Friday, November 23, 2012

Guess What, More Talk about an “Increasingly Isolated” Japan

Is it my imagination or is it always Japan that’s being “isolated,” an “outcast of Asia” when something upsets its relations with China and South Korea? I can understand—though I dispute—the logic behind that talk when it comes to China, but South Korea has a population 1/3rd the size of Japan and an economy even smaller by comparison and it lives next to North Korea, which may or may not implode/explode within our lifetimes. Please? The irony is that people doing China are far more willing to talk about how China’s neighbors are increasingly upset about its behavior. Guess what, the respective markets for the chatter are dictating the vocabulary, language, logic, and narrative.

To those wags out there, rest assured, I am not going to defend Japanese denialists on the Nanking Massacre and I’ll be very disappointed if (unexpectedly) Abe does a Hatoyama and blows his political wad on value issues before he nails the bread and butter stuff. But please, don’t let your take on history issues—and yes, I mean you—blind you to the realities on the ground. Your students deserve better. Tell you what, disappoint me—yes, you—and I might even eats me a Texas straw hat, I might.

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