Sunday, April 17, 2005

japan's distortion of history..

While I really have a shit load to finish today, I have to write this down while it's still fresh in my mind.
I have been following the news closely about the recent deterioration in diplomatic relations between China and Japan. Actually, it's not only China that has been taking on Japan lately, Russia's fighing for a land dispute with japan while Korea is obviously not pleased with Japan's new history textbook which supposedly gloss over the scale of the destruction brought by the former japanese empire's occupation of many parts of Asia.
It's interesting that only China sees such a big mobilization of common folks demonstration against the japanese govt thou, possibly because China took the major toil during its occupation by the jap forces (consider Nanking Massacre), while other countries like Singapore who were also affected by the same brutality durin tat era has remained largely immune to this. Of course, there're more at stake for China as Japan fight for a permanent place in G7 which represents a threat to china's role as the political powerhouse in asia. Personally, I cant understand whether the Japanese Govt's stance on its new history textbook represents the general opinion of its people. I've read reports of japanese students in exchange at other countries expressing disappointment about the govt's attempt to further distort history. It is also hard to judge what exactly does it mean when the reports say that the textbook 'gloss over' the past wartime crimes since i dun read japaense.
One thing for sure thou, the vehement demonstrations against the japanese in China is not gonna help solve the issue. I wish there can be someone within China who can rise up and do it the Ghandi way. Cos really matching violence with more violence will see no end to the vicious cycle. I also hope that some of the japanese who know about the truth of what happened 5 decades ago can lead the change from within. An apology that is forced out of vehement reactions from china will not mean much. What Japan need is perhaps some activists that have the moral righteousness to push for a change of mindsets of the govt/society's stance on its wartime crimes.
I also wish that not only the Chinese are taking this seriously. I wish someone back home in Singapore can express some kind of peaceful protest over it as well; a silent acceptance of the jap govt's stance would be a disgrace to the struggles that our forefathers had to endure. This should not mean a boycott of jap's products or anything like tat, but a diplomatic statement expressing the nation's disappointment would in my opinion be justified.

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