Monday, June 04, 2007

On nationalism---- in case of Japan, China, Korea--Kenneth B. Pyle

In Japan today the term “nationalism” lacks descriptive and analytical
precision to explain the motivation of the sea change underway in Japanese
foreign policy. The new Abe administration is frequently referred to as
representative of a new “hawkish nationalism.” Koizumi’s visits to the war
shrine, textbook accounts of history that seem to excuse imperialism, and
reluctance to apologize for the past depredations are seen as further evidence
of a resurgent nationalism. Yet, in my judgment, there is no significant
nationalist movement or coherent ideology in Japan today.Kenneth B. Pyle

On Chinese nationalism
In China there are a variety of nationalist ideologies, but the dominant
form is a state-led nationalism....... Patriotic education stresses the role of the communist state as the bearer of China’s historic struggle for national independence and prosperity in order to provide the legitimacy for CCP rule that communist ideology no longer provides. Beyond providing legitimacy, patriotic education is used to maintain the social cohesion necessary to support the economic growth on
which the stability of the government depends.

On Korean nationalism
It is often argued that nationalism’s existence
will facilitate unification. But the intensity and exclusivist nature of this
ethnic nationalism may not make it a stable basis for a unified Korean state.
Moreover the strength of this nationalist fervor obscures the differences that
have developed between the two states during partition and may complicate
and disappoint the process of unification. Belief that ethnic nationalism will
overcome all obstacles runs the danger of a romanticized view of unification,
particularly among the young.


I think many journalists are blinded by their own propaganda.

For an interesting contrast between Korean nationalism and Japanese "nationalism"
see "when nationalism backfires/ Foreign Dispatches

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