Why China Loves to Hate Japan?
The animosity between two neighboring country is not new in the world history. If the winner of animosity will virtualy have the crown of that region, the animosity increases. The two giant-economies of today’s Asia, China and Japan, are vying for the leadership in East Asia. The relationship between them can be cold. But, why there is so much of hatred between the people of two countries? Why they is a looking back to past to rekindle the animosity?
Before drawing any conclusion, let’s review the relationship between China and Japan for last decade. Japan is the most important country to China among the non-superpower developed nations. Among the reasons for this are : geographical proximity, historical and cultural ties. The Chinese lost their advancement they gained during Ming dynasty, and Japan was the rising power of the Asia – at the start of the century. The first notable Sino-Japanese war was in 1894, leading to a Japanese victory and annexation of Taiwan in Japan. But the hostility officially started in 1930s, when Japan invaded China and killed thousands of Chinese. The massacre of Nanjing was one of the incidents which took as much as 300,000 lives within 20 days. The mass-killing of Chinese people by Japan during WW-II is known to all.
The history is still behind Sino-Japanese relations, despite several attempts to secure peace between East-Asian giants. Recently, the degradation of “Nanjing Massacre” to “Nanjing Incident” by Japanese text-books were protested all over the China. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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, there is no hope to a Sino-Japanese friendship at all levels.
Courtesy : Time Asia.