The latest coming courtesy of a Chinese communist newspaper, published on July 1, 2014.
At first, I read the headlines and thought to myself, 'what's the big deal?" and then I read the story and went WTF?!
It has been reported that Japan has protested against China for the depiction of a map published in a Chinese newspaper that depicts the mushroom clouds from exploding atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima in WWII.
Japan calls it offensive.
Yeah, whatever. It's fact the bombs exploded there, so what's the bid deal?
But then I read the story whereby The Chongqing Youth News on July 3, 2014 published a full-page color map of Japan, with drawings of the exploding bombs added to it - but with the shocking title: "Japan wants a war again.”
That's pretty effing harsh.
That's the image from the newspaper up above - taken from a website called Pakistan Defence.
I'm not saying that the sentiments spewed in this Chinese newspaper aren't correct - because d'uh… do you really want to go to warn Japan, with a country with enough nuclear firepower to bomb you back to the Stone Age once the radiation levels decrease enough for habitation to occur again?… but geez… there are better ways of saying such things.
Now… I'm betting that this The Chongqing Youth News is hardly a bastion of journalistic ideals… that it's no New York Times, The Guardian (UK) or China's The People's Daily…
In fact, The Chongqing Youth News is one of seven news papers in the city of Chonqing, which, I suppose, unless I miss my mark, is actually in the formerly named Chungking, and as of 2010 has over 28-million residents in the area.
The newspaper is run by the city of Chongqing’s branch of the Communist Youth League, an organization that grooms university students for roles in the Communist Party.
Hmmm… I suppose with seven newspapers vying for business, one has to attract an audience somehow, and it appears as though they utilize the shock and awe method favored by many other legitimate newspapers throughout the world. It's propaganda.
And, lest we forget, Japan and China are still making aggressive grunts and beatings of the collective chest at one another over a bunchy of islands that look pretty, but provide a strategic military location for one another.
The newspaper headline and map are rather poignant, with the implication is that the last time Japan was an aggressor, they had their asses handed to them via a pair of atomic bombs dropped on them by the Allied Nations, led by the United States of America.
These atomic weapons certainly heralded the end of WWII - perhaps ending it quicker than without it (it did!), but the after effects of the countless dead, those suffering from radiation poisoning and then cancers decades later - not to mention loss of home, work, self-respect et al - well… you can imagine that the average Japanese is a bit touchy on the whole subject of being subjugated to another dosing of nuclear weaponry.
I will note, however, that I did see more than a few examples - back in the early 1990s when I was living in Japan - of dumbass Japanese fashionistas who had no clue that the then-in-style U.S. Bomber jackets many wore actually depicted the bomber squadron that dropped the world's first atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945.
I recall thinking: "Really? Do you not know what you are wearing?"
So I dropped the fashion bomb onto one young 20-something Japanese man… who looked completely shaken afterwards, as he took the jacket off, and I assume never put it on again.
I hope I was at the forefront of killing a fashion style - or at least one with poor taste.
Back to China and the naughty newspaper article - it obviously served its purpose of drawing attention to the newspaper as well as adding fuel to the fire between the strained relations of Japan and China.
Japan's chief cabinet secretary Suga Yoshihide (surname first) was adamant in stating that as the only country to have suffered nuclear weapons attacks, Japan would “never tolerate” this newspaper's depiction, calling it “extremely imprudent” of the newspaper.
He added that "it rattled the nerves of atomic bomb survivors and their families.”
It beats me how the Atomic bomb survivors even heard about this in a Chinese (and English) language newspaper from China… oh yeah - stupid Japanese media! You know, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Why does anyone need to hear the opinion of an atom bomb survivor when it comes to this story?
You know what their reaction is going to be! No one is ever going to say "Oh, I think it's funny!"
The slim possibility is that one might actually agree with the newspaper sentiment and question why Japan would ever want to become involved in a war again… but China knows that… which is why it pushes Japan around.
It's why any country with nuclear weapons can act like a bully - I'm not saying anyone is or isn't - Might makes right. It's the law of the jungle, baby. Kill or be killed.
But China isn't going to bomb Japan. No way in hell. It's called M.A.D. — mutual assured destruction.
Despite the U.S. being the 'bad guy' that dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan back in 1945, they are Japan's protector and conscience, by Jiminy Cricket!
But here's the thing… after nearly 70 years of not having its own military, Japan is rattling its saber against the cage of war, reinterpreting its Constitution to allow it to be more... militaristic
That Constitution, foisted upon it by the US after WWII, had Japan announce it was renouncing it warring ways…
But... Japan, back on July 1, 2014, announced it was 'reinterpreting' the Constitution to allow a greater role for its military.
Political pundits would be wise to note that the Chinese newspaper's retort appeared in print two days later on July 3, 2014.
Japan lodged protests to Beijing and the government of Chongqing, where the weekly paper is based. Tokyo also protested to the paper the day before. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who is from Hiroshima, called the paper’s allegation groundless and said Japan’s defense policy change is not intended to wage war.
I call bullish!t.
The allegations of the newspaper are NOT groundless.
While NO one in Japan is stupid enough to state that Japan is willing to go to war with anyone, the recent machinations by the Japanese government certainly IMPLY that it is willing to go to war.
It's called posturing.
This Chinese newspaper "posture-ed" back. China did not. This was a media outlet - granted one with Chinese government ties - that said what it said in its oh so eloquent way.
Earlier this year, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinazo (surname first) visited a Tokyo-area Yasukuni Shrine dedicated to the 2.5-million war dead, including a whole mess of WWII war criminals.
You can click HERE for a detailed look at that shrine - and just who is in there.
In fairness, I also wrote why it is OKAY to pray at that shrine - HERE.
In case you have been living under a rock or are simply a person not that interested in history (Boo! Hiss!), Japan had invaded China prior to the festivities of WWII, maintained its interests there during the war, and essentially acted like a dick to the people of China (and other nations) at that time.
That was then, and this is now - Japan, is hardly the same nation, and the same can be said for China.
Here's what Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on July 9, 2014 at a news conference: “We hope Japan can learn lessons from history, go down the path of peaceful development, and avoid the repetition of historical tragedies.”
I agree with that statement, but China, it works both ways, too.