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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Is there any real freedom-of-speech in Japan?

"What does Chinese people cry for in this Anti-Japan Protests?" "How many times should we, Japanese, apologize for what we did in the past?" For me, Japanese, the issue looked like a same old persistent accusation of what Japan did in China during World War II.

Some say, including western media, this Anti-Japan Protests are secretly organized by Chinese government and it mainly reflects the current unstable political and social life in China.

I feel safe if the issue is made by some kind of world (or Chinese government, etc.) conspiracy, but I believe that it is, at least partly, a grass-rooted disbelief for what we, Japanese, continute to do with or without intention.

I surely see a deep sorrow, anger within the eyes of Chinese people.

I do not know much about the issue in China mainland, but at least, the marching in Central, HK, might be targeted for a politicized Japanese textbook. I see what they want, at least for now, is the right understandings of the historical fact.

More on Japanese revised textbooks:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050406a1.htm
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/geted.pl5?ed20050409a1.htm

As Washington Post pointed out, Chinese textbook is also politicized. But why does Japan, a country with the freedom-of-speech, continues to teach a distorted history, which is valid only in Japan, provoking Chinese people's grief? As Joi Ito pointed out, Japanese education should be addressed to face the reality.

I found many Japanese bloggers talk about the issue, depending on the misunderstandings and the ignorance. Actually, our understandings look much worse than Chinese bloggers'. I could not help if you hate someone, Chinese, or Japanese by your preference, but please check the facts you depend on first. Why don't you have a question on your perception before criticizing someone? I think every countries education inevitably has their own politicized materials, but now with Internet, you can teach yourself, can't you?

Here is the link to a technorati search result with the words "china" and "demonstration" through Yahoo! J J-to-E translation service.

Why I need to consult the oversea articles every time I investigate what Japan did during World War II?

Is there any real freedom-of-speech in Japan?

cn_jp_dialog