The Nanking Massacre Anniversary and the CCP’s Politics of History

Since 1949, the Chinese government’s interpretation of the history of World War II seems to be continuously changing in order to adapt to local circumstances and contemporary political needs. If it’s diplomatically useful for them to pardon Japanese war criminals as part of a warming trend (as they did in 1956), they will do so, but if it is useful both internationally and domestically to … Continue reading The Nanking Massacre Anniversary and the CCP’s Politics of History

War Memory vs. Hello Kitty: New Nanking Scholarship and Japanese SDF Calendar Girls (Updated)

Consider the following: Western scholars and pundits who accuse the Chinese Communist Party of constantly promoting anti-Japanese nationalism might actually be wrong. If in fact China is capable of changing rapidly its political stance toward Japan, “the history issue” may not overly cloud Beijing’s vision at every turn.  Having encouraged popular anti-Japanese nationalism, the CCP may be able to reel it back in when necessary, … Continue reading War Memory vs. Hello Kitty: New Nanking Scholarship and Japanese SDF Calendar Girls (Updated)

Anti-Japanese Action on the Chinese Internet

Some of us had hopes for a broader improvement in Sino-Japanese relations with the arrival of the Hatoyama government and the recession of the LDP into minority status.  After all, when you have a new political party that isn’t barnacled by the historical stigma of Sugamo-scented folks like Kishi Nobusuke and Shigemitsu Mamoru, it’s easier to talk about apologizing and looking forward.  And hopes can … Continue reading Anti-Japanese Action on the Chinese Internet