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CHINA and JAPAN: An Explosion of Disrespectful Proportions

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – When a grudge is held between two countries, what sort of action is considered “crossing the line?” On July 3, the Chinese paper The Chongqing Youth News published a map of Japan with cartoony drawings of atomic mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with a headline stating “Japan wants a war again.”

Being the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, the Japanese have found this map to be an extremely offensive, insensitive depiction of their country. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that they will “never tolerate” such a portrayal and that the image “rattled the nerves of atomic bomb survivors and their families.”

It has long been understood that the two countries do not get along. China is still waiting for a satisfactory apology from Japan for its invasion of China before and during World War II, as well as its occupation of large parts of the country and mistreatment of Chinese comfort women.

Although it’s unclear whether or not the graphic was an advertisement or simply a picture to illustrate the accompanying article, the paper critiqued Tokyo’s choice to allow Japan’s Self Defense Forces to use force to defend its allies, an action that had previously been seen as unconstitutional.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei declined to comment on the issue at a recent press conference, instead mentioning that recent Japanese actions have made the country’s regional neighbors feel uncomfortable. He also criticized Japan for constantly inciting arguments over historical issues and stated “We hope Japan can learn lessons from history, go down the path of peaceful development, and avoid the repetition of historical tragedies.”

In a seemingly never-ending cycle of the blame game, it’s hard to tell if the two will ever come to a compromise. However, as long as China acts on this “eye for an eye” mentality, they will only continue to take a step in the wrong and unhelpful direction.

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2 Responses to CHINA and JAPAN: An Explosion of Disrespectful Proportions

  1. alex royce July 26, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    A wise and on the whole balanced presentation, though the article might have included one line of acknowledgment of top Japanese officials persistently undermining the 1994 official apology — which understandably rattles many in Asia, not just the Chinese. Otherwise, terrific short piece. Sincerely, Alex Royce, retired UCLA prof, Resenda

  2. Oona Houlihan August 6, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Japan and China being dead broke does not help, They’d both be better of to cooperate economically. China’s state enterprises are largely bankrupt and most banks insolvent and Japan will never recover from the debt load Abenomics has burdened it with. Looking at historic examples, like Argentina’s Falklands war after the junta was broke, point to hostilities becoming likelier when internal finances are on the brink of collapse.

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