Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, April 16, 2005

China vs. Japan

Japan may finally have to come to terms with their brutal history. Japanese history books have repeatedly omitted any reference to the Rape of Nanking, one of the worst human rights atrocities of the 20th century.

Now that China is a military and economic force to be reckoned with, they are demanding that Japan at least acknowledge this disgraceful chapter in their history. American history textbooks also whitewash the dark side of our history — check out Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen — but the Rape of Nanking is right up there with anything ever done by Hitler or Stalin.

The Japanese invaded China in 1931 and occupied most of the country until the end of World War II. Between 10 million and 30 million Chinese died at the hands of the Japanese during this period — massacres, forced starvation, germ warfare, you name it. In the capital city of Nanking, from December 1937 to March 1938, Japanese soldiers tortured and slaughtered more than 360,000 Chinese civilians. More than 80,000 women were raped and murdered.

And Japan won’t even admit any of this?!?

And now the Chinese are pissed. Tens of thousands of Chinese protesters went on a rampage through Shanghai, stoning the Japanese consulate and smashing the windows of Japanese restaurants. Thousands of police stood around and watched but didn’t intervene (can you blame them?). The Japanese embassy claims that two Japanese tourists were beaten up by Chinese demonstrators.

The Chinese government is trying to prevent Japan from becoming a member of the United Nations Security Council. And Chinese activists are trying to organize a boycott of Japanese products.

Maybe it’s time for Japan to own up to its dark history.

26 Comments:

Blogger The Biased Reporter said...

I think they should. The only way a country can move forward together is to acknowledge their past, no matter how embarrassing it is.

April 16, 2005 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kristal: You're right. And I don't think China is looking for any sort of reparations or anything; they just want them to acknowledge it. It's just gonna keep festering until they do.

April 16, 2005 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

What I have always been amazed about is how China complains when others mistreat it in the history books but I know from people I met FROM China that China always leaves out their mass of attrocities like (can't spell it) Tienemin square.

April 16, 2005 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

OK Democrat: There's probably no good guy here. China's human rights record -- presently and historically -- is Godawful. But I can still see why they'd be pissed at the Japanese for pretending the Rape of Nanking never happened. And hopefully the Chinese atrocities in Tibet will be more publicized sometime in the future.

April 16, 2005 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger afidhsgf said...

Japan HAS ALREADY APOLOGIZED!!!

South Korea's president mentions it here

"The fundamental problem is that the Japanese are looking to distort and justify their past aggressions. They have occasionally apologized, but their latest behaviors invalidated those apologies"

However, although Japan has apologized around 18 times, China and Korea continue to brush it off saying it's not genuine or sincere, whatever that means. Perhaps Japan should have weekly apologies?

via ComingAnarchy.com

The reason that apologies are not accepted is that the sense of being humiliated/aggreived is fundamental to the nationalist identity in China (and Japan)

April 17, 2005 at 4:25 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

One can never make up for such attrocities (thinks Bush should remember that about Iraq.) All a nation can do is make amends and never do it again. But it's hard to forget if you are the victim country.

April 17, 2005 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jarrod: I'm glad to know Japan has already apologized; I wasn't aware of that. Hopefully, they'll follow up the apology by acknowledging the Rape of Nanking (and their other atrocities in China) in their history books. That was China's biggest complaint, that Japanese history books were pretending it never happened. A history book is a permanent record; a public apology disappears from the news 2 days later.

OK Democrat: There'll probably always be a certain amount of animosity between China and Japan (and Korea). I think a lot of Europeans still hate Germany because of World War II.

April 17, 2005 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Casey said...

ha ha, I was going to say the same thing. The fact that they've appologized is completely extrinsic. If I spend several years running about raping women, then go to jail and appologize profousely, only to write a memoir where I bypass the whole issue, one has to wonder at the sincerity of my appology.

Hum, and the award for the least useful analogy goes to...

April 17, 2005 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Brother Kenya said...

By the way, have we apologized yet for the genocide of Native Americans? Or does letting them have casinos mean never having to say we're sorry?

April 17, 2005 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

If we removed all mention of the holocaust from our history books, but believed Germany was sorry, woudl that be OK too?

Wait a sec, aren't there people out there trying to do that already?

April 17, 2005 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Casey: Until Japan starts acknowledging this in their history books, they'll just keep getting fury and resentment from China (and other Asian countries).

Brother Kenya: What, they're not happy with their casinos :) No, there's definitely some brutality in our own history that doesn't get mentioned in our history books. In my post I had a link to "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen. I read it a few years ago; I've forgotten a lot of it, but it's really mind-boggling. We don't have anything comparable to Japan or Germany during WWII, but slavery, genocide against Indians and aggression against other countries in the 1800s and early 1900s -- this is all completely whitewashed in our history textbooks.

Jet: Now that you mention it, I think Germany has had the same ongoing problem, trying to play down the holocaust in their history books. And there are conservatives in this country who think our whitewashed history books are too negative, or have a liberal spin.

April 17, 2005 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Andy Dabydeen said...

Japan needs to apologize but more. They need to tell the story as part of their history. They did a terrible thing. By refusing to acknowledge that part of their history, the Japan today is defending the Japan of yesterday. They need to demonstrate that they're not the Japan of yesterday. They need to demonstrate that they're taking steps to ensuring what happened in the past will never happen again. The only way to do that is teach their history like it happened. If Japanese kids grow up not knowing their history, there's a greater chance it will be repeated.

Similarly, countries around the world all have their little dark chapters in history. It should all be in the open. Only in the light of day can those pains finally be eased for the victims and reconciliation occur.

On another note -- Japan isn't needed on the security council. If the UN if looking for balance, India would probably be the better choice.

April 18, 2005 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger Mags said...

Great point, Brother K!

April 18, 2005 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Andy: You're right. Every country's history should be an open book -- the good and the bad. Japan, Germany, America, this goes for all of us.

Mags: I hope you'll check out that link to James Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me." I'm not sure how much information is on that site, or if they're just advertising the author's books and public appearances. That book was a real mindblower (I think he has 2 books all together). No matter how cynical your views are, you'll still be blown away by some of his historical facts.

April 18, 2005 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do remember the US criticzing Germany and Japan for leaving certain artrocities out of their History Books, they countered and pointed out what the US has left out of theirs.

As for James Loewen he has two books "lies my Teacher told me" and "Lies across American" He just finished a new book (I do correspond with him) "sundown towns" true accounts of towns you did not want to be caught in when it got dark.

Dr. Loewen also wrote a history book for the state of Mississippi. He pictures of Lynching - the state pulled them out and he took them to court: In the trail the state talked about it's glorius history the judge stopped them and asked "where there lynchings in Mississippi" when thet answered yes it was case closed!

Erik

April 19, 2005 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Thanks. I'll probably end up getting his other 2 books too. Lies My Teacher Told Me sure was a mindblower.

April 19, 2005 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger J said...

I'm Chinese and i am also furious at what they did, but i do accepted their apologies. And also i want you guys to know this one person, Chen Wen Hua. I had barely found this out. She was only 24 when she started fighting alongside her husband. Her husband was killed and she was captured. She was raped twice and watched her friends be executed. When it came her turn, she didn't show any fear and even smiled weakly as they executed her with chainsaws. But once again i have forgave the Japanese and that most of them are really good people.
J

April 1, 2008 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger J said...

I'm Chinese and i am also furious at what they did, but i do accepted their apologies. And also i want you guys to know this one person, Chen Wen Hua. I had barely found this out. She was only 24 when she started fighting alongside her husband. Her husband was killed and she was captured. She was raped twice and watched her friends be executed. When it came her turn, she didn't show any fear and even smiled weakly as they executed her with chainsaws. But once again i have forgave the Japanese and that most of them are really good people.
J

April 1, 2008 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger J said...

I'm Chinese and i am also furious at what they did, but i do accepted their apologies. And also i want you guys to know this one person, Chen Wen Hua. I had barely found this out. She was only 24 when she started fighting alongside her husband. Her husband was killed and she was captured. She was raped twice and watched her friends be executed. When it came her turn, she didn't show any fear and even smiled weakly as they executed her with chainsaws. But once again i have forgave the Japanese and that most of them are really good people.
J

April 1, 2008 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger J said...

I'm Chinese and i am also furious at what they did, but i do accepted their apologies. And also i want you guys to know this one person, Chen Wen Hua. I had barely found this out. She was only 24 when she started fighting alongside her husband. Her husband was killed and she was captured. She was raped twice and watched her friends be executed. When it came her turn, she didn't show any fear and even smiled weakly as they executed her with chainsaws. But once again i have forgave the Japanese and that most of them are really good people.
J

April 1, 2008 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger J said...

That was me who talked about the girl, Chen Wen Hua. Sorry, I forgot to finish my name and class period.
Jiaqi Niu
HuGeo 4th
10th Grade

April 1, 2008 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinese people are like that! They will never be happy with any of Japan's apologies. Japan should ignore them. And China must free Tibet. Its oppression of Tibet, its people and its culture is most brutal..

March 23, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's offensive that most Japanese youngsters today don't even know about japanese massacres such as the Nanking massacre.
It's the equivalent to a German denying the existence of holocaust. I don't think China would ever forgive Japan so long as Japan does not allow China to. By erasing history from the textbooks or fabricating facts, China is prevented from forgiving Japan, because forgiving would mean they have agreed to forget.

April 28, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Taiwo said...

Israel also complains about the holocaust while they are doing the same thing to Palestinians.

May 14, 2009 at 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Yak said...

You don't care if Americans rape Germans or Italians since they won the war.Always blame the loser. IDIOT.

October 4, 2009 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Stanley said...

@afidhsgf
since when? when they tried to claim rights over the Chinese Diaoyu Islands? yeah, great apology.

May 22, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

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