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The Chinese Protests
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Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 215
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we look at countries that were involved in the second world war both countries that were clearly in the wrong have now become economic powerhouses. Much of this has been due to America changing the directions of the countries.
If Japan was now a poor country I don't think that these protests would be happening. China feels that they should share in this Japanese prosperity as they were not given the same oportunities. Many people from other countries also feel the same way.
As for criminals of the second world war, they are certainly still alive and Chinese comfort girls are also. I feel this situation can only end in conflict as no amount of compensation will be adequate for the Chinese. I know more than a few people who cracked a beer open when the news came through that their emperor died which was not that long ago.
He really needed to appologise before his death to put this situation to rest.
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Joined: 26 Aug 2004
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another two cent opinion,

Thats true, Germany's younger generation has also begun to say they have nothing to feel guilty about and I agree with them. The way Japan and Germany have treated war guilt may not be the same but it is relevant in that the younger generations in both countries are innocent. However, if Japan wants to start fresh they can start by discontinuing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki guilt trip for westerners. Kind of hypocritical to play it both ways, no guilt for China/Korea but expected remorse from the US and their old allies. But I'm getting off topic because China is not concerned with the bombing of those cities.

There really is no answer to this other than finding a path that will lead to reconciliation. Japan may have no precedent to follow by making reconciliation so late, but if that's what it takes that's what they should do. China's not moving off their doorstep any time soon and you can't bring the Chinese government to heel by pointing at Tianamen Square or Tibet. China will face its own trial someday just as the Soviets did, but that may not be for a while. China has also improved a lot over the years and have had a lot of ground to make up for economically, technologically and above all socially. Today I'd sooner be poor in China than in India any time, communist or not.

I'm not trying to be an apologist for China but why should Japan provoke them over such a stupid issue? If the younger generation doesn't care about the past then they should have no problem learning the truth about it (no apologies necessary). Revisionism can be a slow progress and bit by bit the people will get a history that is complete fiction. Start by calling a massacre an incident and then later not even write about it at all. Long live the great Japanese race invincible and infallible! China shouldn't be the one that's loudest over this issue, it should be the rest the world.

Glossing over crimes which took place against aboriginal or native communities is not entirely relative seeing as how the timeline dates back much further(the Ainu could be included too in such a timeline. If recent history is that easily tampered with none of us are safe. Come to think of it this a crime against the younger generation of Japan more so than any other. I'd be outraged if my country tried to deny me a proper education of an event my country took part in otherwise widely known by the rest of the world. If anyone should be throwing rocks it should be Japanese university students!
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Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 215
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


It is true but I spoke to a German girl and said that I was proud of my country and she said she has never said this. I asked why and she said because people then immediatley ask whether I'm a follower of Hitler.

The difference between the German and Japanese is that the Germans were told what they did wrong from day one and therefore the healing process began 50 years ago. The Germans also actually knew what they did was wrong. The young people know what happened. Japan on the other hand refuses to explain their past to the young. The rest of the world is seeing them as denying it. It is highly likely that some of the older Japanese dont even believe what they did during WWII was wrong as they had such a long history of this behaviour.
It is dangerous for them, I had to stop a Japanese guy walking into a RSL. I'm sure he would never have walked out of the place. He did not understand why it was not appropriate for him to be in a place like this.

You are right about Japan never bring up the Hiroshma bomb situation but I guess they do not want a focus of attention put on themselves.
It should be their history students who are demanding the truth from the government.
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Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 126
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Lister.

I don`t know of any war criminals still alive in Japan that could even be tried. Therefore I don`t think justice can be served, and in that sense I am forced to say the past really is irrelevant.

Justice comes in many forms, not just by putting people in jail. And healing, more importantly, certainly won't come from sweeping history under the rug. I'm not suggesting that Japan should be punished for the actions of a dead or dying generation, just that the new generation accept, come to terms with, admit and teach the events of its past. In a way, ignoring it is an admition of guilt. Not a healthy or productive way, not one that promotes healing or prevents future atrocities, but a primitive way of dealing with guilt. Perhaps if the issue was handled better the guilt would no longer exist and both sides could put it behind them. Maybe the Chinese government will never let it rest and will continue to use it for political advantage, but ignoring it will definitely not make it go away. This just stokes the fire. Japan should deal with this in a more pragmatic manner, for its own sake, if not because its the right thing to do.
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