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Why is anti-Japanese sentiment remaining from the World War II era almost non-existent in countries like Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia, unlike in China and South Korea?


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As a Filipino, here's what I can say (feel free to correct me): culturally, Filipinos aren't known to hold grudges and forgive easily, unlike certain countries that make historical dramas to relive the old wounds from half a century ago. And don't get me wrong here, Manila was the 2nd most destroyed city next to Warsaw not to mention the Death March, systematic elimination of all conspirators, comfort women, etc. But we still forgave them. Why? We learn to move on and forgive. My great grandfather fought against the Japanese but had Japanese neighbours during the 90's and was very friendly towards them until he passed. If one's sins are held bound, they are held bound.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I reckon where there's smoke there's fire. Japanese must have done horrific things in China and Korea.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In both China & SK, pollies and local media have been trying to whip-up anti-japan hysteria for decades. And it did/does work, to some extent (not so much with younger generations & educated ppl though).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because stoking a victim mentality is politically expedient?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Because China and South Korea have completely embraced it as part of their national identity while the others have not.

There are also other examples of this. Compared to the French (who hardly mention the WW2), the British still seem to be enthralled by it, but without so much negative sentiment toward the Germans. When I lived in Britain I found it amazing that everytime I turned on the TV there was a documentary on about either the Blitz, or Churchill, Dunkirk, D-Day, breaking the enigma code, the secret diaries of Hitler, bombers of WW2, engineering marvels of the Spitfire, etc, etc.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@M3M3M3: if I was French I also would want to forget WW2 as they thoroughly got their arses whipped. Hopefully they learned from the disgraceful performance.

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Wouldn't it be related to the still disputed small islands here and there ?

I'm sure everyone could just move on, but there are 45m2 pockets of land in the middle of the sea that they want to grab, so they need the PR.


Compared to the French (who hardly mention the WW2)

I'm not sure where you got this idea... I'm french, and I think it's mentioned pretty often (the number of movies for example is pretty astounishing).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reckless: Not so sure where you learned your history. Oh probably the movies, right ???

The french played the long game and I wouldn't blame them after what the first world war did to not only their army but pretty much everyone's.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because in Korea and China, being a victim is part of their identity, while everyone else knows it is time to move on. I mean, really, how often is South Korea talked about other than when North Korea is talked about , comfort women and war atrocities? They don't seem to be able to separate themselves from being a victim. In China, I think it's to try to gloss over the negatives, and to make people sympathetic to them as a country, to ignore the human rights and other issues.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is only a political move by China and Korea. They use this as a guilt trip against Japanese to get any concessions from the Japanese government. What happened was wrong but it happened not just with Japanese forces but all forces in the world at some point. China has absolutely has no room to be talking about human rights issues. They have huge issues to this day that they are not being held accountable. Stop pointing fingers at others, learn from it, clean up you're own back yard before trying to dump on someone. THE WAR IS OVER, enough. There are very few people from that time left who are even remotely responisible. Leave the generation after it alone......!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A little ironic that this question is asked when the lead headline on this website says "1st 'comfort women' statue installed in Taiwan." But certainly anti-Japanese sentiment in Taiwan does not approach what's seen in South Korea or mainland China.

People with even basic knowledge of modern East Asian history understand why these differences exist. There are multiple reasons. While brutal, Japan's wartime occupations of Indonesia and the Philippines lasted for only 3 years. Its rule over Taiwan was much longer (50 years) but the key to understanding Taiwanese feelings is to know that Taiwan under the rule of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty until 1895 was treated as an irrelevant backwater. Taiwan mattered more to imperial Japan than it ever did to imperial China.

But the really big point is that the actions of the Japanese state in the late 19th-early 20th centuries overturned a centuries-old East Asian order in which China had been at the center, Korea had been a loyal vassal state led by people who were "more Chinese than the Chinese," and Japan had been viewed as distant from the centre of Chinese civilisation and therefore backward and inferior. Similarly, think of how the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in the Middle East really enraged Muslims but not so much Christians, Druze, and other religious minorities in the region. Why the difference? Because Muslims had always viewed Jews and Christians as "people of the book," acknowledged as legitimate but viewed as inferior. Muslims found it really hard to handle watching Jews overturn the religious hierarchy of the Middle East.

Similarly, mainland Chinese and Koreans have always found it hard to accept how Japan broke away from the rest of the region and achieved great power status--a status, it should be mentioned, that was achieved primarily at the expense of China and Korea. Japan's success led foreign observers by circa 1900 to retroactively classify China and Korea as "failed states" from time immemorial. By that time, Southeast Asian empires and kingdoms except for Thailand were already failed states that had fallen victim to Western imperialism. Japan had nothing to do with their loss of sovereignty and status in the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Chinese and Koreans are obsessed with Sino-centrism and Confucianism order. The Chinese are superior race, Koreans are the loyal successor and the Japanese are barbarians in their sphere. But they were governed by the barbarians. It is intolerable experience for them. Confucianism is very dogmatic religion and never accept scientific logic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These days I can see the most of tourists to be Chinese or Koreans here in Kyushu, I like to communicate with them and I don't feel any kind of that anti sentiments. But going to their land probably I feel much more those feelings anti-Japan. But anyway, that's too political environment still going on, not acceptable from my side to understand the top leaders of those 2 countries and this govt. of Abe showing confrontations than approaches. All f***ing political issues to provoke people sentiments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a regular visitor to Taiwan during the 80s I found that most elderly people spoke Japanese fluently so if I ever needed directions I would always ask an elderly person. Their ability to speak Japanese was a result of Taiwan having been colonised by Japan. Never once did I hear adverse criticism of Japan or it's people and as I am not Japanese it would be reasonable to expect that if they had animosity towards Japan they would have said so. The latest Comfort Women issue may be driven by an expectation of monetary compensation---but to whom would it be paid?

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As Taiwan and the Philippines didn’t fight back in any meaningful way, unlike Chinese and Koreans, they were spared some of Japan’s barbarism.

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The primary reason for the sentiment is in the education and memorials, particularly in China where Japanese war crime museums are prominent and often encouraged by the parents. Sort of like how in Japan, it's the opposite where government affiliates try to whitewash and revise history in their textbooks and museums (e.g Yuushuukan). Heck, those guys haven't even issued a superficial apology for Unit 731. If the Philippines & Indonesia had more widespread education & parental awareness on Imperial Japan's violence against them, the sentiment would be significantly higher.

I also love how someone made a comparison to Germany, a country which turned on its own war criminals after WW2, & have not let up (with Nazi hunters still working today backed by the govt). I'd be surprised if anti-Japan sentiment would still exist to this degree if their govt started doing what the Germans have done, instead of protecting their often remorseless, happily-living (if not already dead-by-old-age) war criminals.

Anyway, since the vast majority here seems to prefer staying uneducated & bashing China & Korea, rather than anything of historical value, I should expect a good bit of downvotes. Well, the more the merrier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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