April 12, 2005

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More on anti-Japan riots in China (Updated)

More reaction and reports on the anti-Japan riots in China.

In an effort to catch the populist wave, various Hong Kong groups are planning anti-Japan activites including a rally for this weekend. The issue is uniting the Democrats with the DAB, The Frontier and the Federation of Trade Unions. The Professional Teachers' Union is planning a letter writing campaign for all school students in the city. It's good they're being taught understanding and tolerance at such a young age.

China's Vice-Minister for Commerce, Wei Jianguo, said yesterday bilateral economic ties won't be affected by the recent actions. The same article in the (unlinkable) SCMP reports many Japanese citizens in China are preparing to leave if things turn for the worse. Likewise calls for boycotts and vandalism of Japanese stores and products will obviously hurt economic ties. Already there's anecdotal evidence of the impact. This presents another dilemma for China's Government - will it be prepared to let these protests impact on economic ties? The window of opportunity for getting a grip on this thing is quickly closing. The restrictions on official reporting of the event are being undermined by blogs...an interesting twist for those who see blogs as bringers of freedom, democracy and good to the world.

As a thought: what kind of apology would satisfy China and Korea? I fear there isn't one because the issue is too handy for politicians in both places.

Other reading

* Philip Bowring in the IHT points out the real issue is the UN Security Council. He says China's anti-Japan stance hurts China's global standing, saying it is a crude and blatant attempt to protect its privileged position as the only Asian and only developing country that is a permanent member of the (UN Security) council. He also notes the differences in relations between India and Japan with China at the moment.
* Tom Plate warns of the dangers of keeping Japan in its place. A main argument against the integration of Japan -- to focus on that one issue -- into the council core seems more emotional than analytic, and in effect goes like this: Having committed atrocities of the unimaginable kind more than a half century ago, the newer generations Japanese should be denied what makes eminent sense today because of what made no sense back then: Japanese savagery against its Asian neighbors.
* Photos from the protests in Guangzhou and plenty of first-hand photos from the Beijing protests.
* Why Chinese people are pissed off with the Japanese. Naturally China is blaming Japan for the mess.
* Curzon says China's anti-Japanese nationalism is a recent invention.
* Japundit has an interesting post finding it ironic that East Asians are allowing emotions to dominate their lives when much of their culture is about detaching oneself from emotions. The conclusion echoes my thoughts above:

If the Japanese banned the single textbook, renounced all the disputed territory, and apologized once a week for the next five years, the same people would find something else to get upset about. The anger at the Japanese is not the wellspring; it’s the intoxication with emotion.
Good post.
* Read what the Yasukuni shrine says about the Nanjing massacre and what most Japanese know of it.
* Gordon notes other countries also suffered at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Forces yet have managed to move on.
* ESWN examines the roots of anti-Japanese feelings in China.

NOTE: Click for more recently updated and ongoing coverage of anti-Japan protests in China, including links to first hand accounts and commentary.

posted by Simon on 04.12.05 at 06:41 PM in the


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Hmmm, do you suppose the Japan Riots are being used as a cover to dim/obscure the 'pollution' riots?

posted by: mdmhvonpa on 04.13.05 at 04:53 AM [permalink]

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