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Although most Japanese don't share Abe's enthusiasm for Japan in jackboots, Brand Japan suffers from Abe's revisionist views because he is the nation's leader 24/7 and the world scrutinizes all of his

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Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Japan (CNN)

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Get real Kingston !!!!! .............NOT REALLY - - If anyone has traveled outside of Japan (Europe, India, far East, Australia, UK) one will easily learn that Japan , Japanese products and Japanese people are very MUCH liked, respected and valued . . .P.M. Abe does NOT define Japan . . . . (Just like OBAMA does NOT define the USA) . . . .

1 ( +9 / -8 )

By showing a lack of contrition about the horrific suffering Japan inflicted on much of the rest of Asia, Abe has inflamed tensions with China and South Korea, and left Japan even more isolated.

Agree with the first part, but, not the second. Given China's behavior of late, Japan has actually gotten closer relations with countries like the Philippines, Australia and others. If for no other reason that while Abe may say stupid things, he is on a fairly tight leash from the U.S. and as soon as he does anything that would endanger the U.S. alliances there, they will yank his chain -- hard.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Brave guy. With this kind of comment in the paper, I wouldn't be surprised if the university found some entirely unrelated reason to not re-sign his contract next year. Unless he has tenure I suppose.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

But if the US openly welcomes the supposed new role of SDF?! I'm very confused... Is this anti-Japanese propaganda?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Strangerland: Unless he has tenure I suppose.

He's a full professor, and "director of Asian Studies at TUJ", guess it's likely he has tenure.

http://www.tuj.ac.jp/newsite/main/undergrad/about_tuj/faculty/jeff_kingston.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It may be true in a way, but in most places most people are not news junkies and don't care about politics. I go to China and have a great time. Nobody talks about politics. And there are huge numbers of Chinese tourists in Shinjuku. For everyday Japanese, they want him to use his nationalism to hit companies over the head to raise wages and also to carry out structural reforms that will make them suffer (at least in the short term). But so far, he's pretty much got nothing. Maybe he is living the trauma when he was a kid of finding out what his grandpa did during the war. Psychoanalytical insight may be more helpful than political insights.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan still ranks 4th in global popularity and most of the downgrading comes from China and South Korea which rank way lower and have their own political agenda anyway. Abe might lack the apologetic nature of his predecessors but looking at those who came before him I don't any amount of contrition will ever be enough.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan is only isolated if your world view puts The Koreas and China as the only countries in the world that matter.

Relations with the rest of Asia are at an all time high, for a start.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

nigelboy

let me state that his past works has been a joke. For recent example, he predicted Kan would last long since the public would favor grass roots underdog individual opposed to hereditary noble ones. He was wrong

POINT !!!!! . . .and he is wrong on International Community's read on Japan . . . . t . . . Dr Kingston lives in the safe ivory tower world of academia and has no real "read" on life where the rubber hits the road . . .

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Wait, in my post above I said "psychoanalytical insight may be helpful". I think I was too generous. I should have said "psychiatric". Counter-hisory: However, I was really surprised when I was a university student to hear from students from Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Burma that they appreciated Japans efforts and that they too saw Japan as trying to free Asia from European Imperialism. Although I don't remember the names now, there are SE Asian leaders at the time who lead resistance movements in their countries who praised Japan, saying Japan sacrificed itself to free Asia. There seems to be a counter-history in these countries to the history of the winner, the US. We forget the evil that Europe did to Asia and the world but only remember what Japan did to the world.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Does this guy Kingston ever get out of Japan to actually hear the world's view?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Abe and many other Japan don't have empathy for others. That's the crux of the matter. And it's why the Japanese can't figure out why the Chinese and Koreans are so huffy.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@Kingston, Japan's image suffer only with respect to China and the Koreas. Otherwise liberals all over applaud in some way his actions as standing firm to the never ending saga of comfort women issue dragging even the Vatican. So many countries, govt people , NPO's have benefitted on the issue so much so that they want a streaming kind of benefit or even a slice of Japan. I still stick to the belief that those women did it to survive war and in their remaining dayswhen some of them didn't have anybody around to provide for them it is very easy to hark the issue of sex slave and round the world for free. Whereas the rest of the womenhood during their times had long been dead during war and them having the food and security of staying in camps. It's all about surviving then and now to the detriment of Japan!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I just read "even more isolated" as "slightly more isolated" and it makes perfect sense!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gokai_wo_maneku : Although I don't remember the names now, there are SE Asian leaders at the time who lead resistance movements in their countries who praised Japan, saying Japan sacrificed itself to free Asia. There seems to be a counter-history in these countries to the history of the winner, the US.

I wonder if Japan's foreign aid came with textbooks attached?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The majority of the sane countries have, dare I say, APPLAUDED, the efforts accomplished by Abe to finally re interpret the constitution to allow a collective self defense which is guaranteed by the charters of U.N.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Actually Kingston has a pulse on Japan, and I enjoy reading his works. Its people living and experiencing Japan for what it is who really can comment on it; all others are disconnected from the twilight zone reality we must endure.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@turbotsat No, no Japanese text books. But just now, it only took 5 minutes of English Googling to find that there are a number of SE Asians who praised Japan. Start with: Raja Dato Nong Chik of Malaysia. Then move on to Dutch East ndies (why the "Dutch"?). It was quite easy to find the counter-history. I looked at Dr. Kingston's article at CNN, and he seems to have the White history in mind. But then, so do China and S Korea. And I fully admit Japan did terrible things, so don't mistake me for a stupid nationalist like Abe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe is determined to have a war.

That is the way he is going.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Wait, in my post above I said "psychoanalytical insight may be helpful". I think I was too generous. I should have said "psychiatric". Counter-hisory: However, I was really surprised when I was a university student to hear from students from Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Burma that they appreciated Japans efforts and that they too saw Japan as trying to free Asia from European Imperialism. Although I don't remember the names now, there are SE Asian leaders at the time who lead resistance movements in their countries who praised Japan, saying Japan sacrificed itself to free Asia. There seems to be a counter-history in these countries to the history of the winner, the US. We forget the evil that Europe did to Asia and the world but only remember what Japan did to the world.

It is not surprising that some people don't believe their respective countries ever did anything bad. The idea of the nation and the birth of nationalism, relatively recent in history, causes all sorts of delusions. There are people in India that are sentimental about Britain as well. Not many, but they exist. Kingston may be wrong about a lot of things. But not the "horrific suffering." The fact that Europe and the U.S. also inflicted suffering doesn't change this one iota.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@shallots Just to be clear, I have said many times here that Japan did atrocious things, especially in China, and they have a right ot complain if Japanese (stupid) politicians seem to forget about that. China has a job to make sure people don't forget. What I don't like is the double standard people use to judge Japan vs US and Europe. Dr Kingston's assertions are based on one-sided history, if I am not mistaken. It is more complicated than that. I was taught this by SE Asian classmates at university.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BertieWooAug. 31, 2014 - 06:18PM JST Abe is determined to have a war. That is the way he is going

Really?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-16063607

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/01/18/19-Jan-13-World-View-China-s-directive-to-the-People-s-Liberation-Army-Get-Ready-for-War

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/02/19/china-preps-military-for-short-sharp-war-with-japan-says-us-navy/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

BertieWooster

Relax, now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are a bunch of old men in former British colonies named Hideki, named by their parents in praise of Hideki Tojo's "freeing" of British occupied lands. They were seen as heroes, in a very narrow way of course, at the time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The world has its own problems to deal with-and Japan doesn't have as big a presence on the world stage as it would like to believe. At the end of the day the rest of the world is interested in politcal expedience so if Japan becomes more fascist the world doesnt care, as long as it helps out in expensive ill-thought out wars and puts some money in outstreched hands.. Well, except for China and the Koreas-but they are part and parcel of the same problem of rising extremism in East Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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