Imperialism tally goes off point

Shatruntapa Patel’s Nov. 3 letter, “History defines China and Japan,” is just one inaccurate China bashing attack after another. If Patel wishes to compare the histories of China and Japan, it would be beneficial if an accurate history was given.

First, China was ruled by successive dynasties, but they were not all Han. In fact, many of them were not Han at all. The last dynasty in Chinese history was Manchu.

While Patel seems to think that the imperialism of Japan in World War II is, 70 years later, water under the bridge, actions in China 2,000 years ago are still held against them. China has many, many ethnic groups; it is not homogeneous. Yet this seems to Patel to be indicative of how China is imperialistic.

This kind of ill-informed China hating rhetoric is harmful to relations in East Asia. The fact is that China and Japan both have territorial disputes, and that doesn’t make either country particularly imperialistic. But if we were making a tally of each country’s imperialism, the killing of millions of Chinese by Japanese military forces just a couple of generations ago — while China has not even attempted to invade Japan in hundreds of years — would seem to trump everything else.

However, to make a better future for the people of Asia, it would help if we left off such ridiculous diversions. Japan needs to stop denying the past, start taking responsibility for the actions of its leaders, and start working with China, South Korea and the rest of Asia to build a closer, more peaceful Asia.

timothy bedwell
tokorozawa, saitama

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Unfolding pattern of the World

    But Tibet was part of China since the Qing, and Yuan. Also, Tibet was stolen from China by the UK in 1916, so China sees it as “regaining” loss territory. It is weird that China is im*perialist since white people pretty mush stole the land mass of much of the world.