New tactic in Sino-Japan cold war


While most of our elected leaders in Washington are focused the global war on terror and the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation battle in the Senate, the American people seem to be overlooking other key trends and events around the world.

One worrying trend that deserves much more attention is the growing Cold War between China and Japan.

As an American who has taught young people in both country, I have experienced this growing divide firsthand. In its attempt to instill a sense of nationalism in young people, the Communists in Beijing have quietly encouraged expressions of hatred against the Japanese.

Earlier this spring, thousands of young Chinese went to the streets in many cities to protest Japan's perceived inability to "sincerely apologize" for their wartime crimes against innocent Chinese and Prime Minister Junichro Koizumi's controversial visits to the Yasukuni Shrine near Tokyo.

While many of my students here in Shanghai love Japanese pop culture and animation, they will never forgive the Japanese. Even though trade between the two Asian giants is growing rapidly, the situation seems to be taking another turn for the worse. 

Consider the following story in the Japan Times today.

A Western—style restaurant in the northeastern Chinese city of Jilin has hung a sign requiring Japanese customers to apologize for what China sees as Japan's wartime crimes, a local newspaper reported.

The City Evening News of Jilin reported Saturday the eatery posted a sign saying, "Japanese people are barred from entry."

If Japanese customers come, the newspaper said, staff will ask them to take a "correct" view of wartime history and apologize for the 1931—1945 occupation of Chinese territory.

The Jilin newspaper quotes a restaurant boss surnamed Tian as saying he welcomes Japanese customers who share his view of occupation history.

"We totally welcome those Japanese customers who can correctly view history," Tian reportedly said. "But as for those customers who still refuse to admit to history, we want to say we don't like them."

Since the sign went up, the restaurant boss has reported no Japanese customers but says he does not mind as long as his warning prompts young Chinese not to forget history, according to the paper.

Imagine for a moment if a resturant in London or New York tried a similar tactic against all Muslims who wanted to be served.

Brian Schwarz   7 13 05