Letters From Japan: The ghost of nationalism is out of the bottle

November 7th, 2010  |  Published in In the Media  |  3 Comments

In Japan anti-Chinese demonstrations are drawing bigger crowds than before, as I describe on my German language Japan blog Martin Köllings Japan-Notizen.

According to the police 3800 demonstrators (with hundreds of big Japanese flags) assembled in Tokyo to protest against China. At the begin of their demonstration they played the national anthem, then right-wingers like the ex-Air Self-defense Forces general Toshio Tamogami, who was fired from service because of his revisionist views lamented that Japan has to come out hart against Chinese claims of the Senkaku Islands, that are also claimed by China.

That Japan has a loud right-wing is nothing new, but such well organized and (by Japanese standards) big demonstrations are. I think, it is justified to say, that the ghost of Japanese nationalism is out of the bottle, and it won’t go back. Japan will have to live with a more outspoken right wing as have other countries, including my own, Germany.

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