Chinese Yell Out Anti-Japanese Protest Over Territorial Dispute
By Jung Hyun-young, Overseas Correspondent
Recently, the territorial dispute between China and Japan about the tiny islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, has brought about serious tension internationally. The islands attracted little attention until they recently became the hottest international issue after Japanese Central Authorities tried to acquire the islands which were in the possession of a private Japanese firm who were buying them from the owners and then a wave of anti-Japanese demonstrations broke out across China.
Anti-Japanese posters in a number of cities expressed their resentment toward Japan with a rather extreme message and it brought about some large and small incidents. There have been regular anti-Japanese demonstrations during the annual remembrance ceremonies in China, but the more serious events occurred on September 18th, the 81st anniversary of the Japanese invasion, not just about the colonial past but also the recent disputes. It is so frightening that Koreans also have been encouraged to keep a low profile, to avoid being regarded as Japanese against any possible attack.
I asked Chinese and Japanese friends what they think about this issue. Lixiao (Chinese, Senior, Dept. of Chinese Language Education, Shanghai Normal University) said, “It looks like a reminder of underlying problems between China and Japan. Many Chinese people think Japan deliberately tried to strengthen their control of the disputed islands to secure international influence without consideration of the international relationship. As it exasperated race animosities with recalling an unhappy reminder of past colonization, the dispute over the islands became an intensely emotional problem for the Chinese.” Yuki Shu (Japanese, Sophomore, Dept. of Economic, Nagoya University) said “Although it is rather safe in the university, I am especially careful to watch over my safety against any possible attack. When I see some incidents in the news regarding anti-Japanese demonstrations, the posters are totally out of control. I think reminders of the past are never forgotten and the problems of the past have not been forgiven by the Chinese. I hope that peace comes to the East as soon as possible.”
As they mentioned, the territorial dispute between China and Japan has entered into a more serious phase above just a matter of territorial rights. However, nobody can deny that the two powers in Asia have a strong relationship even if there are some reminders of old rivalries. I hope that they can find more peaceful ways to ease the tension between each other, and that peace comes to the East again.