Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Japan's Diplomatic Failure Towards China: Poll

When asked "whether you cherish a kind feeling towards Japan", only 5.9 percent Chinese answered "yes", while as high as 43.3 percent questioned gave negative answers, and 47.6 percent said "just so so".


On the occasion of celebration of the 30th anniversary of normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, Japan research institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences conducted an opinion poll among Chinese people, says report of Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, December 6. When asked "whether you cherish a kind feeling towards Japan", only 5.9 percent Chinese answered "yes", while as high as 43.3 percent questioned gave negative answers, and 47.6 percent said "just so so".

A Chinese saying goes, one who wins people's hearts would certainly conquer the whole world. If we apply it to today's international relations, we could say who wins Chinese people's hearts wins friendly ties with China. The US, the only world power, often appears aggressive towards the Chinese government, but it never looks down upon the strength of the Chinese people, for it knows "ordinary Chinese" serve as the "bottom line" and most solid foundation of China's foreign policies towards which it must keep a distance.

It is hard to guess what poll-loving Japan would think about the result. But two points are certain. First, it must be said that Japan's 30-year diplomacy work towards China is not successful, or even can be called a failure, because it didn't succeed even at the grassroots level. Second, Japan would certainly attribute the result to China's ways of education, since it stated clearly in its diplomatic strategy adjustment report that Chinese people's "Japan detesting complex" stemmed from China's problematic education methods.

The year 1997 saw a large-scale poll by China Youth Daily named "Japan in Chinese Youth's Eyes", which resulted in a very high proposition of negative view towards Japan among Chinese youngsters. Five years have passed and why today we still only have 6 percent people who show a positive sentiment toward the country? As is known, Japan made no small efforts to promote ties with China, but it is a little inexplicable to see today's Chinese keep almost the same view towards their neighbor, 30 years after normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations.

In fact, the problem at root of Sino-Japan ties is that not a single old problem gets solved, on the contrary, new problems appear one after another. Among the old problems are disputes on history, war and Taiwan, while economic rows and "China menace" theory are new ones, of which many are provoked actively by the Japanese side, and by now not a single one is seen being stirred up by China.

During the past 20 years, when talking about diplomacy towards China, Japan always repeated that how much aid it gave China and forced the latter to express "thanks" on many occasions, and criticized Chinese media for not fully reporting its aid. Now it begins to say that it is just its aid that caused China's "menace" to Japan, or even the biggest menace from outside. Of course, Japan also talks about friendly ties of generations between the two nations, but this is not spoken often.

In fact, Japan has never bent on solving the fundamental problems between the two nations-that concerning history and mutual trust-seriously, fully and thoroughly, not to mention the friendship of "generations".

There were once more than 70 wars between France and Germany in history, but who could have expected the close ties between the two countries today? The war between China and Japan in last century is actually no big thing viewing from the whole history of China-Japan exchanges. But Japan could never, even until now, look the problem in the face, on the contrary it declared more openly that all "anti-Japan" characters should be deleted from all museums and memorial halls across China and Japanese politicians should visit the Yasukuni Shrine more frequently until the Chinese get used to it and cease to protest��

If Japan clings to its old way in treating China and the Chinese people, it is hard to say whether the poll could hold at 6 percent next time.

By PD Online Staff Li Heng

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