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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 11:53 05/07/2008
News Review #444: May 7, 2008

Hu's Japan Visit May Ease Strain

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Hu's Japan Visit May Ease Strain
The Wall Street Journal (5/7/2008)

China Offers Pair of Giant Pandas to Japan, Yomiuri Reports
Bloomberg (5/7/2008)


In today's newspapers, there are two, very different kinds of reports, although with somewhat similar, "friendly" titles, on the Chinese premier's visit to Japan, which began yesterday. The first report is in the Wall Street Journal, which is an in-depth analysis of various issues on Japan-China relations, including the poisoned gyoza problem and the gas exploration problem in the East China Sea as well as the human rights issue in Tibet, which Mr. Hu Jintao would not like to take up this time, because the main purpose of his visit to Japan is to "soften China's image ahead of this summer's Olympic games," according to the report.

In contrast, the second report in Bloomberg is just covering a new development, that is about Mr. Hu Jintao's offer of a pair of giant pandas to Japan at a dinner with Mr. Yasuo Fukuda yesterday as "a symbol of friendly ties between the two countries," by referring to a Yomiuri Shimbun report on the web. This kind of "superficial reporting" is exactly what the Chinese side would like to generate, hoping that serious issues might be forgotten, at least for the time being, by handing out gifts like pandas to Japan.

In a sense, the Chinese premier's visit to Japan this time can be considered a litmus test for politicians, journalists and scholars regarding their integrity, professionalism and moral standards in handling confusing pieces of information on an important affair like Japan-China relations.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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