Generations of Hate
Recent news events between Japan and China fighting over a few islets respectfully called Senkaku and Diaoyu that are barely above the ocean water surface has brought to my attention the continuing story that has been repeating itself over the course of human history. But it is curable.
With the islets in question that is causing the conflict between Japan and China is simply over the untapped oil reserves and fishing rights. The largest islet has an area mass of 2.6 miles as the others are barely above the water. The only life found there are Albatross birds and some goats left behind in 1978. All this hatred has over 5 small islets where an oil reserve was discovered in the late 1960’s.
But listening to the Chinese side is like listening to a call for war. People drag from their Japanese cars and beaten. Japanese factories as well as a Korean factory heavily damaged as Japanese people living in China fearing for their lives.
Chinese protest rallies throughout the world condemning Japanese people and government of stealing lands. Chinese entertainers like Jackie Chan supporting their native countries policies. Many of these Chinese entertainers are at risk of losing their entire fan base and jobs outside of China, if not already, by the comments they have made.
Being a sales vendor I get to meet other vendors and different companies who have really taken an interest in how the Chinese conduct their protest rallies. A few companies have expressed interest in moving out of China if the Chinese organized protest “riots” continue to get out of hand. Just like when the United States Ambassador to China was in his car when Chinese protestors attacked him while chanting "down with the U.S. imperialists".
All this is due to not letting go of hate that has been passed down for years. Wars have been fought that continues the cycle of hate. In the case of Asia, many countries still look to Japan as the enemy nation that concurred their homeland, killed many people, raped their women and stolen everything of value. That was in the early 20th century.
In the 19th century, it was China that was doing all of these things as well. Forcing the Korean people to use their own resources to build an armada of ships to attack Japan. The Korean people were worked to death of starvation and harsh conditions under Chinese rule. Only to be conquered later by the Japanese people until the end of World War 2 and then face a Korean civil war afterwards that furthered the plight of the Korean people.
But there has been a change in the wind so to speak.
With the elder generations still chanting the same tune, many of the younger generations have been listening to a different one. Many musicians and actors have been surprised by the large fan base they have in other countries. One Korean actor, Bae Yong Joon was very surprised that many Japanese women loved him in the Korean drama “Winter Sonata”. Japanese singer Namie Amuro was and still is a huge hit with Koreans as well.
As many inroads are being made to reconnect these countries as allies has motivated others who want to rekindle past hatreds. With the situation now between Japan and China, many Chinese entertainers are risking their entire fan base not only in Japan but other countries as well by showing their support for China. Actress Li Bingbing “requested” that none of her images appear in connection with the movie Resident Evil: Retribution while it is shown in Japan.
The right to protest is a right of all people. The right to express their free will on issue’s that affects them the most. But with China’s history of human rights issues, are Li Bingbing and other Chinese entertainers’ comments that are being reported of their own free will or are they being forced to by government officials?
China is still a communist country that is operating a very successful commercial trade with many countries around the world. But never-the-less a country that still controls the military, media, banking system and one’s right to work and have a life in that country.
Speaking out against or failing to support one’s own country can and has been hazardous to Chinese citizens. Just ask 2010 Nobel Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo who spent three years in a labor camp followed by an eleven year prison sentence for “spreading messages to subvert the country and authority”.
In time all of this will pass. In time all these countries will be one big happy family. I say this not out of wishful hope but from many examples of human history where enemies have forged bond of friendship after years of war. England and France, Germany and Europe, England and Scotland, Tom and Jerry, American Southerners and American Northerners are few examples of different people and countries have overcome their differences and hatred of one another.
The most famous and tragic story of overcoming hatred is the biblical story of Moses and the Israelites spending 40 years in the desert before entering their promised land. The Israelites wanted so badly to go back to their old lives as slaves to the Egyptians. Their resentment and hatred for Moses kept them in the desert for 40 years. Everyone who left Egypt, including Moses, never entered “the promised land”.
All that hatred died out in the desert. Those who were born in the desert had no connection to that hatred. The only connection they had was to their faith, religion and the promise of a better life ahead. In time, as other countries have shown; Japan, China and Korea will be as a family much like the countries in Europe or U.S.A and Canada. In time the generation of hate will die out as new generations discover a better life instead.