"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, August 05, 2004

As I have mentioned in the past, I work for The Man - a 'newspaper' with a quasi-facist editorial policy and that is often racist, always sexist and a major apologist for the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. Basil Fawlty's "Don't mention the war" is usually our watchword. Failing that we fall back on the radical Japanese right-wing idea that Japan was a victim in World War II and was punished for its altruistic efforts to end colonialism in Asia. 'Nanjing? Where's that?'
Hence you get editorials like the following

Chinese government to blame for booing
Yomiuri Shimbun
It is unfortunate to see the Asian Cup soccer games being held in China marred by anti-Japanese sentiment.
"I don't care about booing (by Chinese fans against the Japanese team)," said Japanese national team coach Zico, a Brazilian. "But any soccer fan in the world should pay due respect when a national anthem is played."
As Zico pointed out, Chinese soccer fans apparently went beyond the bound of ordinary behavior since they kept booing even when the Japanese national anthem was played.
Anti-Japanese sentiments were expressed in the crudest manner Saturday at Chongqing Olympic Sports Center during the game between Japan and Jordan. Some Chinese fans provoked unrest by throwing things at Japanese supporters, surrounding the bus carrying the Japanese national team and heaping abuse on them.
The Chinese government should be blamed for developing such narrow-minded nationalism among the public.
Anti-Japanese sentiment in China has spread like an epidemic since
the mid-1990s. This has been particularly evident since 1995, the 50th
anniversary of the end of World War II, when then Chinese President Jiang
Zemin's government launched a major campaign to celebrate China's victory in the
anti-Japan war in an effort to strengthen patriotism and solidarity
the public.

Wartime antipathy rekindled
That year, Chinese newspapers and TV programs were filled with various reports on the
invasion of China and the atrocities committed there before and during World War II by the Imperial Japanese military. Since then, patriotism in China has been taught based on anti-Japanese sentiment.

A majority of Chinese soccer fans who filled Asian Cup venues are young people educated in such a way. It is unfortunate, but antagonism toward Japan has become a self-evident truth for

Through patriotic education, Jiang and his government have amplified the antagonism of the Chinese people toward Japan to maintain the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party's dictatorship and its ability to unify the Chinese people.

Japan tends to be used as a target for the venting of frustration by Chinese youths who are not allowed to criticize their own government. The Chinese government may be able to learn various lessons from the Asian Cup.

Host's role may be questioned
In four years, it will host the Olympic Games in Beijing with its national prestige at stake.
If it cannot control the unruly, bad-mannered jeering seen during the current tournament, Beijing's ability to host the Olympic Games will be questioned.

The China Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League of China, carried an unusual article warning Chinese fans to show restraint in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games when the quarterfinal match between Japan and Jordan was held in Chongqing.
However, the article apparently had a limited effect on the crowd at the game held between Japan and Bahrain in Jinan on Tuesday. Saturday's final match between Japan and China will test whether the country and its people are really ready to host the Olympic Games.

When he visited Japan in 1998, Jiang one-sidedly and doggedly repeated that Japan must
keep learning lessons from history. His remarks in turn ignited anti-Chinese sentiment among Japanese. Current Chinese President Hu Jintao's government, which will host the Olympic Games, a festival of peace and friendship, in four years, must end the vicious cycle created by Chinese antagonism toward Japan that has been nurtured by China.

It is unfortunate for both Japan and China to see this cycle of antagonism continuing.
(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5)

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