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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:53 03/09/2007
News Review #290: April 18, 2005

Many Japanese Hurt, Puzzled by Chinese Protests

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

Many Japanese Hurt, Puzzled by Chinese Protests
By (Michal A. Lev) Chicago Tribune


The violence in China described (or "disguised") as protest against Japan keeps deteriorating the fragile - but was thought to be hopeful - relations built over decades of accumulation of efforts by countless number of good-willed peoples of both Japan and China.

The article introduced above is comprised of interviews made on the "ordinary" people in Japan, and the overall impression coincides with that of this reviewer, and those whose views have been exchanged.

The article summarizes by saying "People here seem hurt and puzzled by the attacks. They are indignant that the Chinese should forget that Japan has plied China with aid. And they are suspicious that China's government is manipulating public opinion against Japan because it is convenient to have a foreign scapegoat."

Just to be sure, no insult is intended in calling those interviewees "ordinary" people, it merely means that they are not necessarily professionals or scholars on international, or Chinese, affairs, that they are hard-working men and women with reasonable level of education and common sense. Accordingly, their views may not be technically correct and their expressions may be naive (or "crude") in some respects, but they do reflect the Japanese people's general response to the series of incidents in China.

Feelings of most of the people in Japan range from bewildered or disappointed, to disenchanted or even disgusted. People are lost as to what could they do to "satisfy" China, while feeling Japan has for 60 years endeavored diligently to cure the damages caused by what is told to be "sinful" acts of their parents and grandparents. People are beginning to feel exhausted that if the efforts all this while has done nothing, will anything at all.

Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi has demanded the Chinese government to apologize and compensate for the damages caused at the Japanese Embassy and the Consulates located in China, and it was reiterated by the Foreign Minister Machimura directly in Beijing to his Chinese counterpart. It should be noted here that it was not a sort of demand for apology in general on the feelings of Chinese people against Japan. It is a demand based on the "Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961." In section 2 of Article 22 it stipulates, "The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity." Chinese government denied their responsibility and the breach of this convention they themselves have approved and ratified, which casts grave doubts as to the honesty and integrity of the government of China.

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