Japan, be a state
Speaking of the delegitimization of force (in the name of passive-aggressive guiltmongering, the “force” of our time) China and South Korea are protesting visits to a shrine to Japan’s war dead by its prime minister and likely-designate. If I were Japanese, I’d give them the raspberry. This is no more that Bush (or Clinton) visiting Arlington National Cemetery. And this is not made different by matters of the justice of WW2 per se … love of country may be carried to excess, but hatred/shame/guilt of country leaves you with no country worth loving at all.
What the Chinese and Koreans want is for Japan to cultivate its national self-image and attitude toward history, in as “hatriotic” a fashion as possible, thank you very much. That’s unnatural — and not coincidentally, it also happens to be the narrative that China and Korea propagate for the purpose of their national “muthoi.” In other words, it’s imperialism by other means, remolding Japanese into thinking like good Chinese or Koreans.
My favorite quote in the Reuters story is from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. Keep in mind this is a regime that still considers Mao Tse-tung its founder, so see if you can avoid detecting the whiffs of the Little Red Book, both in rhetorical style and concepts:
Dealing with the history problem based on a correct view of history will be to the benefit of both the Japanese and Chinese peoples.
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