51% of Chinese Youths Want to Have Japanese Friends
Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE
51% of youths want to have Japanese friends
(Liao Meng and Zhu Ting) China Daily
Anti-Japan feelings run high among China young-poll
The two articles introduced above, derived from a single set of information, have many interesting implications for a scholar in comparative culture, international politics, or media sciences. A couple of them are pointed out here.
The focus of the two stories is the results of a poll conducted by a state-run newspaper among 1,657 young Chinese people on Japan. In either of the articles, the findings are reported to have shown that,
-- More than half of China's young hate or dislike Japan [note: no numbers are provided],
-- About 51 per cent of respondents said they were willing to have Japanese friends,
-- More than 80 percent have never met a Japanese person, and,
-- More than 60 per cent said they formed their opinions about Japan through the press, TV and the Internet.
Based on these findings, China Daily focuses on the positive side of the survey to formulate its headlines for the article, and the article itself is a relatively unbiased description of the results with a concise summary on recent Japan-China relations added. On the other hand, while the Reuters' story is an offspring of the China Daily article as so referred to in the story itself, it spotlights the negative aspect of the survey to form its headline. Moreover, the Reuters article adds all the "usual" decoration about the "Japan's atrocities committed during its 1931-1945 occupation of parts of China," which is not found in the China Daily article.
It might have been easier to understand the situation if the two media were taking alternate stances, that the Chinese media condemning Japan and the so-claimed international media taking a more neutral stance. Should Reuters be more biased against Japan than China Daily?
Another interesting aspect is that the respondents of the survey had admitted their replies were not based on the first-hand information but mostly through various secondary channels.
It might worth introducing a report here by "OpenNet Initiative," which is a collaborative partnership between the institutions of University of Toronto, Harvard Law School, and University of Cambridge. Their recent analysis titled "Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005" (may be accessed at http://www.opennetinitiative.net/studies/china/ ), states, "China operates the most extensive, technologically sophisticated, and broad-reaching system of Internet filtering in the world. The implications of this distorted on-line information environment for China's users are profound, and disturbing."
How could anyone can "like" or "dislike" anything - and how much is such notion worth in formulating productive policies - if one has never seen it, heard it, or touched it, and the only information acquired about the subject is through heavily biased and controlled media?