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◆ ◆ ◆menciusChina & Japan - superficial, biased reporting hurting ties between nations
Hokkaido University professor says Chinese and Japanese media's coverage of each other is shallow and stereotyped
South China Morning Post, Chow Chung-Yan (Thursday, August 18, 2005)
Tomoyoshi Isogawa, editorial writer for Japan's biggest national newspaper, the Asahi, agrees that the Chinese media focus too much on negative news about his country. "I once asked some Chinese correspondents in Tokyo why they only wrote bad news about Japan. They replied that it was because positive stories would not be used," Mr Isogawa said. "Before the protest, I read a lot of negative reports about Japan in Chinese newspapers. I began to worry that something would happen. It is unusual for a country to have so many negative reports of another country in their newspapers."
On the other hand, Professor Takai says Japanese media are too simplistic and self-centred in their reports about China, most of them blaming the massive anti-Japanese protests on the mainland in April on Beijing's patriotic education and anti-Japanese propaganda. "If the Chinese public was still as credulous of official propaganda as before, Beijing would be overjoyed. The anti-Japanese sentiment in China is more complicated than that. Historic factors are very important," he said. "But the Japanese media fail to recognise this. It shows how simplistic they are."observer3Disputes
Good analysis from cooler heads. The only problem is that solution to this problem may be out of reach for the foreseeable future. After demonizing each other to the nth degree, even if the media in both countries change their tunes now, I doubt that either public would be easily swayed.
What I don’t quite understand is: who the heck is running Japanese foreign policy? Japan got itself involved in disputes territorial, social, and political with all THREE of its neighbors at the same time! It might’ve worked out ok if it’s still in the 80s and early 90s when Japan was still the most powerful country in the region and didn’t need much input from its neighbors, but time has changed and Japan need these countries for important concessions.
Take Russia for example, Japan needed Russian approval for the all-important pipeline and Russian support for its UN bid. You would think that with so much at stake Japan would play it nice and cozy with Moscow, right? Well, wrong. Not only was Japan playing it cool with investments in Russia, it also got hot and heavy over couple of rocks in the Pacific that the Russians are currently sitting on; I guess that these islands are the “inseparable part of Japan” huh? Basically, Russia was expected to go to bat for Japan for an IOU and a slap in the face. Well, the Russians are too cynical and practical for that, especially when someone else is making all the right moves - China.
The UN bid too was a diplomatic blunder. Even without Russian and Chinese support, Japan might’ve had a chance if the U.S. was backing it, but it had to go and get itself into a pact with Germany and Brazil - the two countries that Washington isn’t too happy with (Germany for siding with France in the whole Iraq thing and Brazil for trying to play a more prominent role in Latin America and thereby erode U.S. influence). Now, with the U.S., China, and Russia jointly oppose the pact, Japan’s UN hope was doomed to fail.
It would seem that Japan is trying to be more assertive in the region. It could’ve gotten away with it in the 80s and maybe early 90s, but the timing is all wrong now. With the re-emergence of Asian powers and the Eurasian Giant Russia, Japan’s choices are becoming increasingly limited. It picked the worst time to play it aggressive, while a more conciliatory stance could’ve worked out much better. The whole Yasukuni business for example, it’s as big as what outside forces make it out to be. Let’s face it, do you really think that the realist Chinese government would go hard core over a shrine with a cooperative Japan on energy, territorial, and diplomatic issues? It may even subtly manipulate the media to do damage control for the sake of national interest. Take the recent ceding and eventual ceding of disputed territories to Russia, Southeast Asia, and India, for example, China has no problem with writing off contentious issues as long as it can get a good deal out of it. The rest of Eurasia picked it up real fast and got what favorable deals that they can get from China, while Japan just had to take a hardliner stance on pretty much all issues with China and get into a politically provocative pack with the U.S. regarding China, a pact, by the way, even the most loyal U.S. ally Australia didn’t want any part of.
Now, what we have is a bloody mess. I honestly don’t know how this can be resolved. Even if Koizumi’s latest apology (no.10 and counting?) came straight from his heart, and he meant every last word, I doubt that it’ll be enough to smooth over the current issues. Rivalries are easy to provoke but difficult to resolve.menciusPandora's box
"After demonizing each other to the nth degree, even if the media in both countries change their tunes now, I doubt that either public would be easily swayed."
Yes, I do rather get the feeling it's a case of Pandora's Box being opened. Even if it could be closed, there's still the matter of all the gremlins that have been unleashed.
It's a lot easier to knock someone down than build them up.iluv2fishThank you Mr. Japan.....
I know the horrors that happened over 60 years ago was a long time away.
I know Japan has been a pretty good friend to the USA over the last 60 years or so. It is truly amazing to me that Japan attacked the USA at Pearl Harbor and the USA dropped the bomb on Japan and yet today we are friends. There was much hate between the two of us.
Why is it that China and Japan can not kiss and make up?observer3What have we been losing?
Not a thing. Yes, Japan is doing fine. So good luck and enjoy.
I've read Soudenjapan's post about maintaining status quo; it's by far the most realistic option that I've heard to date. Keep the trade going and hopefully the cooler heads would see the benefit of not ruining a good thing. Everything's negotiable as long as this anti-Japanese business doesn't get out of hand.soudenjapanI wish I had an answer.
>Why is it that China and Japan can not kiss and make up?
I don't have the answer, but, while Japan and China are not on friendly terms now and an exceptinal case, is there a country in the world that is on really friendly terms with China that is looking for solid alliance with her?
They may want the Chinese market. They may be concerned about isolating a nation with such a huge population. They may be busy with trying hard to integrate China into the current international economic structure. Dose she have a real friend? Maybe North Korea.
How about South korea for that matter? The South Koreans have never been aggressor or anything in the past, and yet, somehow, they seem to be not so well-liked wherever they are. Polls in Asia show that South Koreans are always chosen, by far, to be the least prefered people to associate with. I personally don't have any problem with associating with them but that's what they say.
So it is not at all easy to be friendly with them on the natinal level in the first place. Plus, of course, we have the terrible history.
Furthermore, the Japanese themselves are hardly open-minded, outgoing, American type of people. They tend to prefer to stay in rather closed, somewhat exclusive circle of themselves. The Japanese right-wingers emphasize Japaneseness, exclusiveness to which non-Japanese people belong. That might be contributing to making others feel wary of the true motivation and intention the Japanese appear to have from their viewpoint.
Promoting racial diversification in our society could be a solution, but it takes long time.
When these factors are all combined, we are natually where we are in the present stage of progress in terms of the bilateral national relations between China and Japan, and between South Korea and Japan.