Kazuo Ogoura’s Oct. 30 article, “Significance of East Asia,” reveals some flawed assumptions about Japan’s neighbors. Korea and China have never sought U.S. or Western approval. They have never aspired to be honorary members of the West. Japan, on the other hand, has always fawned on the United States and the West. In fact, Japan has lost its self-identity. Because of this identity crisis, Japan does not know how to act around its neighbors.
Accusing China of self-righteousness when China has never ventured to attack or impose itself on Japan is the height of fallacy. The author, like his contemporaries, is a product of his time and has a long way to go to understand Japan’s neighbors. For a long time Japan has underestimated its neighbors’ ability to cooperate and act in the best interests of everyone. Japan needs to snap out of its self-righteousness and aspirations of being part of the West and the U.S.
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