Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
“Japan is a country without credibility. They pretend to be friendly, but they can’t be trusted,” Qi Houjie said as a frigid wind swept the austere plaza of the Nanking Massacre Memorial Hall.
Across the waters, Japanese visiting a Shinto shrine in Tokyo that enshrines 14 convicted war criminals among 2.5 million war dead say they’re tired of Chinese harping, underscoring a gradual hardening of attitudes toward their neighbor. China criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday for having a “wrong attitude to history” after he sent a traditional offering to Yasukuni Shrine at the start of a 3-day spring festival.
“Yasukuni Shrine is a damaging element to Japan’s relations with its neighbors,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. “It is a negative asset for Japan. If the Japanese leaders are willing to continue carrying this negative asset on their back, the negative asset will become increasingly heavier.”
Such statements don’t sit well with Ayumi Shiraishi, a 28-year-old hotel employee who decided to see Yasukuni on a recent trip to the Japanese capital. “The harsher they criticize, the more strongly I feel it’s not their business,” she said of the Chinese. “It’s a matter of the prime minister’s belief, as he has said, and there is nothing wrong with that.”
comments powered by Disqus
- David Rosand, an Art History Scholar Whose Heart Was in Venice, Dies at 75
- NYT interviews Rick Perlstein about his book
- OAH issues a statement in support of the AP standards
- Daniel Pipes says in interview that the absence of anti-Israel protests in Muslim countries is highly significant
- A historian who studies China has discovered an overlooked angle in the debate about the Middle East. Could he have figured out a key reason for Iraq’s failure to defeat ISIS?