Who doesn’t love Jackie Chan? His movies are entertaining, he does his own stunts, he’s a great role model and he’s got a smile that could tame a lion. The 58-year-old entertainer is one of the most well-known and well-loved stars in the world, and Japan is no exception.
Which is why it must have felt like a roundhouse kick to the face when he officially threw his weight behind the home team regarding the Senkaku Island dispute this week.
“The Diaoyu Islands (Chinese name for Senkaku Islands) definitely belong to China,” said Chan, who was in Taiwan to film scenes for his upcoming film “Chinese Zodiac.
He added, “The Diaoyu Islands belong to China, but what I say doesn’t count. It is up to the government to deal with it; I wish I was Superman, so I could pull the islands closer.“
Chan was asked for his opinion by Taiwanese media, who egged him on by suggesting that the theme of Chinese Zodiac, recovering treasures stolen from China by foreigners, fit perfectly with Chinese public sentiment over the ongoing territorial dispute.
When asked by the media if he would ever consider filming on the islands, he replied he would not as it is a sensitive issue and there would be nothing to gain.
If only Japan had an international celebrity with enough cultural muscle to offset Jackie Chan…
Source: MSN Japan© RocketNews24
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Jackie Chan has in the past made comments supporting Authoritarian Government in China. Now he's towing the CCP nationalist line on the silly islands. I suppose at his age he can well afford to throw away as many fans as he wants,
."..... but what I say doesn't count". Correct, it doesn't.
I hate it when celebrities publicly make comments on political issues that they know little or nothing about. Its false authority because he is not an expert, and it only serves to make people who have opposite opinions like them less. I like Jackie Chan, but his comments made me like him a little less.
Perhaps someone can get Ken Watanabe's response.
It's all just a way to keep this crap in the spotlight.
Get on with some more urgent, pressing matters.
After all, the islands are only of importance (to the nations in question) because of the resources around them.
When you have political issues in any country, I find it best to never ask or involve celebrities, their opinions are totally irrelevant towards the issue and it could also do more harm than good to their careers. They're not decision makers anyway and cannot sway the actions of any government. Musicians and Movie stars should stick to what they do best and leave the fighting and decision making to the politicians. Heck...even they can't get it right most of the time and now we need to involve Hollywood to complicate things even further? If it's a celebrity that really gets their hands dirty and can really make a difference like Bono, Jolie and Penn (although, I wish he would keep his skewed political views to himself) these people more or less have a bit more to say because they put their money where their mouth is, not like the majority of the typical entertainment industry.
He's got to pay the piper. He makes tons of cash, and the government could make it hard for him to do that. I'm sure he's just making sure some fat fingered communist stooge doesn't add layers of expensive regulations to his movie making.
Also, he'd lose a lot of Chinese customers if he didn't say this.
Whether he actually believes it or not is irrelevant.
Nothing personal, just business.
Herve Nmn L'Eisa
What he thinks had no bearing on the facts. Besides, if he took the other position he would be instantly reviled by his own countrymen. Meaningless comment by an entertainer.
"I wish I was Superman, so I could pull the islands closer.“
"I wish I was Aquaman and could push the islands closer to Japan"
It is a good thing if it encourages some Japanese to realise that this issue not just the result of (bad) Chinese textbooks, but that there is another side to the story. On the other hand, I wish that Mr. Chan had been less definite in his response. I think that if Ken Watanabe were to respond, he would say, something along the lines of "This is a complex issue that needs a great amount of research and debate."
When that Japanese author, Haruki Murakami commented last week, that was exactly the same thing. If a reporter asks you a question about something important, surely you will give your opinion, whoever you are. It won't get published if you're just Hiro Tanaka, but it will if you're famous.
I shall have to go and read comments for that article, see if the same posters had anything to say there. (It's under National, as opposed to Chan in Entertainment) http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/author-murakami-wades-into-japan-china-island-row
Chan also added that he believes the northern islands controlled by Russia belong to Japan, presumably intended as a show of some thoughtful consideration towards Japan (and the fans therein). Now he would need to think about commenting on which territory Russia should take back in return.
Lol, good one.
Would you side with a country that may threaten your life or a country that respects free speech? His answer is a no brainer, right or wrong aside.
What any individual or famous person person thinks about this issue and expresses in a civilized fashion is perfectly appropriate and their words must be considered along with those with differing opinions.
However, ask yourself, to what extent would Mr. Chan be free to express the opposite opinion, ie, that Japan has a legitimate claim that should be considered, if that is what he thought? What would be the reaction to that in China? You already know the answer: violent rampaging against him as a traitor.
The recent vulgar, sponsorship of mob destruction by the communist chinese government, and calling for the killing of Japanese was a display of barbarity the world must never forget, and, it won't.
.. and Clnt Eastwood talks to chair. Honestly does anyone care what Jackie Chan thinks? I like the guy, but not for his political commentary.
Another empty head , oops, empty chair celeb showing off his lack of cerebral muscle !!!!! LOL
Where is the surprise? He is a Chinese actor making a movie in Taiwan - what was he supposed to say?
Commenting on intelligence while using such phrases as LOL and multiple exclamation marks? Irony aside, at a minimum we can say that at least Jackie Chan acknowledged that his opinion is nothing more than just that: an opinion. That he did so immediately after being egged on to comment shows that he is fully aware of what the media wanted him to do, and aware of the consequences both from the Chinese and from his foreign fans, and answered in a manner that was as least controversial as he could, giving neither side ammunition. For an actor, this is about the best we could hope for.
If My employer is Taiwanese, I will please my boss as Senkaku belong to Taiwan. If My employer is American, I will say US defeated Japan in WWII. Therefore US is a rightful owner.
For Jackie Chan, his employers are his audience. He will favor 1.3 billions + oversea Chinese population rather than a few hundered million Japanese audience. Bucks stop for the larger market size. Japanese market is so small for him.
I agree with your first comment 100%. I don't need to know the political views of entertainers/celebreties/singers/athletes, etc. Just do what you do best, and leave the politics to the politicians that don't have a clue, which is just about all of them.
Jackie is a comedian actor and a JOKER.
If he say Diaoyu belong to China. It is not a joke.
If he say Dokdo belong to South Korea, It is not a joke.
If Jackie say he believes the northern islands (Hokkaido) belong to Japan. Then Jackie never tell a joke and lie's..
Correct answer would've been a back flip and a somersault...
Mirai HayashiOct. 04, 2012 - 07:41AM JST
Me too, but the problem is that the media (in this case the Taiwanese media) ask a direct question during an unrelated interview and a response is required without the time to think of the consequences. He was in R.O.C. with a lot of fans - he couldn't say he was neutral and no comment would imply that he was on the Japanese side. He probably worried later about what Japanese fans would think, but it was the lesser of two evils as the Japanese audience is more forgiving and sophisticated than those in PRC who would pick up the comments too. Thsi doesn't mean it's his personal opinion. he was in an unfortunate positin created by the usual half-wits in the media. Same all over the world.
let the chips lay where they fell in the last game of war....
Of course Jackie backs China.... ultimately he will go to the highest bidder.
Hollywood actors always do the same!! How many times has Richard Gear cried about Tibet?? What's up with all the hypocrisy here on JT?? A Chinese actor can not say he wishes he were Super Man and pull them islands nearer to Beijing??
Mexicano... I will make your comment back to neutral as of right... about... now..
So Murakami commenting is okay because he was neutral. Jackie commenting is not okay because he's not. Folks, make up your minds regarding celebs commenting. I don't care either way - they've a right to an opinion just like the rest of us. I don't always agree but why shouldn't they be allowed to talk about it?
Yes...and he would have probably gottern his ass kicked by the Taiwanese too.
That sure didn't stop him from commenting here, unless he only said something because he had something to gain (vis a vis his Chinese fans) which means it's just worthless pandering.
Just shows how scary mob rule in China is, if even a nice guy like Jackie Chan is terrified of it into making unfair statements.
Good films. Bad opinion.
The islets never belonged to China. Never. Not once.
Ossan: " I suppose at his age he can well afford to throw away as many fans as he wants,"
If you're a fan, you're a fan. Only someone fickle would stop liking the man based on his opinion about a political issue. I suppose you think he would be the best guy in the world if he stood behind Japan on the issue?
I don't care what the guy's stance is on the issue, support China, support Japan, support Taiwan...; he's still a decent actor who does his own stunts and entertains.
Interesting he said they belong to China while in Taiwan. Don't the Taiwanese say it belongs to them, and not China or Japan? Or does Taiwan consider itself part of China now?
Interesting. I wonder if the Taiwanese media asked him what he thought Taiwan was legitimately its own country, or if it's just a Chinese island?
Yeah, I wonder about this. I thought years back there were people protesting about how they wanted Taiwan to be independent from China. Now, when Taiwan decides to fight for the islands, China does nothing nor protest about it.
I want to believe that Jackie said this to save his career in China. I want to believe....
Ah, Jackie Chan, the eminant historian, weighs in.
I say Japan should counter by asking AK48 about their opinion.
@alliswellinjapan; "Now he would need to think about commenting on which territory Russia should take back in return." I hope you aren't considering giving Alaska back to Russia?
Too bad China said to the UN they signed off on ownership and I quote "Yang reaffirmed his country’s historical claim that Japan tricked his country into signing a treaty ceding the islands in 1895."
It's always easier to give away something you don't have.
Because he's a Buddhist. There may be some aspect of fashion to it, but it's not like he's doing it for the money. With Chan, the purity of his motives is less clear.
Lots of analysis here, but maybe he was asked a question and just gave his honest opinion. They ask people on the street questions about politics everyday, and they all give their opinions.
There you go. Would have respected him more if he had the wit to go that far.
True. Senkaku is a relatively harmless topic as even an everyday J-person is not overly attached to the issue in actuality. Shoud have been egged on deeper on some of China's other territorial disputes to get more clarity on where he actually stands in the eyes of both the C-people and the rest of the world.
Artists should do what they do best, Act / Sing / etc instead of commenting on political, economic or other social issues. That goes across the board for all Artist.
No, see, if he had done that, then all the posters here accusing him of going political would actually have something to complain about. In much the same way he does in all of his movies, Jackie Chan was caught in an unexpected and unwanted situation and forced to respond, which he did with his signature "I don't want trouble!" style. In the same breath that he gave his opinion, he pointed out that his opinion meant nothing. He stayed out of the fight, which is exactly where he wants to be.
Murakami decided to get involved, and it doesn't really matter which side he was on, and it doesn't even matter whether he was fair about it or not. The point is, he intentionally made formal statements, he criticized specific points, and generally made his stance widely known, supported by his popularity. Okay, fine, more power to him; no one can accuse Murakami of not having done his research. Jackie Chan did not want to take a stance on the issue, so he just made a quick comment, and moved on. He is perfectly within his rights to do so, and to imply that he used his popularity to press his opinion is absurd.
Jackie Chan was asked a question, and answered it honestly, whether you agree or disagree. He's not out there using his celebrity star power for political activist purposes. He's not trying to land on the islands. He went further to state that it didn't matter what he thought, humbling himself before an issue that he is powerless to have any meaningful input on, short of being Superman himself.
Was anybody expecting Jackie Chan to not side with his own country? I really do not agree with any kind of overreaction towards Jackie Chan's opinion. Many actors believe things that you wouldn't necessarily agree with, Jackie is no exception. I'm sorry if this robbed people of their innocence.
Hehehehehe what do you expect. He is Chinese and at the same time an actor businessman. He is just playing safe hehehehehe.
Chan is a Chinese nationalist, anti-Taiwan and firmly behind the CCP. His recent comments over the Senkakus cannot be a surprise to anyone.
There is a very good article in Al Jazeera, with a more neutral Chinese journalist's view from Steve Chao. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/10/201210313198198866.html
the type of statement i expect from a man who became famous for beating himself up.
cabadaje: While I admire the works of both, I think here the situation is rather quite the oposite, in that it was Murakami who stayed out of the fight while Chan who got involved. To be more precise, Murakami got involved through criticizing the whole concept of territorial disputes with some sense of humor (using the cheap liquor metaphor), but did not take clear sides on the dispute itself, while Chan took a clear position on not just one dispute, but two. In my view Murkami was just going about his business in trying to make sure his books return to the bookshelves in China through some seemingly humanitarian remarks (which actually does not lead the dispute itself anywhere) and hence I frankly do not have an overly high respect for either of them in this particular case.
So a Chinese man who supports a Chinese position on the issue. who'd da thunk it?
Jackie should have played the middle man and just kept his mouth shut but I don't think he is in the wrong for voicing his opinion. Everyone supports their own country so good on ya JC for being a patriot and being honest.
He supports his country......Well of course he does that is hardly a bad thing and He did say "what I say doesn't count" and "When asked by the media if he would ever consider filming on the islands, he replied he would not as it is a sensitive issue and there would be nothing to gain."
So at least he is more sensible than the Argentinian government in their Island dispute over the Falkland Islands.
I disagree, but it may just be a matter of circumstances. I do believe Murakami parlayed his popularity to express his opinion on the discussion (and saying the discussion is moot still counts as getting involved). After all, if he wasn't a popular writer, his comments would have no more weight that the ones we post on this forum. Jackie Chan did not set up the situation he was in to express his opinion on the discussion. Nor can he be said to have taken advantage of the opportunity to provide support for it.
I can't judge either for expressing their opinion. Murakami has researched and is familiar with material, even though his research was mostly aimed at writing novels, not history books, and took the time to put out a reasonable comment. I would tend to see his opinion as a bit more educated than most. I have no clue how familiar Jackie Chan is with the situation, nor does it matter much because Jackie expressed a personal opinion, wasn't prepared to comment on it, and went out of his way to emphasize how meaningless his individual personal opinion was. I wish more celebrities understood that concept; heck, I wish some of my non-celebrity friends understood that concept.
cabadaje: Agree with much of what you are saying. All the more why I would have wished Chan could have concluded his remark with some sense of humor possibly extending to Alaska as brought up here, as any witty celebrity may in the US. Only then would it fully strengthen his point that his comments as with those coming from any other celebrity should not mean much and thus should not be taken all that seriously.
Exactly Patrick. Heaven forbid a little common sense prevail here on the matter.
I can't really say I agree. Jackie Chan is known for his wacky antics, not his sense of comedy. On top of that, humor is one of the most difficult to express, and most culturally influenced emotion out there. It is incredibly easy to get it wrong. No, Jackie did the right thing. On a sensitive issue like this, one does not make quick quips just off the top of your head. That sort of thing can be interpreted as insensitivity or worse, insult, really fast. Anything he would have said about any territory would have been him entering into a discussion that he wants no part of; he's an actor, let him act.
Why care so much about Jackie Chan's opinion?
The following articles contain the arguments from all sides. People should judge by themselves who is right and who is wrong based on facts, not the opinions of others.
The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
The Diaoyutai Islands: An Inherent Part of the Territory of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
The Basic View on the Sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands
Diaoyu Dao is an Inherent Territory of China
Agree Jackie Chan or any other celebrity has the right to express their personal opinion. And if that happens to piss off his many fans throughout Asia, outside of China, well that's his choice.
cabadaje: Yes the J-people are tolerant and will just let this go (and we are probably the only ones still going over this) but not sure if that would mean he did the right thing. He was put on the spot, put to a loyalty test and said what he said, with seemingly limited knowledge. Not so much to do with whether what he said was right or wrong, but more to do with the absolute clarity he provided on his position which as some suggest here may represent something other than a celebrity's way of avoiding involvement in the fight, rather something similar to what drove him to make the other controversial comment earlier this year that excessive liberty given to the Chinese people may create confusion similar to that seen in Hongkong or Taiwan and that the Chinese people generally need to be under some control.
Brian J. Sheets
Jackie might want hide out on one of these Islands with a new lady?
of course chan is going to agree with his own country that is self evident.
96 percent of U.S. media is owned by you know who and to think Jack the Communist is different is just idiocracy. Never watched his stupid movies, it just dumbs down the masses.
Whoever wrote this article needs to open his/her eyes.
“The Diaoyu Islands (Chinese name for Senkaku Islands) definitely belong to China,”
This is Jackie Chan, a Chinese actor who lives in China. One would have to be a complete nincompoop to actually believe he would side with any other country.
Please please please try harder.
This is important so it is worth saying again.
China claims that Japan took the Islands in the first Sino-Japanese war (when Japan took Taiwan) and forced the Chinese to sign them over in 1895.
If so, then Japan as signatory to the Treaty of San Francisco (1951), accepted the Potsdam declaration in which it says, "Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine," and followed the Cairo Declaration in which it was required that "All the territories Japan has stolen from China such as Manchuria (Dongbei), Formosa (Taiwan), and the Pescadores (Penghu), shall be restored to the Republic of China."
Japan's response is that no, the senkaku's were not a spoil of war, not part of the treaty of Shimonoseki and that Japan just happened to claim those uninhabited islands "terra nullius" at the same time as the war. Since they are not a spoil of war, they were not mentioned by Cairo, Potsdam or San Fransisco. Looking at the cabinet records of the time http://cn.nytimes.com/article/opinion/2012/09/28/c28shaw/en/?pagemode=print One can see that Japan was definately aware of the timing of their claim. Was the claim fair, or was it theft?
There is nothing clear cut about this.
I suppose at that point we would need to decide whose "right thing" we are referring to. I'm talking about what was right for him to do as the actor that was being interviewed.
And he made a loyal statement, qualified it as nothing more than an opinion, and even made an somewhat absurd (some would call it humorous) suggestion as to how the problem could be simplified. Not bad for being caught completely by surprise.
I have little doubt that he was completely sincere in his opinion, but it wouldn't really matter to me if he was or he wasn't. Whether he really, truly, believes the islands are Chinese or whether he was saying it out of loyalty to his home country, or whether he was simply trying to not annoy his many fans, either way, he obviously did not want to elaborate on his opinion. Not wanting to get involved in a discussion is not the same as not holding clear views on it.
cabadaje: Understood. Just hoping how he handled the situation and may continue to handle similar situations do not lead to these loyalty tests becoming an everyday affair, which in a way may possibly play a role in fueling further radicalization of C-nationalism. One thing I am certain is that the C-media will not allow this to be the end of it for him and other C-celebrities going forward.
Careful Jaapn. If they send Jackie to take them back you will have no chance. And he will do so in a humorous and self-deprecating manner.
He didn't call a press conference to express his opinion on this matter - he was asked it. These stupid interviewers ask all sorts of pointless questions - 'what would you want to be if you weren't an actor?' - 'which country's fans are the best ?'- 'what do you think of the Daihyou Islands?'. He gave an answer on the spot (as he had to ) and he's entiteld to his opinion, even if it's misjudged. He wasn't organising a protest for goodness sake. Why can't the moaners here see the difference? Shouldn't ask I suppose. It's probably the same myopic reason that the "Entertainment' reporter picked it up in the first place. A non-issue.
boooooooo!!!!! he just lost my respect! as a celebrity, he should have known to stay NEUTRAL.
All it takes to lose your respect is to disagree on politics? You might want to value your respect a bit more than that.
That's...probably more accurate than it has a right to be...
[Interesting he said they belong to China while in Taiwan. Don't the Taiwanese say it belongs to them, and not China or Japan? Or does Taiwan consider itself part of China now?]
Both sides is CC.
China = Chinese.
I wish the islands would sink below the sea and end the dispute.
retarded! Coming from a guy who is from Hong Kong. A region where its British cononial liberal ways gave him his opportunites today. Now siding with China? It goes to show that Jackie Chan has sold out. Formosa aka Taiwan is not Chinese,but is a part of China today just as Hawaii is not American,but a part of America. The islands in question were not a controversy until natural resources were discovered in the area in 1960's.
Well, Jackie Chan has to order getaway car if he wanted to say Senkaku Islands belong to Japan at interview in Taiwan. Also you can take as he means Senkaku Island was far away from China and he needs to pull closer to China. He means absolutely nothing. So he said don't count on what he said.
This probably more of a business decision for Jackie Chan than a nationalist statement. After all, the financial backing for his movies come from the old men running corporations in places like Taipei, HK, and Singapore. Jackie is basically placating those Chinese who feel stronger about the issue than he probably does. Aside from all the Chan-bashing here, how many other Asian actors like Jackie Chan do you know who have personally contributed millions of dollars to senior centers (I personally know of these donations) and other philanthropic causes in the USA and around the world? Not many, I can guarantee that.
The reactions to Chan's and other celeb comments about this issue is probably going to lead to future self-censorship of Chinese and Korean movies in Japan by cautious theater owners--before Japanese extremists get a chance to phone in their obligatory death threats. The major impact on open cultural and media exchanges between Japan, China and Korea is a sad and growing by-product of this rocky island conflict.
THOSE ISLANDS BELONG TO JAPAN!!!!
it wasn't a matter of disagreeing or agreeing.. he took sides. might wanna re-read what i wrote. i said a figure head like him should stay "NEUTRAL".