General Question

jesienne's avatar

Is Japan more favoured than China by westerners when talking about Asia?

Asked by jesienne (800points) August 12th, 2017

I don’t know why. Lots of westerners want to visit Japan, and many dishes, handicrafts , cosmetics I see in London have Japanese elements. But does any one remember that Japan deny the nanjing Massacre? If Germany denys its war crimes we know what would happen but why westerners are so tolerant towards Japanese behavior during WWII, is it only because Japan didn’t invade western countries and kill westerners?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Japan’s victims were other asians, both of which were considered lesser races by westerners.
Also, Japan became part of the “western world” in terms of politics and economics, whereas China became part of the “communist” sphere, and to an extent, still is.

Patty_Melt's avatar

It seems to me Japan is more favored than China.
I can only guess about why.
Here are some thoughts on maybe why:
* China was closed off to westerners for quite a while.
* Guilt feelings over dropping the bomb on Japan.
* China is huuuuuge, and so can appear much more dangerous than most countries.

ragingloli's avatar

Also, Anime.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There’s an awful lot of room in that word “favoured”. Which Westerners are we talking about? From a tourist standpoint, it is both easier (and less problematic) to visit Japan.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

My mother visits China regularly and from what I hear it’s actually a wonderfull place. I’d love to go myself.

CWOTUS's avatar

In a word: realpolitik.

Japan isn’t perfect, as a nation, as a culture or as a government. But so what? No other nation, culture or government is perfect, either. Understanding and accepting that, most Americans – and sensible Europeans – understand that Japan’s political and economic alignment with the West effectively counterbalances (“helps to counterbalance”) Chinese political and economic power in East Asia.

Also, Japan doesn’t have vast territorial claims in the South China Sea (or Taiwan), which make it a generally more easy-going neighbor (these days) than China to other countries in the Western Pacific region.

jesienne's avatar

@CWOTUS when you used “counterblance”, does it mean that you don’t wannna see China getting stronger and stronger, in other words, you regard as China an imaginary enemy?

CWOTUS's avatar

Unless we’re in a war, I don’t tend to see countries as “enemies”. Not even North Korea, Iran and other actually hostile nations are real enemies at this time to the USA or to the West in general. We never fought a war against the USSR / Russia, either. They’ve never been “an enemy”. I hope that we never fight a war against China.

However, China does seem to have hegemony on its mind. It has already taken over the formerly independent Mongolia (anyone even remember Mongolia any more?) and Tibet. We haven’t quite forgotten about Tibet yet, but China plays the long game, and they know that we will eventually forget. In that same spirit of “playing the long game”, they are staking claims to uninhabited islands in the South China Sea so that they can make great “territorial waters” claims, which would enable them to control fishing, undersea mining and oil exploration / drilling, and eventually shipping lanes as well. They have territorial disputes with India that could help them to eventually take over Nepal, Bhutan and even the “Seven Sisters” region of Northeast India (the section that is only connected to the main continental body by a very narrow isthmus).

Since the dissolution of the USSR there are a lot of other landlocked nations in Central Asia that will eventually be ripe for the plucking, too. China has time to wait.

China has for thousands of years attempted to be – and at times has been – an imperial power in the way that Japan’s rulers wanted it to be for a few short years in the last century. Japan seems to have been cured of its obsession with empire. China has not.

I still don’t consider the nation of China to be “an enemy”, but it would be historically foolish to ignore their ambition. And little imagination is required to perceive these realities.

si3tech's avatar

@jesienne This is an interesting question. I agree that Japan does seem to be favored over China. Someone mentioned above that the Government in China is communist where Japan is more democratic. For me, that makes sense.

Response moderated
stanleybmanly's avatar

Now I think I understand the gist of your question. You are asking why it is that Westerners are suspicious of Chinese ambitions while Japan is given a pass for egregious behavior in the past. The answer is that TODAY Japan exhibits no desire for territorial expansion nor regional domination. For China’s neighbors the great (and legitimate) concern is that China now behaves as though it is its “turn” to muscle its way into history because it can. It can well be argued that China in effect is today making the same mistake as Japan did in the 30s, though obviously not with the same degree of severity or ruthless militarism. Today, even China can’t get away with that.

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