I happened to see that China had released a warning, advising the U.S. to “be concerned at the rising tide of nationalism in Japan,” a statement I found to be great knee-slapping humor. China, of course, is involved with Japan in a dispute over some fairly worthless islands (Senkaku/Diaoyu), and last year China brought one of its most potent weapons to bear against Japan, giving its people permission to riot and burn Japanese car dealerships, department stores and a hapless “Japanese” Samsung factory. (The mobs also permanently crippled a Chinese man for daring to drive a Japanese car, though this was naturally not reported by the patriotic Chinese media.) If China doesn’t like Japan’s conservative, pro-business Liberal Democratic Party’s return to power, they have no one to blame but themselves: no single factor guaranteed the return of Prime Minister Abe and the LDP than the conflict with China. While I don’t see any reason to be concerned with Japanese “nationalism” — which means “no longer willing to put up with crap from China” in this context — I personally think the Japanese need a little more nationalism. Japan is unique among nations in that there’s almost no patriotism here, no reasonable way to show love of one’s country, no Japanese version of the various memorials and shrines that are such an important part of visiting Washington D.C. for Americans. The Japanese Prime Minister cannot even pay his respects to the spirits of Japan’s war dead by visiting Yasukuni Shrine (the only thing remotely resembling Arlington National Cemetery for Japan) without setting relations with China and South Korea back months or years.
Look at all those rioting Japanese nationalists…oh wait.