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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:53 03/09/2007
News Review #234: July 27, 2004

Japan security concerns at Asian Cup

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

"Japan security concerns at Asian Cup"
(AFP) The Sydney Morning Herald


There is apparently certain charm in the expression of "people's diplomacy" used in the context of hope that everyone would become an ambassador of goodwill. This is especially so when people get tired of analyzing the labyrinth of all the protocols and diplomatic tactics among states often blurring what the real issue is, or how the myriads of issues are obscured, at least to the naive eye, because of the diverse tactics utilized at the field.

It is, however, relatively rare in the real world for the ordinary people, especially in rural areas of immature societies to, encounter visitors from different countries. And when it happens, barbarian elements of the local society tend to surface, and certain types of inherent hostility sometimes lead to unpleasant incidents.

One of those events occurred at a soccer game between Japan and Thailand in the city of Chongqing, China. As briefly described in the article, the spectators, mostly local Chinese, kept on insulting the Japanese flag, the anthem, and the players throughout the game, and finally approaching the chartered bus carrying the Japanese delegates as they were leaving the stadium, seemingly attempting to conduct violence. (There was a game between Japan and Oman a few days earlier which did not lead to such a critical level of restlessness.)

It is a fairly well recognized fact that a large portion of Chinese people hate anything related to Japan because they were trained to behave so since their childhood. On the other hand, Japanese people have determined to preserve their security and existence by trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. (... expression adapted from the Constitution of Japan.)

The incident in Chongqing has been, not surprisingly, reported very little in Japan. Some of those carried the news hinted it to be the effects of Jiang Zemin and his anti-Japan campaign.

Some critics suspect the managers at various media in Japan had thought that reporting the facts would worsen the image of Chinese people, which might ignite an anti-Chinese sentiment among the Japanese people. If that were the reason for the minimal level of reports coming out, the media has not only failed to serve its own purpose, but has let a good opportunity get away to awake many ill-informed Japanese to the reality of the world.

There is another, a Japan-Iran match on Wednesday. Anxieties are mounting as to how the local authorities would cope with the risk of a confusion. Let us hope the athletes will return safely to Japan.

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