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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April 2005, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
China Japan tension: Your views
Chinese Protestors
This is a second page of your comments about the tension between China and Japan.


This is a second page of your comments:

Economic warfare will be more effective than actual war. Let's restrain and beat the Japanese in economy.
Ying Guoren Chidabian, LSE Chinese student

I agree that any atrocity should be condemned, but China is in absolutely no position to reproach Japan
AT Vu, Paris, France
Being a citizen of a neighbouring country of China who was also invaded by Japan during World War II, my father knows very well how cruel the Japanese solders were. I agree that any atrocity should be condemned, but China is in absolutely no position to reproach Japan. China is equally atrocious, or even worse, to all smaller and weaker neighbours. Her expansionism has no limit. China has border disputes with all neighbours, with Mongolia, Russia, India, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia.
AT Vu, Paris, France

Japan invaded China, this is the truth. As victims, Chinese people only want Japan to admit this truth. Is anything wrong with it? Who's to be blamed? Please don't be cold blooded and please don't hurt our people's feelings, we need your support.
Grace, VA

The issue will not be solved in a foreseeable future. A formal apology from Japanese government is very unlikely as expression and public is against Japanese culture. However, Chinese people would have the right seeking an apology because the invasion by Japan did happen. The contests would be as a reminder to Japanese nationalists to face up the history.
R Kou, Macau

There have been decades of propaganda and bias against China and the communist party. Yes, in civil war and failed attempt to achieve communism, millions died. The lesson has to be remembered and the government, particularly Mao were largely responsible. That has been rectified since around 1976 when Cultural Revolution ended. There have also been other unfortunate events and issues, like Tiananmen Square and stalled political reform. As time goes, progress will be made to rectify these, too. On one side is China, Korea and South East Asia countries that suffered greatly in the Japanese Nazi war. They are constantly irritated by the Japanese politicians keeping on paying tribute to a war criminals' shrine and trying to distort history. The people will never forget. Apologies were never seriously done; if they keep on worshipping the war criminals and doctor history, the wounds will never heal. Without trust of neighbours, the peace and prosperity of East Asia is full of traps.
Luke, Chicago, USA

The Japanese government has formally apologised many times, and she would do so again, if necessary. We know what war means - we had atomic bombs and innocent civilians died. We know Japan caused serious pain to Chinese people. We know the crimes will never be forgotten. But what is happening here is China's political game - she always uses it when other important political questions arise - this time, the Dalai Lama visiting Japan, a permanent Security Council seat, Chinese exploration of the fields, Tokyo's exclusive economic zone and other domestic matters. And I doubt if Chinese students demonstrating on the street have read the history text book they are criticising, for it is not published yet.
Wataru, Tokyo, Japan

Many Japanese Prime Ministers apologised to China and other Asian countries for World War II and colonisation. And most of Japanese have been facing our histories, so we won't hurt Chinese any more, but hope to make a good friendship. Why do the Chinese hurt innocent Japanese?
Ohanami, Nagoya, Japan

One would think that economic interest alone should bind the two countries closer politically
K Moak, Vancouver, Canada
Japan owes its 2003 recovery to China after years of economic stagnation caused by a US forced Yen revaluation in the 1980s. One would think that economic interest alone should bind the two countries closer politically. Further, Japan may be rich and powerful, but it is small. Its population is concentrated around the Tokyo area. And Japan has experienced the horror of a nuclear attack. Militarily and economically, Japan should think twice before it goes beyond the road of no return in its policy of trying to contain China. Time has changed, China is not the poor and weak nation that Japanese right wing politicians and media make it to be. In short, Japan should make efforts to improve relations with China.
K Moak, Vancouver, Canada

China, Korea, and Japan are all victims of war. But just because they all have skeletons in their closets does not mean one can distort history. Japan's apologies ring hollow if it continues to approve textbooks that whitewash its past aggression, or its Prime Minister continues to pay respect to war criminals in Yasukuni Shrine.
Universal, Houston, USA

Some knowledge for those who comment without thinking: firstly, what the Japanese army did in WWII has nothing to do with how good the Chinese human rights record looks. Secondly, if the Chinese hadn't forgiven the Japanese government for WWII, China wouldn't have become the biggest trading partner of Japan. China will never forget the atrocity, because only if you are constantly reminded, you won't make the same mistake again. Thirdly, for those who accuse China, before you suggest China faces up to the history of Culture Revolution, just to let you know that it has been brought to justice. It has been in all high school textbooks for years, as I learned it when I was 16 in Beijing.
Ziduan, London, UK

The world needs to know that Japan has already apologised 17 times, paid a massive toll through economic aid. The world should also know that only a handful of schools actually adopted the whitewashed textbooks. I was educated in Japan, and was taught what a horrid country I was born in. The Japanese are not a people blind to their past; they are a people fond of torturing themselves. What the world is seeing is a minority who are getting sick and tired of that.
Ken, Yokohama, Japan

When people visit Paris and go to Les Invalides to see the tomb that glorifies Napoleon, nobody raises the slightest objection. Yet when Prime Minister Koizumi visits a Japanese shrine honouring Japanese war dead, there is outrage. Should the rest of the world demand that the Arc de Triomphe be demolished because it glorifies aggressive war waged by the French?
Herbert Thornton, Victoria, Canada

If one regrets wrongdoings in the past, one should show remorse in action, not just in vague words
Mike, Beijing, China
If one regrets wrongdoings in the past, one should show remorse in action, not just in vague words. The Japanese atrocities were past, and few of us would like to bring it up unless it is necessary to do so, because the Japanese are, again, taking actions to deny their past crimes. No nations are perfect. There were many problems for the Chinese Communist Party since 1950's. But the CCP, and the Chinese people as well, have realised the wrong policies and are working together to bring prosperity to the country, although that is a long and rough road to cover.
Mike, Beijing, China (Currently in U.S.)

To Mary Ann, Buffalo, NY, USA: You might want to get a little perspective and study some history before trying to compare this to Iraq. Has the US killed 250,000 Iraqis by beheading alone? The Japanese did that to the Chinese. I realize that Iraq is top of mind, but it's not even in the same league with what occurred in WWII.
Tim, Dallas, USA

What would you think if German textbooks said that the Holocaust had never happened? I am asking those Westerners. Even if the current generation of Japanese knows what they did during WWII, by changing the textbooks they would wipe out the shameful history and educate their next generation that they didn't do anything wrong in WWII. This is really scary. It has nothing to do with Japanese culture and has nothing to do with what Chinese government did to their own people. History can not be changed because you have a bigger military or because you have more money. If history is not respected, Japan will be an aggressor again because it has a big military power and economic power, and it needs energy and land for expansion. They have plenty of incentives to be an aggressor again.
Eric Hu, Gaithersburg USA

I don't know how many of you on this website are programmed to think China's human rights are bad. For me, I am a person living in China for over 20 years. I love my homeland, I enjoy my life there. Since living there I feel the Chinese government not only bring great human rights to the people they're also making the people have a much better living life day by day.
Leyi, Mainland China

There have been accusations that the Chinese government manipulates the people by using anti-Japan sentiment. I am Chinese and I can assure the rest of the world we Chinese do have the concepts of human rights and democracy. And we don't lack the intelligence to differentiate between government propaganda and the truth.
Li Yun, Shen Zhen China

I learned what happened in that war from my grandparents' grief and anger and from thousands of struggling bones of those buried alive found under the construction of my new school building in Nanjing. You said that that the Communists could manipulate everything, I would tell you that most Chinese know what really happened in 1989, but can you tell me how many Japanese know what happened in 1937 in Nanjing?
Susie, China

I have seen many Chinese talk of war again and that Japanese should be killed. It seems China has learnt little from World War Two then, with their aggressive behaviour now. Contrast that with the Japanese actions to this particular issue, pacifist constitution and the fact it has very low crime compared to the rest of the world. I know which country I would be happier for my children to be taught in.
Dean, UK

The day the Japanese prime minister lays a wreath at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial is the day Japan shows remorse for its brutal aggression against China. If the German chancellor can commemorate the Holocaust at the concentration camps then so can the Japanese prime minister acknowledge his country's role in WWII.
William, New Jersey, USA

It should be obvious that the current row isn't really about history books
Scott Cogburn, Taipei, Taiwan
It should be obvious that the current row isn't really about history books, but rather China's fears that Japan may be able to help block China's own aggression and expansion of its control in Asia. Regardless, we should keep in mind that Japan is a democracy whose crimes occurred sixty years ago. China is a one-party state whose crimes continue today -in Tibet, Xinjiang, and the whole nation, not to mention the continuing threats to crush democracy in Taiwan with military force. The pot is calling the kettle black.
Scott Cogburn, Taipei, Taiwan

Beijing should stop using history as a political card to gain in Sino-Japanese relations. On the other hand, Prime Minister Koizumi was senseless to declare, without clear vision, his annual visit to Yasukuni Shrine and he has fallen into his own trap.
A Furukawa, Yokohama, Japan

The Japanese government definitely owes a formal apology to the Chinese and the whole of Asia. By doing what they are doing now, support from Asia to be a member in the UN Security Council is a dream for Japan.
Helen, Hangzhou, China

The problem here is how well the Japanese can face up to their own past
Yuriko, Tokyo, Japan
Sometimes I cannot understand what the Japanese government is up to. To teach children our history as accurately as possible is our duty not to repeat the past. I agree that the Chinese government is hypocritical, but the problem here is how well the Japanese can face up to their own past and behave accordingly.
Yuriko, Tokyo, Japan

Haven't the Chinese got anything better to do? Everyone talks about the Chinese economic miracle, but if things are really so great over there, why do half the women here in Abu Dhabi seem to be Chinese prostitutes? And as for the Japanese, when did they last use tanks to run over protesting students? The war finished a long time ago and China should concentrate on putting its own house in order.
Max, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Others in the world who have suffered human rights abuse from China can make a claim against China if they like, but Japan is still responsible for its actions and atrocities against China. One bad deed does not cancel out another. All must be held accountable.
Allison, San Francisco, USA

If people are not open minded, we will all end up in conflict
Wang, Beijing, China
It is interesting to notice that how many brainwashed westerners think the Chinese are brainwashed. Most Chinese don't like what Japan has done so far. At least China has the guts to say no to imperial US, Japan is a just puppet. If people are not open minded, we will all end up in conflict.
Wang, Beijing, China

I agree that children shouldn't bear the burden of their parents' crime. Yet neither should they be denied of their rights to learn from the truth of history. This will help them from making the same mistake.
Lisa, Boston, USA

There are no "good guys" here. But China is a regional bully whether you like it or not. (Re Spratleys/ Vietnam/China/Tibet) They are going to be the cause of the next major war, that there can be no doubt.
John Turnbull, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Many people here commented on the human rights record of the Chinese government. However the feeling and demonstration against the Japanese actually comes from the Chinese people and was not organised by the regime. Do people have no rights to complaint about foreign oppression policy unless their government's human right record is up to standard? Imagine if the German Chancellor Schroeder paid tribute to Hitler every year. What would you feel if you are Jewish?
Stephen Cheung, Reading, UK

Japan, particularly as a modern democracy should be much more honest about its own history
Don McCorkell, Tulsa, USA
Japan, particularly as a modern democracy should be much more honest about its own history. At the same time, I doubt that the Chinese, under their current authoritarian government, provide anything approaching "honest" textbooks about their own history of violence.
Don McCorkell, Tulsa, USA

The Chinese people are by no means alone. Much of Asia, as well as the US, should insist that if the Japanese seek respect among the world they must not deny the historical record. If they could admit to the truth, the Japanese might find forgiveness but to deny the truth and continue to stand by the lies it teaches to its youth, risks a repetition of war that the world already fought.
Alan McGaffin, Sioux City, Iowa USA

The Japanese people and the government have shown officially remorse on many occasions and the Chinese government has formally agreed to put the past behind and economically we have done more than enough to make up for the damage.
The world should know that the core of this anti-Japanese sentiments by those Chinese rioters result from the totalitarian government's nationalistic education for more than two decades against the Japanese invasion 60 years ago.
The sole purpose of such exaggerated anti-Japan sentiments is to divert the people's attention away from the government's political oppression and increasing economic gaps between the rich and poor.
Yasuhiko Komuta, Japan

Yes, it's no secret that China isn't perfect. We have our problems and not everyone in China is pleased with the Communist party. But does that mean we can't even get a "sorry" for what the Japanese have done during the war? It is true that the Japanese have "apologized" seventeen times. But do they mean it? If so then why does Koizumi visit the Yasukuni shrine? The Chinese aren't racial barbarians fuelled by hate and hungry for "revenge". We just want the Japanese to admit what they have done, and apologize sincerely. Is that to much to ask?
Li "Chuck" Dun, Beijing, China

How long does Japan have to be punished for something that happened about 60 years ago?
Matthew, Sparta, America
How long does Japan have to be punished for something that happened about 60 years ago? China should not dictate to Japan. In contrast, the US fought against the Chinese in Korea and in Vietnam but the US allowed China to be part of the WTO. China wants it their way or they cry.
Matthew, Sparta, America

The war crimes committed by Japan 50 years ago, heinous as they are, must still be seen as dwarfed by the monstrous terror with which the communist government of China has tormented their own people since.
Nomens, Stockholm

What a lot of Japanese don't want to admit to is that their country depends more on China, than China depends on them. In the Sino-Japanese economic relationship, China is crucial to Japan, Japan's recent economic recoveries are directly due to Chinese growth. While in the long-term, there is no way, in economics, technology and industry, that Japan can compete with China. They are seriously underestimating Chinese resolve. Time for the Japanese to swallow a bit of pride, appease the Chinese and admit to past crimes.
Thomas, Hong Kong

Japan should not have a UN Security Council seat. The world knows what Japan did during the World War II. Japan never apologised for what they did. This is not a good attitude.
Susan Lu, Schaumburg, IL, USA

Japan certainly needs to face up to its past, and apologise for what happened in China for a start. It constantly denies and aggravate the situation by, for example, not putting a stop to visits to Yasukuni Shrine or provoking the Chinese government over the Ryukyu Islands. China, on the other hand, is not exactly innocent and perhaps should perhaps not be too quick to lay blame. What about the millions who starved to death under Mao? Or the atrocities in Tibet? Tiananmen Square? It seems suspicious to me that such a huge number of people could be gathered to protest so fiercely over Japan and I think the government must have had a hand in it somehow.
Kate, Hong Kong (formally Tokyo)

This all boils down to a simple case of free speech going awry
Darryl LeCount, Paderborn, Germany
This all boils down to a simple case of free speech going awry. The Japanese method of approving or disproving textbooks is based solely on their factual accuracy, not on any biased representation. Most of the Japanese, much like the Germans, recognise their responsibility for the events of World War II, and it is a shame that a few far-right Japanese manage to sour relations between these countries because of this.
Darryl LeCount, Paderborn, Germany

When we Chinese stand out to tell the world what we think, you say we are manipulated by the government. When we want to keep silence, you say we do not have human rights.
Liu Wei, PR China

The textbook issue is surely a side show, this is really about China and Japan jostling for economic growth, power and influence in the region. China does not want a third Security Council neighbour and both need the energy promised by the gas fields. I just hope the rivalry cools down soon, and does not end up spiralling out of control.
Colin Burnell, Sandy, UK

How can I expect the Japanese to own up to what they did in China prior and during World War II, when my own country will not admit and apologize for the wrongs they did in the fire-bombing of Dresden and the nuclear weapons they used in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
David Hodges, Goshen, IN, USA

The two economic giants should find proper ways to maintain peace in the region and bring the Sino-Japan relationship back on the normal track.
Danny Meng, Changsha, China
As a rational Chinese college student, I am very concerned about the recently up heaved tension between the two countries. Whatever disputes there are, the two economic giants should find proper ways to maintain peace in the region and bring the Sino-Japan relationship back on the normal track. Of course, to achieve this, sincerity to face up to history and tolerance for mistakes are both essential.
Danny Meng, Changsha, China

I am a Japanese citizen. I remember I was taught at school about what Japan had done in wartime (of course, bad things). Besides that, I know that Japanese prime ministers have been apologizing for Japan's war crimes many times and they will continue to do so. Some of our big papers like to write about it on any occasion and I'm sure will never let us forget. I just wonder how many of those who blame Japan for its war-time past have really read the controversial history textbook and how many of them are familiar with the textbooks of China and Korea? Any school textbook on history is, to some extent, designed to encourage patriotism in their children. Am I right? Just compare how G. Washington is described in textbooks in the US and in the UK.
Sanshiro, Tokyo, Japan

Why Japan could not do what Germany did? What Japan did lately is just like putting salt on the wounds!
Denise Lee, Hong Kong

Japan and China are as bad as each other. Both have committed atrocities on a massive scale....and both don't care today.
Mark, Chatham, UK

It is amazing how Japan even has the guts to clamour for a permanent seat at the UN security council while having no qualms about distorting history. I admit I do not understand the way Japan thinks. But mass demonstrations from Seoul to Beijing and other cities in China tell us how unpopular Japan is in the region.
Hong, Toronto, Canada

Should we ask China to apologise for the invasion of Vietnam and Tibet? If China tells Japan to reflect on their past then China should be looking at both their past and present. What about asking Italy to apologise to Britain for the Roman invasion whilst we're at it? Actions speak louder than words and in the last 60 years Japan has done far more than most for world peace, certainly more than China!
Phillip Jackson, Kyoto, Japan

I suspect that the Chinese issue in challenging this textbook, which will only be used in a small number of schools anyway, and is small compared to the Chinese repression of information, has more to do with raising public sentiment before Japan's assignment of oil drilling rights. Expect to see Japan return to militarism as her recession continues and China grows richer and more confident in local posturing.
Lewis Gilmour, Leeds, UK

I am Chinese! I do hope the government of Japan can face the truth and apologise. I come from mainland!!
Li Baozhu, China Nanjing

It's true that China has also committed some serious mistakes in the past against its own people. However, it has never invaded another country and killed thousands of foreigners and then refused its occurrence.
Liping, China

Maybe Japan should be more careful and truthful about it's past but most of its citizens were not even born at the time of the occupation so they can hardly be blamed. China's past, and indeed present is hardly spotless either. From the Chinese government's view this all just seems to be an excuse to improve national unity by whipping the people up into a nationalistic frenzy against Japan. It is a dangerous game to play and I hope they realise this.
Alistair, Belfast

Both countries could learn a lesson from Germany
Uwe, Malaga, Spain
Both countries could learn a lesson from Germany. Just have a look at the German history textbooks regarding the Nazi era.
Uwe, Malaga, Spain

Chinese leaders play a dangerous game when they whip up public sentiment against foreigners who are perceived not to "face up to history". They gamble on winning concessions from Japan, but what if the public wants more than the leaders can eventually deliver? What if the public turns its attention to the 30 million who died during the Great Leap Forward and demand an apology from Mao's successors?
Paul Jackson, Hong Kong SAR, China

Who said Chinese ask Japanese youth to apologise? It is the Japanese government attitude here we are angry about. The Japanese government is intentionally whitewashing the contents of atrocities done by Japanese army during WWII. Many of the soldiers are still alive and well.
Zhou, Shanghai

It is understandable that some Westerners doubt the protests against Japan due to their poor knowledge of Asian history. But for most Chinese, Korean and other Asians, it is difficult to trust Japan if the country still tries to gloss over its wartime atrocities.
Zhao Rongchun, Cape Town, South Africa

Such hypocrisy from China. The rise in government-sponsored anti-Japanese sentiment has risen sharply with their own human rights abuses, perpetuated on their own people. Japan has apologised nine different times for incidents in World War II - and each time China has asked for further apologies. Rampant nationalism fostered some of the problems of that war - the kind of nationalism China is fostering as seen in recent anti-Japanese riots. China is in severe danger of over playing its hand with Japan - who are looking increasingly tired of their political manoeuvres
Kraig Donald, London, UK

Japan has already apologised for its acts in World War II. It should not be like you have to every time repeat your words. My opinion is that Japan suffered so much loss in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that it is better to say that was the past.
Akhil, India, Hyderabad

If a nation or can only voice her anger when all her history texts are correct, then no nation in the world will ever be able to protest. The Chinese are not protesting against the reasons for the events e.g. Nanjing massacre, they just want the facts made known to the Japanese. They are not quibbling over minor details, they are angry at the total omission.
Kwok, Sydney Australia.

I went through Japanese education, and I can fairly confidently say that every pupil does learn about our disgraceful past
Y. Katakura, Manchester

I went through Japanese education, and I can fairly confidently say that every pupil does learn about our disgraceful past. Since this textbook issue has come up, I've even checked the content of the so-called "distorted" textbook, but it was clearly saying that the Japanese army has caused a lot of misery, mainly in China. I wonder what kind of a "nationalist" textbook in, say, Britain, if any, will mention the "Opium War", which led to the annexation of Hong Kong?
Y. Katakura, Manchester

Japan needs to apologise to China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong the United States, Russia and any other country hurt by their wartime past first before it can be considered morally competent to become permanent members of the UN Security Council... They still haven't signed a peace treaty with Russia formally ending WWII hostilities because they are trying to claim the southern Kuril Islands. They do not respect their neighbours, why should their neighbours respect Japan?
Jason Miller, Vancouver, Canada

Yes, China has [undertaken] inhumane actions in its history. But one cannot use this excuse to stop China from demanding an apology from Japan, because of what China did to Taiwan or Tibet... I am sure one day China will be put in the spotlight for what it has done, but at the moment it is Japan's turn.
Danny Rout, London, UK

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Both sides have little to be proud of, but which country has?
M. C. Randall, Worcester, England

This row is not about apology or not apologising. It is about denying or at least glossing over the fact that the Japanese imperial army committed a massacre and killed more 250,000 in Nanjing
Srdan, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This row is not about apology or not apologising. It is about denying or at least glossing over the fact that the Japanese imperial army committed a massacre and killed more 250,000 in Nanjing. And these new textbooks are demonstrating exactly that. It is very dangerous for the new generations of the Japanese youth not to be aware of the massacre. Not to take the responsibility for the atrocities, just to know it happened once and to prevent it reoccurring in the future.
Srdan, Bosnia and Herzegovina

As an educated Chinese, I feel some actions taken by our Chinese fellows in China are not civilised, such as the attacks on many Japanese enterprises and Co-op in China. However, I have understood deeply where they are coming from. Their patriotic souls should be encouraged though on a more moderate level.
KP Yeung , London

The timing of this row is quite interesting. Especially when one considers that China and Japan have recently become trading partners. Rekindling old animosities is certainly detrimental to both countries.
Huseyin Muftuoglu, Turkey

This is the right thing being said by the wrong people. Surely, Japanese students should be told about their country's past atrocities. And so should Chinese students be told about their country's present appalling human rights record, including Tibet.
Leszek Luchowski, Gliwice, Poland

Why do people always mix up the communists' Tiananmen event with Japanese war crimes? During the chaos in Tiananmen Square, it was the Communist Party to blame. On the other side, it is the Chinese who started the protest against the Japanese nationalism. We should say, "It's time for the Chinese Communist Party and Japan's government to face up to history." Japan should apologise just like the Germans did to gain respect from others. That is the only solution to the twist.
Yin, Hong Kong

The pawn in this political chess match is no fewer than 1.3 billion Chinese people
Da Xiang, Washington

Here is the vicious circle: the Chinese government uses the Japan issue to divert its peoples' attention from its own, many shortcomings. Japanese rightists then use the China issue to push through more hard-line policies. The pawn in this political chess match is no fewer than 1.3 billion Chinese people who lack the consciousness to know they are being used.
Da Xiang, Washington, US

Japan and Taiwan are the best tools of the Chinese Communist Party, because they are always there when the Communist Party are most in need. They are used by the Communist Party to get all Chinese cohesion and to distract Chinese citizens from Communist Party's corruption and autocracy.
Jade, UK

It really is about time Japan fully acknowledges that it has committed a huge historical error against its East Asian neighbours. Without that suggested overture, it will be difficult for Japan to regain the lost trust of it's immediate neighbours, let alone the global one which it covets so desperately.
Bo McDowell, Dublin, Ireland

Being born in China and raised abroad, I feel that Asian culture has a tendency to avoid talking about sour subjects. Japan is an extreme example of this. The average Japanese person is informed and feels regret for their country's atrocities. But I'm consistently baffled by their politicians' posturing toward its Asian neighbours. Its lack of respect or consideration is appalling. If history shows us anything, it's that Japan surrendered only after US dropped atomic bombs.
James, Boston, USA

Few countries can lay claim to total war time innocence
Jess, Banff, Canada
We are all proud/patriotic to some extent, of our homelands. But regardless of our roots, digging deep enough into history will no doubt reveal the flaws of our forefathers. Few countries can lay claim to total war time innocence. The future generations of some have apologised, and others not. This will continue through time and some nations will again feel aggrieved over an absent apology decades later. We should accept responsibility and apologize for our own actions, and sincerely regret those of our ancestors, but rioting won't solve anything. We cannot change our history, but hopefully learn from it.
Jess, Banff, Canada

China should confess to its own atrocities, namely human rights issues and the strict control of the media to its own people. If China wants the world to know that its people are protesting at Japanese policies, it should broadcast the protests to its own people. If China does not admit its own current faults, why should the Japanese admit to faults of their ancestors?
G, LA, USA

As someone who travels to China regularly, I know that the Chinese are a very patriotic (yet modest) race. They do not presume to be better than other nations on this planet, but do get deeply offended when other nations presume to talk down to them. Japan should follow Germany's example and teach the truth about the past, so that future generations will not make the same mistakes, and not be led into the abyss of human cruelty.
Tom Archer, Cambridge, England

Anti-Japanese protests in China are nothing but a display of militant nationalism by a dictatorial regime. If Japan's investment money is good enough to be welcome in China, then a recognition of Japan's status should be forthcoming. Since when should children be responsible for paying for the sins of their parents? The Security Council must expand to represent the world today, not as it was in 1945 - even if many people still have a mindset to that year!
Peter, Huntington Beach, CA, USA

History is written by the victor
Richard Owen, Tokyo

History is written by the victor. How many US Citizens even admit there Nation invaded Mexican Territories (Texas/California/New Mexico), started an uprising in Hawaii and took over that territory - they don't even recognise that there is an issue. Of course the Japanese are aware they have been responsible for these atrocities but for China not to recognise its own failings is pretty rich.
Richard Owen, Tokyo

If Japan cannot face up to its WWII crimes against Asia, Japan will risk isolation in Asia. Such isolation would be bad for the Japanese economy and the well being of Japan as a whole. No country could live in isolation, and the same rule applies to Japan or China or South Korea.
Denis Pan, San Jose, USA

No need to distort anything that happened in the past. No one will judge a country only by its past performance. Why Japan did not reflect the truth in the textbook to their new generation? Maybe we have no right to criticize how Japanese textbooks hide their atrocity on the neighbouring countries, but how can Chinese people tolerate their visit to a shrine every year which paid tribute to their past violence? Should we keep silence when our national feelings have been hurt again?
Zhou Jing, Singapore

I have three children taught by the Japanese prejudicial textbooks affected by Chinese Communism in the 1980s. It has been very miserable. No Japanese pride or independent minds. As a result, three children are hating China now.
K Andrew, Tokyo Japan

Have many people here have read or even heard about the Rape of Nanking? If they had, they would see how insensitive their comments are. Yes, no country has a perfect history, but the true horror of the acts committed in Nanking means that China will never move on unless the Japanese face up to their history.
Hua Li, UK

Koizumi has destroyed good relations with neighbouring countries. Japan has to face up to the realty of history.
Takashi Suzuki, Tokyo, Japan

Japan does not deserve international respect since it has never faced up to the atrocities it committed in the past. Nobody in China is claiming the Chinese government is 100% clean and guilt free for what it did to its own people. But it has acknowledged its past mistakes and taken millions of Chinese out of poverty, which conservatives in the US do not want to give them credit for.
Paul, Shanghai, China

The real battles will be over territorial rights for energy and fishing
John, Toyama, Japan
This is hardly about textbooks. These two countries are trying to stake out their positions now before China becomes the dominant economical force it's destined to be. The real battles will be over territorial rights for energy and fishing.
John, Toyama, Japan

The real reason that China is upset now is that Japan is rallying for a seat on the UN Security Council. China is afraid of losing its power. Besides, the Chinese Communists killed more of its own people in the history anyway. I'm wondering why nobody says anything about that now.
Michael M, Canada

Everyone knows China has a lot of problems, but it's irrelevant to this issue. Why does South Korea - a democratic country, protest against Japan too? Whitewashing history is a manifestation of Japan's long term ambitions.
Lee Guo, USA

It is very obvious that tolerating demonstrations in China is a product of political manipulation. You can always ask someone to repeat their apologies, but you will never be able to make friends out of retaliation.
Alex Lin, Taipei, Taiwan

History books consist of facts and that's why we find those books in the non-fiction section of the library. Japan's decision to revise history in their favour should compel them to categorize their history text books as fictional history.
MW, New York, USA

Every school in Japan is required to teach kids about the war. They call this "peace study" so that the future generation will never repeat the same mistake the old Japan made 60 years ago. It's very sad to know how little Chinese people see Japan's effort. It seems to me that China attacks Japan when they have problems within their own country.
Ai Sasaki, San Francisco, USA

China and Korea are afraid that Japan has begun to speak out as an ordinary country
Akira, Tokyo, Japan
The anti-Japan movement in China and Korea is absolutely misplaced! Japan continues to make more than enough formal apologies, financial aids, compensation, etc. China and Korea are afraid that Japan has begun to speak out as an ordinary country.
Akira, Tokyo, Japan

The textbook issue is only the trigger of the whole thing. What the Chinese people are actually angry about is the fact that in the last 60 years the Japanese government has never faced what they did.
SZ, China

The Chinese way of looking at history makes me feel their ill will towards Japan. As the government says, Japan has apologized to the affected countries. History should be assessed from various points of view. Some people may consider the past differently from the Chinese. Since the past cannot be changed, what is more important is, as Mr. Koizumi says, to go ahead towards the better future overcoming the past.
Oakarch, Japan

Japan apologized 17 times? How come I never heard one? Because we don't think that was an apology. They were only making excuses for their misconduct under the name of an apology statement.
Louis, Seoul, Korea

Interesting that any other demonstration would be clamped down on with excessive force, yet anything anti-Japanese is encouraged.
Tim, Malaysia

What apologies? Seventeen times or a hundred times are of no use if Japan continues to demonstrate its unwillingness to match its deeds with words.
Damien Long, Kuala Lumpur

China needs to get its own house in order before they call Japan out
Kelvin, Maryland, USA
I agree that it is wrong that the Japanese won't own up to their past but for China, of all countries, to complain about the Japanese textbooks is hypocrisy on a grand level. China has serious issues when it comes to distortion and down right censorship of the truth. China needs to get its own house in order before they call Japan out.
Kelvin, Maryland, USA

I just want to make it clear: we, Chinese people, not only the Chinese Communist party, are angry with the Japanese textbook. What the Chinese Communist party did wrong is not an excuse for Japan to cover up history.
Tim Tan, Beijing, China

It really makes me sick when the Japanese ask the world to forget what they have done and yet still seek an apology from the Americans for the nuclear bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
David Wang, Corning, USA

Even though I strongly condemn the way some Chinese protesters have acted, I do believe the Japanese government should make a formal apologies to their Asian neighbours. Without the reconciliation, Japan will suffer more from its past. If we can heal the future suffering now by formally acknowledging our regrettable past, why not do so?
Akira Tamura, Adelaide, Australia

The complaints of China should be disregarded outright, as they were made purely to unite their own troubled population. The daily atrocities of the CCP heavily outweigh the historical ones of Japan.
Tomoyuki Yamashita, Takeshima, Japan

China has no right to keep trying to change the Japanese text book.
Hajime Yasuda, Ogaki, Japan

The protesters' actions in China may be arguably a little bit aggressive, but their self-motivated demonstrations clearly show the gravity of suffering and humiliation that our people suffered during Japan's wartime atrocities. We want to remind to the world that we will never forget, and we will never let it happen again!
Keith Chan, Hong Kong

This is obviously a political game
Jim, Hoboken, USA
I think the Chinese would be better off taking a softer tone. Perhaps convincing the Japanese people why it is in their interest to acknowledge their past. This is obviously a political game to block Japan's seat as a permanent member of the UN with veto power. While I think that it is in the interest of Japanese people to atone for the atrocities they have committed (like the American atrocities committed against Africans and Japanese in WWII) the Chinese live in a glass house. How can the Chinese demand something they have not admitted to doing themselves?
Jim, Hoboken, USA

When we talk about "facing up to history", we should be referring to both China and Japan. It is true that the war crimes were not committed by Japanese of this generation, but they deserve to know the truth and realise what went wrong. Unless the Japanese government formally addresses the past, this problem could last for another 30 or even 50 years. On the other hand, I am ashamed of the way the demonstration took place. Vandalism is never a way to express your views.
Carmen Lam, Hong Kong

China should face its own music first, WWII is over people. China to me poses more threat to humanity. Quit suppressing Tibetans, Muslims and even your own people and then we can talk about textbooks. Are those even real protesters or are they just puppets? I am not convinced.
Kim, Sussex, England

History is something which allows the younger generation to know what happened and learn from it, and not repeat the mistakes over again. Therefore it would be nice to see Japan face up to the truth, like the Germans.
Jes Hong, Singapore

What is the purpose of the UN Security Council?
Katie, LA, USA

What is the purpose of the UN Security Council? To keep the world in peace. I don't think a country that denies and tries to gloss over its past atrocities deserves a permanent seat there.
Katie, LA, USA

The problem lies in that both China and Korea demand that Japan accepts their version of events as the truth.
Hiroki, Yokosuka, Japan

There are good reasons to question whether Japan has fully acknowledged the extent of its aggression in China. However, it appears clear that the cause of the current demonstrations is not a concern for these moral questions, but China's geo-political interests.
JH, Hong Kong

This is not a debate about whether China has killed more of its own than those killed by Japan. This is about the humiliation of being invaded by an arrogant foreign power that has never admitted to its crimes in full.
Michael Cheng, Singapore

To attempt to excuse events just because they happened a long time ago is untenable
Philip Hall, Tokyo, Japan
I repudiate the violence against Japanese people and property, but Japan must be more honest if it is to repair its troubled relationship with China and Korea. To attempt to excuse events just because they happened a long time ago is untenable. It would be intolerable to argue that the Holocaust didn't matter for the same reason. I write as a near-20 year resident of Japan who loves much about the country, but on this issue it is time Japan undertook some serious, humble reflection.
Philip Hall, Tokyo, Japan

As the victims of the WW2, we Chinese have the right to request that Japan faces up to history and admit its wrongdoings, especially as it tries to get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. If Japan isn't trusted by its neighbours, how can they be trusted by the world?
Song Yicheng, China

The Japanese people, particularly the young, should be given an accurate and honest account of their history, no matter how unpalatable parts of it are. Glossing over Japanese atrocities during the war is not only insulting the victims of other nations but is doing a great disservice to the Japanese people who are entitled to understand and learn lessons from the past.
Stephen Rodriguez, Auckland, New Zealand

Japan needs to face up to its history of war crimes or more people like me will trade their products for South Korea and China. I have replaced Sony with Emerson and will trade in my Toyota with a Hyundai in the near future.
T Wong, Malaysia

Remember Pearl Harbor?
Arthur, New York, USA

Remember Pearl Harbor? They don't acknowledge their crimes so be it. No Security Council seat for them.
Arthur, New York, USA

Have the rest of the world read the Chinese history textbooks? They think that all the other countries were bad to China during the First and Second World Wars. If the students don't want to read that history, whom should they protest to? Can they protest in Beijing?
Wei, Taiwan

Japan's war denial must stop. Germany faced up to her past and rejected it so she has been a responsible member of the family of nations. Japan has not.
Win T Pu, Toronto, Canada

All of those people who write about history and textbooks forget one important item. It is the winners who write the history, not the losers. In this case, America let the Japanese become winners because we needed them to oppose the growth of Communism in Asia.
Mike Herr, California, USA

How long must one wait to start forgiving the sins of our fathers? I doubt anyone is alive today with direct ties with what happened 60, 70 years ago. When will mankind come to terms with past atrocities?
Bruce Bartman, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

It's amazing that many people from western countries say what the Japanese did was done a long time ago and should be forgotten. The same people said the Holocaust, a crime against Jewish people, should not be forgotten. What a double standard.
Ed, Vancouver, Canada

Mr Wen has got something right. Japan should educate its upcoming generations of the criminal offences committed during its recent history. In addition, Japan should give up its fruitless efforts to join the UN Security Council as a permanent member. Our Japanese culture does have some ugly sides. I don't understand why my nation wants to join the elite club of permanent member of the UN Security Council so badly.
Oshima-san, Tokyo, Japan

China may profit greatly by publicly forgiving the Japanese
Hermes, Vancouver, Canada
The Sino-Japanese relationship will always be testy because neither one wants to take a step back and look at the big picture. Such animosity could only be partially diffused by their economic interdependence. I think China may profit greatly by publicly forgiving the Japanese, take the road less travelled and surprise Japan and the world with an act of humility.
Hermes, Vancouver, Canada

I wonder whether history textbooks used in the People's Republic of China mention the mass murders committed by Mao Zedong or the tens of millions of farmers who starved to death during the Great Leap Forward. Does the Chinese Communist Party learn from history, as it is so keen to preach?
Frank, London

The core problem is that the Japanese lack the valuable talent of self-reflection. They are extremely sensitive to their own suffering, but they never feel guilty for their atrocities to other countries. They piously enshrine the sinful war felons and shamelessly take pride in them. Today, they try to clean their bloody faces and hands through openly distorting the history. I would never forgive these foul and unremorseful people until they confess their sins and plead mercy.
Zhang Qian, Singapore

The Chinese government is infamous for its distorted version of justice. What about the perversion of truth regarding human rights, Tiananmen Square, the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Falun Gong, and most of all, their barbaric behaviour towards Taiwan? China should apologize to its own people for making their country an international villain.
Jenny, Taipei, Taiwan

Though China has flaws on its human rights record, it should not be an excuse for Japan to gloss over its behaviour in WWII.
Tom, Storrs, USA

Every Chinese knows the Communist Party is distorting history
YZ, USA
I am Chinese educated in the mainland. I can tell everyone that every Chinese knows the Communist Party is distorting history. Almost no Chinese really believes China government and its textbooks. And most Chinese know their nation and government did wrong things in history. But most Japanese believe their government, King, and the history distorted by their government. This is why the Japanese seem so terrible in Chinese eyes.
YZ, USA

Neither country's government can take a higher moral ground. Both countries need to grow up, and stop this senseless bickering, which - like WWI sowing the seeds of WWII - has the danger of growing into real conflicts in the future .
Marcus S, Toronto, Canada

I am an ordinary Chinese person. I don't like Japan because Japan has never faced its past as the Germans did. I admit that the Chinese Communist party has committed atrocities to our people. Please don't blame our Chinese people who are victims of WWII. Maybe Japanese government does not do atrocities to Japanese people. But it did atrocities to the Chinese.
Qiong, China

No, Beijing didn't, doesn't, and maybe won't do a great job in terms of protecting human rights. But does this justify the crimes committed by Japan? Based on that logic, Iraqi people shouldn't blame anyone when they get killed by US soldiers because their government didn't protect their rights either. The protest is for future peace, not for changing history. Asking Japan to be responsible for their history has nothing to do with how bad the Chinese government is.
P Han, China

How would westerners feel if Germany altered its school textbooks?
Tan X, Beijing, China
I was the one who went to the demonstration against Japan. We were demonstrating not on behalf on the Communist party, but truly representing the Chinese people themselves. To those westerners who can't understand the feelings of the Chinese people - how would you feel if Germany altered its school textbooks? With regards to cleaning up our own problems, China surely has a lot to do, but so do western countries, in terms of human rights and democracy.
Tan X, Beijing, China

Debt needs to be collected and scores need to be settled. The Chinese people cannot and will not tolerate the Japanese attempt to rewrite their history of atrocities. I am all for an eye for an eye.
Kung Hoi Be, China

If a country like Japan can not even take responsibility and face its real history, how can it be expected to take responsibility and treat other countries fairly in the international community in the future?
Neil Liu, Danbury, CT, USA

There would be no justice if history were to be changed immorally. It seems to be unfair that the younger generation of Japanese should apologise for something they were not involved in, but I definitely think the Japanese government must apologise officially.
Frank Chen, Taipei Taiwan

Why is it that in Germany, it is illegal not to teach about WWII and the Nazi's anti-Semitic movement, but the Japanese government simply ignores the crimes that they've caused? How can they claim a permanent seat in the Security Council if they deny the atrocities committed?
Xuan, Canada

It'd be nice to see a war memorial commemorating these living and dead victims of the war being built in the middle of Tokyo one day
Sue Kim, South Korea
In Berlin, Germans built yet another memorial commemorating the Holocaust. In Japan, right wing politicians visit the shrine commemorating their war heroes including the war criminals that killed many lives in its neighbouring countries. Still, in Seoul, every morning, a group of old Korean ladies who were forced to be sex slaves during the war stand outside the Japanese embassy to demand an official public apology. It'd be nice to see a war memorial commemorating these living and dead victims of the war being built in the middle of Tokyo one day.
Sue Kim, Seoul, South Korea

Think about your country's territory being invaded these days by Japan in the 21st century, think about Japan denying its crimes in World War II, and beautify its crime as liberating Chinese. I totally don't understand those people who criticise China's poor human right record instead of Japan's brutality.
Kaiten, Liverpool

If we forget about the history, we can not face the future. Yes, Japan intruded China years ago. But can you see today's Japanese attitude? They keep arguing for more land with Russia, South Korea, and China. How could they comment on Taiwan which is part of China!
Lifeng, Australia

I really would like to know what history books in China say about all the different "issues" they have experienced in the last 50 years.
E Vila, Spain

A lot of people compare Japan's brutal occupation to Mao's Cultural Revolution. It is not accurate to compare something that was deliberately evil to a poorly planned campaign to help it's own people. Also, most Japanese people have a superiority complex that keeps them from accepting the truth. It is sad because east Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan should work together to balance the power of Europeans and the US Empire.
Kevin Liu, California, USA

I'd like to see a Chinese textbook's take on Tibet, Tiananmen, and the Cultural Revolution
Eric, San Francisco
While I think Japan has to do better in owning up to it's wartime actions, I find the criticisms coming from China rather ironic. I'd like to see a Chinese textbook's take on Tibet, Tiananmen, and the Cultural Revolution. Somehow, I don't think Japan is the only one ignoring it's ugly past, or in the case of China, it's present as well.
Eric, San Francisco, USA

I agree with the Chinese that Japan should own up to the abuses of its past, just as the Chinese should do the same in regards to its own treatment of Tibet, Tiananmen Square and Falun gong practitioners. I find China's criticisms of Japan to be extremely hypocritical and I also find it very annoying that none of the American news media have broached the subject of this childish duplicity. It really makes me wonder about the quality of the reporters that are hired now-a-days that they should miss something so obvious!
David Witcher, Kansas City, MO, USA

Before going any further, one thing has to be made clear: the tension is not only between China and Japan, but actually is between Japan and most other countries of East Asia. For those who know little about the history of East Asia: ask yourself, if you know about Germany, why this country is widely respected around the world? Are East Asian people too mean to Japan?
Tysan Dai, Toronto, Canada






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