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2012年9月 3日 (月)

中国大使車襲撃 容疑者の「英雄」扱いを憂える

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 3, 2012)
China shouldn't treat suspects in car attack like heroes
中国大使車襲撃 容疑者の「英雄」扱いを憂える(9月2日付・読売社説)

We hope the Chinese government will take appropriate actions to prevent the recurrence of an incident that insulted Japan.

An official car carrying Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa was attacked recently in Beijing, and the Japanese national flag on it was stolen. Chinese authorities have identified four suspects, including one woman, but the authorities have just been questioning them without detention.

This incident seems to have been caused by rising anti-Japanese sentiment within China, which was ignited by Hong Kong activists illegally landing on the Senkaku Islands. Stealing the Japanese national flag is nothing but a blatant insult to this country.

Responding to a protest by the Japanese government, Beijing said the incident was extremely regrettable, and it would do its best to prevent similar incidents in the future and take stern actions as required by its laws.


Effects of patriotic education

However, an opinion survey conducted by a Chinese portal site on the Internet showed that 80 percent of respondents supported the attack on the Japanese ambassador's car. It is alarming for Japan that many people praised the attack, calling the suspects "heroes."

There is a slogan in China that a patriotic act should not be considered a crime. However, it is certainly a problem that the destruction of Japanese cars and restaurants by anti-Japan demonstrators is virtually permitted in that nation.

We must point out that the strong effects on young people of the patriotic education by Chinese authorities are behind the radicalization of the opinions they express on the Internet due to anti-Japanese sentiment.

Both Japan and China should understand that they are close neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water, and that they are very important partners not only economically but also in many other fields. It should be stressed that the latest incident and repeated anti-Japanese demonstrations are simply unproductive.

We also cannot overlook the fact that many friendship events scheduled to be held in China had to be postponed or canceled due to rising tensions over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.


Mutually beneficial relations

To improve bilateral relations, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently sent a personal letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao. Parliamentary Senior Foreign Vice Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi met Friday in Beijing with Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo, a political heavyweight in charge of foreign affairs who is close to Hu, and handed Noda's letter to him.

In the letter, Noda stressed that Japan and China should deepen their strategic and mutually beneficial relations. To develop relations further, it is important to have close communications between high-level government officials, the letter also said.

Noda apparently sees improvement of the bilateral relationship as a matter of urgency. How will Hu respond to Noda's letter?

Japan and China will mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of their diplomatic relations at the end of this month. Tokyo and Beijing are considering arranging talks between their leaders on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum scheduled to be held in Vladivostok early this month.

Japanese and Chinese leaders must try to rebuild the relations between their nations by holding numerous discussions from a broader perspective and in a calm manner.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 2, 2012)
(2012年9月2日01時45分  読売新聞)


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