History defines China and Japan

Regarding the Oct. 27 Kyodo article “Abe issues fresh warning to China on isle [Senkaku Islands]row“: I think the Japanese understand the virtues of peace very well — unlike the Chinese imperialists who think they can go back to the days of being the Middle Kingdom and East Asian countries being their vassals.

Remember that for 250-plus years Japan didn’t do anything aggressive until American aggression led by Commodore Perry forced open Japan.

After Hideyoshi’s Korean misadventure, the Japanese had little interest in aggression against others until Western imperialism reached their doorstep in the mid-19th century.

By contrast, the history of China is full of one Han dynasty after another conquering non-Han territories, dumping Han settlers there and Hanizing the whole place. Even Shi Huangdi, more than 2,000 years ago, is recorded to have conquered the Yue people in what is now southern China and to have dumped Han settlers there.

Is it not China that maintains an empire? Together, Tibet and East Turkestan (or Xinjiang), under Han occupation, make up one-third of “Chinese” territory. It is China that invaded India in 1962, Vietnam in 1979, and recently grabbed Kazakh land and Scarborough Shoal.

It is China that has territorial disputes with almost everyone of its neighbors. The rest of Asia, except for the Chinese and Koreans, now want an assertive Japan, not a Japan that submits to every Chinese demand in the name of “peace.”

We have no interest in Chinese emotional appeals to a war finished nearly 70 years ago. They are not a good reason to continue keeping Japan defenseless.

Shatruntapa patel

from the japan times online

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.

  • Tommy Tinkle

    Who has disputes with every single one of their neighbors? China borders over 10 countries so i hope you have 10 examples. Japan has only 3/4 (Both Koreas) and has disputes with all of them.

    Current island disputes is because Japan conquered the sovereign Ryukyu Kingdom in the late 1800s. Then decided the islands next to it were unclaimed. Pretty funny coming from a country who just annexed a sovereign kingdom, who by the way said the islands were not on their side. Guess who was on the other side of the Ryukyu Kingdom for most of history.

  • tomado

    What does it signify to equate a nation state/ethnic group of today with a view of the history of 2000 years? There is a fantasy element to that. But that fantasy element can quickly degenerate into racism and pseudo-science/history. This is where I turn to academia, a more sane arena for discussing these knotty issues.

  • Temujins

    Really? China does not has disputes with Russia? Burma? Lao? Vietnam? Tibet? Turkistan (Ughurs)? Bhuttan? Korea?

    • +observer+

      The first emperor of Vietnam was Chinese. Please go read history. So was the second emperor of Vietnam was also Chinese.

  • Temujins

    How many times chinese start war of aggression into Vietnam and exploited her people? the answer is 17 times and most recent one was in 1979. China is guilty against humanity and guilty against Vietnamese. Where is the apology from chinese for all astrocities against Vietnamese?

  • Yesmie Asahib

    accept it that the facts elaborated above are true..never the less china is one who continue provoking foe war…

  • Dipak Bose

    Senkaku was never mentioned in he San Francisco Treaty, It was never Chinese.
    It is better to sell opium once again to China at a highly susidized price. Otherwise it will invade and occupy another country.

    • jamesobh

      Your history knowledge need be upended so that you don’t lie. If what you said was true, neither the US nor Japan would have held on to their argument that the SFT gave Japan the right to control the disputed islands.

      In WW2, Japan was nuked by the US for attacking and invading her neighbours, China and Korea among others, yet you implicate China as an invading nation. Get your history right!!!