Lauren In Tokyo

Monday, April 18, 2005

Why's everybody always picking on me?

The news of the moment here in Japan is that China is in an uproar over Japanese textbooks that ignore Japanese wartime atrocities. If you're paying attention at home, you'd also know that Korea was having fits about Japanese claims to the Tokdo/Takeshima islands. And if you were really doing your homework, you'd have noticed that Americans are getting a little irritated that the Japanese won't buy their beef.

First of all, Japan needs to get those right-wing fringe elements out of the textbook writing business and back to shaking down business owners and pimping southeast Asian girls in Kabukicho.

Second, Japan's got to come up with a better foreign policy than acting like a petulant child. In addition, Korea could put the matter to rest for all time by taking this issue before the International Court of Justice.

Finally, Japan's desire for BSE-free meat has got to be tempered with the realization that no amount of testing will guarantee 100% safe beef, whether that testing is done on American ranches, or on Japanese ranches.

All in all, it looks like it's going to be a pretty lousy year to be Japan.

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