Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Anti-Japanese Protests

Days ago, I wrote a blog about my view on Peter Kammerer's article. Today, I also found an article, 'Don't risk Asia's peace and prosperity', written by Tom Plate, expressing similar view. Both columnists urge the two nations to move forward. Why don't these columnists see the root of the problem? Here, I want to share with you a letter from Fion Yip. I think Ms Yip has pointed out the problem clearly.

Japan must learn from history, or risk repeating it (adapted from SCMP, letters to the editor)

Most Asian people fiercely protest Japan's request for permanent membership of the UN Security Council and its distortion of history textbooks, while a minority seems to have sympathy for it.

This minority says that China and Japan should forget about the past and move on, and that we should look at the economic benefits for both sides. This group has missed a very important point - these are two different issues and we should not mix them together to conclude that we should forget the past and move on.

Whether the Chinese and Korean peoples forgive Japanese war criminals is a personal decision. But it is utterly wrong to try to forget what the Japanese did to China and other Asian countries. It is dangerous. If we do not learn from history, it will repeat itself.

Japan has political and military ambitions in Asia. Both the US and Japan believe that China will be a threat if it becomes a real super-power. With US support, Japan may one day take strong actions against China in order to slow its rapid growth. Precisely because Japan is an economic power and many people like its products, we should tell it to learn from Germany and face up to its past. Japan should contribute to world peace and globalisation. But if it cannot face its past courageously and responsibly, Japan will never be able to gain genuine respect worldwide and convince people that it will not repeat these acts.

The protests, as long as they remain under control and there is no serious damage, should not be suppressed. I believe that the central government will make sure they do not go too far. Those who are sympathetic towards Japan should re-read the history of massacres, tortures and other war crimes. Given the complex international politics - China's tricky relationship with the US, the Taiwan issue and so on - who can guarantee Japan will never invade China again? To expect no protests is even more dangerous to world peace. That's why we all need to speak up.

FION YIP, Sha Tin


I would like to ask a question. If Germany did not offer an official apology after the second world war; its prime minister visited the grave of Hilter overtly and continually; and its government allowed the modification of history textbooks to whitewash the things it did to the Jews, could other European countries and the USA forget about the past and move on?

12 Comments:

Blogger 無塵工作室 said...

Well, America would have probably flattened Germany already.

However, there are a few points from the letter that I don't agree:

1) Apart from history, she should also top up knowledge on military history. Japan doesn't have a proper army whilst China has nuclear weapons, and Japan isn't far away from China either, therefore I doubt that Japan will use force to attack China. That's a joke, and she upplayed the fear of invasion, and stood from the stance that China is inferior of Japan. Right-inclining is one thing, but whether a war will break out of it is another matter. Remember, China is no longer inferior to Japan, and therefore Japan only invades if their government is stupid.

2) Most Asian people DIDN'T protest against Japan's bid for SC permanent seats, because they are not they only country to bid for that extra seat, also there are a line of countries, including S. Korea, what are bidding for another SC expansion plan. Therefore, the probability that Japan will gain that seat isn't straightforward at all, and they blew it anyway after they have provoked China, unless something can be resolved between the 2 countries.

4/20/2005 8:15 pm  
Blogger cloudless said...

The ironic thing is the Chinese government does not respect history either, even the textbook in Hong Kong are hiding the facts of 1989 June 4 Tienanmen Massacre. I don't understand why Hong Kong people don't ask our own government to respect history first.

5/07/2005 8:38 am  
Blogger Louisa Kwok said...

Well, when it comes to history, each nation would have something it wanted to hide.

For the June 4th incident and many other events happened during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government of course didn't want them to be included in the history textbook. That's why every year, we still have activities organized by different parties in Hong Kong, trying to remind people what had happened and remind the Chinese government we still remember. We also condemn the Chinese governmenthen for not including the June 4th event in the history textbook. We must keep fighting for it.

That's why for what the Japanese Government did - modifying history, we must express our anger and condemnation. We need to let every government know, people of all nations cannot tolerate anyone to change or modify history, trying to hide its atrocities.

5/07/2005 1:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really sad there is a person with unrational nationalist is in a position of teacing. the nations always have hatred toward Japanese are China and Korea. This won't change until their one side view history book dont change. dont overenphasize what was in the past which has been rewritten by ur communist government. y dont they talk about how many chinese people they kill recently? and people in Taiwan actually like Japan even under japanese occupation and hate to be part of China. and look what u guys are doing to threat those people.

7/29/2005 2:38 am  
Blogger Louisa Kwok said...

Mr/Ms Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment. I wonder if you have read all previous comments before you made such a claim.

I have never been a patriot and will never be. Every year, I still protest against the June 4th massacre and discuss the issue with my students, hoping that no one will forget what the Chinese government did to the innocent students in 1986. We still have people coming out every year demanding the Chinese government to redress the issue.

China does have its own unforgivable past but it doesn't mean that anyone can deprive its people of expressing their anger towards the Japanese textbook incident. Condemning the Japanese whitewashing their atrocities during their invasion in China is what every citizen will do if he/she knows what really happened.

I appreciate any comments if they are made rationally and without any personal attack.

7/29/2005 2:21 pm  
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