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Quoc Tuan, Nguyen

12 May 2017
Current Event Journal 1
Nationalism Poster Stirs Japanese Critics

In recent weeks, a poster that promote national pride has confused most of the Japanese
viewers. Some right-wing critics has called the poster frightening and pathetic. Much of
the sentiment stems from the imperial history when Japanese invaded other Asian countries
such as Korean and China. Now, Japanese has become more conservative and move away from
post-war pacifism, which can be disturbing in historical point of view.
The poster feature a woman with a slogan: Im glad to be Japanese. Raise the Hinomaru with
pride in your heart with Japanese national flag as back drop. At first, the move may seem to
be a simple act of patriotism, but, under the context of increasingly popular right-wing view,
the message is deemed to be unsettling nationalism. Conservative has been more vocal about
the Imperial accomplishments during wartime, despite the contradiction of historians on the
atrocities committed by the Japanese to its neighbor countries. Moreover, this poster alienates
those Japanese with foreign roots, as they are decedents of immigrants, conscripts or, one of
the most prominent subjects between Korea and Japan, comfort women. Moreover, the model
in the poster is later identified to be a Chinese, not a Japanese. This discovery fuels resentment
Japanese who seeks to distinguish themselves from Chinese. Whether this would politicize
public opinion is still a subject of debate.
Subjectively, it is should come as no surprise when the subject of patriotism being discussed
about Japanese. However, the culture of being resolute is strong within the Japanese
community as they do not approach the subject of defeat during conversation. Nevertheless, it
is now surprising as the Japanese is resisting the history that they called [taught and] forced
on to [them] by the victors and that Japan was not the aggressor, but a liberator. Whether
Japan will be moving towards conservatism is still to be observed, but it shows that patriotism
is a sensitive subject to be in conversation with Japanese in specific and Asian as a whole. It is
better to not touch on the subject unless it is brought up by the senior parties. Still, it is a tight
rope to walk on and, hence, requires balance and consideration approach.
Wingfield-Hayes, Rupert. Japan revisionists deny WW2 sex slave atrocities. British Broadcast
Corporation. 3 August 2015. Web. Accessed 12 May 2017.
Wong, Tessa and Kato, Yuko. Proud to be Japanese' posters star Chinese woman. British
Broadcast Corporation. 12 May 2017. Web. Accessed 12 May 2017.