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Why is Japan considered Western and China not? There is no map of the West.

16 Comments

Guy Sorman, a French philosopher, author and economist, questioning the so-called "clash of civilizations," which is basically the West against the rest. (Japan Times)

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As much as Japan may embrace things deemed "Western," e.g., Italian-like food, French-like cafes, European-like fashion, I wouldn't say Japan was "Western" except by the most liberal interpretation. Japanese culture, society, and business still operate largely within the confines of Confucian and collectivist principles. Anything else is a thin veneer. Corn and mayo pizza, anyone?

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Japan, western? distance(Japan, China) << distance(Japan, Disneyland ) <<<< distance(Japan, USA) <<<<< distance(Japan, Europe) Japan is the clean version of China

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kag: Japan is to the east of China, so by going geographically, China is western and Japan is eastern.

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So where does Australia and New Zealand fit in to all this? Surely Japan can be Western if Australia wants to be.

Actually, has Australia made up its mind on this yet for that matter?

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I think that the term "western" refers to the group of contries that trace many of their cultural ties (artistic, philosophy, medicinal, literature) to the Ancient Roman/Greek influence. True, these societies probably had interaction with "eastern" groups from China and what we would consider India and the Arabs, but for the most part, the development of what we call "classical civilization" from this group is what is defined as western. Countries that have at their base a direct off shoot from these two influences (most of Europe, and when they expanded during the age of exploration North America) are generally considered western. Australia and New Zealand could be considered western, since they were colonized by England, and developed societies based on the British model (excluding the native peoples there).

Eastern would be civilzations and countries that had at their core a direct influence with what the west considered the far east, and a major influence on this would be the Chinese. True, Arabic nations are considered from the "east" but these civilizations are not thought of as being a "direct decendant" from the classical Greek and Roman civilizations. It is funny since in both of these terms, the entire continent of Africa is excluded (I don't believe that they are considered either west or east) and the meso-Americans that were in America before Europeans arrived.

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Yes, Alphaape.

That's what I was going to say...

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Guy Sorman, a French philosopher

A better question: Why is an ignoramus like this considered a philosopher?

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Possibly the question is wrong; for the Japanese to live in parts set aside as European Areas they had to be considered "White" not "Western". In South Africa Japanese were also considered "White" in their papers and Chinese always "Coloured". Japanese were not considered as Westerns but as Westernized Asians. If you look at some Japanese they are much whiter than some Europeans, so even though the decisions on colour were political the logic for them to be classed as "Whites" was there.

I know some Chinese were also "White" but you could not have convinced the "White" powers ripping China off that they were. In short it was politically racist but expedient to keep the Japanese as allies.

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Because Japan remains occupied by the US.

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Why is Japan considered Western and China not? Well, Japan helped the west in its occupation of Iraq, China did not. Being "Western" is not always good.

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Yes solarbuster you're correct. South Africa made Japanese honorary whites just as the Dutch and English made Japanese honoray whites decades earlier and about the same time the US issued its Gentleman's Agreement so that Japanese could work and farm in the US after having adopted the infamous Chinese Exclusionary laws. Discarding the Kimono for neckties and fishnet stocking hardly makes Japan Western.

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Western-friendly, but not western.

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"I remark Japanese city are more beautiful then western city..."

So I'm wondering what western cities you've been to. LOL.

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I only just found out that some people consider Japan a western country because of it democratic and capitalistic system, with separation of church and state, sound institutions that include due process and innocence until guilt is proven, freedom of press etc etc etc. I fin d this interesting because there was once a time where the west meant the English speaking world ie Britain and Ireland, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Then I began to notice, that the west also meant western Europe. Now seemingly the west includes Japan, weird huh, but I've heard little mention of South Korean, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore. This is very much reminiscent of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, where Japan was the only world leader present with any influence.

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Who considers Japan as Western, other than an idiot?

Modern, sure, but Western.

Quel une tete a merde!

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because of Tokyo I think.but I remark Japanese city are more beautiful then western city and cleaner too.

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