Friday, December 14, 2007

Perpetuating Bad Blood

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the Rape of Nanking.

On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops entered the former Chinese capital and began six weeks of killing, raping and pillaging. Some 300,000 people were killed.

This year some filmmakers including Americans have produced documentaries about this horrific event, piecing together first-person accounts by foreigners who were in the city at that time.

One of the movies includes one about Iris Chang who was one of the first to write about this bloody history.

And 70 years on, there are many Chinese on the mainland who insist on continuing their hatred of the Japanese.

Some of my colleagues get offended when you mention that their hairstyle or outfit looks Japanese.

Another refuses to eat Japanese food or buy Japanese cars, which probably explains the steady sales of American cars here.

Many Chinese here have a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to Japan. If you try to get them to explain where this automatic hatred comes from, they can't describe it to you. It's all they know. Some may have had relatives who were directly affected by the Japanese invasion. But in reality, this generation has never experienced hardship to justify such extreme reactions.

The government uses this event for political purposes to shame Japan in the hopes of getting more out of Sino-Japanese relations.

It's almost an emotionally abusive relationship that can make one wonder how Japan takes the humiliation 70 years later.

By the same token, the Chinese today should learn from history and try to create peace with its neighbours for the future.

That way they'll help fulfill President Hu Jintao's goal of "a harmonious world".

1 comment:

ks said...

japanese militarism is still alive and well. we have to keep hammering to the world that history cannot be doctered. the recent resolution at the canadian parliament to condemn the comfort women issue is one great aciievement. recently i am glad to hear there was a huge commemoration of the' naking massacare' took place in nanjing. at present japan is till unrepentive, a far cry from germany which accepted responsibilty for war atrosities. it was a great courageous act when willy brandt knelt at the jewish memorial and lay a wreath for the holocaust victims a number of years ago.