Sunday, April 17, 2005

The coming China- Japan War. part 1

The past few weeks has seen a sharp increase in anti-Japanese sentiment in China, some of it blatently encouraged by the Chinese government, some of it not so publicly encouraged. Japanese flags burned, (Chinese owned) Japanese restaurants trashed, thousands marching shouting anti-Japanese slogans. This weekend even in Shanghai, the financial capital of China saw protest marches. At the moment there seem to be no signs of abatement.

The apparent causes of the most recent upsurge in sentiment are Tokyo's bid for a permanent U.N Security Council seat, and the publishing of high school textbooks that some Asian countries say distort Japan's wartime atrocities. Another source of irritation appears to be the Japanese Prime Minister's continued visits to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where the remains of Japan's war-dead are entombed, including Tojo.

With the people of a nearby country of over a billion people violently calling for Japanese blood on the street, one would think that the citizenry of Japan would be just a little worried, or even concerned.

Apparently not. China might just as well threaten Africa for all they seem to care.
A few days of canvassing a number of my Japanese friends, people in my neighborhood and co-workers revealed some rather care-free remarks, as well as some outright bizarre ones.
I admit that this was only a small pool of people, however it gives some idea of the general consensus amongst the public here.

Here are some of the responses to the questions asked:

  1. Are you concerned by the current China-Japan tensions?

    • No, it's nothing to worry about.
    • Again??!
    • No, America will protect us.
    • It's ok because we have more money than them.
    • Only a small number of people in China are rich, so no.
    • Only a small number of people hate Japan, it's ok.

  2. Do you think Japan should apologize for wartime aggression?

    • The past is the past, there is no point apologizing now. (everybody I asked said this)
    • If we apologize for this, where will it end?
    • I don't know that much about Japanese history. (Also very common answer)
    • What agression?

  3. What do think about the Prime Minister's repeated visits to Yasukuni shrine?

    • He goes as a private citizen, so it's his business.
    • It's got nothing to do with anybody, especially China.
    • Long live the Emperor!!!!!!

Ok, so that last one I made up, but the lack of concern is quite evident. However I'm not buying it. Do the math: 130 million vs. 1 billion.
As for America coming to protect Japan, look at the choice that America will be facing.
"Hmmm, should we help Japan with 130 million consumers of our crappy products? or should we help China with 1 billion consumers of our crappy products?

It's a no-brainer. Run!!!


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