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Posted by Joel Martinsen on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 at 11:59 PM
"Der Führer Koidzumi" - apparently not an idea original to CASS
Following the victory of Koizumi and the Liberal Democratic Party, the academicians at the Institute of Japan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have written editorials for several publications that continue to stress the "remilitarization" line they've been using to depict Japan for quite some time now. In an article in The Beijing News, Jin Xide writes:
Liu Junhong, writing in the CASS-sponsored weekly China Business, echoes similar statements, but predicts that continued American antagonism toward Chinese manufacturing will drive China and Japan closer together economically.
Also in China Business is an article written by academician Feng Zhaokui, who comes up with one of the more off-the-wall analyses of the election. Feng, apparently taking a cue from ousted LDP politician Shizuka Kamei, titles his essay "Let's hope it's not another 'Hitler Phenomenon'." Danwei has taken the liberty of translating this piece below, leaps of logic intact.
Let's hope it's not another "Hitler Phenomenon"
by Feng Zhaokui
On 11 September, an unusually heated electoral battle broke out in Japan. As a result, Koizumi's political gambit paid off, "dramatic politics" were unnaturally effective, and idealist politicians met with rejection. Japanese media reporting used words like "overwhelming," "avalanche," and "record-breaking" to describe the victory won by Koizumi and the LDP. The conservative Sankei Shimbun ran a headline on the front page that read "LDP Wins It All, Swallows the Archipelago," and said that there was a "cataclysm in Japanese politics."
Failed Democratic Party representative and set-to-resign leader Katsuya Okada said, "Although we showed voters the blueprint for how we were going to lead them into the future, our efforts fell short. We were not strong enough." Japan is now much further away from the "two party playing field" that some people had previously predicted.
Asian media continued to worry about the possibility of a further rightward shift in Japan. Many papers in Korea published editorials and critical essays concerning Koizumi's victory in the election, saying that Koizumi's politics will move toward the right in the realm of international affairs, and that Japan will follow the US in militarization, revise its pacifist constitution, and trumpet nationalism. As a result, the framework of east-Asia will be damaged and Korea-Japan and Sino-Japan relations will deteriorate even further. An editorial in Korea's JoongAng Ilbo said, "It is evident that from this point Koizumi and the LDP will take a further step toward the right;" they could possibly move more quickly on the shrine issue and constitutional reform, shaking east-Asian international relations. Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao suggested that the Japanese ruling party may attempt to force through its constitutional revision program. Korea's ruling party also expressed its concern about Japan's conservative, rightist development.
In actuality, Koizumi has already declared that Japan will further increase cooperation with the US on all levels, including military cooperation. Japan's "9.11" election can't help but remind one of elections in Germany in January 1933. In several areas, the two elections are distressingly similar:
While in Japan, and even within the LDP, it has not been merely one lone politician calling Koizumi "another Hitler," (primarily out of displeasure with his dogmatic political maneuvering), it is probably premature to conclude that, in his foreign affairs strategies, Koizumi is preparing to go to war as "another Hitler." We still need to carefully examine the kind of foreign affairs policies this new Koizumi administration follows after its ascension, and we must carefully examine what kind of successor Koizumi chooses.
In conclusion, the people of Asia and of the entire world should hope that Japan's "9.11" election is not the reappearance of a "Hitler phenomenon." At the same time, looking at the many similarities that exist between the two, we cannot help but be alarmed. Like the feminist Doi Takako exclaimed on the Japanese political stage, "It's not normal. Where are the two large parties? This is merely a one-party autocracy. This nation is in danger." Reportedly, there's a feeling of discomfort brewing even within the LDP. Will Koizumi, this super gambler, eventually go so far as to bet the entire LDP?
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.