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Old 2008-11-19, 00:44   Link #1
sezen_atacan
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Question Does or will east asia get along?

I know I am suppose to ask this question on an actual Japan related forum but then I will have to dig through heaps of "ultra-nationalist" replies to get any real answers.....

China seems to be the most demonized nation out there, unfortunately nobody seems to feel any remorse for the casual guy stuck in between tough politics. Problematic products and strict government media control in China created a perfect formula for the Anti-Chinese movement in Japan because the Japanese government and nationalists use this as so-called "credible evidence" and many in Japan seems the claim that because products are bad and fabricated that the holocaust is fabricated.

Kim Il's missile tests and the infamous manga called "hate korean wave" seems to be only fire being fought with fire. While the "Red Scare" might be a fad and a joke in the west nowadays, in Japan it is still a tremendous issue. On top of the economic crisis instead of Japan-China-Korea all working together they are waste time and tax money with finger pointing and creating fear and smear campaigns against each other. Then you've got those occasional crazy baffoons with loud speakers driving those trucks in Tokyo downtown annoying rush hour people with pointless nationalistic rants and spuring hatred in general.

I understand there may be room for co-operation and tolerance seeing how there are half-japanese half-chinese half koreans here but I was wondering if you will think if it will get worse or better??

If conflict on military scale happens, it might be enough to classify as a world war due to the sheer numbers of manpower and multiple alliances involved.

What do you think??
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Old 2008-11-19, 00:55   Link #2
TinyRedLeaf
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If conflict on military scale happens, it might be enough to classify as a world war due to the sheer numbers of manpower and multiple alliances involved.
Where there's money to be made, there will be no cross-border wars in East Asia.

China's re-militarisation is commensurate with its growing economic power. Plus, with the memory of the Opium Wars and the subsequent colonisation of various parts of the country still fresh in China's mind, the Communist Party is determined not to let that happen again. Part of its so-called plans for an aircraft carrier, for example, are motivated by the desire to take Taiwan by force, if need be. China knows that if it comes to that, it will have to contend with the US Seventh Fleet, hence the need for a blue-water navy.

Japan is an enigma, as far as its true foreign policy is concerned. Outwardly, it has become a pacifist country. But inwardly, the highest echelons of its political structure are worryingly nationalist. I don't forsee a re-militarised Japan, but that prediction could change literally overnight, if something were to suddenly tip the balance of power between moderates and nationalists.

South Korea, well, has to worry about North Korea. On the one hand, it wants reunification, but on the other, it is privately worried about the potential costs. Germany offers a good example of what reunification would entail. In the meantime, there's a mix of sympathy for cousins in the north, together with suspicions about the regime's motives. And oh, I get the feeling that South Koreans are none too fond of China.

As for the rest of Asia, despite the economic gloom at the moment, it's mostly business (and corruption) as usual. But none of them have significant geopolitical clout to make much difference in the East Asian power structure.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2008-11-19 at 11:15. Reason: Damn...what's "predication"? ^^;;
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Old 2008-11-19, 01:11   Link #3
Lathdrinor
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Anything is possible, but China has nukes, while S. Korea and Japan can likely get them pretty easily. So, really, major wars in East Asia will either not occur, or they will occur and the entire region will be annihilated. Personally, I don't see the latter happening because all the governments in question are pretty pragmatic. But who knows, history is surprising sometimes.
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Old 2008-11-19, 01:15   Link #4
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Demographically-speaking, if Japan doesn't undo its current policy of restricting "foreigner" entry into Japan, the Japanese population would shrink. What this means for relations is that Japan's nationalist past would literally die out bit by bit. It would not be gone entirely. But, nationalistic politicians would become smaller and smaller.

Actually, money can and were indeed made during wars, depending on who you are.
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Old 2008-11-19, 01:29   Link #5
Tri-ring
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Japan is an enigma, as far as its true foreign policy is concerned. Outwardly, it has become a pacifist country. But inwardly, the highest echelons of its political structure are worryingly nationalist. I don't forsee a re-militarised Japan, but that predication could change literally overnight, if something were to suddenly tip the balance of power between moderates and nationalists.
It will be quite difficult for Japan to pursue re-militarization whom ever it may be at helm with article 9 written within the present constitution.
3 quarters will be needed by a nation-wide referendum to revise through democratic means.
The only way I can think of for it to happen "Overnight" is a military coup by the self-defence force which is again extreemly unlikely.

Japan has nothing to gain and everything to lose by becoming hostile to neighbouring nations because Japan's economy is based on international trades.
It's alot easier to make trading relationship through diplomacy then at gun point at state level.

People needs to understand that war is just another economic tool which is not necessary when free trade is the norm.
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Old 2008-11-19, 01:40   Link #6
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By itself, economics is no assurance that war would always be averted. In 1914, Britain's trade with Germany is by not means insignificant. Of course, the outbreak of the second war was affected by international tariffs, which worsened the Depression.
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Old 2008-11-19, 01:49   Link #7
Tri-ring
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
Demographically-speaking, if Japan doesn't undo its current policy of restricting "foreigner" entry into Japan, the Japanese population would shrink. What this means for relations is that Japan's nationalist past would literally die out bit by bit. It would not be gone entirely. But, nationalistic politicians would become smaller and smaller.

Actually, money can and were indeed made during wars, depending on who you are.
I really do not know what you are talking about in terms of policy in "restricting" foreigners entrying Japan.
To my knowledge each and every nation on the face of this planet has their own immigration laws. No nation accepts immigrants freely and have certain criterias.
Japan accepts immigration and there are alot of naturalize citizens here in Japan to show that there is no policy "Restricting" application for immigration.
To be accepted or not depends on the individual skills and acceptance of Japanese culture by that individual not the otherway around.
For example, an immigrant is required to pass Japanese grammer and vocal test. The applicant also needs to show he obtains skills that is beneficial to the Japanese society/economy.
Why should Japan or any other nation for that matter accept people who may become a burden to society as whole?
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Old 2008-11-19, 02:11   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
Demographically-speaking, if Japan doesn't undo its current policy of restricting "foreigner" entry into Japan, the Japanese population would shrink. What this means for relations is that Japan's nationalist past would literally die out bit by bit. It would not be gone entirely. But, nationalistic politicians would become smaller and smaller.

Actually, money can and were indeed made during wars, depending on who you are.
Don't forget, Japan has been demilitarized since WWII, and their chances of getting any kind of nukes are rather slim. The only that that really protects Japan right now it's its huge commercial and profitable stature. If you look at things in the most basic aspect, what makes a country favorable toward a worldly attention. It is either it's economy as a whole or what kind of resources it currently has in it's possession.

When can they finally get along? I don't think this is possible. The core of the people are already in a rage, and with the mass controlled media feeding hate message to it's citizens; Along with the central hatred each of them hold against each other. The problem lies with the citizens themselves, just like the middle east. Weapon of mass destructions will never be a legitimate cause for unity. A forceable favor to it citizen to change is nothing threatening them to change religion at gun point.
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Old 2008-11-19, 02:32   Link #9
Lathdrinor
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The only that that really protects Japan right now it's its huge commercial and profitable stature.
And the JSDF. And the US military.

Japan is well-protected from conventional attacks. Its only vulnerability is nuclear weapons. But then, no one's really protected from nuclear weapons, though the US is trying to build a missile shield that could, if successful, send the world into another arms race.
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Old 2008-11-19, 02:50   Link #10
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Will East Asia get along? Will Israel and the rest of Middle East get along? Will the US and Russia get along? Its the same question.

Considering that China is on a mass military campaign, while North Korea is building nukes specifically targetting Japan, the problem is at large. Aside from not making their military budgets transparent, China is also producing large amounts of problematic edible products, yet the upper echelon of their government tries to cover it up for them. North Korea, on the other hand is even worse. Not just that they won't hand back the abductees, they are also going back on their words concerning their denuclearization process, not letting any international group to examine their process or check out their nuclear sites. On top of this, they are also selling nuclear-related technology to Syria which implies that North Korea is a state-sponsoring terrorism, yet the US removed them from their official blacklist.

On the other hand, the South Korean government seems to be very supportive of North Korea, even though the merging of the two states will cause a negative impact to the South Korean economy obviously for a variety of reasons, such as that the possible mass relocation of North Koreans into South Korea would put a toll onto their welfare benefits, while the amount of food consumption in the South would be raised significantly, causing possible mass imports from other nations which can be quite costly. If there is a possible merge, which nation will be controlling the military? Will Kim Jong Il let South Korea manage their military? I don't think so..
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Old 2008-11-19, 03:02   Link #11
Lathdrinor
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It really makes no sense to talk about East Asia in a vacuum, anyways. East Asian politics is dictated by great power politics and you can't really say anything meaningful about it without bringing in the US, Russia, India, Southeast Asia, and even Australia. Asking whether East Asia will get along is, as such, akin to asking whether the world will get along.
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Old 2008-11-19, 11:07   Link #12
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
It will be quite difficult for Japan to pursue re-militarization whom ever it may be at helm with article 9 written within the present constitution. 3 quarters will be needed by a nation-wide referendum to revise through democratic means. The only way I can think of for it to happen "Overnight" is a military coup by the self-defence force which is again extreemly unlikely.
Japan is well known for doing many extremely unlikely things. It managed the extremely unlikely transformation from a feudal society to a modern economy. It managed the extremely unlikely feat of beating the Russian Navy in the Russo-Japanese War. No one could have imagined that Japan was insane enough to start a war with the United States, but it did.

The military coup you highlighted is also extremely unlikely, but in the light of Japanese history, I cannot confidently rule it out. It's not hard to imagine a populist leader stirring up nationalist sentiment against some outside power all over again, not when we can still see regular examples of ultra-nationalists denying Japanese war atrocities.

In Germany, it's no longer possible to see a Fourth Reich, because the lessons — and the collective guilt — of the Holocaust have been burnt into the national conscience. That's not the case in Japan.
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Old 2008-11-19, 14:07   Link #13
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

In Germany, it's no longer possible to see a Fourth Reich, because the lessons and the collective guilt of the Holocaust have been burnt into the national conscience. That's not the case in Japan.
Not be mention that all of Europe would be knocking on Germanies doors, they would certainly see an event like that one coming and take actions against it before it even happens.
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Old 2008-11-19, 16:14   Link #14
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In Germany, it's no longer possible to see a Fourth Reich, because the lessons ? and the collective guilt ? of the Holocaust have been burnt into the national conscience. That's not the case in Japan.
In other words, you are suggesting that Japan intends to go militaristic again? How is that even possible? You know, it is against the Pacifist Constitution to the point that even if Japan's major ally, the US in in danger, the SDF have no right to assist them, because it will be considered a violation of Article 9.
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Old 2008-11-19, 16:27   Link #15
Lathdrinor
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The US has been pushing for a more active JSDF, and the Japanese government is cooperating. The only obstacle is the Japanese people, but as Hermann Goering said,

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
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Old 2008-11-19, 16:40   Link #16
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Will East Asia get along? Will Israel and the rest of Middle East get along? Will the US and Russia get along? Its the same question.

Considering that China is on a mass military campaign, while North Korea is building nukes specifically targetting Japan, the problem is at large. Aside from not making their military budgets transparent, China is also producing large amounts of problematic edible products, yet the upper echelon of their government tries to cover it up for them. North Korea, on the other hand is even worse. Not just that they won't hand back the abductees, they are also going back on their words concerning their denuclearization process, not letting any international group to examine their process or check out their nuclear sites. On top of this, they are also selling nuclear-related technology to Syria which implies that North Korea is a state-sponsoring terrorism, yet the US removed them from their official blacklist.

On the other hand, the South Korean government seems to be very supportive of North Korea, even though the merging of the two states will cause a negative impact to the South Korean economy obviously for a variety of reasons, such as that the possible mass relocation of North Koreans into South Korea would put a toll onto their welfare benefits, while the amount of food consumption in the South would be raised significantly, causing possible mass imports from other nations which can be quite costly. If there is a possible merge, which nation will be controlling the military? Will Kim Jong Il let South Korea manage their military? I don't think so..
That's quite a interesting statement, I haven't really heard anything about South supporting the North. As far as I know with Yi Myung Bak as the president the relationship got little more tense since he is more of pro-US than Noh was or so I heard.

And to answer the question. Never! we fing hate each other . But seriously I just can't see East Asians getting along there are so many negativity embedded into each society and culture. The history between the three country hasn't really be friendly either especially with what happened after Japan was unified by Hideyoshi. And what happened prior and during World War II didn't exactly made us friend. As time passes the relationship will get worse in my opnion, China becoming a super power, Japan's desire to strengthen their military(of course this seems to be minority but still there are some desire), and with the situation with North Korea I really doubt that we will become friend anytime soon. Though I love to see us becoming friends there are just too many bad history and too much pride in the people.
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Old 2008-11-19, 16:56   Link #17
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That's quite a interesting statement, I haven't really heard anything about South supporting the North. As far as I know with Yi Myung Bak as the president the relationship got little more tense since he is more of pro-US than Noh was or so I heard.
It's more interesting that you even spelled the South Korean president's surname wrong; it's actually Lee Myung Bak. South Korea is very supportive of North Korea, it is quite obvious. Not just that they were providing them financial aid, South Korea was against the idea of sanctioning North Korea prior to the US blacklist removal. However, most of the South Koreans are not very happy with the idea of merging with North Korea, because it will greatly impact their economy in a negative light.

Quote:
And to answer the question. Never! we fing hate each other . But seriously I just can't see East Asians getting along there are so many negativity embedded into each society and culture. The history between the three country hasn't really be friendly either especially with what happened after Japan was unified by Hideyoshi. And what happened prior and during World War II didn't exactly made us friend. As time passes the relationship will get worse in my opnion, China becoming a super power, Japan's desire to strengthen their military(of course this seems to be minority but still there are some desire), and with the situation with North Korea I really doubt that we will become friend anytime soon. Though I love to see us becoming friends there are just too many bad history and too much pride in the people.
Truly, the concept of having one more friend is better than one more foe is true even between nations. However, it is going to be a path of difficulty. There are way too many issues to be dealt with prior to the strengthening of trilateral relations.

Edit #1 = fixed typo
Edit #2 = fixed syntax
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Old 2008-11-19, 17:13   Link #18
Terrestrial Dream
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It's more interesting that you even spelled the South Korean president's surname wrong; it's actually Lee Myung Bak. South Korea is very supportive of North Korea, it is quite obvious. Not just that they were providing them financial aid, South Korea was against the idea of sanctioning North Korea prior to the US blacklist removal. However, most of the South Koreans are not very happy with the idea of merging with North Korea, because it will greatly impact their economy in a negative light.p
No actually its Yi , since Yi is more closer to 이 than Lee. I can't really comment on South Korea being against idea of sanctioning North Korea as I don't know much about the subject but I do know that Yi Myung Bak was supposedly more pro-US which means harder treatment towards the North. I guess someone like Kang could make the situation more clear. Also from what I seen Koreans do want unification. Of course we don't want to repeat what happened with Germany so I am sure the government will go for some kind of gradual unification. Can't really see us going against unifying our own country together.

Quote:
Truly, the concept of having one more friend is better than one more foe is true even between nations. However, it is going to be a path of difficulty. There are way too many issues to be dealt with prior to the strengthening of trilateral relations.

Edit #1 = fixed typo
Edit #2 = fixed syntax
And its more than the issue itself its more of the mentality of the people. For example go to Youtube and type anything between Korea, China, and Japan, and read the comments. You will see what I am talking about, those people will go crazy and use very offensive remarks at each other.
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Old 2008-11-19, 18:08   Link #19
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I once had a go at trying to write about why it was that Germany (and, to a lesser extent, Italy) was part of such a profound change in the nature of its political and cultural relationships to the rest of Europe, yet Japan had not been as successful at doing the same.


A lot of it boils down to the context that both states found themselves in - leaving the issue of unification slightly to one side for a moment.


Germany - or rather, the FRG - emerged post-war surrounded on one side by recovering democracies that were both trying to escape the cycle of conflict which had dogged Europe for centuries, and try and deal with the rapid onset of the Cold War, be it in terms of the increased American influence in western Europe, or the drawing of the Iron Curtain over central and eastern Europe.

Given the crucial place Germany sat upon - at the front lines of the NATO-Warsaw Pact divide - it was seen as imperative to do what had not been done at the end of the First World War, that is to try and both rehabilitate Germany and integrate it into a wider European framework.

Indeed, the latter part had its origins in the likes of the European Coal and Steel Pact - a sharing of resources between its signatories that both broke with the divisive past, and laid the first stone on the path to what is now the European Union.

Be it from a wish to find a voice in a world of two superpowers, to renounce the bloodied legacy of old, or to embrace a new dynamic of peace and co-operation, West Germany and its neighbours had far more reasons to work together than not - and since they were all democratic countries with compatible political systems, the joint infrastructure that was formed at the EC (now EU) level was able to work at least largely the way it was supposed to.

And in more recent times, when the Berlin Wall came down and the Warsaw Pact states went into the dustbins of history, a new re-united Germany (which was really more of an annexation of the GDR by the FRG - albeit one in which no-one realised how bare the cupboard had been left by the withdrawing Russians prior to 1990...) found itself at the heart of a new Europe.

One in which all of its neighbours, north, south, east and west (with the exception of Switzerland) are now members of the Union, in which relations with Russia are, if not stellar, a far cry from the darker days of the Cold War, in which Berlin is now at the crossroads of the new Europe, where the currency in your pocket is shared by 14 other countries (and will be shared by even more as the euro zone expands) and in which the gap between the former-GDR and the rest of the country can be worked on, albeit rather more slowly than anyone had expected...



Japan, in contrast, has few such advantages.


There aren't many other democratic states in East Asia - and many of them are relatively recent (and in the case of Taiwan, in quite a political tangle of its own) - besides which the country could try (or could have tried) and follow the kind of path Germany walked down in Europe.

Further, there is the somewhat minor matter of both mainland China and North Korea still being one-party dictatorships - and while there is a lot more trade between Japan and the PRC than there ever was between the West and the old USSR, just as the Cold War put a freeze on a wider reconciliation in Europe, there is a limit on what one can do to try and reconcile states when the governing bodies in Beijing or Pyongyang are, shall we say, less than open to certain kinds of political developments.

(The West didn't do this process any favours when they tried to rush things in post-USSR Russia - and thus leading to the ransacking of state assets, the rise of super-rich oligarchs, and the quite understandable disillusionment many might feel about the prospects of a more careful transition in China in the future.)

Plus, without the buffer of European co-operation, Japan is far more directly exposed to American influence than Germany was - not least since the Germans had France to do the arguing for them... - so has been more disposed to look across the Pacific, rather than to the rest of Asia, when looking for support.


And one thing to bear in mind is that even before the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union had seen the likes of Gorbachev openly condemn the crimes of Stalin - whereas the CCP has yet to do the same concerning Mao (and may never do) and the 'Dear Leader' will hardly criticise his old man, or himself.

Thus, in Europe, the crimes of Nazi Germany and the horrors of Stalinism can be discussed and compared - although many in Western Europe, spared the worst of one and the experience of the other, don't see this.

When will the day come when the brutality of the Japanese occupations be discussed alongside the millions of dead at Mao's hands, or the decades of oppression inflicted on the people of the DPRK?


Only then, when that day comes, will there be the chance to finally, finally, try to do what has been done in Europe - and move forward in a more positive direction.
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Old 2008-11-19, 18:51   Link #20
Lathdrinor
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I think you should take into account a more fundamental difference: that of guilt and shame.

Western cultures are more based on guilt, probably in no small part due to the Christian influence. If you believe that "God sees all," then there's no point to hiding misdeeds. Either you believe that what you did was right and stick by it, or you don't and confess to it. The Nazis believed in their righteousness and during the Nuremberg trials, some of them laughed in the face of their prosecutors. The rest of Germany, those who saw the facts of what the Nazis did, spoke out and apologized.

East Asian cultures, by contrast, are more based on shame. People talk all the time about how important "face" is to East Asians, and this is what it amounts to - pride is important, and pride comes from being perceived as good and honorable and praiseworthy. Ideally, that perception comes from actual deeds, but when it doesn't, there is a temptation to either hide or deny the shameful aspects of one's conduct. That's why a segment of Japan continues to deny its wartime conduct, that's why China's leaders cover up their misdeeds, and that's why Koreans felt collective shame during the Virginia Tech massacre.

The effects of culture on politics should not be underestimated.

One simple example of why democracy might not play as much a role as you think, in these matters, is the relationship between Japan and South Korea. Both are democracies, and yet, the two countries' nationalists are often at odds over historical and current affairs. Consequently, even though South Korea shares more with Japan (in terms of living style and government system) than China, it often joins China in protesting Japan over World War II issues. Similarly, I do not think that anti-Japanese sentiments in China will simply go away if it becomes a democracy.

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