Chinese too forgiving of a people?

Discussions on all aspects of China, from the beginning of the First Sino-Japanese War till the end of the Chinese Civil War. Hosted by YC Chen.
User avatar
Robert Rojas
In memoriam
Posts: 2658
Joined: 19 Nov 2002 04:29
Location: Pleasant Hill, California - U.S.A.

RE: Chinese - Too Forgiving Of A People?

Post by Robert Rojas » 01 Jun 2006 07:53

Greetings to both citizen "Achtung Panzer" and the community as a whole. Well A.P., in reference to your posting of Monday - May 29, 2006 - 4:22pm, old Uncle Bob is more than just a wee bit confused over this continuing dialectal saga between contemporary Japan and contemporary China. Now, is the crux of the matter based on the total absence of a collective apology from the Japanese Government or is the crux of the matter based on the "unacceptable diplomatic language" of a previously issued apology from the Japanese Government? Without getting into the finer political nuances of this issue, it is my general understanding (rightly OR wrongly) that successive Japanese Governments have, in fact, issued formal apologies not only to China but to other regional governments across Asia and Oceania for the excesses of their colonial past. With that said, what sort of concise and acceptable diplomatic language is the Middle Kingdom and its irredentist fellow travelers seeking from Tokyo? Finally, once the diplomatic language is ironed out, does the President of the Peoples Republic of China expect that apology to emanate from the governing Japanese Prime Minister or from the reigning Japanese Emperor? There is much to ponder! Well, that's my latest two cents worth on this not so concealed Sinocentric topic - for now anyway. In anycase, I would like to bid you a copacetic day over in your little corner of A.S.E.A.N.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|

User avatar
sandtony
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: 05 Jun 2006 13:57
Location: Australia

Post by sandtony » 05 Jun 2006 14:26

I think that the times has been changed. China needs to develop now. therefore, china needs a amicable environment. further more, chinese people is friendly. so everything will go well except japan collides with china.

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5039
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Re: RE: Chinese - Too Forgiving Of A People?

Post by Kim Sung » 05 Jun 2006 17:25

Robert Rojas wrote:Without getting into the finer political nuances of this issue, it is my general understanding (rightly OR wrongly) that successive Japanese Governments have, in fact, issued formal apologies not only to China but to other regional governments across Asia and Oceania for the excesses of their colonial past.
They are just pretending. The Japanese government has not made any sincere apology to any country victimized during the war.

Goldfish
Member
Posts: 410
Joined: 31 May 2004 13:51
Location: Atlanta, USA

Post by Goldfish » 07 Jun 2006 04:37

The Emperor, according to the Constitution, is not officially the representative of the Japanese government and is not allowed to make political statements, He can "wish for harmony between Japan and China" and can regret "the decisions made by wartime leaders" and has even gone so far as to call the wartime government "abnormal". He could even apologize on behalf of his family, but as that would mean blaming his father for the war, he has never done so. He cannot, however, apologize on behalf of the Japanese people or nation. He also cannot put such apologies into action, by setting guidelines for textbooks, etc.

The Prime Minister, and other members of government, can do so, and have on many occasions in the past. They have just as often, however, praised Japan's wartime policies, supported textbooks which whitewash Japan's crimes, and visited shrines honoring those who inflicted such pain on mainland Asia.

Japan's leaders have apoligized yes, but have also called the Nanking Massacre a lie, said that Japan's "comfort girls" were all volunteers and well-treated, and that Japan invaded China and other countries to help them and that they were welcomed by the people of those countries. The Yushukan museum at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo claims that Chiang Kai-shek was a communist who attacked Japan first, that America provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor, and that the Burma-Siam Railway was built by Japanese soldiers and engineers. That this shrine is visited by sitting members of Japan's government shows at the very least that the Japanese government does not respect the feelings of their Asian (or Western) neighbors.

Japan has repeatedly denied claims for compensation, or even apology, by groups of former "comfort girls", POWs, and family members of massacre victims.

The Japanese government has also recently renamed the "Green Day" holiday "Showa Day" in honor of Hirohito (the only Emperor in Japanese history so honored) and has passed a law stating that schools must promote nationalism.

In Japan's case, it is deeds, not words, that speak loudest and Japan's deeds, especially recently, have done a lot to undo the good words and deeds of the post-war past.

User avatar
Achtung Panzer!
Member
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Jan 2005 15:08
Location: Singapore

Re: RE: Chinese - Too Forgiving Of A People?

Post by Achtung Panzer! » 20 Jun 2006 14:24

Robert Rojas wrote: Finally, once the diplomatic language is ironed out, does the President of the Peoples Republic of China expect that apology to emanate from the governing Japanese Prime Minister or from the reigning Japanese Emperor? There is much to ponder! Well, that's my latest two cents worth on this not so concealed Sinocentric topic -

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
An apology is expected not just from the goverment of the PRC but that of countries which was victimized by the actions of the IJA during the duration of the war in the pacific...goverments from countries such as S.Korea,N.Korea,Phillipines,Singapore,Indonesia,Vietnam,Hong Kong just to name a few...

User avatar
Paddy
Member
Posts: 344
Joined: 26 Feb 2006 02:00
Location: USA

Re: RE: Chinese - Too Forgiving Of A People?

Post by Paddy » 29 Aug 2006 03:23

Achtung Panzer! wrote:
Robert Rojas wrote: Finally, once the diplomatic language is ironed out, does the President of the Peoples Republic of China expect that apology to emanate from the governing Japanese Prime Minister or from the reigning Japanese Emperor? There is much to ponder! Well, that's my latest two cents worth on this not so concealed Sinocentric topic -

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
An apology is expected not just from the goverment of the PRC but that of countries which was victimized by the actions of the IJA during the duration of the war in the pacific...goverments from countries such as S.Korea,N.Korea,Phillipines,Singapore,Indonesia,Vietnam,Hong Kong just to name a few...
I wonder if Japan is more worry about what will happen after the apologies are issued out, mainly monetary compensation for bad deeds in the past.

Another thing is that the Emperor is considered a god (in term of Japanese belief), not a representation but a god in human form. To admit past war crimes which were committed wrongly in the name of the emperor is to say that their god was wrong. I just watched some clip on military channel. They interviewed Japanese soldiers who executed Chinese civilian using bayonettes. Two soldiers mentioned that they did it in the name of their emperor, therefore no remorse what so ever. After all these years and they still believe what they did to the Chinese was just? The way I look at it is their belief in their emperor prevents them from issuing apologies to their victims. I don't think it is a matter of "saving face." by admitting that they were wrong. Their god can't be wrong.

Paddy.

User avatar
Peter H
Member
Posts: 28628
Joined: 30 Dec 2002 13:18
Location: Australia

Why China Loves to Hate Japan

Post by Peter H » 31 Aug 2006 11:07

Why China Loves to Hate Japan

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... 59,00.html
You don't have to look far to see why Chinese grow up learning to hate Japan. Take the forthcoming children's movie, "Little Soldier Zhang," which Beijing-based director Sun Lijun says he made having "learned a lot from Disney." The film chronicles the adventures in the 1930s of Little Zhang, a cute 12-year-old boy feeling his way through an unfriendly world. But the resemblance to Pinocchio ends there. After Japanese invaders shoot Little Zhang's grandmother in the back, the boy seeks revenge by joining an underground Red Army detachment. He moves among heroic Chinese patriots, sniveling collaborators and sadistic Japanese. The finale comes with Little Zhang helping blow up a trainload of Japanese soldiers and receiving a cherished reward: a pistol with which to kill more Japanese. "I thought about including one sympathetic Japanese character, but this is an anti-Japan war movie and I don't want to confuse anyone," says Sun, who will premier his film on International Children's Day.

Chinese kids can be forgiven for thinking Japan is a nation of "devils," a slur used without embarrassment in polite Chinese society. They were raised to feel that way, and not just through cartoons. Starting in elementary school children learn reading, writing and the "Education in National Humiliation." This last curriculum teaches that Japanese "bandits" brutalized China throughout the 1930s and would do so today given half a chance. Although European colonial powers receive their share of censure, the main goal is keeping memories of Japanese conquest fresh. Thousands of students each day, for instance, take class trips to the Anti-Japanese War Museum in Beijing to view grainy photos of war atrocities—women raped and disemboweled, corpses of children stacked like cordwood. As one 15-year-old girl in a blue and yellow school uniform, Ji Jilan, emerged from a recent visit to the gallery, she told a TIME correspondent: "After seeing this, I hate Japanese more than ever."

So it is not surprising that this nationalist animosity reaches the highest levels of government. The Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, recently created shockwaves by saying he would refuse to meet with Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, at a ground-breaking summit of East Asian nations that begins Monday. Reasons include rising Japanese nationalism and a recent visit by the Japanese Premier to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which commemorates Japan's war dead, including some war criminals from the time of Japan's invasion of China in the 1930s. But underneath that diplomatic spat over history is a struggle for power and influence in East Asia that is increasingly straining Beijing-Tokyo relations. "The China-Japan relationship in the near term is more tense and worrisome than the potential for conflict elsewhere in the region," says Thomas Christiansen, an expert in Asian security at Princeton University.

Of course, nobody expects China to forget the past. The war launched by Japan's militarist leaders killed an estimated 20 million Chinese. During the Rape of Nanjing in 1937-38, soldiers butchered 300,000 civilians, according to Chinese figures. Most Japanese are aware of what happened but their society has never engaged in the type of introspection common in Germany after the Holocaust. Carefully worded official apologies have landed far short of the five-star kowtow demanded by Beijing, senior Tokyo officials occasionally deny atrocities and just last April a new government-approved textbook written by right-wing groups downplayed the wartime brutality visited on civilians.

The problem is that just as Japanese soldiers once dehumanized Chinese, Beijing's propaganda often paints Japanese as pure monsters. Grade school textbooks recount the callous brutality of Japanese soldiers in graphic detail, and credit the Communist Party with defeating Japan. (Another reason for Japan's surrender, it says, was the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S.) More moderate voices are silenced. A 2000 film by one of China's leading directors, Jiang Wen, remains banned because it depicted friendliness between a captured Japanese soldier and Chinese villagers. Although the film showed plenty of brutality, censors ruled that "Devils at the Doorstep" gave viewers "the impression that Chinese civilians neither hated nor resisted Japanese invaders."

Why keep up the propaganda onslaught 60 years after Japan's surrender? Many suspect China's unelected leaders hope to use anti-Japan sentiment to buttress their own legitimacy. Ever since the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989, support for the Communist Party has rested on the shaky foundation of economic growth. Nationalism, by contrast, could prove more enduring. "Reviving war memories keeps the nation united against Japan, and behind the party," says Beijing-based writer Liu Xiaobo. It's a risky strategy. Anti-Japan sentiment grew into rowdy street protests in Beijing and Shanghai in April, which the quickly government suppressed for fear they could spin out of control. But until China's leaders have some new pillar of legitimacy, Liu predicts, "the Japanese will stay devils in China."

User avatar
cj
Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 28 Jun 2006 21:27
Location: Sacramento California

Re: Why China Loves to Hate Japan

Post by cj » 01 Sep 2006 00:06

Peter H wrote:Why China Loves to Hate Japan
Theres also the murderous torture in such instances as the rape of Nanking. My Grandfather was in the Pacific during the War, and, he doesn't tell us directly, but from what we hear from his wife (my grandmother), I can never look at Japan with any sympathy, especially in this instace. (I'll spare you the grusome details of what I've heard). Japan is very unforgiving, something that we here in California are continualy reminded of due to the loss we endured against the rising son. A short while ago I read an article in the Sacramento Bee on a massive monument to Admiral Tojo, complete with a photo of young Japanese teenagers fully dressed in WWII Japanese uniform. I've seen on the news on multiple ocasions stories of Japanese bias in Japanese school books, claiming America provoked Japan with support of China. I find it extremely offensive and insulting

User avatar
Peter H
Member
Posts: 28628
Joined: 30 Dec 2002 13:18
Location: Australia

Post by Peter H » 01 Sep 2006 04:55

Fair enough.I know veterans to this day that won't buy Japanese cars.

However the Time article does highlight that Japanese bashing is used by the current Chinese government to its own advantage.

The 1978 Peace Treaty between China & Japan can be found online here:

http://www.taiwandocuments.org/beijing.htm

tonyh
Member
Posts: 2911
Joined: 19 Mar 2002 12:59
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Why China Loves to Hate Japan

Post by tonyh » 04 Sep 2006 16:11

Peter H wrote:Why China Loves to Hate Japan

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... 59,00.html
You don't have to look far to see why Chinese grow up learning to hate Japan. Take the forthcoming children's movie, "Little Soldier Zhang," which Beijing-based director Sun Lijun says he made having "learned a lot from Disney." The film chronicles the adventures in the 1930s of Little Zhang, a cute 12-year-old boy feeling his way through an unfriendly world. But the resemblance to Pinocchio ends there. After Japanese invaders shoot Little Zhang's grandmother in the back, the boy seeks revenge by joining an underground Red Army detachment. He moves among heroic Chinese patriots, sniveling collaborators and sadistic Japanese. The finale comes with Little Zhang helping blow up a trainload of Japanese soldiers and receiving a cherished reward: a pistol with which to kill more Japanese. "I thought about including one sympathetic Japanese character, but this is an anti-Japan war movie and I don't want to confuse anyone," says Sun, who will premier his film on International Children's Day.

Chinese kids can be forgiven for thinking Japan is a nation of "devils," a slur used without embarrassment in polite Chinese society. They were raised to feel that way, and not just through cartoons. Starting in elementary school children learn reading, writing and the "Education in National Humiliation." This last curriculum teaches that Japanese "bandits" brutalized China throughout the 1930s and would do so today given half a chance. Although European colonial powers receive their share of censure, the main goal is keeping memories of Japanese conquest fresh. Thousands of students each day, for instance, take class trips to the Anti-Japanese War Museum in Beijing to view grainy photos of war atrocities—women raped and disemboweled, corpses of children stacked like cordwood. As one 15-year-old girl in a blue and yellow school uniform, Ji Jilan, emerged from a recent visit to the gallery, she told a TIME correspondent: "After seeing this, I hate Japanese more than ever."

So it is not surprising that this nationalist animosity reaches the highest levels of government. The Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, recently created shockwaves by saying he would refuse to meet with Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, at a ground-breaking summit of East Asian nations that begins Monday. Reasons include rising Japanese nationalism and a recent visit by the Japanese Premier to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which commemorates Japan's war dead, including some war criminals from the time of Japan's invasion of China in the 1930s. But underneath that diplomatic spat over history is a struggle for power and influence in East Asia that is increasingly straining Beijing-Tokyo relations. "The China-Japan relationship in the near term is more tense and worrisome than the potential for conflict elsewhere in the region," says Thomas Christiansen, an expert in Asian security at Princeton University.

Of course, nobody expects China to forget the past. The war launched by Japan's militarist leaders killed an estimated 20 million Chinese. During the Rape of Nanjing in 1937-38, soldiers butchered 300,000 civilians, according to Chinese figures. Most Japanese are aware of what happened but their society has never engaged in the type of introspection common in Germany after the Holocaust. Carefully worded official apologies have landed far short of the five-star kowtow demanded by Beijing, senior Tokyo officials occasionally deny atrocities and just last April a new government-approved textbook written by right-wing groups downplayed the wartime brutality visited on civilians.

The problem is that just as Japanese soldiers once dehumanized Chinese, Beijing's propaganda often paints Japanese as pure monsters. Grade school textbooks recount the callous brutality of Japanese soldiers in graphic detail, and credit the Communist Party with defeating Japan. (Another reason for Japan's surrender, it says, was the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S.) More moderate voices are silenced. A 2000 film by one of China's leading directors, Jiang Wen, remains banned because it depicted friendliness between a captured Japanese soldier and Chinese villagers. Although the film showed plenty of brutality, censors ruled that "Devils at the Doorstep" gave viewers "the impression that Chinese civilians neither hated nor resisted Japanese invaders."

Why keep up the propaganda onslaught 60 years after Japan's surrender? Many suspect China's unelected leaders hope to use anti-Japan sentiment to buttress their own legitimacy. Ever since the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989, support for the Communist Party has rested on the shaky foundation of economic growth. Nationalism, by contrast, could prove more enduring. "Reviving war memories keeps the nation united against Japan, and behind the party," says Beijing-based writer Liu Xiaobo. It's a risky strategy. Anti-Japan sentiment grew into rowdy street protests in Beijing and Shanghai in April, which the quickly government suppressed for fear they could spin out of control. But until China's leaders have some new pillar of legitimacy, Liu predicts, "the Japanese will stay devils in China."
Good article Peter. Highlights the real reasons why some countries wish to keep past injustices alive.

It's funny.....it seems Japan and to some extent Germany are the only countries (and consequently their citizens) that we can teach children to hate.

Tony

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5039
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Re: Why China Loves to Hate Japan

Post by Kim Sung » 05 Sep 2006 01:28

tonyh wrote:Why keep up the propaganda onslaught 60 years after Japan's surrender? Many suspect China's unelected leaders hope to use anti-Japan sentiment to buttress their own legitimacy. Ever since the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989, support for the Communist Party has rested on the shaky foundation of economic growth. Nationalism, by contrast, could prove more enduring. "Reviving war memories keeps the nation united against Japan, and behind the party," says Beijing-based writer Liu Xiaobo. It's a risky strategy. Anti-Japan sentiment grew into rowdy street protests in Beijing and Shanghai in April, which the quickly government suppressed for fear they could spin out of control. But until China's leaders have some new pillar of legitimacy, Liu predicts, "the Japanese will stay devils in China."
If the Chinese and No Mu-Hyon use anti-Japanese sentiment to butress their regimes, the Japanese use the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the kidnapping of Yokota Megumi to desguise them as victims of the history. It is the unapologetic Japanese who give China's unelected leaders a pretext to use anti-Japanese sentiment to buttress their regime.

tonyh
Member
Posts: 2911
Joined: 19 Mar 2002 12:59
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Post by tonyh » 05 Sep 2006 11:02

the Japanese use the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the kidnapping of Yokota Megumi to desguise them as victims of the history.
Actually I think, If anything, the japanese are notoriously silent about the atomic bomb attacks. I certainly don't agree that they "capitalise" on it and they certainly DO NOT use it as a pretext to teach their young to hate America, or the Americans.

Tony

User avatar
Peter H
Member
Posts: 28628
Joined: 30 Dec 2002 13:18
Location: Australia

Post by Peter H » 05 Sep 2006 12:31

I'm locking this thread--its becoming an opinion thread where the participants can't be accused of having an academic approach.

Return to “China at War 1895-1949”