Alexander Bukh has written an article for the Asia Times offering a different perspective on the Japan/China/Korea political maelstrom. It’s a good read and brings up many important points, including the following:
No doubt Japan bears a certain responsibility for the recent wave of anger in China and Korea and the resulting diplomatic frictions. The Japanese leaders seem not to understand that certain acts send the wrong signals to their neighbors. At the same time, putting the whole blame on Japan simplifies the issue and leads to a rather one-sided perception of the situation. We must not forget that both in Korea and China, the state plays a major role in education, exercising complete control over what textbooks are chosen for usage at schools and put a strong emphasis on “patriotic education”, while in Japan the role of the government is much more marginal as the writing is done by scholars not affiliated with the government and the process of choosing a textbook is conducted by local committees.
The projection of the “self” on Japan, in Korea and China, can be seen as one of the reasons for the anger.