OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear DomPost

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  • Tim Hannah,

    Though not in our capital's paper of record, apparently.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    "And to be fair, this resurgence of history revisionism in Japan appears to be partly linked to the economic insecurity following the early 1990s bubble burst."

    Oh, so the hypocrisy of the Japanese is justified by bursting of an economic bubble. Good grief. The Japanese love to see themselves as the victim. A small island nation poor in natural resources being bossed around by external powers. The reality is somewhat different. Japan is still essentially feudal in its power structures and operates a welfare state. Or is someone more aptly puts it: "A retirement village run by the mafia and bureaucrats."

    Japan could do well to get over its neuroses and be more self-critical. Furthermore, the only way forward for the country is to purge the power structures of corruption, nepotism, and inaction.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Japan could do well to get over its neuroses and be more self-critical. Furthermore, the only way forward for the country is to purge the power structures of corruption, nepotism, and inaction.

    Especially if the Germans, with a similar history and culture of militarism, can not only face up to their past, but also laugh about it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5433 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    The DomPost should follow the Herald's example and focus on real issues; today's front page story on Air New Zealand re-using plastic cutlery just shook me to the core!!

    sunny Pt Chevalier • Since Mar 2008 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Sorry, the Dompost needed the column inches on the front page today to explain Bob Jones' views on why rich people deserve the money.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    On the point of revisionism- The day both these countries can make a concerted effort to remove revisionism of their own dark pasts from their history textbooks will be a win for knowledge.

    Fair enough. The CCP narrative of its own role during the period is equally fucked. If the DomPost ran an op-ed from a senior CCP official explaining that, for example, Thailand should conduct its politics in peaceful and rational manner just like China, I'd be just as pissed.

    The main point isn't that Koike is a revisionist, or that revisionism itself is offensive. I'm simply angry that the DomPost didn't understand any of the issues surrounding a piece that it gave half a page to, and was just some random piece they pulled off the wires. It's both negligent and ignorant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Lest we forget, the Jews weren't engaged in a 10 year old civil war amongst themselves, refusing to allign with one another when the holocaust took place. It's easy to play the victim on that one.

    No, it's not about China being a blameless victim, it's about China being a *helpless* victim. The very core of Chinese nationalism and Chinese militarism is that it was such a prolonged period of humiliation and suffering, and that Chinese leaders at the time were full of asshole warlord who were so ineffectual in defending China. Whether you blame that on Western efforts to undermine and corrupt the imperial system or not, the point is that China was weak and was kicked around by the West and by Japan.

    This humilation drives Chinese nationalism, statism and militarism. It doesn't excuse all the shitty things that they do. It's simply a statement that these values can be traced directly back to this experience of humiliation.

    And this is precisely why Koike's piece was so offensive - that she is criticising Chinese militarism while willfully ignoring its history with Japan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    And this is precisely why Koike's piece was so offensive - that she is criticising Chinese militarism while willfully ignoring its history with Japan.

    Solid point.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    @Lucy

    Let's acknowledge that there's a lot of places this description could apply to, hmmmm?

    There's no need to acknowledge it when I'm talking specifically about Japan.

    Try walking round a palace in Korea and reading a few plaques. Seeing how it was burnt to the ground in a Japanese invasion, rebuilt and then burnt to the ground by another Japanese invasion, and then rebuilt and then burnt to the ground a thrid time by another Japanese invasion. Kinda gets a bit repetitive.

    And then there was that pesky Japanese rule of Korea that went on for 35 years from 1910 to 1945, culminating in the use of anything from 20,000 to 200,000 Asian sex slaves (depending on who's telling the story, no guesses where the lower estimate comes from).

    Estimates are that only 25% survived with most who did unable to have children due to the number of times they were raped and the diseases they caught.


    But it's OK, nobody ever need find out...

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I'm simply angry that the DomPost didn't understand any of the issues surrounding a piece that it gave half a page to, and was just some random piece they pulled off the wires. It's both negligent and ignorant.

    But were it written by a non-Japanese citizen, would the feeling be different? It was also run by the Brisbane Times, The Daily Star, Korea Herald.

    hen Admiral Timothy J. Keating, the commander of the United States Navy’s Pacific fleet, visited China in 2007, a high-ranking Chinese naval officer proposed that the two countries demarcate a “zone of control” at Hawaii,

    On April 8, a helicopter from a Chinese naval vessel operating in international waters south of Okinawa came within 90 meters of a Japanese Self-Defense Force escort ship – so close that a gun-wielding Chinese soldier was clearly visible. Japan protested, describing the incident as an “extremely dangerous act.”

    on April 21 Chinese Navy vessels sailed northward, between Okinawa and the Miyako islands, and conducted a large-scale exercise. Once again, a Chinese military helicopter circled a Japanese escort ship.

    it is imperative that the two sides develop a deeper bilateral military dialogue.

    Despite her breeding, I think some legitimate concerns are being raised here. but...

    Because a mere 137 votes can get a town council member elected, a large number of foreigners with a particular interest in moving onto the island could nominate a winning candidate.

    ...is risible, methinks it would perhaps be cheaper to simply bribe officials. Not to be apologist or downplay the true events and horrendous actions of the Japanese military prior to 1950. But there is very little comfort taken from the fact that when legitimate concerns are raised in the present day, our gaze is drawn to past humiliations. That's not the logic for a safer world.

    Were a German reporter (with dubious political leanings) to raise concerns about Israeli foreign policy....again we could probably best take these things with a grain of salt, but it's unwise to let our bias obscure the facts, especially given the brief and recent time-frame in which the issues presented here have occurred.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm finding this discussion useful and interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Despite her breeding, I think some legitimate concerns are being raised here. but...

    When looking at Chinese militarism, half the question is why they're doing it and what their objectives are (the "what" half is a matter of empirical fact). And as I said, I think that China's recent history drives pretty much everything that it does. Therefore, when you get someone who willfully ignores that history asking the question, you're bound to get a pretty wacky answer.

    I think there are very legitimate questions about what will happen as China's military influence grows, but they need to be answered with an understanding of the historical context, and not "World War II? What World War II?".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I don't dispute that. But outside the historical context, or perhaps within the larger historical context, both the run-ins with the Japanese mentioned in the article, occurred in the period since China's number one ally effectively issued a redeclaration of war on South Korea. Reclusive Kim visited Beijing not two weeks ago.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    The right Yuriko Koike touches on is not a civil right but a political right.

    I'm surprised yesterday's news still hasn't made headlines in New Zealand:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/18/AR2010051803094.html

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    It has, inasmuch as South Korea has announced that the torpedo is definitely a North Korean one-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Do you have a link for that Islander?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    chris - highly incompetent net-user here: if you go to the Herald site, and click on World News (under the banner) you'll find the article - only the headline has not changed to "North Korea threatens all-out war"-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Jesus, I saw your typo 'not' and I thought you were extracting the Michael. We'll now I guess we'll see if the good guys have ideological integrity beyond using their military for hunting farmers and filling up their Humvees.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    yup. it was supposed to 'now'....

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5433 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    The whole N Korean torpedo attack on the S Korean ship was interesting to me for two reasons.

    1) That it barely made the news when it actually happened (even though it was unknown what sunk the vessel for a while)

    2) That many S Koreans including my wife STILL seem to think that it's some kind of S Korean government conspiracy.

    I can understand where she is coming from because the amount of corruption that goes on there is something that many of us can't quite comprehend, but at the same time to have a report come back that blames the N Koreans from a group involving investigators from S Korea, the US, Canada, Australia and others seems fairly reasonable. But there is so much suspicion of the S Korean government and fuckwits like Lee Myung-bak who was known to be a dodgy bastard when he was mayor of Seoul let alone President of Korea that nobody can believe anything.

    N Korea has done plenty of shit this bad and more blatant before.

    In about 2002 I put an educated estimate on Korean reunification at about 20-25 years. It appears that the pathetic, weak, childish mentality of the N Koreans will stall this to a decade or two beyond this.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

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