The title is a warning..so if you do not like to read about political stuff, DO NOT READ! Those who know me know that I often don’t meddle in political stuff…but I couldn’t take it this time. What is the issue in question? It’s the recent Sino-Japanese ‘conflict’ induced by the Japanese government’s approval of a junior high school history textbook. The Chinese claimed that the history textbook whitewashed Japan’s involvement in WW2. Ok..now that we’ve got some background knowledge…let’s see what the consequences were. The Chinese students started protesting outside the Japanese Embassy as well as other Japanese establishments like Yoshinoya, resulting in the destroying of property.
Now, why do I think this whole situation irritating? Because I think that mainly, the Chinese government is not very forgiving. True, it is wrong for the Japanese to whitewash their involvement in the WW2 and this is mainly due to pride. What I think the Japanese should do is to just forget about putting the WW2 in any of their textbooks. Hahaha…even then I think they’ll be criticised. Anyway, the Chinese have to realise that out of all the junior high schools in Japan, only a very small number teach about WW2. Last year, when I had Japanese classmates, out of the 10 present, only 1 was taught about WW2 in school.
Secondly, protesting about this issue and smashing Yoshinoya’s property is rather silly cause if Yoshinoya decides to pull out of China, about 200 people will lose their jobs. This is not only Beijing’s branch but also Shanghai and wherever else that Yoshinoya has set up stores. Furthermore, China wants Japanese investment…but such acts will prevent Japanese businesses from setting up factories or stores there.
There isn’t any criticism against the Chinese history textbooks where the Japanese are seen in a very bad light. As such, the history texts in China are used in some ways to socialise the Chinese youths to dislike the Japanese as a whole. I’ve spoken to a Chinese classmate once and I could tell the contempt he had for the Japanese, but the Japanese now are different from those who decided to invade China!!
I remember that there was a Chinese president (was it Jiang Zemin???) who went to China and scolded the Japanese Prime Minister with regards to the history textbooks as well as for visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. After that, he promptly asked for more money (ODA). The Japanese government has been giving billions of yen to China in the form of ODA (official developmental aid…if I remember correctly) for China to develop their infrastructure. China has used this money to build bridges, hospitals and roads. However, we don’t read about this in the media…especially in the Chinese media.
Some say that the Japanese government has not apologised to China. This is not very true. The Japanese emperor (who shouldn’t be involved in any political stance) said something to the effect of an apology. Recently, the South Koreans and Japan signed an agreement that the South Koreans will not pursue the apology issue once Japan has a written apology and an FTA with South Korea. China refused to have a similar agreement. So…you go figure…
I wouldn’t be surprised if those who protested were the older generation. However, those who protested are mostly students….people who have never gone through the war and they’re around my age! Why is it that they have got such strong anti-japanese sentiment? Sometimes I wonder whether the government paid them to protest…hmm..
The war was over 50 over years ago…stop punishing the later generations who were not involved and do not necessarily approve of Japan’s involvement in the war. It is my personal opinion that China wants to feel superior to Japan. This is especially so since Japan is the world’s 2nd largest economy and is the most advanced Asian country, while China is still undeveloped in most areas. China used to be the cradle of civilisation…where Japan looked towards it as the model of culture. Since China is having a booming economy, out of pride, it wants to show that it surpasses Japan. But this is just my psycho-analysis. The Chinese would probably deny everything that I’ve written. However, if China and Japan can’t reach a friendly agreement, East Asia would be greatly affected. Instead of banging heads…both countries should work together and stop provoking each other.