Getting Passed the Past

Politics also features in holding up another dimension of Chinese currency internationalisation: with Japan. On Christmas Day a year ago, China and Japan signed the agreement for ‘Enhanced Cooperation for Financial Markets Development between Japan and China’. It included wide-ranging currency cooperation arrangements to promote the use of their currencies for trade and investment. Both countries wanted to reduce costs and risks for their companies — and implicitly called for less reliance on the US dollar, currently their predominant medium of exchange. Japanese authorities also confirmed a plan to buy the equivalent of US$10 billion in Chinese government bonds, marking the first time they added renminbi-denominated assets to Japan’s official reserve holdings.

For the sake of making money, the Chinese and Japanese seem to be doing pretty good to not let things get in the way. Things like Japan denying war atrocities:

Yet, when it comes to the a bunch of rocks off the East China Sea. In the above links from the Nautilus Institute, there is a good example of overcoming ridiculous government rhetoric, and coming up with grassroots methods to teach Japanese youth about the havoc and atrocities their military wreaked upon the rest of Asia.

…in response to the testimony to a US Congressional sub-committee by three women, two Korean and one Australian, about their experiences as sexual slaves for the Japanese Army in WW2. Abe had said that while the events were regrettable, “in the legal definition”, this was not a matter of coercion.[1]
One of the three women who testified so courageously in Washington, was a woman named Jan Ruff O’Herne, who happened to be the mother of a close friend, the Australian painter Carol Ruff. Born and raised to Dutch parents in the Dutch East Indies, Jan had been a 17 year old girl planning a life as a nun when she and her mother were interned by the Imperial Army in 1942. Jan and other young girls were sent to the city of Semarang, to a brothel for army officers, where she was raped, repeatedly, daily, for many months. Eventually returned to the internment camp, Jan told only her mother, who just held her, and her priest, who told her any hopes she had of becoming a nun were over…

Carol and her then husband, the film maker Ned Lander, went on with Jan to make an award-winning film, also called Fifty Years of Silence[6], about Jan’s story, and most importantly, about her first, anxious visit to Japan after an invitation to speak about what had happened to her, and to so many other girls and young women.
…I was teaching politics in a Japanese university, and organising a fieldwork program for third year students to come to Australia for half a year. Carol was by now living in Sydney, and I asked her if she would consider showing the film to my students, and then talking with them. She had never shown it to a Japanese audience, and was not sure – about her own response or that of the students. Beforehand I prepared the students, talking about the historical background, working through the script of the film. On that first occasion, as in many later years, crowded into in Carol’s little Sydney house, the mainly female students watched intently, some in increasing dismay, and some, at least initially, in disbelief or denial, but all shattered by the end, wondering how they could possibly speak to the daughter of this extraordinary woman. And then the conversation, the many-stranded, halting, tearful, wondering conversations that were founded on the rock of authentic witness, began…

If China (Korea, and the rest of Asia for that matter) are so angry at Japan for denying the past atrocities, why can’t they, like the person above, come up with a way to educate the next generation on a personal basis? Government entities and words be damned to hell, what’s wrong with connecting with a Japanese person on a personal basis?


13=阝12=口 J=丁 (阿)
L=氵 Z=工 (江)
–1312JLZ (阿江)
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