This is a tricky development. Who invited these two numbnuts into the debate? And why did they think that their opinions matter/or vice versa? I hope it not based on a set up by some investigative journalist. If they indeed are extreme right wing revisionists, incapable of understanding historical events, I think they should be sacked. Give them a seat in one of the right wing vans and let them declare their political position in public.
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I think Highball gave a good view of the matter. Specifically about the economy. On the political arena a pragmatic viewpoint goes a long way. However a pragmatic viewpoint could be a problem when one part seems to be looking to subdue the other one and serve some old payback. It could also be a problem if Japan wants to develop but the neighbors insist in keeping them in the current position, or at least choose which way they may develop. I think the main part of the Abe agenda is not about old school militarism but a matter of the sense of true independence, and of course the estimated effect of national pride. Its easy for independent nations to take these things for granted but what about Japans position? At some point the war guilt has to end. When it does they will have the opportunity to say that they choose peace as their political policy, without anyone coercing them or feeding them statements. If Japan prefers to identify with the west rather than China, what is the big deal. Proximity does not equal identification. Small groups of extreme right wingers will always shout about their inferiority, sorry superiority ;-) but I think the Japanese population has abandoned such ideas a long time ago. Today it is about prosperity and how to achieve that in a situation when the global economy is the one to really worry about. So far we have not seen much more than angry rhetorics in the conflict. Maybe there is still time for negotiations, of course given that the parties can meet with a reasonable level of mutual respect.
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The situation in South China sea can't be much clearer than this. China is trying to project power by avoiding the public eye, using the same tactics as classic american gangsters. Imagine Capone gathering all shop keepers in Chicago to one meeting in city hall where he offers protection. Why did he prefer to go to one shop at the time for a private conversation? Maybe the Chinese political tactics are inspired by old movies. And of course if you can't scare them in to submission you can always try to buy them off with humongous investments.
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Ok and yet another opportunity for Abe. Now he can make up some idea that that they will return it the same day as China starts decommissioning there nuclear arms. This political conflict is a dream for researchers in political science.
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Highball. Yep it is one more punch in the political boxing game. Id call it an irritating left jab with no other purpose than to irritate and put a little political pressure on the Chinese. China is responding with wild swings but seem to have a hard time hitting the opponent. Yep Abe is showing whose boss in political trashing. Of course by getting involved Abe takes a risk of loosing the image of japan as the country with a peaceful and cool mind. I guess a chance to change the constitution may be worth it for Abe.
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I think the Chinese gov is getting frustrated. They don't seem to understand that all badmouthing and provocations along borders simply strengthens Abe. Abe is better skilled in political trashing. I think the Chinese gov will get more and more frustrated until they reach the point of breaking (loose the mask), and either shut him up by physical means or choose to withdraw and bide their time.
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Well it will be interesting to see what the official plan will contain. This is going to be a hot potato for Abe so Im guessing there is a need for some kind of incident with the Chinese soon again.
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It is quite possibly that the ADIZ has very little to do with the Senkakus. Should japan give up the Senkakus the Chinese ADIZ will be extended much further, possibly up to or even over Okinawa. That said the ADIZ is not about the Senkakus but about establishing air control over as much space as possible. This chess game has much more to do with the US presence and early warning systems as a preparation to the coming big fight.
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Well step by step the picture is becoming clearer, China has adopted an expansionistic policy and will try to enforce its needs on their neighbors, control anything that it can grab. When this ADIZ is officially declared I guess you pro-china commentators will finally run out of breath. Who will consider the needs of the smaller countries?
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On the contrary Mitch, I can think of Yasukuni from both a rational and an emotional point of view. I understand that you are attempting to brand Yasukuni as some sort of a centre for hate but you already know that millions of Japanese people has good reasons to go to Yasukuni, simply because the spirits of their relatives are there. Abes visit is of course political. He wants to change the overall situation and gain domestic support. Im not sure that his game will work. From what I hear the people of Japan is not as easily fooled as many try to sell in this forum. But of course the constant critic and the bickering on the average Japanese citizen (not to mention the racist remarks) will of course sooner or later create bad blood. I cant think of anyone over the world that would not react in such a way. And then of course Abes policy will be the easiest way to get back on the complainers. It might just be enough to affect next election.
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I think tinawatanabe may have a good point. Could this be an example of Japan changing strategy because they are completely fed up with the never ending criticism from S.K. and China? Of course this type of act, in a symbolic sense, has also been played by many other countries when involved in diplomatic tensions. For instance it could be a means to get a better position before negotiations. Later on they could give something to the opponent by promising to re-revise the textbooks. What would China give in response, withdrawing the borders of the ADIZ?
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Wow such a statement could be considered very provocative, I mean since it aims for the future. If Abe continues on this road they will soon be in a position similar to China and S.K., that is teach kids that there is no budging and no reconciliation whatsoever. I guess it means Abe is willing to raise the stakes in this game. He must have something hidden in the sleeve.
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Gokai, I agree. Your pointing to a much more disturbing problem all over the world. The general interest for history is declining. Maybe it is fiction that is taking over. Extreme left and right-wingers are getting more organized, ready to re-write history in their own favor. In this context the issue about the japanese people knowing of and understanding their own history from ww2 could actually give a perfectly opposite result. Maybe Japan would score the highest on a scale of understanding history.
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Soon China is going to have to recalculate the importance of the Senkakus. I think it is starting to cost them much more than they could ever gain from them, unless their is a bigger plan behind of course. Abes moves is making China loose face in the international community.
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Aussie Musashi. You´re missing the point. Abes mission is to change the view of Japan and these statements are part of a long term campaign both internally and externally. Of some reason Xi is either occupied with other stuff or he´s deliberately playing in to his hands. Any way Abe is making progress and where is Chinas response?
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Must say that I think she made a rather cleaver political comment on the issue. A demand for change by Abe would just be yet another comment in the same line as several others has stated lately. Would most likely lead to no response or a a rather lame critical response. By going the other way, confirming some change and the positive developmental aspects of Abes statements she may succeed in open for dialogue about the issue. This is basic psychology in the diplomatic school. So maybe its not just the name that gave her the position, she's got some political skills.
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I think Abe is showing two things with this act. It is a clear statement to China that Japan wants to be seen as an equal rather that a scared lapdog, and he has no intent on giving even one inch in any arena to them. He s also showing that he understands politics. Just compare the effect of this speech compared to the earlier Chinese campaign including the comparison to Voldemort. Also by this act Abe is taking the initiative and thus forcing a China to think of a fitting response.
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As I understand it teaching history is always controversial in most democracies. The reason is that history is about interpretation and there will always be different versions of every important happening. Thats what scholars produce. Thus in a democracy different groups of interest look to influence how history is presented in schools, primarily through the curriculum. So this is quite natural and change with elections. The biggest problems in democracies today seems to be that youngsters are loosing interest in history and many other subjects. So I wonder if the point here is that victimized nations want to ensure that a certain number of pages will be dedicated to ww2 atrocities in the Japanese curricula. Is the point to make Japan behave less as a democracy? Is the point simply to make themselves feel better? Or is the point that that they fear Japan is a exactly as it was 70-80 years ago and therefore they need to ensure that Japan never forgets what they did?
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No reason to make a fuss about. However there are of ours two sides of the coin here. He was a korean freedom fighter and now the are making a memorial for his acts. Good for them. The other side is of course politicians trying to use his name as a baseball bat against modern Japan. Question is if the one side taints the other with low and cheap trick morals, thus destroying the memory of the national hero.
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Okay it seems the fog is lifting from the battlefield of words. Maybe this will help China to get a more internationally based view on themselves and their actions. That could be a nice step in their development and reduce the risk of military confrontation.
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This was a really desperate shot from China. I seriously doubt anyone will buy in to it. Besides all China has to do if they are worried about Japans development is to demilitarize themselves and stop their expansionism. Abe would loose support in no time and the constitutions stays.
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It seems in south china sea it doesn't matter that the sea and islands are disputed by several country, not to mention proximity. According to Chunying it is Chinas law and only Chinas law that matters in this case. Now regarding the east china sea is this not the most obvious double-standard ever seen in human history? Is China trying to make themselves look like perfect fouls in the eyes of the international community?
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Is there anyone from China and S. Korea that has actually pondered what the accusations are about? That is, besides the act of accusing with any means possible. Is the Yasukuni a symbol for everything that is wrong between the nations? Or is it Abe´s visit that is the problem? Is it the shrine itself? Is it the religion? Is the idea of a spirit the same as as an acting living person? Can you put a spirit on trial? If not is everyone living guilty by association? Do you have to be religious in order to understand what a spirit means? Is a personal memory of a relative that was convicted for war-crimes also provocative to China and S.K? Is the concept of Japan itself the problem? If Abe and his predecessors says they are sorry for what their ancestors did a long time ago - then the answer is that he or they are not serious or honest. I wonder what honest is? Who defines it? Obviously some people can't let go of the past. I think it says itself that Japan will never apologize in any other way than their own. If that is not good enough then the issue risks becoming a non issue. It sure would be interesting to see something substantial about how to improve the relations rather than the hopeless blame-game.
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I think Strangerland is trying to say that there is no one interpretation of a text. People always see things differently and so every society appoints a profession that has special skills for interpretation and settles with their recommendation. It will always be possible to dispute an interpretation of a statement as long as the statement has some complexity. But I doubt that anyone has an interest to do so. So basically we all need to agree on some things sometimes. If you choose to use a suspicious presumption (possibly conspiratory class) it is up to you but the appointed ones has made another interpretation and thats it. Just a thought.
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I think Smith has a point. Media in those days suffered from the same problems as todays media, namely how to get credible information about something. If there were no eyewitness and no Japanese troops from that time stepped forward and claimed the responsibility it is still more likely that it was Japanese troops who killed them, simply because that happens a lot in most battle tired armies. Former Yuguslavia showed similar atrocities only about 20-25 years ago. Thus it will never be a fact but it could be what we hold as the best knowledge until it is challenged and replaced by better information and analysis. Potential facts that somehow gets elevated to untouchability will always be bad for everyone.
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Zootmoney - tension was already high between Japan and some western countries and most officers had orders to try to avoid incidents with western people. Obviously these orders was only as good as the respect of the officers.
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Well I agree that it may be a bit tasteless to keep a lot of old weapons in the museum close the shrine. But I thought the point with the museum as well as the shrine was to remember the war-dead. So its a historical picture of Japanese wars over time as a consideration of relatives trying to understand what happened when their relatives died.
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Strangerland Im sure you are no stranger to the possibility that the text with possible false assumptions is yours. I agree that Japan already has the ability to defend themselves. I dont believe I have stated anything else. Of course this current fact may change if China continues to build and japan does not. Now lets test your assumption. Changing the SDF to a normal military is as far as I understand mostly a matter of identity and pride for Abe. Thus changing the name on paper could be what it is all about. Balancing the force toward an external possible treat could also be part of it. Nothing odd about that. However that is not your argument. In order to make your reasoning understandable you need to add two more components. First Abe must be portrayed as a crook, a left over imperialist that dreams of going back 100 years. I haven't really seen any clear statements about such political dreams of imperialism from Abe. Secondly you need to add a component of a people that can't be trusted because their ancestors did something horrible. Sorry that is as far as I now totally false since I haven't met one single imperialist japanese to this day (well I haven't spoken to the guys in the vans so it may be on me) These examples from you reasoning usually falls under the category bias, or if you will presumptions that may cloud a logical conclusion. My point is simply, how about beeing a bit more cautious when cooking up stories for an imaginary future. Please sell your arguments as speculation.
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Speculation in nice for exercising the imaginary powers. However don't mistake speculation for some kind of embedded truth. Abe has proposed to change the pacifist constitution. That all we know. It doesn't mean Japan is aggressive. Abe has stated that he will not hesitate to protect Japans territory. That is what every country, not trembling of fear, would state. Nothing aggressive with that. Just because China is becoming stronger doesn't mean that their strength should be used as the reference point to what is appropriate to say or not. Chinas military might is the real problem from a regional strategical point of view and, as I hope you all have noticed, much effort are put in to media to try to avoid that fact. It is called propaganda. Maybe it is easier to keep blaming the ones that has been blamed before, in that way we don't have to learn. However it is nothing but sad if the pacifism of Japan is removed. It has worked as an inspiration and a light in a much to militarized world. China should think a lot about how their expansion is affecting the region. Maybe take some responsibility and constitute their own pacifist constitution. But of course the only response will be that they need to protect themselves, and so on and so on.
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A bit strange that China walked straight in to this political trap. Do they ever think? Abe has been positioning himself as the one seeking to improve relations for some time. China has refused, I guess feeling quite satisfied with themselves. By going to Yasukuni he has now won support among the nationalist voters and made China show their unwillingness to meet. In the eyes of the world it will be China that is remembered as reluctant to improve ties should anything happen. Abe has the serve...
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