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China and Japan

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jxh570
Words 560
Pages 3
China and Japan are in somewhat of a battle politically and economically. There are several issues that continue to fuel the fires between the two countries and government behavior on both sides is not helping matters. The documentary suggests economic rivalry, territorial disputes, and the Japanese bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council are behind the tensions. However, a seemingly larger issue is how World War II is remembered; there are two versions of history and each wants their version to be known as truth. (Taguchi)

The documentary explains that accounts of World War II have always been conflicting and a Japanese textbook downplaying their involvement has ignited the Chinese youth. The Chinese remember World War II as “a war against Japanese aggression” and by their accounts Japan is the perpetrator, not the victim. (Taguchi) The Rape of Nanjing, by Chinese accounts, was six weeks of Japanese brutality. The Japanese murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese and villages of women were raped. According to Oi, some Japanese deny the Rape of Nanjing, while others downplay it and say “it was a battlefield and people were killed”. (Oi) The saying “the winner gets to write history” is certainly relevant in this situation. Japan, playing the innocent, chooses to whitewash their actions and attempt to write history as they see fit. Although the rest of the world is taught about the Rape of Nanjing and other horrific acts perpetrated by Japanese, it is only a matter of time before history is written in texts in Japan as it should be – accurately.

Government involvement on both sides is further separating the nations. Japanese textbooks are scrutinized by government and portraying Japanese in a negative light is not permitted. Any attempt at a seemingly accurate portrayal of history is rejected. (Oi) Chinese has conducted state sanctioned protests against Japan’s movement to join the United Nations. The Chinese government has increased military spending which has solidified a security pact between Japan and the U.S. Meanwhile, the Japanese Prime Minister continues to visit a Shinto shrine in Tokyo which also honors Class A war criminals further straining relations. (Taguchi) China celebrates that the war was “won” on the anniversary using. Continued government involvement prevents both sides from accepting what happened and moving on. A more constructive government involvement with the truth would allow people to honor and grieve for their losses, and settle into a society that is not fueled by anger and animosity against another nation.

The ongoing battle over the region’s power and strained relations harm businesses between both countries as neither country will likely seek out the other to improve or expand their businesses. A misrepresentation of the facts, negative opinions, lack of communication, and refusing to work together could impede the success of firms across both countries. In order for businesses in both countries to overcome strained relations and prosper it is necessary to work together - make an attempt to understand the cultures across the nations, ignore the government rhetoric and learn and think for themselves to seek the truth.

Works Cited

Oi, Mariko. “What Japanese History Lessons Leave Out.” BBC. 13 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 Sept 2014. < http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21226068>
Taguchi, Emily and Lee Wang. “Japan and China: The Unforgotten War”. Video. PBS Frontline World.. 7 Apr. 2006. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.

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