Posts Tagged ‘China’

  • The Hunt for MH370: Courtney Love is all over this story, offering her own analysis of satellite imagery as to the possible location of the plane. Internet hilarity predictably ensues.
  • Photographing Chernobyl: Interesting read and amazing photographs of the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster by Gerd Ludwig, who has made multiple reporting trips there over the past two decades. You can also support Ludwig’s upcoming photo book by donating via his Kickstarter page.

Every once in a while, I come across a story that is so extraordinary and breathtaking in how people individually or collectively manage to create their own realities, despite what historical evidence shows to be true.

(CNN) — A state-run Chinese newspaper expressed relief Monday that senior Japanese officials had dismissed the country’s air force chief after he denied Japan’s aggression before and during World War II.

Gen. Toshio Tamogami lost his job as chief of staff for Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force, the Ministry of Defense said, after saying in an essay that “it is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation.”

Japanese troops invaded China in 1937 and were widely accused of gross human rights abuses, including raping tens of thousands of girls and women and killing several hundred thousand others in what has come to be called “The Rape of Nanking.” Imperial Japan also invaded several other Asian nations, leading to the death and misery for an untold number.

Two former Japanese prime ministers have apologized for Japanese aggression before and during World War II. Yet China has long accused of elements within Japan of trying to whitewash the Japanese atrocities committed before and during World War II.

“The denial of the aggression history by Toshio Tamogami comes in as an element of disharmony,” the state-run China Daily said a commentary Monday. “Yet, as long as the Japanese government has a right attitude to this question, the smooth development of ties between the two neighbors will not be derailed by such discordant notes.”

Tamogami’s essay, published late last week, also stirred controversy in South Korea.

Japan controlled Korea from 1910 to 1945. Its military is accused of forcing roughly 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, to serve as sex slaves — they were known euphemistically as “comfort women” — for soldiers in the Imperial Army.

I did a story related to this, about a series of movies being produced about the Japanese occupation of Nanking, when I was working in Hong Kong. What struck me most was how raw the emotions were in both countries 70 years later. The Chinese have their own issues with revisionist history, but the factual merits of the argument are clearly on their side when it comes to Nanking.

I don’t know what is more stunning – a Japanese senior military official denying his country’s role as aggressor during the war, or that somebody gave his historical analysis enough credibility to award it first prize in an essay competition called “True Perspective of Modern and Contemporary History.”

James Fallows has this interesting post about how the foreign names of Barack Obama and John McCain are translated (roughly) into Chinese.


WASHINGTON — In a dramatic setback for the Bush administration, a federal judge ordered the U.S. government Tuesday to immediately transfer to the U.S. and release 17 Chinese-born Muslims detained for seven years at Guantanamo.

Reading his decision from the bench, Judge Ricardo Urbina declared the continued detention of the group from the ethnic Uighur minority to be “unlawful” and ordered the government to transfer the detainees to the U.S. by Friday.

The decision marked the first time a court has ordered the release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.

First, this raises a major issue as to what is going to happen to these detainees when they get transferred to the United States. They have two options: Return them to their native China, OR find a third country willing to grant them asylum. Based on the predicament facing the last group of Uighurs released from Guantanamo, I have a feeling that this group will be dealt with the same way.

Second, this is another legal defeat for the administration. After reading several books about the Bush Administration, specifically Barton Gellman’s Angler and Charlie Savage’s Takeover, one common theme keeps popping up: the expansion of executive power at the expense of the other branches of American government.

After two Supreme Court cases and now this decision, the administration is finally learning the costs of overreach. These precedents are now on the books and effectively bind future administrations to abide by them in the future.