I would like to express my dismay in regards to the violence in your protests. I fully believe you have a right to protest, and I agree with your cause (heck I’d march with you if I felt the issue was being dealt with reasonably), but I am dismayed because your actions are not helping the situation.
Think of the message you are sending. You have many friends in Japan. So there is a bad textbook, think about the 99.9% of the schools that didn’t use them. Think about the parents and the community who rose up to prevent many of the schools from using the bad textbook. Think about all those who sympathize with your cause, and who also think the Japanese government should do better. What are you saying to them by overturning Japanese cars, or smashing windows of Japanese restuarants just because they prepare a certain kind of food that happens to be Japanese. Does our food offend you too? What are you saying by assaulting Japanese in your own country, many who are there because they like your country as much as you do?
Even I have a interest in going to China some day, and perhaps even trying to live there for a while. But I am conflicted, for I do not want to be a target of indiscriminate violence.
I do not think your actions are helping your cause in Japan. The message you are sending to your Japanese friends is that you don’t care. Just by being Japanese, you already will not trust us. Can you not see that this kind of message only fosters mistrust of Chinese people among Japanese? Already things are starting to happen, such as many Japanese postponing their visits to China. Are those Japanese that are interested in visiting and learning more about your country not welcome their either? No matter how sympathetic to your cause, the violence in your protests that is directed at anything Japanese tests the patience of your Japanese friends. I hope that you can understand this effect.
Unfortunately, not only people in China are to blame. There are also reports of idiotic attempts of intimidation towards the Chinese embassy in Japan. Apparently, someone sent and envelope with a blade from a shaver, another one with white powder that turned out to be corn starch, and red paint streaks were supposedly painted on embassy property in another location. I have nothing to say for these Japanese. Under Japanese law, these acts fully consistute a crime, and I hope that they are caught and punished accordingly.
I am not so shallow-minded to assume that the violence in these protests represents the opinions of everyone in China. So I clarify that the above is directed only at those who wish to perpetrate violence in the name of protest.
Also about apologies:
Japanese government officials have made many aplogies in the past. I agree that in the big picture, the government hasn’t acted in accordance with the spirit of those apologies. However, please notice that the people giving the apologies are not the same people that do things contrary to them. When prime minister Murayama gave his apology in 1995, don’t forget that that was reflective of the feelings of many of the Japanese. Just becasue Koizumi is here now, and his taking actions that many do not support, does not mean the apology in 1995 was insincere. The reason that there is little coherence to Japan’s actions is because Japan is still in conflict with itself regarding these issues. By claiming “Japan hasn’t apologized,” one is simply ignoring all the successful efforts of the consciencous Japanese. Continual claims by Chinese that Japan has never apologized or never expressed remorse only pushes people in Japan to the right. Chinese need to say that “the actions of Koizumi (or whoever else) are not consisted with the past apologies”. If someone said that to me, I’d totally agree. I feel many are not careful to make this differentiation (even if they mean to), and that spreads the false information that there has been no official apology.

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