Aug 05

How do the Chinese really feel about Japan, the new Yomiuri/Xinhua Survey

Written by bianxiangbianqiao on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 at 11:06 pm
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August 15th is drawing close. It is a good time to think about China’s relation with Japan.

Besides, a new survey on this topic was discussed in Yomiuri Shimbun, August 4, 2008.

“Only about one-third of Japanese think the relationship between Japan and China is good in contrast to nearly 70 percent of Chinese who view the relationship positively, according to a survey conducted jointly by The Yomiuri Shimbun and a weekly magazine published by Xinhua News Agency.”

“…only 19 percent of the Japanese respondents said they could trust China, while 56 percent of their Chinese counterparts said they could trust Japan. While 78 percent of the Japanese respondents said they could not trust the other country, only 42 percent of their Chinese counterparts gave the same answer. ”

“As for the future of the Japan-China relationship, 38 percent of the Japanese respondents and 75 percent of the Chinese respondents said it would improve. Fifty-one percent of the Japanese and 21 percent of the Chinese said it would not change, while 8 percent of the Japanese and 3 percent of the Chinese said it would deteriorate.”

The data were collected between July 11 and 16 with face-to-face interviews. The sample size was over 1000 respondents providing valid answers in each country. I got a feeling that the Chinese optimism and enthusiasm toward a good relation with Japan will surprise and dismay Chinese Fenqings and maybe even some elements in the West.

How do the Chinese really feel about Japan? Is their acrimony toward Japan “real”, in the sense that it is stable, entrenched and pervasive? I have always had a feeling that the negativity is hyped and trumped up by elements in the West (especially the United States) with clear calculation and deliberation. Presenting China as nationalistic and xenophobic is only part of the rationale. Some people in the West have a keen interest in cultivating Japanese suspicion and weariness toward China. The Chinese government sometimes cannot stop themselves from falling into this trap. If China and Japan one day build a cordial and functional relationship based on a mutual trust that is robust enough to handle any contingencies, there will be no room for Western manipulation in Northeast Asia and beyond.

Chinese feelings toward Japan are best characterized as ambivalent. The negative elements in this ambivalence are very tractable, despite their rabid expressions. The rabidity of their expression demonstrates their shallowness, instead of depth or profundity. This negativity is extremely susceptible to change by two forces, (1) governmental influence and (2) cultural exposure.

Chinese policy toward Japan has become “future-oriented” instead of being boggled down to the unpleasant recent history, a change that has been omitted in Western “observations”, purposefully in my opinion. In the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake, Japanese rescue personnel was among the first foreign teams invited to the center of the disaster area to save Chinese lives from the rubbles, and “to be there with the Chinese” in one of their most vulnerable moments, along with rescuers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Russia. The word “Japan” on the back of the rescuers’ brightly colored uniforms was featured on TV screens everyday when I was in China. There was no subtlety or ambiguity in the ranking of relational closeness on the Chinese part. The symbolism was as clear as Hu Jintao’s round of Ping-Pong with Fukuhara Ai during his state visit to Japan earlier this year. Japanese reservation is also clear. Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo was standing on the sideline when Hu and Fukuhara played Ping-Pong. At a more concrete level, there have been discussions about joint development of the Chunxiao gas field in the dispute East China Sea. Meanwhile, Chinese scholars’ opinion that “adopting Japan as a teacher will promote China’s reform” has been blatantly printed in mainstream newspapers. Given these policy changes, I am not at all surprised by the Chinese positivity from the Yomiuri survey.

Now let’s look at cultural exchanges. A walk in Beijing’s streets and shopping centers gives one the impression that the Chinese are embracing Japanese culture without reservation. One can feel this open hearted enthusiasm from the over-priced Muji and Shisado stores at Xidan’s Joy City to the Bazaars of the Beijing Zoo Wholesale market, not to mention the popularity of Satoshi Kon’s animated movies. This enthusiasm with things Japanese is nothing new to China. For my generation, Takakura Ken (高仓健) and Yamaguchi Momoe (山口百惠) were completely blended in the sentimental nostalgia of our childhood and adolescence, the formulating years of a person’s life history. They were not just idols in the sense of popular culture, but served as serious gender role models for a generation of Chinese youngsters, creating a real soft spot for the culture they originally come from. Chinese women of reproductive age in the 80s were so impressed by Ken sen’s masculinity that they gave off the bold outcry of “Where is China’s Takakura Ken?” in a popular magazine. Think about it, those were days that magazine articles created shockwaves in the Chinese society. If you were a literary youth (文学青年) like me in the late 1980s, it would be impossible to escape the influence from Shimasaki Toson (島崎藤村), Kawabata Yasunari(川端 康成), Tazai Osamu(太宰治), Matsmoto Seicho(松本清张), Mishima Yukiu(三島由紀夫), all with superb Chinese translations except Mishima, who was discussed obsessively in journals. Today’s Chinese youth embrace Muraue Haruki with the same fondness (村上春樹, too contemporary and Westernized for me though). Japanese literature has a connection with Chinese readers that no Western writer can achieve; it is not a similarity in writing but an affinity in the way of experiencing.

What is the direction of China-Japan relationship? The Chinese are future-oriented, confident and optimistic. The Japanese are still hesitant, as they have been for the last 60 years.

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100 Responses to “How do the Chinese really feel about Japan, the new Yomiuri/Xinhua Survey”

  1. Netizen K Says:

    China-Japan relation is complex. The poll results of Japanese and Chinese are entirely reasonable. Because of China’s rise, Japanese are worried while Chinese are confident because Chinese know they will be a bigger power in Asia and world. Therefore the direction is a positive one but China will increasingly in the driver seat and should. When China’s GDP passes by Japan’s, that’ll be a tipping point, for good, in China’s viewpoint, of course.

  2. yo Says:

    Wow, those are some interesting numbers…definitely not what I expected.

  3. JL Says:

    “I have always had a feeling that the negativity is hyped and trumped up by elements in the West (especially the United States) with clear calculation and deliberation.”

    But I think it is in China as well. It was my observation that the people who say they hate Japan were more vocal about hating it than other people were about liking it, or just not caring. You say there’s been a change recently, “a change that has been omitted in Western “observations”, purposefully in my opinion.” — Another Western conspiracy to put China down? Or just that (unfortunately) changes in the Asian relations that don’t involve bloodshed (or threat thereof) just don’t tend to make it onto our TV screens because they’re not exciting enough

    @ Netizen.
    “Therefore the direction is a positive one but China will increasingly in the driver seat and should.”
    Driving seat of what? -Asia? -Japan? the world? I think there will continue to be multiple drivers and mulitiple seats for as long as we here are all around.

  4. Chops Says:

    A slight Sino-Japan thaw

    “… For the first time since the end of World War II, a Japanese warship docked in a Chinese port on June 24 and stayed there until June 28.

    The Sazanami’s visit was in exchange for a port call made by the Chinese missile destroyer Shenzhen to Tokyo in November, the first port call by a Chinese warship in Japan since 1891.

    However, the Japanese Defense Department is displeased with some aspects of the visit, which is understandable since details and gestures have always been important in the Far East.

    First, this concerns the choice of a place. The Japanese destroyer docked at the port of Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province, to the west of Hong Kong. Why didn’t China allow the destroyer to dock close to Beijing, if the Chinese missile cruiser was allowed to call at the Tokyo port?”


  5. B.Smith Says:

    “I have always had a feeling that the negativity is hyped and trumped up by elements in the West (especially the United States) with clear calculation and deliberation.”

    Let me list just 2 things I experienced last year in Changsha:
    1. Public buses that routinely played badly animated movies showing evil, rat-faced Japanese invaders being driven back, shot, and killed by glorious Chinese patriots. These movies were not simply patriotic; they played on racist stereotypes and were very offensive.
    2. Students who, when asked to name adjectives describing the Japanese, gave an exhaustive list of most of the negative adjectives they knew, including “evil” (the one positive descriptor was “clever”). When asked if ALL Japanese were evil, about 75% of the class shouted “YES!”. When asked if a 7 year old Japanese girl, who had no say in what nation she was born in, was evil, about a third of the class still shouted out in the affirmative. These were students who were otherwise very bright, very kind, and extremely hospitable. (To their credit, they were also eager to engage and debate in a lengthy discussion about the validity of the stereotypes they named).

    Most people in the West don’t know hardly anything about Japan and China’s rocky history, or even perceive that there is all that much difference between the two countries. This is definitely ignorance on the Western side: it is not some huge conspiracy to keep China down. What the West – and Japan – do know is that since WW2 China’s policies have been much more destructive and oppressive in terms of human rights, and that China has been responsible for many more deaths. This could be the reason you see negativity on the Japanese part. They know the last 50 years of Chinese history, and it’s been turbulent. They have seen – and continue to see – active promotions of nationalism and racism on the Chinese government’s part.

    Yes, China is now moving in a much better direction, and has made a lot of progress. That’s something for everyone to be happy about. But to blame Japan’s fact-based perceptions and opinions of China on Western propaganda is to totally close your eyes to the recent past and ongoing events.

  6. Netizen K Says:

    Dollar, Euro and Yuan will be the 3 big currencies. Yen won’t if it hasn’t been now.

  7. Netizen K Says:

    I don’t think Chinese government has promoted racism. You’re obviously prejudiced.

  8. DaMai Says:

    Negative feelings from Chinese about Japanese being hyped by America?? I’ve read some of your other posts BXBQ and you seem somewhat thoughtful, but that is a laughable comment. I lived in Jilin for two years and I can tell you with complete certainty that there is in fact a rabid hatred of Japanese there that is quite prevalent. Prior to moving there, I had absolutely no concept of Chinese people’s feelings towards Japanese. Claiming that this is deliberately hyped by the US is complete BS.

    Throughout all of the northeast, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Japanese people are still hated with vehemence. Is every single man, woman and child in the northeast guilty of this sentiment? Absolutely not. Is this sentiment equal in nature across the breadth of the nation? Nope, also not true. But to deny its prevalence and effect on the mindset of a substantial portion of the country, as well as falsely attribute it to another source is absurd. To preemptively offset any comments about my post being merely misinformed conjecture and one man’s hearsay, I’ll direct your attention back to the marches and protests of Spring 2005 in reaction to 小日本’s textbook ‘heresies.’

    Sorry if this post seemed strong or incoherent, but I remember that one of the purposes of this blog is to enhance communication back and forth between East and West and I thought that some of the claims in here were absurd. If we want to move forward, we have to be able to call a spade a spade and for better or for worse, justified or not justified, anti-Japanese feelings are still common and still pretty damn strong.

    I’ve avoided commenting on the reasons why this anger is still so prevalent today to avoid derailing the thread too much, but if the discussion happens to swing that way, I’d be more than happy to contribute from my own personal experience because I do think it is a relevant concern for China-Japan relations.

  9. DaMai Says:

    @Netizen K

    Unless I’m somehow missing sarcasm in your comment, how is that sort of comment in any way useful to engaging in dialogue? You disagree and then try to discredit the person you disagree with by saying they are prejudiced? I hadn’t really read any of the comments until after I posted something (probably not the wisest of ideas), however I have to say that much of my personal experiences are very much in line with what B.Smith has described. If people’s opinions, or in this case direct experiences, are discredited merely on the basis of your disagreement, I can’t see any positive fruition to this issue anywhere in the near future.

  10. Chops Says:

    “… While 78 percent of the Japanese respondents said they could not trust the other country, only 42 percent of their Chinese counterparts gave the same answer.”

    42 percent of 1.3 billion people is still a lot of people, whose sense of victimhood stretches all the way back to the Opium Wars.

    There’s an old Chinese saying – For a gentleman to revenge, 10 years is not too late.

  11. Michelle Says:

    “I have always had a feeling that the negativity is hyped and trumped up by elements in the West (especially the United States) with clear calculation and deliberation.”

    Could you explain this a bit further? What elements?

    I’m inclined to agree with DaMai here.

  12. Anon Says:

    My goodness – you guys on this blog really need a reality check.

    “I have always had a feeling that the negativity is hyped and trumped up by elements in the West (especially the United States) with clear calculation and deliberation.” – so following this argument, China’s antagonism towards Japan – which is still very much present, see comments by B. Smith above as well as my own observations talking about Japan with Chinese friends – is but an illusion promoted by the evil west?

    And “The Chinese are future-oriented, confident and optimistic. The Japanese are still hesitant, as they have been for the last 60 years.” – as usual on this blog, the Chinese are fantastic/progressive/peace-loving/open to the world and it is always the others that are backward/want to hurt China/aggressive/etc…

    I think a lot of you need to stop looking for enemies and reasons for Chinese failure beyond the borders of this country and start focusing (and solving) your homegrown issues and attitudes after 40 years of failure (oh yeah, and 5 years of good growth – well done!). Why is there never a post on the rampant corruption? On the huge environmental destruction? Maybe the evil west start to report on China in a more positive light when some progress is made on these issues?

    @ Netizen K (wow, you think the “K” makes you cool?): lines like “I don’t think Chinese government has promoted racism. You’re obviously prejudiced.” usually don’t work very well in a discussion; didn’t they teach you that at school? You once said I was a FLGoner because I didn’t respect other people’s opinions: well, you better take a look at yourself, mate. And by the way, for the Yuan to become a major currency (such as the Yen currently is), there needs to happen a lot in this country in terms of opening of the finance and FX systems.

  13. admin Says:

    Why is there never a post on the rampant corruption? On the huge environmental destruction?

    Well, this blog is open to submission. If you are passionate about those topics,write them up and Submit.

  14. admin Says:

    By the way, your assertion that we never discussed corruption or environmental issues is incorrect. Check them out at
    And China Dialogue, a site devotes itself to China’s environmental issues, is on our blogroll.

  15. Lime Says:

    My haunt in the PRC was Taiyuan, Shanxi, and, just like others have described here, there was a very vocal minority of people who seemed to dislike the Japanese intensely and unapologetically. Strangely, the demographic who seemed to be most consistently anti-Japan were elementary and junior high school-aged kids. That said, there were quite a few people that were indifferent, and a handful that I met who seemed to be Nipponofiles.
    I also remember watching a movie on twice on two different bus trips. It seemed to be a slapstick comedy set in World War II, and though I couldn’t understand most of the dialogue, the plot was pretty easy to follow. A fat, pompous Japaner general was leading an Imperial Japanese army in China where he and his sycophantic orderly were subjected to all sorts of comical abuse at the hands of irrepressible Chinese peasants. I remember him being blown up, dropped down a well, and made to ride a pig a around among other things. There was also one great scene set after a troop of American soldiers arrive and join up with plucky Chinese peasants. Somehow one American soldier gets a motorcycle with a side car and him and a Chinese guy, riding in the sidecar, drive into a Japanese camp causing chaos. The American gets a lasso from somewhere and starts roping the Japanese soldiers, drags them close, and the Chinese guy bonks them on the head with a big hammer.
    Anybody else see this movie? Know the name? In any event, its existence means that there must be group of people that appreciate seeing Japaners getting blown up, dropped down wells, and bonked, and that this group must be big enough to make a movie like this commercially viable.

  16. Lime Says:

    By the way, the obvious reason why Americans have the impression that PRC Chinese hate Japanese people is that people like me, DaMai, and B. Smith all come home from the PRC and tell stories like those we have posted here. Perhaps this is creating a huge, misleading availability bias, but I think it’s pretty goofy to imply that there is some kind of sneaky ‘Western’ conspiracy going on to stir up trouble between Japan and the PRC.

  17. MoneyBall Says:

    It’s ok other people dont like you, no need to sweat about it, I dont very much like China either, but its my home.

    Japs or Koreans can dislike Chinese however they want, but they dont have a conspiracy against China, they dont wish ill of China. But the West is another story, they hate China, they wish nothing but destruction of China, they pray to their God every night that China go explode. After lived in US for 10 yrs I know that much. If you deny west’s conspiracy against China, you are either a liar, or god d@mn too stupid.

  18. Jane Says:

    “I have always had a feeling that the negativity is hyped and trumped up by elements in the West (especially the United States) with clear calculation and deliberation.”

    Hmm, there are people who don’t like China, but I doubt they care enough to put so much mental energy into harming China with clear calculation and deliberation. This strikes me as the same type of mistrust and slight paranoia that I see in some non-Chinese people who believe that China is out to get the world.

    Have you watched the documentary film “Nanking” on Japanese atrocities during WWII? It is produced by a Greek-American. He made the film because he read the “Rape of Nanking” by Iris Chang and felt the story had to be told. So it is not always us v. them; at the end of the day, most people, Chinese and non-Chinese, are decent human beings who believe in the promotion of a more just and peaceful world.

  19. Anon Says:

    @MoneyBall: “But the West is another story, they hate China, they wish nothing but destruction of China, they pray to their God every night that China go explode. After lived in US for 10 yrs I know that much. If you deny west’s conspiracy against China, you are either a liar, or god d@mn too stupid.” Yeah, well said!… As if “the west” didn’t have anything else to do. Your stay in the US must have been a lonely one.
    Again, the use of “…you are either a liar, or god d@mn too stupid” instead of arguments only betrays a lack of arguments.

  20. BMY Says:


    let me say again “please take it easy” , mate.

    Apparently every time you come to this blog, your comments carries emotional disapproval of “you guys” on this blog(there are always different of “you guys” on this blog anyway). It’s fine to like or dislike someone (or one’s opinion), but please take it easy.

    for corruption and huge environmental destruction in China, I think you know everyone in China knows them and there have been measurements implemented (might not be that effective) in the past two decades.

    you correctly point out there are Chinese people dislike(or hate) Japanese people but you incorrectly don’t see there are also many Chinese like many things Japanese like BXBQ points out.

  21. yo Says:

    You can disagree with the author’s opinions, but I think we are missing the main point illustrated by the survey.

  22. KL Says:

    why I didn’t see Xinhua’s report on this survey?
    Lack of background information makes it more difficult to explain the seemingly strange results.
    But I am not surprised…I personally don’t hate Japanese, or Koreans, or any other country’s people. Some comments here seem to say that Chinese (be aware, that’s 1.3 billion) hate Japanese…I doubt the evidence which this conclusion is based on. As much I can tell, I never meet a Chinese who “hates” Japanese though I do think there are such Chinese people. The Chinese hatred towards Japanese is very loud on Internet, but that’s it. There are many Japanese students in my university, none were ever killed, beaten, or shouted “小日本”, the same goes with Korean students…I’ve seen stories about unwelcomed Japanese, but not so much…If Chinese people’s hatred towards Japanese is so furious, there should be some cases that Japanese are beaten or shouted, but in my limited readings I found none(well, the latest “Japanese reporters beaten by police” news is one, but they were not beaten for being Japanese, unless you believe so).

    I would say the voice expressed on Internet is not the real mainstream voice of the society. There is hatred, but not everywhere, not even in most places. What would the “silent majority” say, they don’t have access to Internet, or they are not interested in this topic. I don’t know, maybe expats in China know?

    Back to the survey, it’s not surprising. “The data were collected between July 11 and 16 with face-to-face interviews.” Don’t forget what happened before July 11. Hu Jingtao’s visit to Japan, the Sichuan earthquake and “propaganda”…Is it really so surprising?

    As for me, I have a problem with the “fact” that Japan(not Japanese people) does owe China a sincere apology. It’s not a fact I know…Japan has apologized and done very many good things for China, but is a more sincere apology really so difficult? Say it aloud, that’s all I can ask for.

  23. Lime Says:

    Alright Yo has a point; let’s follow the author’s reasoning for a moment. So, personal experiences aside, this survey tells us that it’s actually the Japanese that dislike and distrust the PRC Chinese to a much greater extent than the reverse. So why is this? I suppose it may be for the same kinds of reasons that the rest of the western world distrusts the PRC (not a democracy, not accepting our human rights ideals, etc.), and it may be because a minority of Japanese adventurers in the PRC have experienced some kind of harassment from the minority of Japan hating Chinese in the PRC, and have returned to Japan to tell the tale (thus creating the availability bias). The author also suggests that “some people in the West have a keen interest in cultivating Japanese suspicion and weariness toward China”. So how are these people (who are, let me guess… perhaps dastardly neo-cons?) cultivating this suspicion? Anybody have any other ideas why the Japanese would dislike or distrust the PRC Chinese?

    I think what you say is basically right. The majority of people I met in the PRC seemed to be largely indifferent to Japan, it was just a minority, who were disturbingly vocal and angry that disliked Japan. Thinking about it, most college students I talked to were in the indifferent category. It was mostly just kids and older people who seemed to have a problem with Japan (and only a large minority of both groups). Those that did dislike Japan though, really disliked Japan, it seemed.
    As for incidents of anti-Japanese violence, I seem to recall a bunch of Japanese restaurants getting torched in anti-Japanese protests a few years back (Japan was campaigning for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council as I recall).
    You’ve also reminded me of something. I remember that when I lived in the PRC, I only got one English channel, CCTV 9 I think it was. Kind of a news/documentary channel. And I recall it showed a rather disproportionate number of documentaries on the Nanjing massacre and panel discussion on why the Japanese government won’t apologise, and why Koizumi kept going to the Yasukuni Shrine. Have you noticed anything like this?

  24. Wukailong Says:

    It seems most people disagree with the idea that the West is promoting and aggravating the idea that Chinese hates Japanese. I disagree, too, since this thing haven’t been much on the agenda before 2005. The Chinese government has a reason to keep this hatred flaming, if only to create a sense of solidarity.

    That said, I have to say I don’t agree with the viewpoint that the hatred as such is created by the government and would somehow go away if there was no nationalist propaganda. The Northeast was mentioned above as a place where anti-Japanese sentiments seem particularly rampant. Many young people there in their 20s and 30s have relatives alive who call tell of what happened in that area when it took the brunt of the Japanese attack. As long as there are people with living memories of what happened, there will be bad feelings, and they will intently watch what the Japanese government does in symbolical terms.

    I know people from Gansu and Shanghai who don’t hate Japanese at all. Again, this is because their relatives suffered less, or weren’t affected at all. Check out people living in Nanjing and see what they think.

  25. DaMai Says:

    @ Wukailong

    You’re right that the subject is treated differently in different areas, which I alluded to in my post. What’s important to look at is why these feelings persist? My grandfather lost his right arm in Guadalcanal and hated Japanese his whole life, yet my mom and myself don’t share the same sentiment or point of view. So the question is not why it exists, but why it persists.

  26. FOARP Says:

    This is one of those occasions where statistical evidence seems totally out of whack with personal experience. The numbers seem convincing, but then I remember the Japanese restaurants and shops selling Japanese goods suddenly all sprouting great portraits of Chairman Mao and giant PRC flags back in 2005, then I remember the innumerable times when random strangers who I had only just met decided to spew their hatred of the Japanese, then I remember the endless television series’ and films about the war and the – even for war movies – strongly negative portrayal of the Japanese (granted, they were bad, and shows like 历史的天空 weren’t overwhelmingly negative, plus, I have to say that 地雷战争 has to be one of my favourite films of all time, propaganda and all). Then I remember the massacre ‘museum’ in Nanjing. Then I remember the multiple times I invited someone to dinner at a Japanese restaurant (I’ll say it now – there is simply nothing better than all you can eat sushi) only to have them switch venue, or have them tell me that it was the first time in their lives that they had eaten in a Japanese restaurant, and that that was because they hated Japanese. Granted, these experiences were all with people of a similar age to myself, so maybe the older generation is different, and of course Nanjing is a particularly strong example, but I did not find Shenzhen all that different.

    Of course, anyone who knows anything about Chinese history knows that the Sino-Jpanese wars are not the be-all and end-all of relations between Japan and China, and there is a lot of fondness for Japanese culture among people of all age groups, its just that, as usual, people are shouted down by the nationalists, or stay quiet for fear of being thought ‘not patriotic’.

  27. KL Says:

    Frankly I’ve never seen a Chinese documentary on Nanjing massacre. I didn’t see the movie Nanking last year either. I didn’t visit the Nanjing museum when I got the chance, which I think I should have though. That said, I think the coverage of Nanjing massacre cannot be said “disproportionate”…I do see a lof of discussions on the Yasukuni Shrine issue, which regretfully focuses more on politics rather than history itself, and the same goes with most of Chinese media discussion on Japan. Everywhere is politics, nowhere for history. Coverage and communication of good quality should be encouraged, the anger, if there is any, should be directed to the sin, not to the sinner.

    The anti-Japanese protest was all about politics…The anger was manipulated, exaggerated and then used for a political goal. It’s an extreme case, but dangerous enough for us to notice the gap between China and Japan. It’s also a self-selection result. Those who hate Japan took part in the protest, those who hate Japan extremely commited the violence, hence it’s unfair to say it represents the whole China’s opinion.

  28. opersai Says:

    I agree with Wukailong. I don’t think the media and government is entirely responsible, or more truthfully, not that powerful to conjure such intensive feelings. As mentioned by Wukailong and someone else above, the hatred in northeast is much more rampant. There’s a reason to that, and Wukailong talked about it. It’s your grandpa, grandma, or great grandma that tells you those stories of horrible Japanese, how cruel and brutal. The personal influence is so much more powerful than any film, media ever will achieve. I can tell you this by personal experience. My hometown is in Taiyuan, Shanxi, where Lime mentioned above. The anti-japanese feeling is more prevalent. If you ask my grandparents about the Japanese, they’d probably shake their heads and say the youngsters are too quick to forget. They are too friendly to the Japanese. Mind you, both my grandparents are very, very nice people, but old wounds are hard to heal.

  29. BMY Says:


    what you are saying scares me.

    I think I agree what you say are true for some people and in some cases. But what you are saying in text makes very strong impression of that most (if not all) Chinese hate Japanese.(I guess you didn’t intend to say so)

    Do all the second war movies produced by Europeans/Americans promote all the hating towards Germans? Do the massacre “museum” in Poland,Israel and other countries were propagandized to hate Germans?
    Were all the Japanese restaurants you sit in NanJing and ShenZhen empty or most of the customers were no-Chinese?

    I am afraid I have to say you misinterpreted a lot, my friend.

  30. KL Says:

    I doubt that.
    I don’t like sushi but there are so many Japanese restaurants in China, they cannot only serve foreigners, can they? How many Chinese do you see when you walk into a Japanese restaurant? More or less than those who are afraid of being shouted down “not patriotic”?

  31. Chops Says:

    February 2006 –
    “Memoirs of a Geisha, the Hollywood blockbuster about the life and loves of a Japanese courtesan with Chinese actresses in the lead roles, has fallen victim to Sino-Japanese tensions and been banned in China by high-ranking officials.

    Geisha was given the seal of approval from China’s powerful film regulator Sarft (State Administration of Radio, Film and Television) and distributors had been awaiting a release date.

    But sources in the film business say the decision to ban Rob Marshall’s film came from higher up in the government. They say senior officials fear the sight of some of China’s most beloved actors – Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi, as well as the Hong Kong star Michelle Yeoh – playing Japanese courtesans could prove inflammatory.

    Ties between the two neighbours hit a post-war low in April last year when thousands of Chinese took to the streets to protest against Japan’s wartime aggression, and tension has not relaxed much since. China believes Japan has not atoned enough for its invasion and brutal occupation from 1937 to 1945.”


  32. MutantJedi Says:

    A couple of years ago, I talked with a friend of mine from the Beijing area about the topic of how she feels about Japanese. She’s pretty young, about 20ish. Her feeling was that she loves Japanese culture but is hesitant about Japanese people.

    I still recall the attitudes towards Japanese that I found in 台中 20 years ago. I remember stories my ex-father-in-law told about the Japanese invading Hong Kong. I have also visited the graves of the Canadian soldiers who died during the invasion.

    Things have changed in Taiwan and I think too in the Mainland.

    I agree with bianxiangbianqiao on many of his points. It was most significant that the Japanese crew was the first foreign rescue crew in Sichuan. The symbolism did not escape me.

    I am also not surprised that perhaps the Chinese attitude is “future-oriented, confident and optimistic” towards the Japanese as other surveys have found these attitudes in general.

  33. Wukailong Says:

    DaMai: Well, there was never a Japanese invasion on US soil (if you leave out Pearl Harbour, but that was a sneak attack, and the occupation of two Aleutian islands) and atrocities were mostly witnessed by American soldiers.

    Also, I think one reason the hatred is stronger is that China never got their revenge, so to speak. The Soviet Union did most of the job in defeating Nazi Germany, and the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese mainland. While horrible, these two things must have been instrumental in feeling that they “gave back” the pain they had been inflicted.

    And while we’re at it, does anyone know about sentiments in Russia and Ukraine towards Germans these days?

  34. B.Smith Says:

    @BMY: I agree with you and some other posters that perhaps some comments (mine included) gave the false impression that ALL Chinese hate Japan. That isn’t true, and we should have made that clearer.

    On the other hand, you said: “Do all the second war movies produced by Europeans/Americans promote all the hating towards Germans? Do the massacre “museum” in Poland,Israel and other countries were propagandized to hate Germans?”

    I don’t feel that this is a fair comparison. For one thing, Americans have mostly left the past in the past when it comes to Germany. There aren’t many Americans going on about how awful Germany (today) and Germans (today) are because of atrocities committed 60 years ago. True, we have no love for the Nazis – but Germany, and Germans, have changed since then. This is something I felt many of the Chinese people I met (not all) didn’t accept about the Japanese. There was this idea that the Japanese of today were the same type of people as the soldiers who did such terrible things in Nanjing.

    Secondly, while you may occasionally see movies about WW2, they come nowhere near approaching either the visibility or vitriol of anti-Japanese movies in China. True, the History Channel in the States is always showing documentaries on WW2, but they aren’t especially patriotic or anything like that, they aim to be educational. FOARP’s experiences don’t seem remarkable or unrepresentative to me – they seem ordinary. Considering that Nanjing (a terrible, disgusting incident) happened 70 years ago, and that almost everyone who participated in it is dead, Westerners find it curious – at best – that there is still so much anger among some Chinese.

  35. B.Smith Says:

    … I don’t mean to say that all Chinese animosity towards Japan is based on Nanjing alone, only that Nanjing seems to be a large source for much of that animosity.

  36. FOARP Says:

    @BMY, KL – If what I say gives the impression that a lot of Chinese have a vicious hatred for the Japanese, this is merely the impression that these experiences gave me. However, I was never sure how genuine these feelings actually were, and if the statistics say that it is less than 50% then I am willing to believe them. And no, I cannot call the display that they have in Nanjing a ‘museum’, it is nothing of the kind. Museums do not not carry propaganda messages saying that only the establishment of a ‘strong socialist motherland’ can prevent the re-occurrence of the event portrayed, museums do not have horror movie-like music playing in the background, museums do not display human remains with marks pointing out the various wounds inflicted on them, museums do not have signs saying “Who could not be moved to tears by such horror?” (strangely, no-one around me was crying), museums are places of education, not indoctrination and hate.

    Films produced during the second world war do not get played that often, and usually it is only the most famous ones that are played, films like In Which We Serve, Casablanca, One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing, which do not actually have much in the way of direct portrayals of the Germans. During the war the films that were made portrayed the Nazi regime in a fairly sinister light, and the German population as being their obedient servants, but they were also portrayed in a very human light in Ministry of Information films like The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp. I would say that the portrayals of the Japanese were far more negative, especially in American films, some would say this is because of the racial aspect, but it would be fair to say that much of the hatred felt by the Americans at the time was due to the surprise attack at Pearl Harbour.

    Since the war portrayals of the Germans and the Japanese have always tried to humanise them to at least some extent – films like The Battle Of Britain, Bridge Over The River Kwai, The Guns Of Navarone, The Great Escape etc. are all examples of this. Some said that modern films like Saving Private Ryan portrayed the Germans in an overly negative light, but I would not say that it is incompatible with the way they are shown in German films about the war like Das Boot and Downfall.

    I have never been to any of the museums in Poland, but from what I understand, they do not have signs, music, etc. of the kind you find in Nanjing, at least I have never heard any impartial observer criticise them, but the majority of the foreign visitors to the place in Nanjing that I have spoken to felt the same as I did – that the thing is a work of propaganda. This is not to deny the massacre, or to try to diminish it in any way, but merely to point out that in Nanjing it is dealt with in a way that is not objective, reasonable, fair, impartial or whatever other adjective you want to use.

    As to how the Japanese feel – well, I have never been there so I can’t really say. All I can say is that the listing of class-A war criminals at the Yasukuni shrine is wrong, that the small number of Japanese schools (is it 18?) that have bought books which distort the history of the Japanese war of conquest in Asia are wrong, that the refusal of the Japanese government to properly compensate allied prisoners of war and ‘comfort women’ is wrong.

  37. FOARP Says:

    @Wukailong – I’ve seen a few Soviet-era war films, and they’re pretty much of a piece, with the Nazis always being shown as ‘fascist beasts’ who run away when faced with Soviet troops etc., of course I had to follow the dialogue through Chinese subtitles so I didn’t get the full picture. Modern Russian films seem more realistic, but this is mainly because they do not have to show the communists in a positive light, but they do at least portray the Germans as human beings. I understand the situation in the Ukraine is much more complicated, as many Ukrainians fought on both sides, and some fought against both sides.

    If I had to guess what their sentiments towards the Germans are – I would say they have the same kind of dichotomy as that found in the relations between China and Japan – Germany is a modern country from which the Russian have much to learn – it is not for nothing that Putin insisted in sending his children to a German school.

  38. BMY Says:


    I think I agree with you that Americans(and maybe most of Europeans) have mostly left the past in the past when it comes to Germany.

    But I wouldn’t agree “There was this idea that the Japanese of today were the same type of people as the soldiers who did such terrible things in Nanjing.” otherwise Japanese people in the street would have been beaten up in China. From my personal experience of Chinese people I know, we do not dislike today Japanese people in general. Today’s Japanese people are role models for many Chinese people in many ways. Chinese people have no love of WWII Japan and Japanese soldiers for sure.

    To analyze why Americans leave the past behind but some Chinese don’t, apart from CCP’s propaganda or old generation’s stories like Opersai said, there were different behaviors between Japan and Germany of how they see the WWII also play part into the ” some Chinese dislike Japan” phenomenon :

    1.Japan never really officially apologized for the crime it did in WWII. But Germany did apologize
    2.War criminals are still worshiped in Japan. Germans don’t do that
    3.Some Japanese school books changed the history books like changing the troops “invaded” to “entered” China. Some kids don’t know they had war with America. Germans didn’t change school text book about WWI
    4.There are always deny by some Japanese politicians of the massacres. There were/are no German politician in power deny of Holocaust.

    China showed very good will by releasing all Japanese war criminals back to Japan in the 50s,60s while all captured Nazi war criminals served full term in prisons .

    When I was in school, the CCP’s propaganda always say “少数日本军国主义者“and “少数日本右翼“。They were not targeting whole Japanese people or Japan in general from my understanding, to be fair to say.

    So there always two side of stories we need look into.

    BTW, I like Japanese people((not the militant ultra right wings, I have to say). They are very polite and nice.

  39. Wukailong Says:

    @FOARP: “who run away when faced with Soviet troops”

    Funny, I’ve only seen one of the classical Soviet-era movies (with Chinese subtitles as well) and the Germans react exactly like that – on the dawn of Barbarossa, a motorized German army is expelled from a Soviet military camp by heroic soldiers who haven’t yet had time to put on all their clothes. If it hadn’t been for that ridiculous detail, I would have hold the movie in higher esteem.

    There is one movie that’s different, though, filmed in the early 80s, Come and See:


    I don’t know what a war is really like, but it feels very realistic.

  40. Henry Says:

    From the year I spent living in China, and having a mother who is Chinese, I have never got the impression that the anti-Japanese sentiment is either instigated or exaggerated by “westerners”, as this blog theorizes. Similar to what B. Smith said, it seemed that every time I turned on the television in China there was some documentary about Japanese war atrocities or an old movie with some stereotypical Japanese villains. When I talked to Chinese people, if the topic “Japanese” ever came up I would almost invariably hear some racist comment like “Wo taoyan Ribenren” or “Japanese are warlike people.”

    The fact is, most white people lump all Asians together and don’t know much about inter-Asian conflicts. I haven’t seen any evidence that the Chinese attitude towards Japan is a result of a “trap” set by westerners. Give the Chinese government some credit for being able to make decisions on its own. Westerners didn’t force the government to make all those anti-Japanese television programs. Moreover, look at Japanese actions in China during WWII and you will understand why both Chinese and Koreans often have hostile attitudes towards Japan. And lets not forget how useful a national enemy can be to secure the legitimacy of a government.

    I think that the recent Tibet riots and the biased western media coverage have turned anger away from Japan, and this may be more than a passing trend. Japan is not seen as “keeping China down” because they are not the most visible human rights supporters and don’t have as much influence as western countries in the U.N. I think Japanese people can have just as much of a knee-jerk negative reaction towards China as westerners, and sometimes more, but their attitude is simply less visible. There are far more Chinese reading English news than Japanese news, and more Chinese studying abroad in western countries than there are in Japan. Anti-Japanese sentiment is gradually becoming less useful to the Chinese government, and less relevant to international politics in general.

  41. BMY Says:

    @FOARP #36

    Your last paragraph put some other reasons why Chinese are not very happy with Japanese government some times.

    I admit the Chinese anti-Japanese movies in the 50s-70s (or some in the 80s) animated Japanese soldiers. But these day’s Chinese war movies pretty much portray the Japanese troopers as human beings.

  42. JL Says:


    “But the West is another story, they hate China, they wish nothing but destruction of China, they pray to their God every night that China go explode. After lived in US for 10 yrs I know that much. If you deny west’s conspiracy against China, you are either a liar, or god d@mn too stupid.”

    I guess you’re being sarcastic here, or just trying to start a fight for fun.

  43. cerebus Says:

    sorry if this has been covered, but i missed it:

    isn’t it possible that chinese respondents might be much more inclined to lie and say what they think the outside world wants to hear, thereby skewing this poll completely?

    japanese, more used to being polled and being able to say what they want, might be more inclined to be truthful, and their results seem fully in line with recent increase in negative opinion towards china in almost all other countries.

    we can’t trust polls of chinese people when some opinions can get you in trouble.

  44. cerebus Says:



    And for the record, I’m sorry too.

  45. cerebus Says:


    click on my name

  46. KL Says:

    When I talked to Chinese people, if the topic “Japanese” ever came up I would almost invariably hear some racist comment like “Wo taoyan Ribenren” or “Japanese are warlike people.”
    I must say that as a Chinese I feel this statement is very racist. You just talked to some Chinese who you knew but you based the whole conclusion on the people of 1.3 billion. You didn’t talk to Chinese people, never have, never will. Be specific that it’s some people you knew. But I infer from your statement that it’s a self-selection process, what to say? 物以类聚,人以群分

  47. Smith Says:

    Can we trust Chinese statistics?
    I have already seen so many times fake chinese statistics… Such as Beijing blue sky… in which by chance there is nearly no day recorded with a a bit more than 100 and a lot that are just under 100… .which is statically nearly impossible.

    When I talk around me people really dislike Japanese, find them 变态…

  48. KL Says:


    Thanks for the link. Have seen it before.

    My feeling that Japan(not Japanese people) “owes” China an apology remains the same. I know Japan did apologize and did many good things to help China with post-war construction and economic development, also Japan’s corporation with China on the environment issue is very much impressive and constructive. But I need a more sincere apology, an apology made to China, to the people ever suffered, to the people who refuse to forget, even to the people who refuse to forgive. But how many times was the apology in that list made to China and the people here? Say it aloud to the people here, don’t repeat at home.
    What else can eliminate the “hatred” more quickly and completely than an apology made in a speech to the Chinese people? It’s so easy, just say it in a live broadcast press meeting, then the Chinese media cannot “run away” and “cover” it, and the Chinese government can never play the history card so easily.

  49. FOARP Says:

    @Smith – There is no place for that kind of talk, these people actually believe that the west is out to get them, but you do not really believe that KL is a ‘pervert’. I do not think that simply pointing out that when the subject of the Japanese comes up in conversation with a bunch of mainlanders someone is always bound to express feelings of hatred towards the Japanese shows that you are racist, but hurling insults does not show this.

  50. Sinoskeptic Says:

    The first thing that comes to mind reading this: “Can I trust Xinhua’s poll?” I don’t know if they have a polling department with trained staff. If not, how reliable is the polling process? How can I be sure they didn’t cook the numbers to reflect well on their people? Also, the poll was done through face-to-face interviews. Where were they done? Beijing? Shanghai? northeast China? outback provinces like Anhui? Gansu? Different locations might yield vastly different results. Ditto for Yumiori, but to lesser degree. China is a much bigger country.

  51. KL Says:

    I didn’t go to the Nanjing museum so I cannot judge.
    Also I agree with you that a lot of people hate Japanese, only that I never met one in person in my life. Words like many, a lot, etc are meaningless to me when it comes to the Chinese people. 1% of 1.3 billion is surely a huge number, but it tells nothing about the “silent majority”.

  52. KL Says:

    “but you do not really believe that KL is a ‘pervert’”

    I have difficulty in understanding this sentence.

  53. FOARP Says:

    @KL –

    “find them 变态”

  54. KL Says:


    ……..please explain who finds who 变态…simple English only please

  55. FOARP Says:

    Okay, I obviously misunderstood what the man wrote. it was “find them 变态”, not “find them, 变态”

  56. Chops Says:

    “Thousands marked the 63rd anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima at a ceremony in the city on Wednesday, joined by a record number of foreign ambassadors.

    Ambassadors from 55 countries — a record number — took part in the memorial ceremony that started at the peace memorial park in Hiroshima’s Naka-ku at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. China, a country that possesses nuclear weapons, made an appearance at the ceremony for the first time.”


  57. yo Says:

    That’s a fair question but there doesn’t seem to be anything out of the norm in their survey practices. Both used the same methodology.

    “In Japan, the survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews on July 12-13. Of 3,000 randomly selected eligible voters asked to respond at 250 locations nationwide, 1,828 gave valid answers.

    In China, the survey was conducted on July 11-16 with 1,286 people aged 20 or older giving valid answers through the same interview approach. “

  58. B.Smith Says:

    @ BMY: I understand some of the points you are making, and I agree to an extent. Japan could do more to face its past, and should definitely issue an apology and admit to the wrongs they committed. However, it seems that the Wikipedia link provides ample evidence that Japan has apologized. Can you tell me exactly what an acceptable apology would look like? KL seems to think a public speech delivered especially to the Chinese would do it. But I don’t know if it would be that easy.

  59. Henry Says:

    While Chinese mainlanders are obviously not uniformly prejudiced towards Japanese people, anecdotal experiences of many people, Chinese citizens and foreigners alike, support the statement that a large proportion of them are, to varying degrees (I hope that my inclusion of so many qualifying phrases can help me to evade further baseless charges of racism).

    Anecdotal evidence can be just as valid as survey evidence, given that survey results can vary widely with current events and survey methods. I have a few ideas about the survey results, which I mentioned in my last comment. I’d like to add one more: The Olympic motto is “One World, One Dream.” Right now it’s politically correct to be tolerant. Moreover, people may genuinely feel more “brotherly” lately because of the Olympics and Japan’s aid to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake. As I mentioned in my previous comment, I think that hostility towards Japan will continue to dissipate because of bigger factors involved.

    KL, you seem to have misunderstood my post, as your 成語 implies that I am racist towards Japanese people and select Chinese friends who are similarly racist. In fact, I try to make friends who are open-minded, and I have had countless conversations in which I’ve tried to convince certain Chinese friends that their anti-Japanese prejudice is unwarranted.

    The type of comments I heard in China and from my Chinese friends and relatives are obviously not representative of all Chinese people, and I didn’t imply that they were. This is the difference between saying “When I talked to Chinese people” and “When I talked to THE Chinese people.” Yes, KL, I did talk to Chinese people, this is a matter of fact. I don’t think any native speaker who read my comment, in which I made clear that I only lived in China for a year and am half-Chinese, got the impression that I was claiming to have spoken to every single Chinese person. My comment is clearly meant to be anecdotal. I apologize if I seem to be taking this personally, but this isn’t the first time that I have been labeled racist towards Chinese people, despite the fact that I am half Chinese and am proud of my heritage. It seems to me that a subtle grammar point has led you to misunderstand me, KL, though I am still not sure where you got the idea that I’m racist towards Japanese.

  60. oldson Says:

    Chinese will forever hate Japanese and teach their children to hate. As I lived in 长春 and my Chinese in laws were killed by the Japanese I have first hand experience with how NE Chinese feel. You can’t even mention “Japanese anime” or “Japanese noodles” without strings of hate filled racism exploding around you. Children often would laugh and proudly declare they wished they could kill Japanese and be a hero (the Chinese teacher always approved). I would get locked out of some classrooms by certain Chinese teachers because I refused to allow them to encourage such vicious hate filled propaganda. Most adults would simply say that all Japanese are evil and must be destroyed through nuclear war.

    This problem won’t go away because you can’t even have an open calm dialogue to discuss such things. So many times I saw Chinese shudder and shake, grow red faced and cry as they could barely snarl out their hate for Japanese. It made me sick to my stomach every time. I love discussing politics and history and because of this was even threatened with termination because I refused to hide my opinion: I believe that peace and harmony are more important than licking your psychological wounds and wallowing in self pity. Humans have a history of killing each other and destroying our planet but the only way to make it better is to forgive, forget and work together to heal. All of the Chinese I met would always initially agree and curse America for being so horrible but then when I pointed out the hypocrisy they couldn’t bear it.

    The symbols of pain and death will never go away. In PuYi’s palace there is the museum which displays the most vile documentation of what the Japanese did. It is important to document and educate the young so we can avoid this in the future. China however uses this as hate filled propaganda to encourage hate and racism. So the physical reminders will always be there: all of the buildings which the Japanese built are used now as Jilin University, Jilin University First Hospital, Bai Qiu En University, etc. Also, the socio-psychological traditions will be handed down for generation after generation. I honestly can’t see an end to the hate.

  61. FOARP Says:

    I should add to what Oldson has just said by saying that I too have heard otherwise ordinary people saying that they regard the Japanese to be the eternal hated enemies of the Chinese, that the Japanese are evil and that aggression is ‘in their blood’, and one particularly nice chap told me that he hopes that one day Chinese can massacre Japanese in Tokyo just as Japanese massacred Chinese in Nanjing. I would not say that these opinions are representative of the majority of people, but they are incredibly prevalent and not discouraged by others. People see nothing wrong with videos like this:


    In fact I saw that video in pretty much every KTV place I went into 2006-2007. Now, every country has it’s own sense of humour, and I don’t mean to presume to understand that much about Chinese humour, so when I first saw it in a KTV I was visiting with my Taiwanese colleagues I kept my mouth shut and waited to see what their response was, to a man they labelled it racism and asked the waitress why it was being played. Buxi compared this kind of thing to the kinds of chants you hear at rugby and football matches, but in all seriousness the people who make those chants would happily share a beer with supporters of the opposing team after the match, they are not meant seriously.

  62. MoneyBall Says:

    Ordinary Chinese dont like Japs, there’s no secret about that, the video you pasted is nothing, if you can get ur hands on Jap comics, you would see the same way they depict chinese, because ordinary Japs despise chinese too.

    But it dont matter, because Ordinary ppl are stupid, ulitmately it’s the elite ppl of these 2 countries decide which road the relationship will go down. China and Japan’s elite classes are like a couple, they bicker and bitch a lot, but they know they’re in this thing together.

    On the other hand, between China and the West is the opposite story, it’s the ignorant ppl on the streets like LaoWai, when they see a Jap their faces freeze when they see a blue eye they want to kiss their asses, they love everything from Pizza Hut to 50ct. But the elite Chinese, they know the worst has yet to come, they know it will be ugly, they know there will be blood.

  63. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    There are many good points in the responses that I would like to engage in further discussions on this complex issue.

    One question needs to be touched upon without much elaboration. Is there Western (particularly American) exaggeration of Chinese antipathy to the Japanese and even cultivation of the mistrust between China and Japan? I humbly assert that such a strategy is being implemented. Keeping Japan and China from becoming friends suits the American interests in this part of the world. The most detrimental (although highly unlikely) challenge to the China’s development is a rearmed Japan. The American establishment is keenly aware of this point, as well as the related point that the best way to “contain” China is to make Japan a more robust and assertive player in the geopolitics of the Far East. Whatever challenge India (nuclear or not) can ever pose is negligible in comparison to an aggressive Japan. You cannot blame Americans for taking care of their interests. You would do the same if you were them.

  64. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    About the method of data collection, I would hesitate to generalize from anecdotal experiences. The contexts of the Chinese persons’ statements are so varied and unsystematic that it is difficult to make correct interpretations.

    Youtube is a trash collector, filled with senseless haters. I would not take any statement from there seriously.

  65. FOARP Says:

    @BXBQ –

    “One question needs to be touched upon without much elaboration. Is there Western (particularly American) exaggeration of Chinese antipathy to the Japanese and even cultivation of the mistrust between China and Japan? I humbly assert that such a strategy is being implemented.

    . . . . and I humbly ask if you have any actual evidence to back that claim up? Are you saying that the riots in 2005 were started by the Americans? Are you saying that the Americans were behind the visits to Yasukuni? Were the history textbooks written by Americans? Is America behind the kidnapping of Japanese citizens by China’s North Korean friends?

  66. FOARP Says:

    @BXBQ- Except that this video was playing in every KTV in China last year, and nobody I knew who saw it (and the majority of young people had) saw anything wrong with it.

  67. FOARP Says:

    “I would hesitate to generalize from anecdotal experiences. ”

    What then would you use? If you and the other foreigners you knew in the US persistently came across similar attitudes wouldn’t you say that was strong evidence of at least the existence of that attitude in a significant proportion of the population?

  68. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    I think at this moment concept analyses are badly needed in our understanding China-Japan interaction. Without nominal precision, the discussion cannot lead to correct conclusions (名不正言不順). We are all talk across each other, using one’s own culturally specific concepts without self-reflection.

    Here is the issue I want to start with, Western misperception of Chinese antipathy toward Japan. Is it hatred? My answer is no. The Chinese antipathy is more accurately characterized as a malevolence based upon vengefulness (仇), different from indignation directed to evilness for the purpose of exacting justice. It is a grudge based upon perceived previous grievance, an unsettled score, an open account of damage and reparation. The Chinese do not treat Japanese as “evil”. It is meaningless to ask them whether the Japanese are collectively and uniquely “evil”. A more to-the-point questions would be whether the Chinese regard the Japanese as cruel, given their war time atrocities. What is the unsettled scores? Why is the account still open? Is there anyway that we can settle it and close the book and move on without baggage? These are the issues we are all grappling with in this threat. In my opinion there are two accounts unsettled.

    The first account is war atrocities and its reparation. Several responses have pointed out that the Chinese believe the Japanese owe them a sincere apology but keep withholding it. The seed of this perception or misperception of Japanese lack of repentance was sowed in 1972, in the China-Japan joint Communiqué for the normalization of relations. I am no expert on this part of history but I will give my personal understanding of the process from my memory of reading and watching old documentaries.

    In negotiation on the Japanese repentance for the war atrocities, the Japanese first propose to word it along the lines of “ごめん” which means “I beg your pardon”, or “excuse me”, a proposal promptly rejected by Zhou Enlai. Zhou said you say ごめん when you drive carelessly on a rainy day and the splash of your car spoils the skirt of the girl walking on the sidewalk, or something to that nature. He thought the wording was too light compared to the atrocities inflicted upon the Chinese people. My Japanese proficiency is limited but I think Zhou Enlai was totally correct.

    After several rounds of negotiations, the two sides settled on the final version. I think there are very subtle and nuanced differences among the Chinese, Japanese and English versions.



    “The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war, and deeply reproaches itself.”

    First the English version seems to have misinterpreted the nuisances in the two key phrases. 1. “Keenly conscious of the responsibility..” seems to be better replaced with “painfully aware of the responsibility…” 2. “…deeply reproaches itself” sounds a little too
    heavy handed. The Chinese version seems to say “deeply reflects upon itself”.

    In the Japanese and Chinese versions these key concepts were represented with the same Kanji characters, “痛感, 损害, 责任, 反省”. Do these words differ in the Chinese and Japanese contexts? I am not in position to judge. Anyway, the Japanese told us that they would reflect upon themselves, but never report back what their insights and conclusions were.

    To the Japanese, since the final draft was a negotiated solution, they thought the Chinese had got what they wanted, and the case was closed.

    To the Chinese side, this was probably a settlement partly forced upon them out of exigency; they needed to get diplomatic relations with Japan. There is still something unsettling in the back of the mind of the Chinese establishment, if not in Zhou Enlai himself. At that time, in that particular situation, the solution was good enough for the Chinese to close the deal. But one’s situation changes.

    The first change of situation was the Japanese government officials’ visits to the Yasuguni Shrine, an act perceived by both Chinese and Koreans as lack of repentance, and cast a very strong doubt about what the Japanese have been self-reflecting upon (到底反省了什麼). Unrelenting bickering started. Jiang Zemin went to Japan in the 1990s and tried to clear this issue up by extracting a more unequivocal apology from the Japanese government. He was expecting something the Korean president Kim Jajung got earlier that year. He rubbed the Japanese the wrong way and had a very unpleasant experience. Meanwhile, the Japanese public got the impression that the Chinese kept bickering about something that had been long settled in 1972, and their view on China started to go downhill.

    Another unsettled issue is the loans China has received in Japan’s overseas aid programs. China had been the largest recipient of these loans until a few years ago. Was it reparation? How should the subtle and complex meanings of these loans and their links to the past be interpreted and explained to the people of the two countries? Hu Jintao openly praised the importance of the Japanese loans in developing China’s infrastructures over last 30 years in his welcome speech during Prime Minister Fukuda’s visit, which was broadcast live on TV to the Chinese audience, a move that received appreciation from an Asahi Shinbum editorial (can’t find the link now), and must also played a role in changing Chinese attitude to Japan.

    Viewed in this framework, is the Chinese antipathy toward Japan hatred? No way. Absolutely not. Is this antipathy from miscommunication tractable? Of course it is. The Chinese are right to be optimistic.

    The second source of the Chinese antipathy to the Japanese arises from the shame of having lost two wars to them over the last 100 years. Losing wars is not shameful by itself. The shameful part was that our ancestors really did not fight hard enough (due to a fragmented country and lack of competent leaders). Every time a Japanese official visits Yasuguni he reminds the Chinese of this historical baggage and come across as purposefully humiliating the Chinese. Is this complex curable? The answer is yes, with the Chinese accumulating more and more experience of asserting themselves in the world, it will be easier and easier for us to deal with our ancestors’ disappointing performances. Chairman Mao and the Korean War have already soothed away part of the psychological complications. Half a million under-armed, poorly equipped and frost-bitten Chinese guys and gals laid down their lives on the peninsula between 1951 and 1953 and pushed the “United Nations” forces from the Chinese border back to the 38th parallel. The result of the war is less crucial than the fact that you have fought really hard. The Korean War experience had laid the psychological foundation for the Chinese opening to the outside world. Why did Mao and Zhou accept Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon’s Olive branch in the 1970s, instead of hiding in isolation like today’s North Korea? They knew Henry and Rick were both bad dudes (they bombed the crap out of the Cambodians) and the Vietnam War was raging next door, with deep Chinese involvement. Having met the Americans on the battle ground gave them the confidence that they could deal with them. Many foreigners do not understand why most Chinese do not have a big bitch about good old Chairman Mao. Part of the reason was that his son was among the first to die in Korea, in a Chinese war.

    With time, and more and more rectifying experiences, the Chinese will out-grow their complexities toward the Japanese. The Chinese optimism and confidence in the Yomiuri/Xinhua survey demonstrates this improvement of the Chinese psyche.

  69. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    KTV. I have never visited a KTV. They do not sound like the kind of place for a serious discussion on Sino-Japanese relations. In fact I would be a little embarrassed if caught walking out of a KTV. I remember one time you were collecting data by bar hopping in Hong Kong’s Lan Gui Fang and got some great insight. I would not make too much out of wisdom from these subjects though. Not my crowd.

  70. oldson Says:

    @ BXBQ

    “Keeping Japan and China from becoming friends suits the American interests in this part of the world”
    From one viewpoint it can be argued yes – because Japan is a Westernized, pro-democracy country and often is the ‘zou gou’ of American foreign policy. Geopolitically speaking, it makes good sense. However, as anyone can see the Sino-Japan relations are slowly thawing and approving. There is a chance that as China slowly develops and matures it will politically let go of some of the hate.

    @ FOARP – the idea that America exaggerates the problem between China and Japan is highly unlikely. Most Americans can’t even locate either country on the map, let alone are aware of modern Asian history. Almost everybody I know and meet here in the states thinks of China being poor/revolutionary and aren’t even aware of the animosity between the two countries. I myself had no clue before I went to China. The only valid point is that America uses Japan in it’s geopolitical containment strategy against China.

  71. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    “the idea that America exaggerates the problem between China and Japan is highly unlikely. Most Americans can’t even locate either country on the map, let alone are aware of modern Asian history.”

    Lack of knowledge is exactly why it is so easy and likely that Americans exaggerate the problem between the two countries. If you do not know the details and nuiances, you are easily swayed by the most salient and available misinformation.

  72. FOARP Says:

    @Oldson –

    “geopolitical containment strategy against China.”

    Only if you believe such a strategy exists, Russia would be the most likely ally for America if it did.

  73. yo Says:

    Okay guys, I’ll say this again, I think we are losing sight about the survey. People here have their own qualitative evidence, but this survey, which is quantitative, shows otherwise in general. In this situation, I would really put the emphasis on the survey rather then people’s own anecdotal experiences because quantitative evidence beats qualitative evidence if you talk about general public opinion.

    If you think the survey was a fluke, I’m sure later down the road, someone else like Pew will do another poll and we can compare their numbers too.

  74. oldson Says:

    @ FOARP

    The containment strategies that America has used through the years has been well documented and alayzed by private think tanks, NGO’s and various foreign policy experts. America, like every other country, has used different containment strategies through the years. Originally Truman used China and surrounding countries to contain Russia but things have changed since then. America seems to use contradictory policies – like encouraging peace between India/Pakistan, India/China and then giving them nuclear technology.

    @ BXBQ

    I am curious about one thing: what percentage of Americans (or Westerners) have you met that have a basic background in modern Chinese political history & Sino-Chinese relationships? Even if America does exaggerate the problem, what percentage of the American population could understand what is being exaggerated?

  75. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    oldson # 74

    I think very few Americans know about the reality of Sino-Japanese relations. Their lack of knowledge enables the establishment to manipulate them, despite the “democracy”. It is just like Americans get manipulated by the establishment on policies related to terrorism, because of their lack of knowledge. “Controlling knowlege” (which is a bit different from Information) is how the American establishment control the population. The Chinese establishment do it in the hard way, the control people’s behavior directly.

  76. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    “Throughout all of the northeast, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Japanese people are still hated with vehemence.”


    “You can’t even mention “Japanese anime” or “Japanese noodles” without strings of hate filled racism exploding around you.”

    These observations are very different from my impression of the North East. Northeasterners are one of the largest regional groups to attend Japanese universities and graduate schools.

    Dalian has a clear Japanese flavor.

    Many old timers in the North East still call Liaoning South Manchuria (南滿) and Helongjiang North Manchuria (北滿).

    Buses in Northeastern cities are still called 通勤.

    To claim that anti-Japanese feelings have been passed on among the Northeasterners through folklore is even further from my impression. I am unaware of any cultural products (literature, movies etc.) pre-PRC (or even post-PRC) originating from the Northeast that have played on the anti-Japanese theme.

    In literature, I know of two prominent Northeastern Authors from the Japanese occupation period, Xiahong (蕭紅, 1911 – 1942, died of medical mal-practice in Hong Kong on the evening Japanese troops took the island) and Xiaojun(蕭軍, 1907 – 1988), both associated with the left-wing movement (and presumably patriotic). Neither mentioned anything related to the Japanese. A lesser NE author was Gao Yubao (高玉寶), who worked as a terribly exploited a pigherd (豬倌, yes, they herd pigs, probably out of a Manchurian tradition) in Northeast before the liberation (1949) and then joined the PLA (which made a writer out of him). He specialized on horrible treatments the working people (mostly bounded laborers abused by the landowners, the major class enemy). The injustices in his stories came exclusively from the landowners, such as the main valiant, Zhou the Skinner (周扒皮, 半夜雞叫 was my favorite story.)

    I cannot remember a single pre-PRC NE movie that is anti-Japanese. Instead they had
    Li Xianglan (李香蘭/山口淑子).

    It escapes me that Northeasterners have acquired an anti-Japanese streak.

    Looking beyond NE, you also find some really odd feelings toward the Japanese. Lu Xun has been widely regarded as a patriot, and labeled as “the soul of the nation(民族魂)” by Chairman Mao. He was as vehement as anybody toward things he dislikes. He died in 1936 (after the 1931 thing). I challenge students of Chinese literature to locate one piece of his writing that clearly criticizes Japan or the Japanese (something more severe than the veiled ambivalence in 藤野先生).

    We need to be very careful when analyzing data on this topic. Like I said, the rabid expressions may very well reveal the shallowness, rather than the depth, of anti-Japanese feelings.

  77. oldson Says:

    @ BXBQ

    I think the experiential differences between us come from the level of communication and interaction with NE Chinese people. Perhaps because I am a Caucasian American NE Chinese reacted differently and shared different viewpoints with me. To give you a background on my interactive experience with NE Chinese:

    I worked through 25 different educational institutions & organizations while I lived in Changchun.
    I interacted with all kinds of students (from children to post graduate students to business people).
    I trained local employees from various companies.
    I co-hosted a radio program and did free English seminars in public places.
    I studied Chinese and interacted with foreign students and Chinese students.
    I studied medicine and interned at my hospital where I treated many different kinds of patients.
    I studied martial arts and qi gong with hordes of elderly Chinese.
    I used to even wander outside and start conversations with strangers because if I am in the mood I really enjoy meeting people and understanding different Chinese cultures. I would sometimes just show up at a popular ‘guang chang’ and hang out until I was surrounded by curious Chinese eager to interact with a foreigner.

    My point is that I have a diverse background when it comes to interacting with Chinese people. So many foreigners spend years in China but they never gain an in depth understand – this is because they are unwilling or unable to accommodate differing opinions and ideas. One reason I could so easily communicate with Chinese people is because I understand how they think and feel and I always communicated with them their own ideas and opinions. This made them so happy to talk with me.

    The entire time I lived in Changchun I had to listen to hate filled ideology from my Chinese wife, family, relatives, students, friends and strangers. As previously mentioned I was almost fired a few times for daring to openly discuss this with students. The majority of NE Chinese people loathe Japanese people. The minority is educated, open minded and wish for peace. But this is China so the majority’s opinion is gospel and nobody (except foreigners like me) dare to challenge it.

    One of the most popular movies in “地道战“ – where the NE Chinese use underground tunnels to engage in guerilla warfare with the Japanese. Also 鬼子来了 is another one.

    Japanese always are derogatorily referred as ‘日本鬼子“

    While Japanese is the most popular second language it is not by choice or does not reflect that NE Chinese people like Japanese people. My wife studied Japanese for 4 years but unless I want a one sided screaming match I NEVER mention anything Japanese to her.

    All of my Japanese friends had a rough time living in Changchun. Of course nobody would ever come out and say it – instead they would ‘xiao li cang dao’ and say something like ‘your friends butchered my family years ago’.

  78. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    You have far more experience with NE than me. It is beyond my grasp. I only know two NE persons with any relevance to the Japanese. My college Japanese professor was completely sold out to the Japanese culture. I also had a classmate from Jilin in graduate school. She got her masters at Hitotsbushi. Her only complaint about Japan was that she did not learn much, but still had no problem graduating.

    One minor error in your post. 地道战 did not happen in NE, but in Huabei, specifically in Hebei province. One of the famous sites is Beijing’s Shunyi. Check out their “museum” website. The music is nostalgic.

  79. CLC Says:


    The movie “地道战“ depicted guerrilla wars with Japanese in HeBei province, which is not considered a NE region in China.

    Japanese always are derogatorily referred as ‘日本鬼子“
    In the movie? They were the aggressors who kill, rape, and loot. What’s wrong to call them 鬼子?

  80. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    another 地道战 fan.

    We should not forget that all foreigners used to be called 洋鬼子. Sometimes we Chinese call people names too.

  81. CLC Says:


    Yes, sometimes we Chinese call people names. But at least in mordern China, we don’t really call foreigners 鬼子. We don’t say “美国鬼子” except in movies about the Korean war. Even in Chinese war movies produced decades ago , ordinary Japanese were not referred as ‘日本鬼子;’ only the Japnese Imperial army was referred as ‘日本鬼子.’

  82. oldson Says:

    I stand corrected – I didn’t know where 地道战 happened but only that it was very popular. I do know that the Changchun Movie Studio produced movies and there was a famous star from Changchun. I can’t remember which one but I used to have the complete DVD set. On another note, it is very popular in NE China to edit the older movies like above to create underground movies. They change the dialogue and make it very funny.

    There is nothing wrong with calling the agressors 鬼子 in the movie. However, I was referring to every day dialogue.

    I used to joke and call myself a 洋鬼子 but I would get scolded and they would tell me how polite and kind Chinese people are and how they would never use such a term. For the most part that was true. Chinese youth and punks usually sneer out ‘老外” instead.

    To make my point, whenever I was talking about the Revolutionary War I would sometimes copy the Chinese passion for anti-Westerners and rant about how the “英国鬼子“ invaded America and how evil they were. The local Chinese were always confused and shocked at how I could say such a racist thing. I would point out that the British had killed, raped and attacked Americans, etc. They would point out what’s past is past. I would agree and politely point out that calling foreigner’s derogatory slurs was wrong and that the past should be forgotten. Hint hint, but they could never get the sarcasm.

    (Note: in no way is the Revolutionary War comparable to the genocide committed by the Japanese in Asia – I only used this to illustrate a point)

    I used to joke and call myself a 洋鬼子 but I would get scolded and they would tell me how polite and kind Chinese people are and how they would never use such a term. For the most part that was true. Chinese youth and punks usually sneer out ‘老外” instead.

    Whenever I was talking about the Revolutionary War I would sometimes copy the Chinese passion for anti-Westerners and rant about how the “英国鬼子“ invaded America and how evil they were. They could never get the sarcarm.

  83. Henry Says:


    I don’t deny that some some people in some countries may want Japan and China to be enemies. However, simply wanting something does not make it happen. How is “the west” promoting hostility between China and Japan? It seems to me that you are making a very general and unsubstantiated claim. I would appreciate some evidence, any evidence.


  84. BMY Says:

    I can see everyone has different experiences and might draw different conclusions . I think a single poll and individuates experience are hard to reflect 1.3 billion people as a whole.

    I never lived in NE China and Nanjing and people there might host different attitude like FOARP and OldSon experienced.

    For myself, I can’t recall a single Chinese I know in person,family members,school mates,friends,colleges(all educated by CCP) , who hates present day Japanese people(for sure no love with WWII Japanese soldiers).One of my classmate in uni ,who was from DaLian , even said if NE China had been still under Japanese rule people there would had been wealthier like Japanese.(it was in the late 80s)

    I also found a interesting thing here :

    mainlanders on this blog were all educated by the massive CCP’s so called anti-Japanese propaganda and most think those propaganda just to hate the old days Japanese and the weak old China and entourage to build a strong country. I can see most of the mainlanders on this blog don’t hate present day Japanese people.

    But the same CCP propaganda to the eyes of westerners like FOARP,OldSon,B.Smith,Henry etc, the propaganda not only encourage the hatred towards WWII Japanese but also encourage the hatred towards now days Japanese people.

    Apart from individuals experience, I also think there might be culture difference to see the same propaganda from different angle. I am not capable to tell.


    Would the reason why we could not find any criticize to Japanese from LuXun’s books be he had a sweet Japanese mistress when he was studying Japan ?

  85. DaMai Says:

    Considering I and many others experienced anti-Japanese sentiment in the northeast (notice I’m not saying hatred, don’t want to get into a debate over the level of ‘dislike’), if the mainlanders on the board honestly don’t believe what we’re saying, go to the northeast yourself and engage people in a discussion of this.

    I can understand people’s hesitancy to fully believe anecdotal evidence, but keep in mind that for those of us who experienced it directly, saw it directly and engaged people in discussions in an attempt to understand why this ‘dislike’ still persists today, this was a very real experience that shaped our perceptions, just as anyone’s perceptions are shaped by the people they interact with anywhere in the world.

    Furthermore, I am still waiting for anecdotally irrefutable evidence that this is all part of some grand American conspiracy. Personally, I’d be flattered if we really were that clever 😉

  86. CLC Says:


    It is not that we don’t believe what you are saying. It’s the impression you got from interacting with Chinese people differs from my, and other mainlanders’ personal experience. I don’t know exactly why but one factor is that people’s sentiment shift over time. A college student in 1985 may have quite favorite opinions toward Japan; but another one in 2005 may dislike Japan very much. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that the NE Chinese has always hated Japanese. In fact, thousands of Japanese war orphans were adopted and raised by NE Chinese families.

  87. Wukailong Says:

    I think there’s no point denying that there are a lot of people who do have strong negative feelings against Japanese in China (yes, some people even hate Japanese). I once remember hearing a 10-year old boy from Beijing saying he wanted Japan to “sink to the bottom of the sea.”

  88. Wukailong Says:

    On the other hand, I also remember a story that made a strong impression on me: a retired schoolteacher from the Northeast who said that he personally didn’t hate Japanese, but remember clearly how he, as a boy, fled the invading Japanese army together with his mom. Clearly these memories must shape people in the area.

  89. JL Says:

    Some interesting discussion here. I especially agree with BMY, that it’s very difficult to draw conclusions based on individual experience and one poll.

    Some general comments:
    1) I hope BXBQ, BMY and others are right about Chinese not hating Japan.
    2) When I was in China, some Chinese people did tell me they hated Japan. I often felt at the time that sometimes they only said it because they felt they had to; if they didn’t their peers would say they didn’t love their country, or even that they were traitors (on several occasions I did hear people says this). If this pressure to hate Japan has diminished this year with the a new, much publicized round of diplomacy, then that’s fantastic.
    3) I often had a feeling (I guess based on things I read, but I forget what) that Chinese people in general were more favourable towards Japan in the 80s and 90s and less so after that (perhaps due to Koizumi)
    4) I was once astounded by a politics teacher in a college who told me that “all Japanese people deny that Japan invaded China”. I know he’s only one man, and therefore not representative of all of China, but I wondered how an academic could believe such a thing. I had the impression that the Japanese left wing (the kinds of people who protest about the Yasukuni Shrine) don’t get a lot of attention in the Chinese press.

  90. CLC Says:

    I think nobody is denying some Chinese do hate Japanese, but that does not lead to the conclusion that Chinese ( or NE Chinese) as a group hate Japanese. And the survey showed (at the time it was conducted), the majority of Chinese respondents had positive attitudes toward Japan.

  91. Henry Says:

    This is the statement in the blog post which I have the biggest problem with:

    “Some people in the West have a keen interest in cultivating Japanese suspicion and weariness toward China. The Chinese government sometimes cannot stop themselves from falling into this trap.”

    How have these people in the West set this trap? And assuming that some westerners are promoting tensions between the two nations, is this a significant factor compared to endogenous factors, such as the anti-Japanese riots which took place during the textbook scandal? Don’t you think that seeing these riots on the news did more to promote Japanese attitudes towards Chinese than whatever western machinations you have thought up?

    Yes, politicians all over the world can be sneaky, and the CIA does a lot of things we don’t know about. However, some degree of evidence is still in order before making these kinds of accusations. I would be wary of falling into a monocausal line of thinking in which every threat to Chinese growth is the result of a western conspiracy.

    And Moneyball, this statement needs addressing: “But the elite Chinese, they know the worst has yet to come, they know it will be ugly, they know there will be blood.” No one can claim to know the future. Statements like these treat conflict as a foregone conclusion, and only promote fear, mistrust, and polarization. This is one reason why many China specialists(many of them westerners, by the way) condemned Samuel P. Huntington’s _Clash of Civilizations_. I’m sorry that you have seem to have had very negative experiences with westerners, but I have seen many fruitful conversations between Chinese and westerners which lead me to believe that a violent conflict is certainly not inevitable. Moreover, a war with China is definitely not in American interests. In general, I feel that the new generation of young people all over the world are more globally-minded. Chinese and non-Chinese interaction started out rocky, what with the Tibet riots and media coverage and all, but civil discussions like the ones on this blog are hopeful signs.

  92. Henry Says:

    A poll from last year shows results which could lead to very different conclusions than recent poll in question:

    Here is a quote: “According to a joint poll conducted by a Japanese and Chinese company in August, 33.1 percent of Japanese respondents viewed China favorably, compared to 12 percent the previous year. As for Chinese, 24.4 percent viewed Japan favorably, up from 14 percent.

    These figures reflect changing images of Japan in the minds of the Chinese public. In 2005 and 2006, when Chinese students were asked “What first comes to mind when you think of Japan?” the top answer was the “Nanjing Massacre” of 1937. This year, however, the first answer was cherry blossoms, with the Nanjing Massacre coming in second” (http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/viewthread.php?tid=586274).

    The point is, neither polls nor anecdotal evidence are definitive. However, the more evidence we see, and the more open we are to the truth, the better we can come to our own conclusions, even if that conclusion is to say “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure, but it seems that . . .”

  93. BMY Says:

    Henry said
    “Don’t you think that seeing these riots on the news did more to promote Japanese attitudes towards Chinese than whatever western machinations you have thought up?”

    I can’t agree more with this. the violent protest would always deepen the gap between two people.(it might put pressure on politicians). This applies to Chinese protesters in 2005. This also applies to the Torch/Olympic protectors in 2008. The rights/Torch/Olympic protectors this year have pushed many Chinese(including many overseas Chinese) from Pro-West to anti-west. I personal know quite few people have changed.The flag waving,shouting,garbing protests on either sides are very counter-productive .

    more interactive,discussions,trying to understand are better ways.

    Well Said, Henry

  94. KL Says:


    Your qualifying phrases make you safe this time 🙂
    I apologize for the misunderstanding.

    I didn’t use the proverb to say that you are racist towards Japanese people, I intended to say that you are a racist, thus surrounded by racists. It’s just a self-selection process, one is surrounded by people like him. Anyway, I just said that because I felt offended, it’s now clearly that all is about misunderstanding. I apologize again.

  95. KL Says:

    I see someone mentioned 地道战, did anyone here see 紫日 The Purple Sunset?
    Here is its douban link.
    The comments on this movie are also very interesting if one can read Chinese.

  96. KL Says:

    Sorry, here it is:

  97. Hongkonger Says:

    ” Foolsmountain wins prestigious Danwei medal for best blogging on China, in the categoy of “China news aggregators and translations from Chinese”.”


    I started with TIME Chinablog, then PKD and now I am addicted to foolsmountain: China International by International Chinese – bravo! I hope this comment section will not deteriote like PKD has or like TCB, which was rubbish from the get go. Cheers!

  98. Michelle Says:

    @bxbq “In fact I would be a little embarrassed if caught walking out of a KTV.” – I find this statement puzzling. Everyone I know regularly goes, the middle aged, the young, groups of women, men, both, foreigners and Chinese alike. There is only a stigma for a certain kind of KTV, but it is a national passion and in and of itself doesn’t really mean anything seedy.

    @moneyball – Stop saying “Japs” or start saying “chinks”. (preferably the former, please).

  99. BMY Says:

    I am again with Michelle. everyone please use respectful words. I think “civic discussions” is one of the reasons drive this blog to where it is today after a bit more than 3 months.

  100. Chops Says:

    “Aug 10 (Reuters) – If there’s one thing a Chinese weightlifting crowd loves almost as much as a homegrown Olympian winning, it’s a plucky underdog taking a big gamble in a stab at victory. Even if he’s Japanese.
    Relations between China and Japan have a troubled history, but fans briefly forgot about that on Sunday morning in the first round of the men’s 56kg category.

    Japan’s Masaharu Yamada started the competition with one of the lowest weights — 103kg in the snatch.
    Yamada continued to pile on the kilograms, prompting gasps and murmurs from the crowd, and then, huge cheers and applause. He lifted a combined total of 259kg, shooting to the top spot in the first round.”


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