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24 August 2015

German film "John Rabe" Never been shown in Japanese theatres

I bought a DVD of it. It was released in Germany and China, 2009. Until now it was never released in Japanese theatres. Only shown at one-time meeting by peace activist meeting or symposium. DVD version was released, which individuals purchase on internet.

The drama is based on real events and people involved in Nanjing, China, capital of Republic of China, December 1937.

John Rabe, a German businessman who worked for Siemens decided to be a leader of foreign nationals' committee that managed Refugee Safety Zone in Nanjing, that was about to be occupied by Japanese imperial army.

Because he was German, it was a better choice. In those days, Japan and Germany were allies.

Together with Rabe, some American men and women were in the comittee. They were eager to save Chinese people.

After Japanese army occupied Nanjing, its soldiers did terrible things to Chinese citizens such as theft, arson, rape and even murders.

They tried to help Chinese as barricades to keep soldiers out of Safety Zone. Because they were western civilians from countries neutral from China-Japan war, Japanese soldiers could not hurt them.

Rabe took notes of the events in his diary. The film was mailny based on his diary.  

 

What Rabe and his comittee people experienced is what is known as "Rape of Nanjing." It is estimated 100000 to 300000 people were mass-murdered by Japanese army. As the film depicts, Japanese army had a policy of no alive enemy soldiers.

In Japan, the scale of the massacre has been controversial. Mainly because it is politically sensitive. Just like other nations in the world, such historical facts are considered "masohistic."

I became very interested in this massacre since US invasion of Iraq, 2003. How Japanese army proceeded to Nanjing from the coast was pretty-much like how US army proceeded to Baghdad. What happened to the citizens there was very similar.

I went to Nanjing 11 years ago and met survivors of the massacre. Some of them witnessed Japanese soldiers killed their parents in front of them.

2 years after Rape of Nanjing, Rabe's homeland, Nazi-Germany attacked Poland and occupied surrounding nations. Mass-murdered so many innocent citizens, known as "Holocaust."

By changing position, people could be hero or evil. That is human-history. That is human-nature as well.

Good lesson for all the people of the world.

17 October 2010

China and Japan

The relationship between the two nations got worsened.

Both sides are afraid of the other's imperialism. China experienced invasion of Japanese army 65 years ago.

Japan learnt how Tibet has been treated by China in postwar era, which was typically described in the film, "Seven Years in Tibet."

What a mess!

 

One thing for sure is that we, Japanese should rethink how to deal with Chinese. It seems China cannot be good friend and market for Japan any more.

That does not mean we should rely on the U.S. again because they are more dependent on China than Japan is.

Maybe the most potential one may be South-Eastern nations. We also have to boost domestic demand.

12:17 Posted in China, Japan News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: china, history

24 September 2010

Release of Chinese fishing ship captain proves US deterrence never worked

Chinese captain of fishing boat was released by Okinawa District Attorney office two weeks after being arrested by Japan's coast guard and then taken into custody.

This seemed to be done in order to ease tension between Japan and China caused by the arrest.

I do not want to make any comment on that because I do not know the detail of what really happened.

But I have to admit China threatened Japan and Japan gave in. China is very important country for Japan, especially economically.

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The tension grew when Chinese prime minister visited UN in New York along with Japanese prime minister and foreign minister.

The dialogue between two leaders was cancelled. China halted export of rare earth to Japan. That indeed pressured Japan to release the captain.

 

China is mean but U.S. is more mean. Although U.S. claim the Senkaku islands whose coastal sea was trespassed by the ship is what US-Japan security treaty's applicable area, the U.S. claims to take neutral stance for this dispute.

This dispute proved the U.S. military presence in Japan never worked as deterrence.

In fact, China provoked more retaliative action towards Japan even after the U.S. and Japanese leaders discussed and confirmed strengthening of the alliance.

Why the U.S. cannot deter China, it is obviously because the U.S. is heavily dependent on China economically as well.

China owns largest share of the U.S. treasury bonds and buys and even manufactures U.S. goods. IPADs are made in China.

The U.S. recently demands appreciation of Chinese currency value to balance the trade between the two nations but that is very hard negotiation.

The U.S. surely want to avoid trouble to mess such hard negotiation. Why they want to carry another burden for other country such as Japan, which they think declining in this century.

We cannot rely on the U.S. for the security matter any more. The Cold War is over. The U.S. and Japan no longer have common enemy.

14 March 2010

Film"The Last Emperor" Japan and China

I've seen this movie a few times in the past. But I watched it on TV last week during my ski trip to Naeba, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

True story of the last emperor of Sino dynasty, Pu Yin, who was crowned at the age of 3. Since he became the emperor, he had been like imprisoned in the Forbidden City Palace until the revolution kicked him out from there. After that, he was used by Japanese imperial army to set up puppet state called Manchuria Empire. He was crowned as emperor again but again he could never actually rule the country, only used as puppet.

The film described how Japan exploited him for its greedy purpose. I know history about that. Pu Yin was accused of treason for his collaboration with Japanese but acquitted.

A few years ago, Japanese TV station produced a mini-series drama of Pu Yin's brother who joined the Japanese army and married Japanese peer's daughter. The story was from Japanese wife Soga Hiro's perspective. The brothers believed they could establish truely good state for Chinese but Japanese only used them to expand their territory and steel resources from Chinese.

Today not many Japanese know about this part of history, especially youngsters don't. Many Chinese visit Japan for tourism. Last week I saw many Chinese skiing in Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata. They seem to enjoy skiing and bathing in hot spring. Not just Naeba, I've seen Chinese skiers in other ski slopes such as Zao in Yamagata, and Shizukuishi in Iwate. These days skiing has become popular sport in China and skiing in Japanese ski slopes is greatest status for them.

I am so glad many Chinese come here and enjoyed although very sad things happened between the two nations.

I hope they enjoyed magnificient view of Naeba like this.

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14:22 Posted in China, Film, Leisure, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: ski, history

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