Pan-Asianism again?

   Oh well, Manchuria also belongs to Japan because it was occupied for couple of years (1931 – 1945, from Mukden incident). And let’s not forget about Philippines, why they never thought about giving all their teritory to Japan again? Tsunami is one thing, but the move nationalistic politicians are performing is another. Years of reconciliation may go in vain if this happens. And if I know the sick aspirations of Japanese leaders – it will.
This will spark Korean nationalistic tendencies as well. 
The history books for students in Japan are already full of horrendous mistakes as the authors and Ministry tampered with facts, but this is another wrong point politicians are scoring. Preying on those imperial dreams and ambitions of people is a display of non-existant morale and low understanding of the history. But then again, those people who glorify the past (ah Aurelia Legenda!) in contrast with sad contemporary times (ah, bleak Iron Days, mappō, Kali Yuga, whatever!) are not extremely versed in knowledge of the history. Nationalism always caused the fall of empires and individuals alike. Being proud of one’s country history is one thing, but distorting it and fanatic zeal for its “achievements” is something completely different. Funny thing, in Japan there are not that many books on 16th century wars (Imjin Wars), that ruined Joseon Kingdom completely, to the least peasant. But there are mangas on Asahara with his whole shitty messages. And Asahara is not shown and drawn as a psychopath that he is, but a happy, smiling bearded man. Just like Santa in white robes.
The article is below.

In both English and Korean:
Seoul ponders reply to Japan’s Dokdo texts
외교부 “日교과서검정 결과에 엄중대응”
March 29, 2011
Tokyo will probably go ahead with a plan to approve school textbooks claiming sovereignty over Dokdo as early as tomorrow, according to Seoul sources, which could derail years of reconciliation efforts between the two countries.
Alarmed by the move, the Korean government convened an unscheduled interministerial meeting yesterday.
“It is expected that the statement on Dokdo will pass without change at the authorization process of middle school textbooks on March 30,” said a Korean government official on the condition of anonymity.
Some textbooks in Japan’s primary and secondary schools already claim sovereignty of Korea’s easternmost islets, known as Takeshima in Japan.
The new middle school textbooks awaiting government approval are the first school textbooks based on a 2008 guideline requiring more direct instruction about the ownership of the islets.
Korean critics say the approval of the books will significantly strengthen the sovereignty claims over Dokdo in the Japanese school system.
“The government has a stance to sternly deal with Japan’s claim of sovereign over Dokdo and will show it not just with words but with action,” said the Seoul official yesterday. The official said the government hopes to keep a future-oriented attitude toward building Korea-Japan relations.
Representatives of government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Prime Minister’s Office, gathered yesterday and discussed possible actions if Japan approves the textbooks.
According to sources, the government is considering refurbishing the heliport on Dokdo to highlight its effective rule of the islets. Korea’s Coast Guard has been stationed on Dokdo since 1954. Holding a campaign to stop Japanese middle schools from adopting the new textbooks is also under consideration, the sources said.
The guideline by which new Japanese textbooks are written was announced by the Yasuo Fukuda cabinet in 2008 based on a nationalistic education law drafted by the Shinzo Abe cabinet in 2006.
The guidelines require teachers to deepen students’ knowledge of Japanese territory and draw an indirect comparison between Dokdo and the Kurile Islands that Japan claims were illegally seized by Russia.
Critics say the revised textbooks will reverse improving relations between the neighbors, which have been helped by an apology for Japan’s annexation of Korea by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan last year and Korea’s aid to quake victims in Japan.
The Korean government will not link earthquake aid with the textbook issue, another Seoul official said. 
By Moon Gwang-lip []

Related Korean Article[연합]
외교부 “日교과서검정 결과에 엄중대응”
‘경우에 따라 근본적 시정 촉구할 것’

외교통상부 조병제 대변인은 28일 “일본의 교과서 검증 결과가 독도 문제에 대한 부당한 영유권을 주장하거나 역사를 왜곡하는 부분이 있을 경우 단호하고 엄중하게 대응한다는 기본방침을 갖고 있다”고 밝혔다.

조 대변인은 이날 정례브리핑에서 이달 말 발표될 일본의 중학교 검정결과 발표와 관련해 이같이 말하고 “경우에 따라 일본 정부에 강력하게 항의하고 근본적인 시정을 촉구할 것”이라고 말했다.

그는 또 “독도영유권 관리 차원에서 실효성 있는 조치들을 계속 시행해나갈 계획”이라며 “만약 일본 교과서 검증의 결과가 한일관계에 부정적인 영향이 있다면 그에 대한 책임이 전적으로 일본 측에 있다”고 경고했다.

조 대변인은 이어 일본 초등학교 교과서가 독도를 ‘다케시마(竹島ㆍ독도의 일본명)’로 표기한 것에 대해 “올바른 역사인식이 한일관계의 근간이 돼야 한다는 입장을 누차 전달했음에도 불구하고 수정이 이뤄지지 않고 있다. 우리는 이 부분에 대해 깊은 실망을 하고 있다”고 밝혔다.

이밖에 조 대변인은 최근 유엔의 실태조사 보고서에 따른 북한 식량지원 문제와 관련해 “북한의 실질적인 수요, 투명성 보장, 북한의 여러 정치, 경제적인 상황 등을 감안해 지원 여부를 결정한다는 것이 우리가 알고 있는 일관된 미국의 입장”이라며 “우리는 이 문제에 관해 미국과 계속 긴밀한 협의를 유지할 것”이라고 말했다.

그는 북한 김정은 노동당 중앙군사위원회 부위원장의 단독 방중설에 대해 “그 보도가 있다는 것을 유의하고 있지만 이 시점에서 구체적으로 말해줄 사항은 없다”고 밝혔다.

[한글 원문 보기]
Joong Ang Daily 


About ethlenn

Just usual suspect
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6 Responses to Pan-Asianism again?

  1. ara says:

    That's not Pan-Asianism, that's a really idiotic Imperialist way of thinking. How can an advanced nation still tamper with history in schoolbooks and risk losing the little advance made in reconcilation efforts?!? What's with the 19th century view on territorial claims?! I can kinda understand if this happens in some middle eastern countries ruled by dictators. But how come one of the biggest economic powers in the world regards its claim over a couple of stones as more important than its international relations?! Too sad Japanese politics has been in a standstill since even before the first Asian econ. crisis (or maybe you can even say there never was a proper democratic political landscape to begin with)…and too bad there seems to be hardly any political discurs, neither about their history nor about their future…there is little hope of them arriving ideologically in the 21st century anytime soon me thinks. Shame on you, Mr. Kan & Co.

  2. Ethlenn says:

    Well, you touched some very sensitive topic about the democratic grounds in Japan. My personal opinion is that in Japanese ideology framework there is no place for democracy. It is some strange trait in this highly developped, modernized, globalized nation. It excludes any thought that is against the “sacred past”. Archeologists still can't enter few tombs that are under Kunaishou (Imperial Bureau). Takamatsuzuka tomb stirred all scientists and nation as well when it was explored.
    Japan paid for imperial dreams heavily. But now Japan is doing exactly the same thing, the difference lies only in the method. Instead of thousands of soldiers who crossed the lands and claimed it in the name of the Descendand of the Goddess, young people are serving as the imperial army. Armed with forged informations during lessons, lured with the whispers of the glory of the past – they will be even more powerful than a soldier with bayonet.
    So no, I don't see the way how it can change. Not when the governor of Tokyo says during the public speech that all foreigners should be thrown out from Japan.

  3. ara says:

    Yeah – sensitive topic indeed.
    Thing is, me as a Westerner, having been brought up in a pretty liberal way with nothing sacred apart from the most basic ethical values, being taught critical thinking and reflection I can't ever understand their way of ideologically loaded collective thinking. (Especially not, considering the somewhat similar historical role of my own country) Holding some (falsly) glorified past/personalites of the past too dear to pass some criticism – not being able to admit and apologize honestly for the misdeeds of past generations for the sake of a peaceful and proud present – “saving face” before everything else -not voicing your opinion in order to not cause harm to anybody/the stable status quo…these are traits I will never ever be able to comprehend. And more than that, I think they are outdated. How can a modern society function well in the long-run if there's no discurs between leaders and citizens?! How can a country where the majority of people would rather kill themselves than trying to stirr up things advance and reform? Looking at Japan nowadays, I feel reminded of the concept of birth and death of nations…to me Japan looks as old and exhausted as a nation can be…(btw, i'm not saying Western countries are that much better off on that plain…)

    Dunno about Korea and democracy/civil society, but i guess even if there are similar polit-economic structures and linkages, as a nation that's experienced such quick growth and advancement, they might also be able to stay sensitive enough for their own position, to not let things get as rusty and inert as in their neighboring country…

    I only disagree about the “Armed with forged informations during lessons, lured with the whispers of the glory of the past – they will be even more powerful than a soldier with bayonet.”
    I don't really see their power – I just see a weak youth lacking momentum to even try to rebel, concentrating only on how to survive the next exams period or how to get a job good enough to survive…cause in the end, even if they're brought up with a nationalist ideology, I think it's just some foolish pride and empty words…

  4. Ethlenn says:

    Well, you are right, but I will still maintain that the most vulnerable people are those who are learning now. Just remember what happened to Japanese youth in 20's and 30's.
    When Japanese army reduced its personel in early 20's, all those embittered officers went where? To schools. And they put all their hatred, disappointment and nationalistic fury into the heads of the young people. When you are young you are susceptible to influences.
    This is why I think when young people, who don't have the reasoning apparatus fully developped yet, will accept what is written or said. Resentment over possible “unfair” treatment by international voices may arise. And resentment leads to hatred.

    And about your “How can a country where the majority of people would rather kill themselves than trying to stirr up things advance and reform?” – I think you mentioned another good point. Japan had never any revolution. Calling Meiji period a Revolution is an overstatement. No ruler in Japan has ever overthrown current state. There wasn't any revolution that could clear the air, for better or for worse. I'm not saying European ones were good, no, but at least they happened.
    Japan had never any need for that, isolated as Archipelago, with no menacing force in proximity. The country evolved in peace, closed to any foreign ideas. No enemies means no progress in perceiving “the others”. This is why Japan still has problems with accepting “the others” and their point of view.
    The countries on the continent are totally different (with all the natural baggage of nationalism also), but they interacted with each other, they were fully aware of the neighbor. This is why an enemy is just an enemy, but not an enemy marked by some kind of quasi-religious beliefs (Amaterasu and holy land).

  5. ara says:

    Yes, I agree about that. Young people are easily influenced and I also see the dangers of resentment and hatred, especially since Japan is still a rather xenophobic nation (strangly it seemed to me, not so much towards Westerners, but especially its neighbors and other races…)combine that with economic downturn and general discontent and we might get a similar situation to what we already saw once in the 20/30s . . .

    Also, good point about their isolated island position and their limited experiences with “the others” – that does add yet another dimension to their pecularities. And yes, the religious conotation of Japanese nationalism just makes it harder to overcome. And fundamentalist believes are much harder to eradicate than ideologies, which can be proven wrong and get replaced by another…

    All in all, I am still enough of a political scientist/economist to be excited to watch Japan's further course in these fields, and I'm glad I can get various insights from you about cultural and religious details^^

  6. Ethlenn says:

    And I'm glad you are paying close attention to non-explored by me fields of political scientist/economist vasts…

    And you pointed out yet another interesting fact – perceiving other Asians as “stranger others” than Western people “others”. This is really peculiar.

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