Lately I only purchase Japan Times when I take the Shinkansen.
Last week I went to Kyoto and Fukui to take photos and tried to enjoy the ceremony of reading a newspaper on the way. It is nice sometimes to get away from the screen and when you are finished you can trow the paper away.
No less then two front page articles´ brain insulting contents, cried out to be commented and put into perspective. The first is of course the Aussie Gillard vision of her country becoming "strong, mature and confident, supporting greater participation by China and other Asian powers," thus Australia becoming top ten economy by 2025. Admitting that the traditional Australian view of seeing Asia as a threat "racially, military and economically" is outdated, Australians should learn Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese so they can become part of the dawn of the greater Asian renaissance. It looks like Australia is finally growing up. That is good news for everybody except for racist morons. That said, P.M. Gillard´s new vision is only 40 years late.
Anybody could have predicted that Austrralian fortune is tied to Asia already in 1975 when the US and its corrupt puppet regime was defeated in Saigon.
The other article about Declining Japan by Chico Harlan, previously a baseball reporter turned Asia expert at Washington Post is........well......baseball-reportish.
He is analysing the Japan- China relationship as if it was two traditionally competing major-league baseball teams, trying to predict, with the help of various japanology experts and China observers, which of the two teams will win the next major league baseball season, finally reaching the conclusion that everybody is convinced that the chinese team will; furthermore he is visualizing long term the japanese team, ending up somewhere in the fifth league together with the bottom of the barrel.
Astonishing observations, conclusions and prophecies. We know nothing about baseball, and we hope that Mr Harlan knows more about it than he knows about international relations and Asian history and status quo.
First of all, it is obsolete to view the future of Japan and China separately and is only wishful thinking by nostalgic, colonialist, christian crusaders. Since the beginning of the Meiji era the writing on the wall was, that the China-Japan relationship was dessesive for all Asia and in spite of intense obstructions and hostile interference from various European powers and later the US, this relationship has in the past forty years matured into a symbiotic political and economically successful process with global consequences.
Today most Asians understand that the current success of China, India, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam could not have happened without the Japanese experience, effort, investment and training of locals by japanese engineers to create the current Asian manufacturing powerhouse.
The 19 century antique concept of "made in Hong Kong -Japan -USA -Germany" are totally irrelevant in the 21 century. An Apple I-Pad, a Nokia phone or a Nikon digital camera is made up from parts manufactured in at least 8-10 different countries, just like all other high value added consumer products. If the I-Pad mini or the Nikon 7000 would have been made exclusively in the manufacturers home country it would have ended up costing three times the current prices and would be unsaleable.
In the final analyses everybody in the end of the consumer-chain benefits from a harmonic Japan-China relationship. After all who would pay 1500 US for an I-Pad just because it said on the back:
All parts made in USA.
Not even Romney....... although he can afford it.
By Gabor Fabricius
P.S. Considering that since the beginning of their existence, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, Austria, Hungary and since 1812 the USA have been in countless wars often with each other and almost permanently, it is astonishing that China and Japan were at war only a few times since 1274.
The last war was due to the European/American Christian colonisation/domination attempt of China, beginning with the cession of Hong Kong in 1842 and ending with the defeat of US supported and controlled Chiang Kai-shek and his American-born wife the "dragon lady", December 1949.
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