Thursday, October 7, 2010

Watch out for Mass Media's Fanning of "Anti-China" Flames

The Heisei Era version of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association brings the DPJ and LDP together in a big union of China-baiting, saber-rattling and threats to national autonomy; the media is riding the anti-China, anti-coexistence wave for all it's worth. This movement must be stopped. The political and media worlds are hurtling Japan down a dangerous path toward conflict with China

"There never was a good war or a bad peace." — Benjamin Franklin

Lately I've been making an effort to watch as closely as possible Tokyo's major newspapers and key television outlets. That's because in today's Japan our media holds a decisive power that can sway the populace. I'm worried about the media's recklessness.

Pay attention to the appearances and the remarks shown on Tokyo's major TV outlets. It's all the leading anti-Chinese elements of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party. Some politicians must advocate peaceful measures, but those people don't get called into the TV studios. The TV networks have all their focus on the most bellicose elements. The major TV commentators are in the anti-China, anti-coexistence camp.

The failure of Japan's leaders before World War II was their inability to stand up to the pressure exerted by the great military power, the United States. Japan became belligerent and rashly entered a war with the US. The leaders of that day didn't have enough conviction that war was the one thing the country should avoid. They couldn't endure. Their commitment to peace was weak.

The younger generation of politicians in Japan are quick to raise a ruckus over random legal matters or principles of justice, complaining loudly that their opponents are bad for this or that reason, but I think they lack the strong will to protect the national interest while walking the path of peace. Diplomacy needs to put actions ahead of words. There's no way we can jump on the media's bandwagon, embrace its narrow-minded patriotism and also conduct diplomacy. Foreign Minister Maehara is wrong. A politician in a position like the foreign minister's can't say idiotic things that frighten leaders of other countries. We need to escape from this infantile "diplomacy."