This is NOT true in East Asia. Browse fora and you'll see Chinese people, Korean people and Japanese people hate each other online. Sometimes it looks funny to see them attacking each other.Well, not only Chinese, Koreans and Japanese people hating each other online about the war issue, the Filipinos as well. Actually, it's a different story though when both China and Philippines are making hate to each other through online when recently the Chinese navies had "invaded illegally" to a Philippine-claimed small island of Scarborough Shoal or also known as Panatag Shoal in my country. And by tomorrow, the Filipino activists will march toward to the Chinese embassy to make a protest about this issue, and it is not related to the horrors of World War 2. And if you could take a look on China right now, that country are a totalitarian and communist state and unlike before, their armed forces are becoming stronger and numerous and their war technology is somewhat modern. And that should be concern about the Asian countries right now like Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, etc.
World War 3 anyone?!
The following is our perspective in China: that island (Huangyan island in Chinese, or Scarborugh Shoal in English) belongs to China according to the history. China found this island in 1279. Guo Shoujing made some measurement experiments there. No treaty so far claims that that island belongs to Philippine. Actually the map produced by Philippine in 1980's excluded Huangyan island from Philippine's territory.
I laughed when seeing you mentioned that Chinese forces are becoming "stronger" and war technology is modern.
Now netizens here in China are blaming Chinese Army for being cowards. You may see a lot of posts like "Philippine is bullying us. Why don't we fight back? Chinese government and the army are cowards. They suck. We're in another Qing Dynasty blablabla..."
Since China has officially proclaimed that it opposes hegemonism in all forms, I don't think China will break the promise unless Philippine doesn't do some control over the circumstances.
China is not totalitarian and, to some extent, not that communist now.
Sometimes we joke that Chinese-style commusism=economic capitalism+politically ambiguous socialism.
I think presently the policies made by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao are a little bit leaning towards the right-wing compared with the former leaders. The power of the extreme left-wing led by Bo Xilai recently collapsed in the political conflict.
(See also Wang Lijun's treason case)
I'm sure hardly anyone hates Japanese people now, time moves on and people move on, new generations come along as well. Japan has moved on as well. This is NOT true in East Asia. Browse fora and you'll see Chinese people, Korean people and Japanese people hate each other online. Sometimes it looks funny to see them attacking each other.
I appreciate this thread because it helps ventilate the WWII issue and people from different nations can exchange ideas, which would narrow the gap between our opinions. Here I'm gonna say what Chinese people, as far as I know, think of Japan in terms of WWII history.
Thanks for the reply, SuperTux.
The atrocities committed by the Japanese military in the earlier half of the 20th century no doubt gave rise to the animosity felt by Chinese and Koreans even to this day. I have heard that text books in South Korea even in recent years discussed the Japanese occupation (1910-) and the events up to the end of WWII in a rather strong tone (against Japan), which are most likely perpetuating those views. Needless to say, this is not a proud era in Japanese history.
This is why it's so important we take time to talk about it and to reflect upon historical events ( even Phil retweeted my tweet about this thread! ).
If we take the lessons from history and spend time understanding why things happened from both angles, as bcp19 suggested, we can all become better citizens of the world -- and hopefully prevent WW3.
- Why did those events happen?
- Why did they *have* to happen?
- And perhaps most importantly, imagine if we were in the political hot seat at the time. What would we have done differently? Or similarly?
- While we are at it... What would the world look like today if WWII didn't happen? And can we use any part of that imagination to prevent future conflict at such a massive scale?
You can be at ease in the case of Chinese history textbook because in my memory when we were taught about this historical events the textbook was not describing it in a strong tone. It was quite plain; we were shown some photos, the number of deaths and the discussion over this event (something like "this event wreaked great havoc in China and blablabla"
). It wasn't described differently from other events such as French Revolution in terms of the tone.
I agree that it's important to take time to range over it to reflect upon historical events because no history textbook can get rid of underlying prejudice. It'd be great if we read ideas from different nations. This would help us rebuild the real scenarios in that era.
For example, I'd never thought that the US "dropped the bomb to that 2 cities as a result to the payback of the Pearl Harbor attack and being an alliance to the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the war" before I read this thread. If this description occurs in the textbook, I'd think it is somewhat narrow-minded, though I can't remember anything discussing the reason why the US did so in our textbook. IMHO by that time the US had got the case of Pearl Harbor over. They threw those 2 bombs for boosting Japan's capitulation, or maybe for letting Japan experience the havoc other Asian people had experienced.
And you were so lucky! Phil has never replied to me.