Friday, April 15, 2005

Asia Continues to Froth and Fume

I awoke to breaking news at the BBC:Top Rocket Administrator Arrested For Bribes. Murky story, murky interior politics. The history of Chinese space programs is rife with such events. It is one of the most closely watched and secretive sectors of the government.

Meanwhile, the Japanese back peddle on the China Seas Political Subduction Zone dispute, the one over oil drilling rights:

Tokyo says it is protecting its rights.

Another big hurdle stands in the way of improving strained relations with China-this time Tokyo's decision to begin procedures to grant Japanese companies drilling rights in the East China Sea.

The decision Wednesday came just three days after violent anti-Japan protests spread in China, mainly over Japan's wartime history.

But Japanese officials stressed the test drilling rights for petroleum and gas fields in an area already being explored by China have nothing to do with the protests.

Industry ministry officials and members of a Liberal Democratic Party policy committee on maritime rights agreed it was important to go ahead with test-drilling procedure-an issue directly tied to Japan's rights and interests-while keeping it separate from the history issue.

Some political experts said Wednesday's decision could be seen as a diplomatic card that Japan could use in negotiating with China for possible joint exploration of oil in the East China Sea. Resolving the bilateral issue in that manner would be much easier than ending the more emotional dispute over the interpretation of the history between the two countries, they said.

Some "diplomatic card", eh? More like Yosemite Sam playing cards while using his guns under the table.

Meanwhile, lSouth Korea and Japan continue to trade insults.

South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun was wrong to say Germany's goodwill efforts after World War II have been far greater than Japan's, Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said Thursday.

"I dispute whether a simple comparison with Germany is meaningful," Machimura said in the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

In an interview with a German newspaper, Roh said, "Japan's attitude does not match the universal value systems that are being pursued by mankind" and that Germany's efforts to overcome its past and improve relations with its neighbors were a tremendous accomplishment.

Machimura stressed that there were big differences between Japan and Germany during World War II.

Well, the differences from Nazi death camps and Japanese death camps: the Japanese weren't focusing on killing Jews, first. This is a fine distinction few Asian neighbors appreciate. I suppose the idea that it is OK to kill Chinese or Koreans in death camps isn't flying over Aisa, is it? Maybe the Japanese can find some other thing to focus on? The inability of the Japanese leadership to understand all of this puzzles me. I watch a lot of Japanese anime and the industrious animators there cover the subject of military human medical testing and death camps and all that. It isn't a hidden topic.

"While there are some people who say Japan and Germany committed similar acts, the genocide of the Jewish people by Germany was a major criminal act," Machimura said. "While it may be moot to debate the differences in numbers of people killed and the nature of those acts, Germans could blame everything bad on the Nazis by almost arguing that the Nazis were a different race of people from the Germans."

This astonishing statement by a high Japanese official shows clearly, the "reeducation" of Japan after WWII was a failure. The Japanese people committed grave crimes because they worshipped the Emperor who wanted to lord it over all of Asia and together, the Japanese people and their rulers behaved very beastfully, abusing everyone as their slaves or outright murdering them for being in the way. This was done in the name of Japan. This "we are number one" attitude leads many countries down tthe American brutality there.

This strange lecture isn't going over well in South Korea.

Back to China:
A bloody revolt in a tiny village challenges the rulers of China

Jonathan Watts reports from Huankantou where protesters angry at corruption and poverty repelled 1,000 riot police. But now fear is replacing euphoria

Seems like some villagers, protesting a chemical factory pollution, were attacked and successfully fought off the police. Note how, under identical conditions in Louisiana, this never happens. Nor would the police retreat without killing many people. The villagers living next to American chemical plants are depressed and muted. Since few of them farm anymore, the will to fight for the land isn't there. Poor peope just hang out and hang on by the fingernails because it is cheap and the state welfare benefits just cover the cost of living in degraded conditions. But the Chinese peasant is proud of the land so nurtured and is angry about the environmental destruction.

Heads are rolling over this riot. The police didn't function properly and I would assume, the rulers in Beijing are not happy with anyone involved in this collapse of state power and probably angry that now they have to step in and deal with it directly. We will keep our eyes on this village..

The Japanese rulers overstepped their own bounds this week. The average Japanese doesn't relish the idea of a war with anyone, much less, nuclear China. Nor do they love or trust American military power. Many Japanese anime and movies are about giant robots or monsters struggling with each other right in the heart of Tokyo. These nightmare stories that are created over and over again are an expression of real fears, fear of earthquakes, volcanoes and war. Any ruler of that most unstable of lands had better tread softly lest they rouse Godzilla.

The government of Italy is going down the tubes, thanks to its association with Bush, Tony Blair is in trouble entirely due to the same reason, his own party having to hold their noses while voting for him. Now the leader of Japan is going to go down, too. I doubt the people in Tokyo will tolerate much more of this sort of dangerous activity!

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