Saturday, December 27, 2014

Boycott Japan?

I have just received a “Let’s boycott everything Japanese” plea from a member of one of our WhatsApp chat groups. I share the author’s sentiment about Shinzo Abe, whom I consider the most dangerous politician in modern day Japan. Abe was totally non-remorseful or apologetic about the atrocities Japan committed during World War II. Under him, Japan is even trying to white-wash its schools’ history books. Unlike Germany which has long owned up and vowed never to repeat what Nazis had done to Europe, Abe is trying to sweep things under the carpet. A new generation of Japanese are growing up ignorant of the brutalities their warmongers had caused to their neighbours, especially Chinese in mainland China and Southeast Asia during the first half of the twentieth century.

But is the boycott necessary? Can a boycott bring Japanese to their knees?
I honestly doubt it can. It will make them more resolved to exercise their instinct, which is basically that very strong sense of superiority complex in them. Whereas for the offspring of the Yellow Emperor,  where "personal interest comes first" is innate in the race, can you believe this boycott will work?

The only nation that can prevent or contain Japan’s neo-militarism is China. It is far from ready to fight Japan and America now. Although it has the numbers in terms of war planes and ships, its armoury is still not sophisticated enough to overwhelm Japan’s, let alone that in America, unless it is a nuclear war. It still needs to 臥薪嘗膽 [wò xīn cháng dǎn] (persevere until one is completely ready). Maybe another ten to twenty years?

But I always believe unless China undergoes a form a Renaissance, this “catching up” ambition may just prove to be a pipe dream. There is much to be learned from your enemy; to turn a blind eye on what their real strengths lie is simply stupid. The real strengths of the Japanese are etched in their behaviours and attitudes. These are coded in their “genetics”. Perfectionism in anything they do is perhaps the most obvious trait you see in them. This perfectionist mind-set spawns quality consciousness and competitiveness. While Chinese by and large are very individualistic and linear in their family and clan relationships, Japanese are largely hierarchical and herd-driven. They are the true practitioners of Confucianism internally and Sun-Tze-ism externally!
Boycotting is in my opinion an emotional self-defeating action. If Japanese factories and business in China have to be closed, how many people will lose their job? Are they not things that the Chinese can learn from the Japanese there? To begin with, they can learn how to maintain cleaner toilets and more orderly offices, not to mention better etiquette and personal hygiene practices.

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