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Saturday, May 16, 2015

China Declares National Holiday To Mark Japanese Surrender

Image from the NY Times.
I don't know if China is still a little bitter, but to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender to end WWII, it has declared September 3, 2015 to be a national holiday.

Everybody is welcome to celebrate. That's an order.

For China, there can be no doubting that Japan's treatment of it in the 1930s through the end of WWII was nothing short of abysmal. I agree. Horrible, horrible stuff.

But to retch up old memories of such crappy times to create a feel-good holiday about Japan surrendering in a war 70 effing years ago?

That's just China poking the baby bear. Poke-a-poke-a-poke-a!

Obviously relations between China and Japan are strained.

Millennia ago, China was the big brother Japan wanted to emulate, and picked and chose aspects of Chinese culture that it would alter subtly to create its own Japanese culture.

Then following foreign meddling in its affairs in the 19th and early 20th centuries, China grew weak.

Japan had earlier avoided such poking by shutting itself off from the world for a few centuries (1600s-1850 or there abbots).

When Japan finally opened its doors to foreign trade and culture, it combined it's warlike ways with western expansionism (yeah… the U.S. was big on that once upon a time, and Japan learned from them, and Great Britain)… and took on Russia, Korea, and China in various wars.

A weak China existed until the 1950s… until such time that it stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb, quickly becoming a world leader in pomposity and public displays of its militaristic might.

Nowadays, with China owning the largest population in the world, and Japan not reproducing enough to stop it from having a negative population growth, plus Japan not allowed to have its own real military or military ideals, China owns nukes - and lots of 'em.

And while China won't use them—walk softly and carry a big stick (T. Roosevelt)—China prefers instead, at least where annoying little bother, I mean brother Japan is concerned, to instead: talk loudly and carry the biggest effing glow stick it could find.

In other words… the bullied has now become akin to a bully.

However… despite China's posturing, it hasn't done anything physical to Japan - not even an atomic wedgie.

Don't try this at home - even if you have a nice butt like this. Recently a man was charged with murder for killing his father this way. No, really.

Everyone knows China wants to really grab a hold of Japan and give them a purple purple, but it hasn't.

Instead, it makes annoying claims about various Japanese-'owned' islands, doing annoying fly-bys knowing Japan will have to scramble its self-defense jets every time… costing them time and money and fuel…

It's not doing anything to Japan… it's letting Japan do things to itself.

"Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself."

China is smugly enjoying the discomfort it brings to Japan and its global stage show… seeking every opportunity to embarrass Japan - and rightly so… except… it was 70-effing years ago…

I'm not saying the world needs to forget the bad things that countries and people have done… but all the bad people who were involved in Japan's horror show are gone. Dead. Dust. Bad memories.

China… be the big brother and let it go… Japan might not know how to apologize or apologize properly - I know, I sympathize - but why poke the little bear?  

I know… because it's fun. Japan PM Abe wants to make Japan into more of a military power… wants to instill pride back into a Japanese population… (Hitler wanted all that, too)… and I can se where Abe's saber rattling is annoying to you. I know it doesn't make you afraid…

But if Japan does re-write its Constitution and does become more autonomous in being allowed to create its own military ( aright taken away from it by the Allied powers at the conclusion of WWII), what would stop Japan from starting up its own nuclear program?

Would Japan ever drop a nuke on anyone? I'd like to think not, but who the fug knows, right?

Would Japan having nukes bother China? You bet your a$$ it would… just like it bothers them that North Korea has the power.

I don't think China wants to go to war (I'm usually wrong, just ask the wife), but I think because it hasn't had a full-out physical confrontation with Japan to provide some nasty payback, it harbors a grudge.

Trust me… I understand that perfectly.

Now that the time has passed, and violence isn't an option… casual sniping is all that is left… though maybe China could invade someone else for mutual amusement.

In 1937, China says that Japanese troops killed 300,000 people during the Nanking Massacre… although a postwar (post 1945) tribunal organized by the Allies says the death toll was 'only' 142,000. We're talking seven or eight years after the fact…

If you want more poking of Japan,  a recent front page editorial in China's official People's Daily newspaper (really? an editorial on the front page?!) had them praising Germany for facing up to its inglorious WWII war crimes, noting how it stood in stark contrast to Japan's failure to reflect on its past.

"Why? We're the victims here! Anyone else have a city atomized? Two cities?"

Japan doesn't really play the victim in regards to its activities during WWII - in fact, because the whole thing was shameful, it pretty much ignores that it ever happened… like it was all a dream by Pamela Ewing (from the old TV show Dallas, where an entire year's programming was apparently just a dream).

Germany, to its credit, discusses its days under Nazi rule, with museums made from former concentration camps where the past is not swept under the carpet. You certainly don't have to mention the war to them - there's no need to… the specter exists… but they are unafraid, for the most part, to engage in conversation about it.

Japan has apologized for its role and has made reparations payments to various countries, and has sought to establish itself as one of the good guys on the planet.

The problem for Japan, however, is the same e experienced by every country or culture that has been wronged.

It's tough to forgive and forget.

It can be done. Canada once burned down the U.S. White House after the Americans got uppity. Great Britain and the Americans once went at it over some spilled tea. Great Britain and France spent 116 straight years warring against each other - now that's a grudge… and yet… now they are all buddies.

I can tell you for a fact, the the rest of East Asia isn't really enamored with Japan.

In Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia… I talked with locals of different social strata… because I can… and when the topic of WWII came up (and this was nearly 50 years after WWII), to a person each expressed distaste, nay, hatred toward the Japanese… and this wasn't just the old folks who were around when it happened, but people as old as I was, who were born a couple of decades after WWII… full on hatred…

(Okay, while vacation, I was asked at various sites honoring WWII dead—I pay my respects—what my country of origin was….. noting I was Canadian teaching English in Japan - and off they went… )

Maybe we need more time… another 50 years or so… when everyone who lost someone they knew is passed… and then we can let the dead finally rest in peace.

Hey Japan - China (or at least a restaurant in the city of Houhai in Beijing, China put up this sign in 2013) isn't just picking on you - apparently it also doesn't care for dogs. Oh yeah, and the Vietnamese or Filipinos. Of course this is probably all about those stupid islands the Japanese and Chinese all want out there in the South Seas. What about German Shepards or French Poodles or British Bulldogs et al? Racism bad.
 Again… I am amused at the lengths China will go to to make Japan look silly… but seeing the big picture, it makes me do a melancholy sigh also, knowing all this posturing is, in the end, pointless.

China, enjoy your national holiday. Who this day is for is beyond me. It's ONLY a 70th anniversary… it's not even one of those so-called 'round' anniversary dates like 10, 25, 50, 75 or 100.

I really did play the accordion. I don't want her, you can have her, she's too fat for me. Hey! Not sure what I mean?
Still… I guess I can see you doing this on year 71, 72, 73, 74 and then 75… poke-a-poke-a-poke-a.

Wishing I was poking someone right now,
Andrew Joseph

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