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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 16:10 04/12/2007
News Review #390: April 12, 2007

Don't Let Political Issues Hinder Japan-China Ties

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Editorial: Don't Let Political Issues Hinder Japan-China Ties
The Daily Yomiuri (4/12/2007)

Japanese Editorial in Yomiuri Shimbun (4/12/2007)


Today, all the major Japanese newspapers post their editorials on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan and a possible step to build a "strategic, mutually beneficial relationship" between the two countries. It is interesting to observe that those newspapers that are usually critical of, or at least cautious about, Prime Minister Abe's policies, for example, Asahi and Mainichi, are expressing relatively supportive and encouraging opinions on the results of the summit talks between the two Premiers, whereas those newspapers that are normally supportive of the Abe administration post critical headlines ("Politics hinders strategic, mutually beneficial relationship" in Yomiuri, and "Clearer roadmap needed towards mutually beneficial relationship" in Sankei) in Japanese.

While this contrast is understandable in dealing with a country like China, what is not comprehensible is the fact that there are some important differences in key expressions between the (original) Japanese version of the editorial in Yomiuri Shimbun and the (translated) English version of the editorial in The Daily Yomiuri (see the references).

First of all, the headline of the Japanese editorial in Yomiuri reads "Politics hinders strategic, mutually beneficially relationship," whereas that of the English editorial is "Don't let political issues hinder Japan-China ties." Clearly, the Japanese headline sounds more negative than its English counterpart. Second, the concluding sentence in the Japanese version reads "This goal must be advanced through summit talks on the occasions of Abe's visit to China this year and Hu's visit to Japan," whereas the conclusion of the English editorial is: "Abe's visit to China this year and Hu's visit to Japan will help accomplish this goal," which is in fact one of the most supportive and encouraging expressions of all the editorial sentences in today's newspapers.

Yomiuri Shimbun owes the reader a clear explanation why these differences have happened and which is its real editorial position on this important issue.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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