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April 29, 2006


Scott Wickstein

That's better then them dreaming of being civil servants though!


It is not unrealistic to conclude that Japan has more to fear from Korea and China than vice versa.
Reports such as this:

only put it in much graver perspective; as well as the lessons drawn from much of Japanese youth culture, which as you have pointed out, is crazily hedonistic. Tho' I would have thought that the whole gyaru subculture has received a fair amount of exposure in the West - from books, magazines etc. What fuels the anti Japanese sentiment we are witnessing is an unhealthy lust for revenge, and the usual desire of human beings to massage their self esteem by inventing enemies when there are none.
My greatest concern with respect to Japan is one of equilibrum. I feel, that the culture of the Youth generation in Japan today is so surreal that it cannot possible continue to exist - and that surely enough, the pendulum might begin very soon to swing the other way, as opportunists from the right decide to start filling the vacuums in the social consciousness. I dont think contemporary Japanese youth culture is healthy - and my sample population here consists of the larger Japanese cities: I dont think this jejunity can continue for much too long.

All in all, I think Japanese policy makers recognize the problems, and the saner ones recognize the dangers they face from within and without: And while setting up Eton like boarding schools might make a slight difference; what Japan needs to morph it into the ultranationalist Tojoesque demon many like to portray it as, what Japan needs is a 9/11^9/11 paradigm shift - something the unthinking Koreans and Chinese might very well end up producing if they dont put a lid on the whining ASAP. I dont doubt that fringe elements in Japan know this and actually want to *bait* China and Korea into providing their deus ex machina - but if wisdom exists in Far East Asia at all, everybody is just going to cool down, cool off, sip some soju, sake, du kang or whatever and realize that far greater threats face the region than Dokdo or Yasukuni, viz:,13673,501040607-644220,00.html


Looking for "wisdom" in a Chinese leadership which thinks it can indefinitely fend of challenges to its power through "patriotic education" seems a lost cause to me; as for Korea, I don't see that the GNP is really that much more sensible where Japan is concerned - Park Guen-hye might well feel pushed to keep the disputes boiling to fend off criticism about her father's Japanese ties - though one hopes the Korean right's greater appreciation for the value of the country's ties to America will keep this within certain limits.

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