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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 10:42 12/01/2008
News Review #474: December 1, 2008

Japanese Cultural Facility to Open in Nanjing Library

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japanese Cultural Facility to Open in Nanjing Library
Daily Yomiuri (11/30/2008)


It is reported in the Daily Yomiuri article linked above that the Japan Foundation, which is financially supported by the Japanese government, is now opening a facility to promote Japanese modern culture, including manga and fashion, in a library in Nanjing, China. In addition to books and magazines, about 100 recently released CDs and DVDs are being made available in the Nanjing Jinling Library, according to the report.

It is well known that the City of Nanjing has long been a focal point in the troublesome relationship between Japan and China, as numerous atrocities are said to have been committed by the Japanese Army during the occupation of this city, then called "Nanking," the capital of the Republic of China, in World War II. Publication of the controversial book, "The Rape of Nanking," about the Nanking Massacre by the late Iris Chang in 1997 was quite damaging to the Japan-China relationship, which has only recently been on the mend due to extraordinary efforts by the both governments for political reasons in the last few years. However, some hard feelings are still remaining on the part of ordinary citizens, especially on the Chinese side. It is, therefore, a good idea to open a venue in Nanjing for promoting Japanese pop culture such as animation, manga, music and fashion, appealing to ordinary citizens, particularly young generations without having any strong prejudice toward Japan, based on the unfortunate historical development.

Without military power, Japan should make full use of its "soft power" to attract other countries and citizens for better relations with them. Public money can best be spent to strengthen Japan's soft power overseas in a way that is exemplified in the case of the cultural facility in Nanjing.

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

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