Asia: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GD07Ad06.html http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2005/04/05/chinese_campaign_to_block_japan_from_un/ http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200504%5CFOR20050405b.html http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200503/200503300041.html The third issue is the heated argument over a small chunk of rocks that Japan calls Takeshima and Korea Dokdo in the ocean that both Japan and South Korea claim to be their national territory. </p>
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Anti-Japanese Sentiments in China continues with a drilling dispute <p> Well, it looks like the national tension between Japan and China is not dying down. The tensions caused by the original textbook debate has maintained it's momentum in China and is being furthered by a dispute over gas drilling rights between the two countries. According to this excellent analysis in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Acrimony grows in East Asia” — the bigger issue here may be China, in part, flexing its newfound economic muscle in the region. Also according to the article, China is becoming further emboldened because the communist nation is finding that Japan's traditional allies like the United States do not want to get involved in the China-Japan dispute and are only issuing travel advisories for it's own citizens traveling in China. Also complicating matters is that the United States is pushing Japan to take a more active defensive role in the region as the U.S. plans to pull its 30,000 troops out of Okinawa and only leave a small contingent near Tokyo. Are we seeing a shift in political-economic power in East Asia? However, China does appear to be trying to make some diplomatic effort to dampen the anti-japanese rallies, as reported by the BBC: China warns against Japan Rallies As I said before, I'm interested in this crisis between Japan and its neighbors as far as it will effect Japan in the coming years— I hold NO OPINION on the issue proper, just the effects it will leave in it's wake; what role does Japan's younger generation have to look forward to for their own country of Japan is there is a drastic shift in political-economic power towards China in the coming decades. How will Japanese deal with those outside Asia seeing China as a near-hegemonic force in Asia, while China continues a policy of suppression of Japanese interest based upon issues from the past? I guessing that whether or not the friction between China and Japan calm down or build to a fever pitch in the very near future. </p>

Michael Dziesinski

I'm a University of Hawaii PhD in Sociology discussing youth issues in Japanese society in this blog.

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