Reacting strongly vs. Being quiet


One month ago, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet announced a reinterpretation of the country’s pacifist Constitution, lifting the ban on Collective Self-defense. This move freed the Japanese Military to come to the aid of friendly countries under attack, including the United States(Japan announces a military shift to thwart China, David E. Sanger) 

When I was in China, the media report the news and critics everyday via newspapers, TV news and web castings. The Japanese government’s move became a hot topic and even raged Chinese people, especially those who concern about international politics. However, when I came back to America, I found that only few people knew or showed interest on this topic. For what Chinese people considered as the “breaking news”, American people kept in silence. This phenomenon revealed that people who experienced different history could show different attitude towards current political movement.

Chinese media reaction: Releasing the confessions made by Japanese War

The youtube video:

Apparently, Chinese people experienced unimaginable tragedy and suffered a lot during the Japanese War. For decades, Japanese have denied their crimes in WW II. In their school textbooks, Japanese invasion to neighboring countries is phrased as entering their territories. High ranking governmental officials, including Prime Minister Abe himself, have been paying respect to their war criminals. This action (publishing the confessions) is supposed to force Japan to come to terms with its wartime past and also meant to inspire domestic nationalism and bolster the Communist Party’s credentials as defenders of the Chinese people (Simon Denyer).

On contrast, the US government has, for the most part, remained silent. It seems that no one from the government is openly encouraging Japan or telling them to stop. There were no traumatic historical issues that could be brought up. In addition, being allied with Japan over 50 years, the American government tried to protect Japan in order to balance the Asia-Pacific power. Japan’s removing CSD will do little to change America’s security posture in a short term – the alliance isn’t suddenly stronger or even all that different(Stephen Stapczynski).

Thus, Chinese media reacted much more strongly than the US media because of the Chinese unforgettable historical suffering during the Japanese war.