Japan


"Relations between Japan and China have plunged to their lowest point in more than a decade after a weekend of violent anti-Japanese protests in Beijing and other cities.

"In the biggest demonstration in the Chinese capital since 1999 at least 5,000 people joined a rally last Saturday in support of a boycott of Japanese goods. They kicked Japanese cars and stoned the embassy...

""We must show the Japanese pigs how we feel," said a Mr. Liu, an IT engineer in his 30s...

Tokyo has demanded an apology, compensation and a promise that it would not happen again.

"The march was spurred by Japan's approval of a new history textbook that whitewashes its wartime atrocities, including the forced recruitment of thousands of sex slaves and biological weapons experiments on civilians" (Jonathan Watts. "Chinese Urge Japan Boycott." Guardian Weekly, April 15-21, 2005: 9).


"China has opposed Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the UN security council, saying it is unfit for such leadership until it faces up to its past. In addition old animosities were rekindled after Japan's education ministry approved textbooks that critics say whitewash the history of Japanese aggression in the region...

"...anti-Japanese sentiment has soard in China and in South Korea...

"In March tensions between Tokyo and Seoul grew after Japan restated an old territorial claim to a group of small islands occupied by South Korea. The claim stoked bad feelings connected with Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945" (Anthony Faiola. "Japan suffers bombardment from cyberspace." Guardian Weekly, May 26, 2005: 22).


"Tokyo is growing more militarily assertive under Junichiro Koizumi...

"Now Japan appears destined to supplant Australia as Washington's "deputy sheriff" in the Asia-Pacific region.

"According to Kazuya Sakamoto of Osaka University, Japan and Britain are central to a post-9/11 US review of its overseas force deployments...

"Japan's worries about China are the main reason for acquiescing in US plans that shatter any remaining pacifist illusions. But Tokyo is in any case growing more militarily assertive under its prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi" (Jonathan Watts. "China refuses to apologise for anti-Japanese protests." Guardian Weekly, April 22, 2005: 1).


"Drilling rights are being contested in the East China Sea, which neither oil-hungry behemoth [Japan and China] is set to give up easily. China's military spending has frightened Japan into loosening the constitutional handcuffs on its armed forces and driven it into closer alliance with the US. Both... have riled China. To rub salt into Beijing's carefully nursed wound, Tokyo is eyeing a sear on the UN security council, which would displace the world's most populous country as Asia's lone voice on matters of global war and peace" (Editorial. New Sunday Times, Malaysia, April 17, 2005).


Colby Glass, MLIS