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Magazine airs anxieties over China's burgeoning economic clout

58 Comments

During the week of Feb 14, TV news channels repeatedly broadcast scenes of hordes of tourists from mainland China who, on holiday during their country's lunar new year, converged on department stores in Ginza, appliance shops in Akihabara and rural hot springs hotels.

Less widely reported were unsuccessful efforts last year by a Chinese energy company to acquire a stake in a Japanese manufacturer of nuclear power reactor components. The firm is also a supplier to Japan's Self Defense Forces.

China, with its huge and growing accumulation of foreign reserves, may find it more expedient to tap into foreign hi-tech industries than develop its own home-grown technologies.

In a special report featuring nine articles spanning 24 pages, Sapio (Mar 10) parades out the data to support its anxiety-tinged headline that "China will buy up Japan."

This is not about the spending binge by vacationing tourists: it's about concerns over the fate of Japan's corporations, its real estate, its food supply -- even its women.

Take real estate. While the markets for condominiums in Shanghai and Beijing appear to be overheating, prices in Japan are seen as having bottomed out, making purchase a sensible proposition for Chinese investors.

In addition to investment in prime urban commercial and residential properties, some Chinese investors are reportedly setting themselves up as absentee landlords, renting out blocks of one-room apartment units to fellow Chinese who come to Japan to study.

The purchases are raising national security concerns. A Chinese consortium recently bid on Mitsugo, an uninhabited island in Japan's Inland Sea close to Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces and U.S. military bases. It is said Chinese buyers are also have their eye on islands in the Ryukyu chain close to the boundary between Japan and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, a reporter for a fishing industry trade publication says that Chinese have become big buyers the Nagasaki fish market, putting a pinch on already tight supply of "kuro maguro" (Pacific bluefin tuna). Another article, noting that China has launched a national project to promote traditional Asian remedies, warns that Japan may be squeezed out of the market in areas ranging from training schools to acupuncture needles to herbal medications.

Not even Japanese names are safe from the onslaught. By virtue of a first-come, first-served policy at the domestic trademark office, Chinese firms have been snatching up Japanese geographic names by the dozens. Even Mt Fuji -- Japan's sacred peak and national icon -- now belongs to Hong Kong-based Fujisan Technology Stock Company Limited, which holds exclusive trademark rights in China until Sept 14, 2014.

As if these incursions were not enough, Sapio notes that China's demographic imbalance threatens to spill over its borders. As a result of the rigid one-child policy, in five of China's 22 provinces, the ratio of male births to female has reached 130:100. By 2020, Chinese males are projected to outnumber females by some 24 million.

When the Zhongguo Xinwenshe news agency polled Chinese males on which nationality they'd prefer if marrying a foreigner, Japanese females were the top choice, named by one out of four respondents.

With marriage becoming increasingly globalized, this represents a new and ominous portent for already beleaguered Japanese males.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments
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hahahaha !!! This is a funny story, Japan didn't see this coming ??? Hahahaha !!!!! The real estate concern will not sit well for Japanese senior citizens. They really don't like that, and the women. Ohhhh nooooo !!!!!

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Japanese females were the top choice

Chinese men will change their minds when they better understand Japanese divorce laws

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US had the same anxieties about Japan. It won't pan out. In fact the flow of women is probably overwhelmingly Chinese women would like a Japanese man. The typical rural unmarried Chinese man probably has nothing to offer a Japanese women, materially or otherwise.

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Haha, this is brilliant. I do believe most of this is in fact true, China is waging war through economics rather than the traditional method, hey it is a capitalistic world economy. It would be rather scary and hilarious if they took over Japan.

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Like Tibet, China would absorbs you slowly until your existence is just a matter of name, and not freedom or democracy as you expected. The virtue of giving will win over the greedy of taking. One day the great wall of China will start to realize; and may be too late to seal another wall of freedom and human dignity. At the meantime, beware of China.

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Japan is old hand at resisting foreign intrusions into its economic space...but this is a fun little article. I would welcome Chinese investment in real estate..

I pity whichever Chinese lad is dreaming of a Japanese wife...

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Obviously foreign investors and buyers would be welcome news in this down market. I think this article is trying to push an agenda. People in this economy in Japan would be happy to sell to whomever can buy.

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China would absorbs you slowly until your existence is just a matter of name,

Japan was already sinicized by choice during the 8th century.

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I believe some of this true. I would be a little careful because some of these investors will be fronted by the government. I can see why the Chinese government would want to own islands near Taiwan. I can also see why the Chinese government would a company that provides technology to both the military and Nuclear power industries.

The apartments could also be used to install sleeper agents throughout Japan.

China is one of the oldest living civilizations. If the get your country in their grasp then it will be almost impossible to get free.

It looks like China is looking for some payback.

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Why would they want a Japanese wife?

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Agreed. I remember when the US had the same fears about Japan.

What this whole line of thinking ignores is the fact that China is far from stable and that her bubble will one day burst just like every other bubble.

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China's bubble will pop eventually, like Japan's did

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China's bubble will pop eventually, like Japan's did

And everyone will point and laugh. At this point it's just becoming a redundantly funny gag.

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Nah, these articles must be written or influenced by the PRC propagandists, to spread fear among the Japanese masses.

Ahem.

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"it’s about concerns over the fate of Japan’s corporations, its real estate, its food supply—even its women."

I'm not sure how Japan's real estate has been managed, but the corporations, food supply and Japanese women have been neglected.

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Agreed. I remember when the US had the same fears about Japan.

Unlike Japan, China does and have been making moves to expand it's territory. Look at Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. China like the Soviet Union is trying to acquire more and more. They know they can't attack the more powerful nations but they can sabotage or attack within.

Does no one remember all the cyber attacks by Chinese hackers or the US scientists who seeling secrets to China. China's threat is real my friends. No matter how many individuals in china are becoming wealthy, we can't forget the government is still running the show and can take it all away at the drop of a hat.

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Now the Japanese know how we felt in the 80s. Big deal, we're all one people of one race.

Metaphile, you do realize we had World War Two about 60 years ago thanks to Germany and Japan right? China's amibitions are small fries in comparison. Please have a sense of proportion when making this comparison. I don't approve of China's behavior either, but use a better example than war and Japan.

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bdiego,

I'm not using World War 2? What are you reading? I'm discussing recent actions taken by China. The comparison with WWII is your own thinking about the situation not mine. I am comparing them to USSR which isn't about WWII.

Reread it my friend.

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Japan and their investers did exactly the same in their bubble era.Shoes on the other foot now.

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It all looks like "pay-back time for the capitalist system! The Chairman (Mao)smiles from his grave!

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@goddog - Why would they want a Japanese wife?

A Chinese guy once told me that he and many other Chinese men actually prefer Japanese women to Chinese women. Basically he felt they are less controlling and less obsessed with marriage. No idea if that is true or just a case of the grass is always greener, but that was his opinion. Also though, he was a scientist from Shanghai, not some uneducated guy from the countryside. Those are the guys who are going to face the demographic problem, don't know how many Japanese women are going to be interested in them, maybe none.

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Basically he felt they are less controlling and less obsessed with marriage.

Interesting...so Chinese men can also be fooled by Japanese women....

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minello7 -- exactly. I remember when the Japanese were all bragging to their American counter-parts: "You may have won the war, but we are winning the peace", as they snapped up U.S. assets, including places like Pebble Beach. If Japanese can expect to own condos in Honolulu, why can't Chinese own them in Okinawa?

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Japan and their investers did exactly the same in their bubble era.Shoes on the other foot now.

Yup, and the funny part is that Japan got screwed on almost every deal, like Pebble Beach for example, haha, lost their shirts. Now they have to wear Chinese shirts, and the Chinese will be wearing Japanese women.

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Ha! The fist's up the other one now!

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It's the Japanese's own arrogance and conceit that has brought them to this, say goodbye to J-culture.

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Everyone I have ever met who has married a Japanese woman would love to get rid of her. Could we possibly sell them to China? Great idea! We could sell all the annoying "brand loving, I wannabe a housewife" idiots. Japan would be better off without them. Any guy who thinks Japanese women are "sweet, kind and docile" just got off the boat.

Though I have to ask, what is the deal with the Japanese farmers marrying the hick Chinese girls? With their population issues - more males than females - I'm surprised that China allows it to happen.

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I'm surprised that China allows it to happen.

Sounds like laissez-faire capitalism to me!

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Hmm... More paranoid nationalism? These ideas spread by the media only encourage xenophobia. Is the result of chose to cope with a shrinking economic growt in place of keep growing with inmigration. In my humble opinion we need to learn from Europe that demolish national barriers is good for peace and business.

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After reading everyone's comments, I still believe there is truth to this.

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Reading this article, 2 points come to mind. Firstly, if Chinese men want japanese wives then they obviously don't like sex. And it's high time to scrap all this totally useless unproductive "learning" of English in the nation's schools. Learn Chinese young man and of course, young woman.

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Ni hao @WMD Have been preaching at Japanese for 15 years that they should be learning Chinese rather than English. They just laugh. Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said that in 5 years 70% of the internet will be conducted in the Chinese language

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It's the Japanese insular, provincial mentality that has led them to this.

Japanese have no one to blame but themselves.

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if Chinese men want japanese wives then they obviously don't like sex.

Dunno about that! You just have to find the right ones, there are plenty here that love it!

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.... it’s about concerns over the fate of Japan’s corporations, its real estate, its food supply—even its women.

Glad to see JT keeping things in perspective.

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China is merely reasserting its dominance vis-a-vis Japan as was true throughout much of the thousands of years of their recorded histories.

The Chinese have long memories and Japan will still be held accountable for its conduct to the Chinese in the first half of the 20th century.

Three decades of ODA as war reparations by another name is not enough.

What goes round, comes round, Japan.

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"anxiety-tinged headline"

"hordes of tourists"

"the fate of Japan’s corporations, its real estate, its food supply—even its women."

"purchases are raising national security concerns"

"Not even Japanese names are safe from the onslaught"

"With marriage becoming increasingly globalized, this represents a new and ominous portent for already beleaguered Japanese males."

This article=Yellow Journalism by the Japanese about the Chinese.

The Japanese are just as capable of this as the American press was a century ago to effect immigration law changes to exclude Asians and foment attacks on those already in the U.S.

Most Japanese don't want Chinese in their country other than in strictly-controlled, subservient roles, and things will probably worsen as time passes.

Sounds like history is repeating itself to some extent across the Pacific in the 21st century.

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As the Japanese see their economy decline and their population with it, China will increasingly be the target, and Japanese attempts to lead in Asia through various organizations will be rebuffed by China as well.

Japan knows that China will almost certainly dominate Asia in the 21st century, and Japan will have to kowtow to the Chinese as the years pass.

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Not only in Japan, Africa and Latin America real estate and mining industry has been blessed by China buyers. Chinese investors are flushed with cash now. However there are many local sentiments about China economic expansion. Some Chinese mining engineers were killed by local people in Africa. Some said it is because of race.

In the reality, they were killed by jealousy of their charm to local women. Chinese authority need to concern about the risks of young professional and business men too.

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"In the reality, they were killed by jealousy of their charm to local women."

Athletes,

In real world reality it was because they were treating the locals like crap. The slave labor attitude they treat theeir own country men back home isn't going to work. Africa has a long memory/history of being exploited by mostly European, Western countries and sometimes their own people. The modern Africans/Blacks are more conscious of these things and if they can help will not go back to that life.

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Metaphile

I wonder have you been to Africa before. Have u ever worked in mining industry? Mining industry is not a labor intensive industry like manufacturing. It is a capital and knowledge intensive industry. Staff are skilled and well educated. Not like crap as you mentioned who works for manufacturing with low pay. Besides that most Sudanese were unemployed and starved before. They suffered from long civil war. In my view, they killed the Goose who lay the golden egg a day.

In the reality, China investment provide the jobs and infrastructure to Africa. Africa needs capital and technical skills like a thirsty man needs water. Of course, there are some cultural crashes and business competition too. Whether we like it or not, that poor cousin is richer and expanding the influence. Even HK locals are jealous and dissatisfied about Chinese business men for buying their high end properties.

Japan needs huge export market like China. Trade and investment flow are good for both. There are some sentiments, jealousy and mistrust from some locals. However the new generation will be different from us. There will be more intermarriage like USA. Time will heal the old wound from past. Let's move on to the future.

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someday,China will kill itself using the knife named "Communism".

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C'mon you guys. China is a huge country. 12 times the number of people. Japanese being concerned about them buying crown jewels and property is a serious thing. About Japanese names, China recently took a famous video game out of the hands of a Japanese company saying its a "national treasure". As Japan, and no sane country except China and France, control these types of things, it's quite normal to be worried. China is aggressively buying Japan. Japan is a smaller country with few natural resources. China is pushing Japan out of traditional fields like acupuncture. It's damn scary place. Wake up people.

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China is pushing Japan out of traditional fields like acupuncture

Traditional fields which originated from China, you mean? Don't tell me, you're also scared that China wants to make more noodles, tofu and chopsticks.

I suppose you're not aware of the fact that Japanese companies are making a killing in China, tapping into the resource called 'Chinese customers'.

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In 10-20 years, Japan will be a virtual island province of China.

Or, so the next sensational Japanese magazine headline will read.

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I like that Japan doesnt study Chinese for the factor that symbolic writing can have lies as well, and it would seem there is a lot more kanji in China. I think buying J-made ought to be promoted more. The quality is so much better here in Japan because the scale is smaller. DOnt loose the quality. And as for gender talk, upon marrying a Chinese one ought to question the proposition about idealogies regarding sex and pro-life issues before engaging in any sort of marriage like talk. I hate to think of my daughter as a nothing but a sex fiend, but I hate to lie and deny my own appetite does go beyond the once off sex attitude.

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China will buy up Japan. It's that simple. You have no understanding on how rich a tiny part of the population of China is. Let me put it in rough numbers, off the top of my head, which could be more accurate then what is officially reported or polished up by the news. 50% of the country lives in poverty, I mean poverty. I see it everyday on the way to the market, going to the phone co. going out for dinner. 30% are somewhat better off than the bottom 50%, but like the bottom 50%, they came from a poor socio-economic-educational background so upwards mobility besides what they're taught to do or taught themselves to do, is somewhat limited. One in a billion stories like the guy who founded Gomei, equivalent to best buy in the us, who went from rags to riches, starting out selling shoes he got in the cities and hawking them off back in the countryside, are just that, one in a billion. I've countless people here sweated, bled, cried to not a soul paying them a second of attention unless they're in somebody's way. 15% are 'middle class', and at this, their incomes varies widely from Western standards to Western millionaire standards. Usually, the aforementioned group come from old families and old money. Whatever old families mean, you know. Most of the people I know here in China belong in this socio-economic group and I can definitely tell you they're not short of anything from money to property, women, booze overdoing everything etc. These is the kind of people the world sees as Chinese tourists when they go visit another country. And the last 5%, well, they're like the unimaginably wealthy, well connected politically and econonmically. They have a hand in everything from the plastic crap you buy at your local 100Y shop to stealing american space tech secrets to constructing railway in Zimbabwe so they can help themselves to the local resources. You think Bill Gates or some UAE emir live in style? They ain't got nothing on these people. The Chinese are smart, they make a lot of crap for export and domestic consumption, but they also know quality when they see, taste and feel it. And they want it. Japan is the closest place(Korea notwithstanding) that is quality. The water, the onsens, the hitech co's, the 17th century banking system which the Chinese would love to overhaul, efficient train system, scientific r&d etc. Not to mention the women. I know some of you have been in jp for too long and one too many relationships with perhaps the wrong type of gal with daddy issues or whatever, but almost all my jp relationships including my wife, mother of our 3 kids has been stellar. Course it helps she's from Kyushu and not a major urban hell. Cannot say that about the chinese girls i've dated. Have you ever seen a beautifully made up(not my type) woman in reasonably fashionable clothes, evidently well bred and moneyed, step out of her husband's benz and proceed to do a farmer's blow on the street? Yeah, if you date Chinese girls, you might have to put up with that, but hey, that enviro friendly, right, like Priuses? Ok, ok, I'm not saying that every Jp girl is the perfect image of etiquette and all things nice, fluffy and pink, but Jp girls are a lot more, you know, classy. But to each their own. Damn, that is a long rant, is there a word limit to comments?

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imomofo:

All true. Your comments are spot on.

We can safely say that much of Japan will be the property of the People's Republic of China within the next 10 years.

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I read some years ago that China was a Sleeping Dragon whose tail Koreas and Japan should beware of. For even a small move of its tail would cause great damage. This is the region I certainly wouldn't want to live 20 years from now. By then China will certainly have become the # 1 world economy, and we know what Chinese can do when they have the power - Tibet and Taiwan are good, or bad, examples of things still to come.

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Take real estate. While the markets for condominiums in Shanghai and Beijing appear to be overheating, prices in Japan are seen as having bottomed out, making purchase a sensible proposition for Chinese investors.

Interesting.

It reminded me of the article I read on this link.

Asked by Shanghai investors of why they want to purchase real estate in Japan, the reasons were:

Stable, clean, convenient and well mannered society. Natural surroundings with very minimal pollution. Short air trip from China.

In other words, Shanghai or any other large cities in China lacks #1 and#2.

http://diamond.jp/series/chinabiz/10019/?page=2

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China is one famine away from civil war. They are a bubble economy dependent on a open market for their cheap goods. If the market is not there then all those new middle class will have to take their new cars and go back to being peasants. Something tells me that will not happen quietly. It is easy to look strong when you go from zero to 50. However when you can keep going from 50 to 75 you prove something. It will be hard for China to keep up the pace of growth that they have been experiencing. I do not see a Chinese century but a Chinese half century and then China will have to deal with many of the problems that the developed economies, such as the US, EU and Japan are having to deal with now.

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Athletes,

I wonder have you been to Africa before. Have u ever worked in mining industry? Mining industry is not a labor intensive industry like manufacturing. It is a capital and knowledge intensive industry. Staff are skilled and well educated. Not like crap as you mentioned who works for manufacturing with low pay. Besides that most Sudanese were unemployed and starved before. They suffered from long civil war. In my view, they killed the Goose who lay the golden egg a day.

I have been to South Africa, Nigeria, Eritrea and Ethiopia. I have friends there.

We are talking about the labors. All labors working in the mining industry is well educated, thus it wouldn't be considered menial labor. By your own example, the Sudanese should be thankful for the Chinese intervention. Are you claiming all these folks are college educated? I think not. It is these folks who being treated like crap.

Are you also saying that China was justified in invading Tibet too? Your claim can also justify that situation as well.

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Metapile

By your own example, the Sudanese should be thankful for the Chinese intervention. Are you claiming all these folks are college educated? I think not. It is these folks who being treated like crap.

If you go and visit to Sudan, there are hopeless Sudanese desperate about getting the jobs, decent health care and decent infrastructure. Of course Sudanese will be grateful and welcome to any foreign investments and technology. Not only from China, every nation who wish to do business in Sudan. They do not have capitals and expetise. The nation was ruined by long civil war. Being employed and learning some skills is better than drifting and penniless. If they think, they were treated like crap, they did not need to accept the job offer. Mining industry require more knowledge and skills than manufacturing.

Back in 1970s, China was a poor and backward nation like Sudan. Their GDP was just a fraciton of right now. If poor African nations want to develop as modern and stable nation, they have to follow these open door policy for economic development. Another example was Japan Meiji restoration. Japan was isolated about two hundred years before. After opening trade with America and Meiji restoration, Japan become a modern and advannced nation.

I have never mentioned about Tibet in my old posts. Politics is not my concern or interest. It is your business about Tibet liberation. My comment is about the trade, investment and business promotion.

China and Japan had hatred and mistrust to foreign nations in their past. They were poor,isolated and backwarded in the history. After opening the door, both got modenize and advanced. In the business, we have to buy or sell with someone whether we like it or not. If you do not trade with someone whom you dislike and hateful, your business will not survive. Let 's move on with the bucks not with the hatred.

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China will buy up Japan.

Fear-mongering.

Chinese may be buying into Japan, and elsewhere, as investments, but they will always only believe China as their homeland. They'll continue to get richer in China - as China develops. That's going to have to continue for years and years before it ever reaches the level of developed nations.

Learning how to use soap, traffic lanes and manners isn't going to happen overnight.

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What should also be discussed in some Japanese magazines is how Japan, an established middle power, should better interact and accomodate China, the only established great power in asia. Other magazines have discussed this in detail:

http://www.ipsnewsasia.net/bridgesfromasia/node/132

http://www.newsweek.com/id/216693

http://www.observingjapan.com/2009/05/emergence-of-middle-power-asia.html

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What's the big deal about China emerging as a global superpower. If they buy Japanese goods, property, that's better for the Japanese economy. The last thing we need is an agitator, because then everybody loses. Just look at the positive side of it. Peace!!!!

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The Japanese bought up a lot of real estate in Austrilia in the 80,s and the Aussies complained about that too. It all comes down to money over national interests. If a Japanese company can make a hell of a lot of money by selling out to the Chinese then they will and it won't matter about national interest.

As for the Chinese marrying Japanese, well Americans have been doing that since ww2. But more and more chinese women are marrying internationally too so it evens out.

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China is going to buy Japan up real well, their industries which make the money that power this purchasing are not going to dry up that easily--which is the major difference between what is going on now and what went on in the 80's between Japan and America. And I can't see that being a bad thing from a foreigner's perspective. Sure, Japan's sovereignty will decrease steadily as important areas are bought out and China begins to leverage them towards political/economical/social/espionage means, but can we point to any area of Japanese life being managed well at all right now? What makes it good for us foreigners is that this will be the slow and insidious type of takeover, hands off approach, echos of HK.

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