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  TOV News > Honda Announces Mid-term Business Strategy for China > > Re: An outsider's opinion on the cultural question

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danielgr
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An outsider's opinion on the cultural question [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-11-2012 09:13
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I just noticed Neal's thread and the fact that is has been closed, so I'll add my bit on this separate thread.

Who am I to talk? Well:
1) an outsider from Europe living in Asia (Japan). That means I lack the deep historical knowledge of any of those directly involved (Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese), but also the pollution derived from that "biased historical knowledge".
2) someone that has lived less than half of his life at home (a country that participated in no World War, Spain), the other half taking the time to live and travel among winners and losers of WWII, got used to listen to everyone's version of a dreadful past.

So my opinion in as short as I can expose it:
- Wars are terrible, they are now and perhaps were even more in the past. Few wars were as horrible as WWII, and all colonizers have done pretty much similar damage to local populations at any time during history. The Romans did wherever they went, the Spanish did in Latin America, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Belgians, Germans, etc. had their turn, the Japanese did in both Korea and China. That is the human nature that a few powerful people lead vast numbers of poor people into brutalizing even poorer people, and the only real difference exists in the books, on "who has written the history".
- When it comes to Japan after WWII, it has the disadvantage of being the one who "lost the war", and therefore is not allowed to write history on the exact way it'd like to, something that both Chinese and Koreans do (though the history of Korea is absolutely different depending which half of it you ask; I've heard both). It is also hard for Japanese to swallow more than what they had to endure while losing the war and after it, both for the people at the time and for those that came behind and paid the price of something they had nothing to do with.

To me it is simply sad that powerful people keep using the hate against another country as a mean of boosting domestic pride and nationalism. For sure any growing country needs to be nationalistic in order to keep a fast pace, but in the case of Asia I just feel they could do so much better if they did away with matters that have little to do with nationality and everything to do with human nature.
I can't recall the amount of pseudo-historic Chinese and Korean popular movies I've seen where the Japanese are depicted as the greatest possible evil, and still have carved in my memory the visit to Seodaemun Prison in Seul. To me it's simply sad, very sad, specially if you consider that there are nearly no Korean nor Chinese or Japanese people alive among those that actually participated in that dark page of human history.

And I still keep for myself the image of a Korean kid and a Japanese one playing and sharing together for 8hours of flight between Paris and Tokyo. Sure hope that their respective countries horrible education and propaganda won't turn those 2 kids that became friends despite not being able to speak each other into enemies, simply because a few powerful guys decided that was in their best interest.

As for the economy and car sales, others have written about it pretty well, so there is not much I could add. I have several Chinese (from China, not expats), Korean, and Japanese friends, and for sure there are mixed feelings involved. In the end good business is what is finally closing the gap among the 3 countries (as it happened with Europe after WWII), and Japanese companies try hard to dispel the many prejudices Chinese/Koreans have against them. In the end though, an enviable corporate culture together with the right products make Japan an industrial model for Asia, and Japanese products sell pretty well in China.


PS: Here is the pic I took of the two kids, just so that I would never forget.

Dren
Profile for Dren
Re: An outsider's opinion on the cultural question [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-11-2012 15:33
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danielgr wrote:
To me it is simply sad that powerful people keep using the hate against another country as a mean of boosting domestic pride and nationalism. For sure any growing country needs to be nationalistic in order to keep a fast pace, but in the case of Asia I just feel they could do so much better if they did away with matters that have little to do with nationality and everything to do with human nature.


Nationalism is used to rally for war. It is absolutely not needed for any growing country to keep a fast pace economically.

On the other hand, the picture is nice along with the anti-war thoughts. I've lived in both Japan and Korea. I couldn't have met nicer people in both countries.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: An outsider's opinion on the cultural question [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-11-2012 18:56
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Ay Daniel... there is a reason why that thread was closed, Eh?

So, I won't touch the subject of the original thread with a ten (nay... hundred) foot pole.

Anyways, wars are terrible things and throughout history there is no good side because what one side is doing _this_ time, the other did the _previous_ time.

And as a rule of thumb, it's always the _last_ thing that was done that determines who is the Bad Guy Du Jour.

I don't think there is a good side nor a bad side.. all sides are equally guilty of doing this over the course of history. This goes for groups all over the five continents and since prehistory.

Trade is actually a good thing to solve the issues of wars. When countries/provinces/villages/tribes become interdependent for their livelihood acts of violence between them drop and prosperity follows.

BTW, there are Chinese working at AHM. Koreans too. So maybe in the US we don't have that hang up anymore. Sure, bad things happened, but you have to turn the other cheek and move on.






mobis21
Profile for mobis21
Re: An outsider's opinion on the cultural question [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-14-2012 10:51
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A very interesting point about each of those countries view points and writings of the events of the wars. I bet those are some varied accounts. I'm afraid the USA is trying to re-write a lot of our history in the name of political correctness.
Heckler
Profile for Heckler
Re: An outsider's opinion on the cultural question [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 04-17-2012 17:44
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I haven't posted in a long time, but I keep reading news etc...I must say, that your post is very well put together, I will not further discuss since I don't think I have anything worth adding, but wanted to commend you on it.

 
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