Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Mainichi, Asahi, or Yomiuri?


Recommended Posts

Among the three major Japanese newspapers, Mainichi Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, and Yomiuri Shimbun, which one of the three do you read most often?

Yomiuri Shimbun is obviously the most conservative of the three, with occasional nationalist overtones. It also has the largest circulation in the world.

Asahi Shimbun is the most liberal while Mainichi is semi-liberal.

I don't read Japanese newspapers much, but when I do, my choice goes with Asahi. I have read editorials in Asahi that criticized Chen Shui-bian's stance in Taiwan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

novemberfog

Don't forget about the Nikkei Shinbun as well. Because it is a paper like the Wall Street Journal, it tends to be conservative. There is also a paper called Sankei which is more friendly towards labor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This link provides two different perspectives on Koizumi's Yasukuni shrine visits, one editorial from the Yomiuri Shimbun and another editorial from the Asahi Shimbun. http://www.japanfocus.org/article.asp?id=302

The Yomiuri does raise a valid point that ties with China will not necessarily improve even if Koizumi stops the visits.

The Asahi editorial, in contrast to the Yomiuri editorial, is written from a more empathetic perspective.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The relationship will not "necessarily" improve, but aren't the chances good that it will improve? I will not necessarily avoid having a car accident if I refrain from drinking and driving, but I'll improve my chances of doing so. Very few things will necessarily happen in life or politics, but you try to do the best you can.

The argument that the war shrine visits are only an issue because of Chinese Communist Party politics can be countered by the fact that Japanese relationship with Korea is also at a low because of the visits. For various reasons, Koizumi places more value on the relationship with Korea and has been more active in trying to make good with the Koreans. However, the history textbook controversy and the shrine visits are hard to forgive for the Koreans, as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
novemberfog

I have said in a past thread I believe Koizumi's visits were not yeilded because he does not want to look like he is in a position where the PRC can push him around.

A new interesting development: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4658262.stm

Mr Aso is seen as a contender to succeed Mr Koizumi when his term ends.

He believes Emperor Akihito should visit the Tokyo shrine because those who died in wars did so in honour of their emperor.

Mr Aso is reported as saying in a speech in the central Japanese city of Nagoya: "From the viewpoint of the spirits of the war dead, they hailed 'Banzai' ['long life'] for the emperor. None of them said, 'Long live the prime minister'.

"A visit by the emperor would be the best."

Could this be an indication that Mr. Aso will not be attending the shrines, and instead allowing the state figurehead emperor to take on that role?

Would it make any difference, the PM or the Emperor? Your thoughts?

Link to post
Share on other sites
wushijiao
Could this be an indication that Mr. Aso will not be attending the shrines, and instead allowing the state figurehead emperor to take on that role?

This seems like a good solution. Japan has to figure out a way to honor those who died for the country without also honoring war criminals.

I've read that the Japanese royal family is somewhat against the shrine visits. Is that true?

The argument that the war shrine visits are only an issue because of Chinese Communist Party politics can be countered by the fact that Japanese relationship with Korea is also at a low because of the visits. For various reasons, Koizumi places more value on the relationship with Korea and has been more active in trying to make good with the Koreans. However, the history textbook controversy and the shrine visits are hard to forgive for the Koreans, as well.

I think the colonization/occupation of Korea is actually a fairly complicated piece of history. Granted, I'm certainly not an expert on it, but in addition to the massive amounts of killings and bitter humiliation that the Japanese imposed on the Koreans, there was also a huge percentage of people who cooperated with the occupation. There was also a large degree of economic progress. After the wars, South Korea, as far as I know, never had a large scale de-Japanification process, unlike the North. All of this points to the fact that protesting against Japan in South Korea is (rightly) due to the surface reasons (the shrine visits, the textbook issue...etc), but there could also be other factors- building national unity (without asking grandpa what he did to survive back in the '30's, and without having an honest discussion of the wars), showing solidarity with the North (who fought a hardcore, patriotic war of resistance). Some of the most harcore guerilla fighters in China were Koreans. Yet some of the most brutal Japanese police in China were also Koreans. I think these massive protests tend to whitewash some of these ugly facts.

So, to sum up, I agree with gato that this is not just a CCP issue. But it also seems true that in every country (China, Japan, S and N Korea) there are hidden motivations for the actions involved. This is especially true because a shrine, like a flag, is a symbol inherently devoid of any signifigance. Groups of human beings decide what the symobl means. It is a bit like the Confederate flag. To some people it symbolizes the worst form of racial slavery. To others it symbolizes the memory of their (poor uneducated) relatives who died for their homeland. Both are right, to some degree. The flag itself is just a piece of cloth, devoid of any other meaning not given by humans.

Link to post
Share on other sites
novemberfog

Wushijiao, I agree very much with your comments. I am not really sure about the Royal Family's stance on Yasukuni. The House of the Royal Family does not release opinion very often.

I hope that Mr. Aso will NOT be visiting the shrine while he is the head of state. It would help out so much if he does not visit the shrine during his first term in office. Hopefully, the old guard in the Japanese parliament will not pressure him to do so. But to be honest, I do not think that will be enough for the PRC or South Korea. If the emperor goes, I think that will cause problems as well. Like Wushijiao said, each of the countries has some sort of angle on this issue. And none want to, or even can afford to, back down.

------------------------

Anyway, not to derail the thread any further, I have to say I prefer the Asahi newspaper, mainly because it has an online version that is rather accessible, compared to Nikkei and others.

If you go on a flight across the the pacific, you will notice though that most Japanese businessmen tend to take Yomiuri over Asahi. I find that interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The argument that the war shrine visits are only an issue because of Chinese Communist Party politics can be countered by the fact that Japanese relationship with Korea is also at a low because of the visits. For various reasons, Koizumi places more value on the relationship with Korea and has been more active in trying to make good with the Koreans. However, the history textbook controversy and the shrine visits are hard to forgive for the Koreans, as well.

The relationship between Korea-Japan versus China-Japan is indeed very complex. Koizumi is not the only PM that took more constructive steps (at least in a subtle way) in making good with the Koreans. His predecessor, prime minister Obuchi, gave a full written apology to then President Kim Dae Jung, while refusing to do the same thing to Jiang Zemin.

Don't ask me why that is the case, but I think this has to do with a combination of factors like historical enmity, modern-day politics (different political systems), and saving face (not yielding to your traditional rival)

My maternal grandmother grew up during the Japanese occupation of Korea, and went to elementary school operated by Japanese instructors. She said something to me that summed up their mindset then: "他們看不起韓國人, 但是他們恨中國人"

I agree that China's criticism of the Yasukuni visits goes beyond CCP politics. Regardless of whether this issue is being exploited by the CCP for political purposes, it also happens to be a moral principle, at least from many Chinese and Koreans' perspectives.

I think the colonization/occupation of Korea is actually a fairly complicated piece of history. Granted, I'm certainly not an expert on it, but in addition to the massive amounts of killings and bitter humiliation that the Japanese imposed on the Koreans, there was also a huge percentage of people who cooperated with the occupation. There was also a large degree of economic progress. After the wars, South Korea, as far as I know, never had a large scale de-Japanification process, unlike the North. All of this points to the fact that protesting against Japan in South Korea is (rightly) due to the surface reasons (the shrine visits, the textbook issue...etc), but there could also be other factors- building national unity (without asking grandpa what he did to survive back in the '30's, and without having an honest discussion of the wars), showing solidarity with the North (who fought a hardcore, patriotic war of resistance). Some of the most harcore guerilla fighters in China were Koreans. Yet some of the most brutal Japanese police in China were also Koreans. I think these massive protests tend to whitewash some of these ugly facts.

Currently there is a lot of soul-searching going on in South Korea on the issue of Japanese collaborators during the colonial period. President Roh has insisted that the country tackle this issue head-on. Last year the head of his Uri Party resigned and made an emotional apology on behalf of his father who collaborated with the Japanese colonial authorities.

There are some questions that need to be asked on why many people in Korea collaborated with the Japanese colonial authorities. Is it because these collaborators were evil and had a genuine, malicious intent to harm the populace? Or is it because these collaborators had no money and needed jobs in the Japanese-staffed bureaucracy to make ends meet?

If the emperor goes, I think that will cause problems as well.

In my opinion that would be better than the head of state going. Beijing and Seoul would probably still be unhappy though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
wushijiao

Here's a profile on the owner of Yomiuri, Tsuneo Watanabe:

But Mr. Watanabe, now nearly 80 years old, has stepped into the light. He has recently granted long, soul-baring interviews in which he has questioned the rising nationalism he has cultivated so assiduously in the pages of his newspaper, the conservative Yomiuri — the world's largest, with a circulation of 14 million. Now, he talks about the need to acknowledge Japan's violent wartime history and reflects on his wife's illness and his own, as well as the joys of playing with his new hamsters.
Mr. Koizumi worships at a shrine that glorifies militarism, said Mr. Watanabe, who equates Tojo with Hitler. He added, "This person Koizumi doesn't know history or philosophy, doesn't study, doesn't have any culture. That's why he says stupid things, like, 'What's wrong about worshiping at Yasukuni?' Or, 'China and Korea are the only countries that criticize Yasukuni.' This stems from his ignorance." Like many of postwar Japan's leaders with wartime experience, Mr. Watanabe is suspicious of the emotional appeals to nationalism used increasingly by those who never saw war. In his high school in Tokyo, he said, military officials visited regularly to instill militarism in the young. "I once instigated my classmates to boycott the class and shut ourselves in a classroom," he recalled. "We were punished later."
Convinced that Japan will never become a mature country unless it examines its wartime conduct on its own, Mr. Watanabe ordered a yearlong series of articles on the events of six decades ago. In August, the newspaper will pronounce its verdict.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/11/international/asia/11watanabe.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Link to post
Share on other sites

A People's Daily article also about Yomiuri and Tsuneo Watanabe.

http://www.chn-consulate-fukuoka.or.jp/chn/xwdt/t231024.htm

日本 两大报纸主笔对谈 齐声批判愚蠢外交(通讯) 2006.01.14

  本报驻日本记者 曹鹏程

  日本《读卖新闻》集团会长兼主笔渡边恒雄与《朝日新闻》社论主笔若宫啓文,日前在东京进行了一次对谈。提前出版的《论座》杂志2月号披露了对谈内容。两家经常针锋相对进行论战的媒体主笔坐在一起实属罕见。对谈的主题是靖国神社,双方一致反对首相参拜靖国神社。

  若宫发起这场谈话的初衷源于《读卖新闻》去年6月发表的一篇名为《加紧建设国立追悼设施》的社论。文章认为,首相不应该参拜供奉着甲级战犯的靖国神社。此后,《读卖新闻》集团会长兼主笔渡边恒雄开始不断在演讲中强调“反对首相参拜靖国神社”,强调“靖国神社的存在本身就是问题”。作为多年认同自民党保守政治的报纸,过去在靖国神社问题上一直主张“顶住外国压力”,这是该报第一次明确表示反对首相参拜靖国神社。

  对谈中,渡边首先自我介绍。今年79岁的渡边二战时是一个二等兵,在为天皇而战的名义下从事着奴隶般的劳动,目睹了日军强制“特攻队”进行自杀性攻击等残忍的做法,当时心中对下达这些命令的军队首脑和躲在一边的政治家恨之入骨,直到现在仍无法释怀。2001年渡边就曾打电话要求小泉不要在“八一五”参拜。小泉第一次参拜靖国神社之后,渡边把家搬到了靖国神社旁边,通过不断观察,渡边发现靖国神社里的游就馆完全是一个赞扬军国主义的地方。孩子们看过那些歌颂战争的展品之后会以为“日本在那场战争中胜利了”。首相不该参拜这种供奉甲级战犯的地方。

Link to post
Share on other sites
He added, "This person Koizumi doesn't know history or philosophy, doesn't study, doesn't have any culture. That's why he says stupid things, like, 'What's wrong about worshiping at Yasukuni?' Or, 'China and Korea are the only countries that criticize Yasukuni.' This stems from his ignorance."

China and Korea being the only countries to criticize Yasukuni should not be surprising. They were of course the two countries that suffered the greatest during the Japanese militaristic and colonial period.

Kudos to the Yomiuri chief for referring to Koizumi's ignorance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
novemberfog

Yes, it is refreshing to see someome stand up on this issue.

If anyone rememebers how Koizumi got to be PM, it is because he was quite bold, abrasive, and accomplished things (unliked most PMs in Japan). People said he had a "rock-star"-like personality. And I think his recent push to get the postal privatization though that ended with great success has really gone to his head now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...