THE CHINA CANCER: A Taiwanese Physician’s Remedy (Namiki Shobo) No.6
By Lin Jianliang,
CHAPTER 5: CAN JAPAN METAMORPHOSE INTO BLACK JACK?
JAPAN, GROW UP!
Juvenilization is sweeping Japan
We need a nation that embodies the attributes of Black Jack to combat China cancer. But is Japan capable of assuming that role? If Japan intends to do so, there are several problems it must resolve.
I am deeply concerned about the juvenilization of the Japanese. Here’s an example: I received a calendar, a gift from a politician. One of the photographs it featured was a close-up of that politician taken during an appearance on some entertainer’s television show. The politician was obviously stooping to the level of the entertainer, and fawning over him. This sort of behavior is symptomatic of the juvenilization of which I speak.
The politician, a Diet representative, whose position should command respect, appears on frivolous television programs, as if doing so were his duty. He mingles with comedians and engages in ridiculous debates with them. Perhaps he is hoping to impress his constituents, who may be fooling themselves into thinking that he is wonderful. When I observe this sort of behavior, I am embarrassed for the politician involved.
I often notice mature adults, who should know better, attempting to ingratiate themselves with ignorant young people. Schoolteachers and parents attempt to curry favor with children. Japanese textbooks, with their abundance of photographs and illustrations, now resemble comic books. Perhaps it is easier for children to read these textbooks. But learning involves much more than cramming knowledge into one’s head. A modicum of suffering is part of the process.
In Japan the educational arena is bleak and grim from elementary through high school. But the university environment has deteriorated to the point where it is reminiscent of nursery school.
For two years I was a part-time professor at a private university, where I taught internal medicine. One day the administration told me that the parents of a student who had failed the course had issued a protest. Apparently they had showed up at the school and launched an offensive against an administrative staff member: “Why did my son fail that course? If he did indeed fail, it’s the professor’s fault. Do something!” I was shocked by their behavior, but even more shocked when the university asked me to do something!
I learned subsequently that the student in question had received failing grades from four other professors, all of whom ended up passing him.
Such cases may be infrequent, but they suggest that Japanese universities are not so much stooping to the level of the ignorant as moving toward anti-intellectualism.
When confronted with such phenomena, I can’t help but think that as a nation, Japan is seeking to transform itself into a Disneyland. By Disneyland, I mean a peaceful world in which lions and zebras coexist happily. In that world there are no life-and-death struggles whatsoever. Yes, the Japanese must be envisioning that sort of child’s world.
Good education involves both literary and martial arts
In former times the Japanese were pacifists by tradition, but they also had a warrior spirit. They knew that they needed power to maintain peace. But today the idea that power is evil is spreading, and the climate is such that they want peace, but nothing more.
Before World War II Taiwan had adopted Japan’s warrior spirit. For that reason we Taiwanese continue to have respect for the warrior spirit. My father held a fifth-dan in kendo. I practice judo, and my son has been training in karate since his elementary school days. The martial arts (karate, judo, kendo, and archery) are instrumental in cultivating the warrior spirit.
Unfortunately, the martial arts have fallen into disuse, and are misconstrued as violence. The world of professional boxing is now populated with ridiculous “sportsmen.” Even in sumo, Japan’s national sport, the notion that as long as you win, technique doesn’t matter, has begun to take hold. Rei (courtesy and respect), one of the key aspects of the warrior spirit, has little importance today. This is another sign of the juvenilization of Japanese society.
When GHQ took charge after World War II ended, the Americans removed martial arts from the Japanese school curriculum, maintaining that they are inexorably intertwined with “patriotic ideology.” But the Guidelines for Junior High Schools issued by the Ministry of Education in 1958 allowed for the inclusion of sumo, kendo, and judo in the curriculum as elective activities. That was a significant improvement, but the fact that the martial arts were electives meant that many students graduated without experiencing them.
The amended Basic Act on Education, enacted by the Abe administration in December 2006, brought about a major change. The text of the law lists “fostering the value of respect for tradition and culture and love of the country and regions that have nurtured us … ” as one of its objectives. In September 2007 at a meeting of a special committee of the Central Council for Education, which advises the minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, an agreement was reached to make martial arts courses compulsory.
This was a giant step forward. Since Japan already has the required facilities, including training halls, as well as teachers, they should be used to the fullest advantage.
Causes of juvenilization
The Japanese outlook on life and death is distinctive, and has a direct connection to the core of the warrior spirit. The Chinese outlook is different; it favors prolonging life as long as possible, as typified by the phrase “perennial youth and long life.” The Daoist archetype is someone who is physically and spiritually immortal.
In contrast, the Japanese regard life as ephemeral, and find beauty in lives that begin suddenly and end suddenly, like cherry blossoms. Therefore, they place a great deal of importance on a beautiful death (one’s last moments). I believe that is why the Japanese are willing to give their lives for a particular cause.
Perhaps I am glorifying the soldiers in special units who gave their lives in suicide attacks during World War II. Nevertheless, I don’t think any other ethnic group could have made that sacrifice. Certainly not the Chinese. The Japanese seem to be equipped with a genetic makeup that manifests itself in their particular outlook on life and death.
The warrior spirit also exists because of the Japanese outlook on life, which makes it possible for the Japanese to accept the concept of noblesse oblige.
If that is so, why has the juvenilization of the Japanese worsened, and why do the Japanese think that the ideal nation is patterned after Disneyland?
Occupation policy is partly responsible, especially the infusion of the Tokyo Trials historical perception into the minds of the Japanese. Also responsible are the stranglehold the postwar Constitution and the Japan Teachers’ Union have over education. But a deeper cause is the tendency of the Japanese to resign themselves to their fates.
Because of their resignation, the Japanese made no excuses after the war. After all, they had been defeated. They were prepared to accept whatever punishment was meted out to them. Postwar Japanese public opinion became philosophical and fatalistic to the extreme; everything that had been good before the war was now evil. The Japanese character had undergone a major change. Ironically, the best aspects of the Japanese were now the worst ones.
It was now taboo to hold debates about why Japan had lost the war and how victory might have been achieved. Analyzing the reasons for errors made and arriving at conclusions might have provided Japan with a huge intellectual asset.
But the Japanese squandered that opportunity and instead began to think only about renouncing war for all eternity. This shift may have pulled Japan in the wrong direction.
Intellectuals uninterested in transforming Japan
Was the juvenilization of Japan brought on by liberals? By leftists? Sad to say, both leftists and rightists had a hand in it. The rightists fell out of favor before they could forge a campaign enabling them to achieve their goals.
Conservative critics are all distinguished specialists who possess a wide range of knowledge about the details of history, and are capable of discussing them intelligently. They also are capable of skillfully dissecting the current state of affairs. Unfortunately, they lack the discernment to understand what makes Japan run. They don’t seem to know how to gauge, much less sway public opinion.
Conservative commentators write magazine articles, appear on television, and deliver lectures, but nothing comes of these attempts. They seem to lack the commitment needed to exercise their influence and change their country.
The causes adopted by the conservatives (revision of the Constitution and acquiring the wherewithal to defend their own nation) are certainly worthy ones. The conservative camp needs to engage in strategic rethinking. They need to decide how to steer their campaigns, and to ask themselves if their methods are correct and their organization is sufficient. Then they need to draw the attention of the younger generations to their activities.
Japan in urgent need of transformation
Every nation experiences periods of prosperity and periods of decline. The last days of the Tokugawa shogunate were a time of crisis both at home and abroad. Japan was experiencing financial difficulties and corruption marred the government. There was no shortage of talented men, but they were in no position to exploit their abilities. Nevertheless, that situation did not prevent Japan from seizing the opportunity when it arrived, and accomplishing the Meiji restoration, which was nothing short of a revolution.
Today the entire world is on the verge of entering an unsettled era. Japan must consider this international environment as an opportunity. After all, it is difficult to wage a revolution in stable times.
There are three types of energy that can bring about significant changes in the world: war, natural disaster, and pestilence. At present there are signs that any of these might occur.
People talk about a possible attack on Taiwan. The truth is, however, that it is the Chinese who are the most fearful about this eventuality. It is very likely that such an attack will destroy the Chinese economy. The Chinese really don’t care who rules their nation or the world. It is highly likely that their highest priority is prosperity and security for themselves and their relatives.
The current CCP leaders are all very rich men. Most of their children are living safely in the US. They own a great deal of stock. What they fear is a market crash. Even the rumor of war could deplete their assets.
The Japanese might go to war for the sake of the world or their nation. The Chinese, however, are eminently realistic. They say that they’ll go to war if Taiwan declares independence. During the days of Mao Zedong, there was the notion that they would go to war even if China’s population were reduced by half. That is not true any longer.
But the possibility of a limited military confrontation near the Senkaku Islands or the South China Sea is increasing.
Furthermore, China is already struggling with air and water pollution. Add to that rising unemployment, the widening gap between the haves and have-nots, and frequent uprisings in farming villages.
To keep its government intact, the CCP must show further economic growth. But as the economy grows, consumption of natural resources and energy will increase, and competition for them will intensify. There are many, many situations that are potentially perilous, and might trigger a revolution in Japan.
It is time for Japan to put an end to its juvenilization, recover its warrior spirit, and return to its original, true state. There is not a moment to waste.
BEST DOCTORS CANNOT CURE CHINA CANCER
Black Jack thinks like a Japanese
What should Japan do to combat China cancer? Ordinary treatment methods or therapies won’t work on this penetrating, fast-growing cancer. The Japanese cannot possibly conquer China cancer unless they revolutionize their current systems and ideology.
An ordinary physician would be powerless. Japan must become Black Jack!
Hampered by rules, Japan’s physicians can offer only established therapies. Those students who survive entrance-examination hell and enter the hallowed halls of medical school are immediately confronted by rule upon rule. When they begin to practice after medical school, they already command an exalted position in society. Consequently, most physicians do not venture outside the orbit of the medical community that protects their social status and governs their actions.
In contrast, Black Jack, the protagonist of the comic-book series of the same name created by Tezuka Osamu, is not an overachiever who belongs to physicians’ associations. Nor is he an upstanding member of the medical community; he is a thorn in its side. He is immune to criticism. His methods are unorthodox; his ideas and philosophy are daring. His treatments are audacious. Black Jack is determined to cure the illnesses he encounters, no matter what methods he has to use, and his treatments accord with his personal values.
The Black Jack series has admirers all over the world. It has been translated into more than 20 languages, and read and reread. Readers are certainly impressed by Black Jack’s valor and benevolence. But they also realize that his methods, though daring, are rooted in reality.
Isn’t it odd that a nonconformist lone wolf like Black Jack happened to be born in Japan, a nation that practically worships rules? From this Taiwanese physician’s point of view, Japan was the only place he could have been born. Black Jack’s ideas are Japanese in every way.
Entire Black Jack series housed in University of Tokyo Medical Library
I read the series when I was a medical student in Taiwan. At the time we didn’t purchase comic books, we rented them. While my classmates were listening to lectures in the auditorium, I was “studying” at home, reading Black Jack comics.
But I am sure readers will stop laughing when I tell them that the entire Black Jack series is housed in the Medical Library of the University of Tokyo, known as the Great White Tower, the institution situated at the pinnacle of higher learning. The collection, in its entirety, is located in the first set of shelves one encounters on entering the library. Even the University of Tokyo’s medical school acknowledges that it is impossible to cure diseases without Black Jack’s creativity and audacity.
The fact that Black Jack was born in Japan seems less unlikely when we look at Japanese history. All the warrior-rulers who ruled during the Warring States era (1467-1600), such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, were nonconformists. The imperial loyalists who effected the Meiji Restoration were also rugged individualists who thought the unthinkable, and who discarded deeply entrenched systems and created new ones. The fruit of their labors was a modern nation-state; this was the first time Japan attained that status.
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and other Japanese concepts that emerged during the Showa era (1926-89) served as models for today’s global economies. Today Manzhouguo, founded in 1932, is disparaged as an encroachment. But since several million Chinese jumped at the chance to live there, I view it as a miracle of Japanese resourcefulness and spirit of adventure. In fact, like Taiwan, Manzhouguo, established by the Japanese, formed the industrial basis for the Northeast China Economic Region.
Today’s Japanese resemble old people because the constraints imposed upon them by rules have sapped their energy. However, there were times when they plunged into unknown waters and achieved success. If they can manage to recapture that ancient energy, they can become Black Jack.
What would Black Jack do?
How would Black Jack go about ridding the world of the China cancer? What bold approach would he choose? As a physician who chose that vocation after reading Black Jack, I am always thinking, “What would my teacher do?” What would constitute a prudent, yet daring method for treating China cancer, one not bound by preconceived notions?
Treatment guidelines should be founded on the recognition of the following facts:
1. It is impossible to eliminate every single cancer cell.
2. Treatment will be painful.
3. There will be fierce resistance from cancer cells.
4. Japan must take the initiative.
Surgical procedures can excise the more common forms of cancer, but they obviously cannot remove 1.3 billion human beings. That is the most difficult aspect of eliminating China cancer. Consequently, the plan would be not to kill every last cancer cell, but to render them harmless. How do we neutralize them? What would Black Jack do?
Perhaps the biggest obstacle standing in the way of treatment of China cancer is resistance from within Japan’s borders. The business world is certain to object, citing the likelihood of a market crash. The Foreign Ministry will discourage any such effort, fearing revenge from China. The Japanese citizenry will feel that the cancer treatment will stir up trouble unnecessarily. These reactions are not products of my imagination — they are bound to happen.
Ironclad rule: Don’t provoke China
The difficult aspect of treating cancer is the necessity of battling with devious cancer cells and their survival instinct. China cancer presents the same challenges. The Chinese economy is the second most powerful in the world. Furthermore, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China wields more influence than Japan, and wouldn’t hesitate to use military force.
Treating cancer without angering China is next to impossible. But if we don’t eradicate China cancer, we will be forced to sit and watch helplessly while our entire planet is destroyed.
Since World War II Japan has failed to assume a position of leadership in international politics, choosing instead to devote itself to economic matters. Japan has followed the US’s lead in its dealings with China.
Since Japan established diplomatic relations with China, the Japanese have avoided doing anything that would upset China, and that includes making statements the Chinese would not welcome. “Don’t provoke China” has become an ironclad rule, one that has been strictly observed. Not only has Japan contributed to Chinese economic growth by providing funds and technology, it has also played a role in defusing hostility toward Japan within China.
Japan has been nourishing China cancer, and at times has supplied a much-appreciated dose of stabilizer in the form of nationalism, which China must drink from time to time.
But even if the Japanese feel that they must atone for some sin or other committed against China, they must not forget that the fangs of China cancer are aimed at Japan. The first countries to be swallowed up by China cancer in its attempt to destroy the entire world will be Japan and Taiwan.
Only Japan can accomplish the impossible
Japan has entrusted decisions about problems with China to the US for quite some time now. But for more than 2,000 years Japan-China relations had the two nations on an equal footing. The body of Japanese research on China is huge and superlative, but the results of that research have yet to reach the political or business communities. Neither community makes any attempt to see the truth about China, and the media are equally guilty.
The US does have a Pacific presence, but American mentality and scholarship are Eurocentric. Because the US is also a monotheistic nation, there is a clear distinction between good and evil, and it is difficult for Americans to fully comprehend the gray areas of Chinese thought.
In that sense Japan is different. Its storehouse of knowledge about China accumulated over 2,000 years surpasses that of any other nation. For that reason, the trauma of war notwithstanding, Japan’s failure to take the initiative, and its willingness to fully entrust the handling of the China problem to the US are nothing short of irresponsible. Japan absolutely must take the lead in the process of eradicating refractory China cancer.
How would Black Jack go about eradicating China cancer?
When I was studying at a cancer center in Taiwan, the physician who headed the institution would often issue the following warning: “When surgery is successful but the patient dies, all that remains is the surgeon’s arrogance.”
This is a common occurrence. The more uncompromising the surgeon, the more likely the patient is to die. The same is true of eradicating China cancer, but making our planet a healthy place is of prime importance. If our intent is to extirpate every single cancer cell, there is no point in giving therapy that causes harm to the patient by excising a significant amount of tissue and then kills him.
The only option left is neutralizing China cancer by limited excision and extensive immunotherapy. Only Japan, the nation that gave birth to Black Jack, is capable of accomplishing such a miracle.
BLACK JACK COULD BREAK UP CHINA CANCER
China can be dismantled
China cancer is growing and spreading at an alarming rate. If left unchecked, it will destroy the entire planet. There is only one way to keep this from happening: neutralize China by breaking it up into smaller components.
Since China’s deeply entrenched “great unification mentality” is none other than a desire for expansion, its government cannot persist unless it continues to increase its power. On the other hand, the Chinese will need to plunder resources if they are to sustaining their massive nation. But plundering policies will result in centrifugal, rather than centripetal force, and the potential for segmentation will grow. Therefore, That is why China has repeatedly gone through cycles of unity and division throughout its history.
The “great unification” has become a mainstay of the Chinese people to the point that it might just as well be a religion. But if they learn that division of their nation will make them more prosperous, they will be quick to abandon the great-unification mentality. Even the most ardent patriots discard their fatherland and become foreigners the moment they go abroad. That is why so many Chinese petition for citizenship in the US and Japan. That is how brittle Chinese unity is. I completely understand what Sun Yat-sen was thinking when he likened the Chinese to sand.
People tend to believe that it is impossible to dismember China, but when we look back at history, we see that China has been a segmented nation for many more years than it has been united.
Unlike Japan, the US, and the nations of Europe, China is an empire, even today. The CCP is masquerading as the emperor. But as the old saying goes, “heaven is high and the emperor is far away,” meaning that central authorities have little influence over local affairs. Also, unlike other modern nations, the Chinese lack a far-reaching body of laws that extends to every corner of China.
One might think that there would be centralization of administrative power in a nation under one-party rule. However, the only aspects of Chinese lives that the CCP has a stranglehold on are the military, freedom of speech, and information. We know that this is so because local officials do whatever they please, ignoring the central authorities. This attitude is typified by the saying “policies and orders halt at the gate of Zhongnanhai” (the CCP’s central headquarters in Beijing). Another apt saying is “leaders make policies and the people find a way around them.”
For instance, in the farming villages, where 60% of China’s population resides, local governments set their own taxes and collect them from the farmers, calling them whatever strikes their fancy. Taxes are a source of power for governments. The fact that local governments can levy them at will means that the central government has no power over them.
Therefore, it should not be so difficult to dismember China. And the moment the CCP’s one-party rule ends, China will have dismembered itself.
Five military regions could become nations
Running a dictatorship that incorporates 1.3 billion souls as one nation is a very difficult assignment. Europe, which is about the same size as China, has a population of 730 million souls who inhabit 50 nations. In addition to 22 provinces, the Chinese have annexed what they call autonomous regions where Tibetans, Uighurs, and Mongols live. Even if those autonomous regions were declared nations, China would still be too large.
Of course, the formation of a country is a complex process. There may be an optimal configuration, but this is not a task that can be accomplished by making mathematical calculations and drawing lines. Still, in China’s case, the five military regions offer possible boundaries.
Mao Zedong once said that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun; that may be a broadly accurate description of China. Even in light of the years during which China was divided, military regions were, for all intents and purposes, nations.
China comprises seven military regions: Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern, and Central. Each region has land and air forces, as well as nuclear missile units. In other words, each military region could be described as a nuclear power.
Additionally, it is possible to superimpose an economic zone on each military region. For instance, the Northern Military Region fits neatly into the Three Northeastern Provinces Economic Zone; the Central Military Region into the Jingjin Economic Zone; the Eastern Military Region into the Bohai Bay Economic Zone, Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone; the Southern Military Region into the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone; and the Western Military Region into the Chongqing Economic Zone.
However, economic development in some parts of the Western Military Region has not progressed to the point where it can rightly be called an economic zone. But we must remember that this area has always been inhabited by Uighurs, and was called East Turkestan until China annexed it.
Not only do the military regions possess robust military strength, with the exception of some areas, but they also have an economy that supports the military. Also, languages spoken, cultures, and customs differ among the military regions. Therefore, their military strength qualifies them for nationhood.
Division of empire would benefit Chinese
Splitting up the Chinese empire would certainly benefit the world; it would also benefit the Chinese. To be viable, an empire must expend staggering amounts of money. There is always the temptation toward military expansion, which stirs up suspicions and increases enemies, and ultimately necessitates even more military expansion.
If the nation in question is a dictatorship, there are other elements that become increasingly dangerous. Since the government is opaque, corruption thrives. A country as large as China has many layers of government, ranging from central to local. It would be bad enough if China’s government were simply inefficient, but it is a breeding ground for corruption as well. But if China were divided appropriately into several nations, government would become more extensive, and there would be fewer opportunities for corrupt activity.
If China became several countries, they would serve as checks and balances for each other, and imperial attributes would decrease, as would the threats they posed. What is more, if they competed with each other as individual nations, the inhabitants of each nation would receive more and better services. Then we would have what Hu Jintao referred to as an “harmonious society.”
Another characteristic China shares with Europe is that all territory is connected by land. This means that all who don’t like where they live can move to another region. And those moves in themselves breed competition in a good sense.
Looking at China’s history, we see that the nation was more often split than united. Also, during the time it was split people were happier. When a nation is weak, its wealth is concentrated on the people. This is further proof that segmenting China is a reasonable and realistic way of rendering it harmless.
Of course, China’s leaders, the beneficiaries of corruption, are dead set against dividing China; they are also dead set against democratization. But resistance to democracy is the same as resistance to division. The authorities know very well that the result of democratization would be division. So they use every means available to them to suppress the democratization movement.
But the method of governing China that is currently in force, whereby millions of citizens suffer so that a handful of people can profit, cannot last long.
Three reasons for villagers’ victory in Siege of Wukan
Actually, I can cite an incident in which unreasonable government practices were undermined: the village of Wukan in Guangdong province.
The incident was triggered by village officials who, in September 2011, confiscated land from villagers and sold it to developers without compensating the former owners properly. A protest ensued, led by Xue Jinbo. Xue was arrested, and after being subjected to unspeakable torture, died of what the authorities claimed was a heart attack.
Xue Jinbo’s death further enraged the villagers, who not only stepped up their protest activity, but also requested support from foreign media via the Internet. That effort was successful, for European and American media representatives thronged to Wukan and issued detailed reports. This battle ended in victory for the villagers. The corrupt officials were dismissed, and the first election of village officials by the people was held on February 1, 2012. One of the leaders of the protest was elected mayor.
The Wukan incident had a significant impact on China; the media called it a great breakthrough for the Chinese democratization movement. It is certainly true that there have been several hundred thousands of protests motivated by the same type of corrupt land dealings that spurred the citizens of Wukan to action. But only Wukan succeeded in acquiring the right of self-government. And we must remember that this was not as simple a matter as the power of the people winning autonomy for the village.
No, the struggle in Wukan succeeded because three aspects of the incident were in alignment. The first was the transmission of a massive amount of video footage via the Internet. The second was the surge of foreign media representatives into the town and their broadcasts. The third was the CCP secretary in Guangdong, Wang Yang’s use of the incident in his power struggle with Bo Xilai.
Probably the most important of those three factors was the third, Wang Yang’s power struggle. Wang, an alumnus of the Communist Youth League, was the party secretary in Chongqing before he assumed that position in Guangdong. His successor, Bo Xilai, one of the descendants of influential communist figures referred to as princelings, detested Wang Yang’s liberal platform. Bo favored a return to conservative communist ideology, and adopted the motto chang hong da hei (sing red, smash black), meaning “sing revolutionary songs, wipe out organized crime,” which won him popularity.
Therefore, we must concede that the Wukan incident was resolved in favor of the democratization platform, the polar opposite of the CCP’s platform. But we must realize that the outcome was intended to spite Bo Xilai, and was not a sign that democratization will make headway from now on.
Incidentally, in March 2012, not long after the Wukan incident, Bo Xilai’s fall from grace was revealed, and shocked the international community. This too was a power struggle between the Youth League faction and the princelings.
But even if the incident was in part a power struggle, and democratization was a tool of the power struggle used by the powerful, democratization did indeed make some headway.
Five prescriptions for detoxification: divide China
Since, unsurprisingly, in China it is taboo to speak of dividing up the nation, we have no way of knowing how the Chinese feel about segmentation. “Grand unification” has solid support, at least on the surface. But the notion of a confederation of Chinese states has been around since ancient times, and therefore may serve as one argument in favor of division. And with the foundation laid, this idea could spread rapidly; it need only be ignited.
Dividing China is the one and only way to detoxify China cancer. For that to happen, the international community must put pressure on China to accomplish democratization and liberalization. I often hear the argument that pressuring on China will produce the opposite effect, i.e., backfire. But this is nothing but an excuse proffered by foreign bureaucrats who wish to let sleeping dogs lie. The Chinese vehemently oppose external pressure precisely because it is effective!
In today’s China, economic sanctions of the sort that were imposed at the time of the Tian’anmen protests are no longer possible, but if we focus on human rights, there are many approaches to use.
Here are my five prescriptions for dividing China and rendering it harmless:
1. Demand that China democratize.
2. Demand that China permit freedom of speech.
3. Enact a Chinese human-rights law.
4. Demand that China resolve its environmental problems.
5. Enact a Japanese version of the Taiwan Relations Act.
1. – 4. are all concerns relating to democracy, freedom, human rights, and the environment. The Japanese, whether they be left- or right-leaning ideologically, cannot possibly object to any of these. Asking China to democratize is tantamount to destroying China’s current regime.
(1) First of all, Japan must monitor China’s progress in democratizing. Japan should establish a national organization (similar to the one in the US) to monitor and encourage democratization. Another possibility is issuing reports on China’s democratization progress on a regular basis. The formulation of policies addressing the moral aspects of democracy should increase Japan’s status in the international community, as well as greatly invigorating China’s democratization movement.
The US Congress has passed legislation urging the democratization of China any number of times. Japan’s Diet should enact legislation supporting China’s democratization activists.
Then Japan must create a VOJ (Voice of Japan), patterned after Voice of America. VOA now broadcasts not only radio programs, but also sends reports over the Internet. Therefore, VOJ should also encourage democratization in China through broadcasts in the Chinese language.
It is important to invigorate Chinese lymphocytes in this way.
(2) In demanding freedom of speech for the Chinese, Japan should invoke the principle of reciprocity, and elicit from the Chinese government a guarantee of freedom to report on and broadcast material about events in China.
Then Japan should enact laws and regulations that would enable it to deport Chinese reporters who broadcast fraudulent reportage due to the control of free speech by the Chinese government.
Furthermore, Japan should establish an organization that will act as an ombudsman, i.e., ensure that the Japanese media’s coverage of China is accurate and factually correct. Then it should monitor the extent to which free speech is protected in China.
(3) The simplest way to demand respect for human rights in China is to enact a Chinese human-rights law. Doing so might invite accusations of interfering in the domestic affairs of another nation. But remember that Japan has already emulated the US by enacting the Law on Countermeasures to the Abduction Problem and Other Problems of Human Rights Violations by the North Korean Authorities (June 2006), commonly referred to as the North Korean Human Rights Act.
It reads, in part, as follows:
This law … taking into consideration the human rights violations committed by North Korea, which are of pressing importance to Japan, including abductions, which require the cooperation of the international community to resolve, while at the same time recognizing the importance of increasing public awareness of North Korean human rights issues, aims to clarify the North Korean human rights situation and deter human rights abuses in cooperation with the international community.
Japan blithely follows the US’ lead, but there will be no future if it continues along these lines. That is why Japan must use Black Jack’s method: take the initiative and enact a Chinese human-rights law.
This should be very easy to accomplish. All the Japanese need to do is to use the North Korean Human Rights Law as a model. They need only impose sanctions: for instance, the Japanese will allocate a budget of $20,000,000. If the Chinese government suppresses democratization efforts, the Japanese will contribute those funds to human-rights organizations in China. This action alone should embolden the Chinese human-rights movement.
If the Japanese use the excuse that it’s all very well for the US to attempt to counter human-rights violations in North Korea; after all, North Korea is a tiny country, but China is another story, we will know for certain that Bushido, the warrior spirit, has disappeared from Japan.
(4) To pressure China into resolving its environmental problems, the Japanese could enact an Environment Law. Its intent would be to protect the environment; factories operated by Japanese corporations in China would be monitored, and if found polluting, would be taxed.
If Chinese companies producing goods exported to Japan polluted the environment during the manufacturing process, they could be fined (a pollution tax). That would be helping protect the Chinese environment, and thus would benefit the Chinese.
(5) Taiwan is Japan’s lifeline. But as things stand now, Japan cannot have government-to-government relations with Taiwan. This is a huge disadvantage as far as Japan’s national security is concerned. Even if the Japanese and Taiwanese government cannot conduct normal relations, it would be a considerable step forward if Japan emulated the US by enacting a Taiwan Relations Act. I will discuss the Japanese version of this law later.
Anonymous breaks through Chinese firewall
Protests against the Chinese government’s control of information have been launched by ordinary people. A group that calls itself Anonymous has systematically attacked Chinese government websites, from which it has stolen government and corporate “doctored” evidence, and revealed it to the public.
Anonymous started out as a group of hackers who sought to protect Internet freedom. As it name indicates, it is a faceless organization. Its members are mainly untraceable young people who belong to an amorphous association. They have high-level hacking skills, and have already exposed a huge amount of government data during concentrated assaults executed over a short time.
Of course this type of hacking is considered illegal, and other, non-Chinese government organizations have attempted to catch the culprits. But it isn’t possible to round up Anonymous because the hackers have no organization.
What they seek is freedom. Therefore, China, which censors Internet content, is their ideal target. But attacks are not their only methods, they are also teaching Internet users in China how to evade censorship. It is extremely likely that Anonymous attacks will succeed in breaching China’s Internet defenses.
There are no lulls in the hackers’ online battle with the Chinese government. In the spring of 2011, when the Jasmine Revolution took place (in Tunisia), many young people showed up for planned demonstrations because of campaigns waged by Chinese exchange students in the US.
The power of the Internet rattled the nerves of the Chinese government, which stepped up its online censorship. It became impossible to search using keywords that had a connection with the Jasmine Revolution, such as Arab and jasmine.
But China’s nervous reaction also proves how strong the Internet is. It is safe to assume that this cat-and-mouse game will not be a temporary phenomenon, and that the collapse of China’s online defense is not far off.
Communist government losing grip on censorship
According to the 21th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China, as of the end of 2011 China had 513 million internet users, 90% of whom had completed more than a high school education. These statistics tell us that the Internet is an important source of information in China.
But China also has an Internet management system called the Golden Shield Project, which censors information entering China from the outside world, shutting out any objectionable content. For that reason, Chinese are barred from connecting to Facebook or Twitter.
But China does have powerful social media networks: WeChat and Weibo (Microblog), which serve as platforms for the exchange of information in China.
For instance, in July 2011, a train collision occurred in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. The Chinese government attempted to conceal evidence by burying the wrecked train cars. But since videos of them were broadcast all over China over the Internet, the public lashed out at the authorities. The shameful sight of the authorities, who had buckled under the storm of criticism, disinterring the wreckage on the following day was shown to the entire world. Online public opinion in Chinese has acquired so much power that it can put pressure on the government; it cannot be ignored.
The control of information is a method that dictators must use to stay in power. But China is on the point of losing that power. When the government loses its grip on information, China will disintegrate.
How to render China harmless
Still, it is not advisable to allow the dismantling of China up to fate. The result of doing that would be chaos. Since refugees will be leaving China in droves, they will create a huge nuisance for Taiwan, Japan, and other Asian nations. So the split must result in retaining all Chinese within the confines of that nation. This will require encouragement from outside.
Tie-ups with pro-democracy activists and with the seven major military regions will become necessary when the moment arrives. Of course, tie-ups formed under the current Chinese regime would be very dangerous, as the current leaders would view them as tantamount to treason.
Nevertheless, for the sake of the future, it is necessary to obtain information about their personal and financial connections.
It is especially necessary to learn in advance about their overseas personal and financial connections. Without exception, Chinese high-ranking officials have relatives outside of China. It goes without saying that relationships with those relatives must be formed.
Chinese empire will end in a flash
It is the CCP that is blocking the domestic division of China. But even though people talk of one-party rule, China is not monolithic. It is, however, holding a bomb that could explode at any time.
Another obstacle is presented by Chinese nationalism. It seems to have risen, but is not as strong as it seems. We know that from the fact that most Chinese are hoping to become foreigners. The nationalism of people who covet citizenship in Japan, the US, or Europe is more like a hobby. They don’t really love their country.
The moment the Chinese awaken to the fact that present-day China is a cancer, and that their only hope for the future is to divide China, the Chinese empire will have come to an end.
A JAPAN-TAIWAN FEDERATION COULD CONQUER CHINA CANCER
Statement on core interests is sign of inward weakness
As stated earlier, if we do not succeed in exterminating China cancer, the first nations to be devoured by it will be Japan and Taiwan. Grudges harbored by the Chinese over past wars are more deep-seated against Japan than Taiwan. Still, if Japan is determined to wipe out China cancer, it must join forces with Taiwan. As long as China considers Taiwan a “core interest,” Taiwan will be the razor-sharp blade that gets pushed into the core of China cancer.
The following commentary by Confucius related by Yang Huo in the Analects is an apt description of China’s attitude toward Taiwan: “He who puts on an appearance of stern firmness, while inwardly he is weak, is like one of the small, mean people — yea, is he not like the thief who breaks through, or climbs over, a wall?”
China’s preferred method of instilling fear, while insisting that Taiwan is a core interest, is to hint that it is prepared to wage war to protect that interest. The Chinese are bluffing, of course, just as hoodlums and thugs do.
But readers must understand that despite China’s seemingly uncompromising stance, deep down inside, the Chinese dread fighting a war over this particular core interest. If that were not the case, there would be no reason for them to act like the aforementioned thief.
The term “core interest” says “hands off” to foreign countries, i.e., it threatens them; to the people at home, it says, we have adopted a strong stance. And to Taiwan it is a warning: abandon your thoughts of Taiwanese independence.
Legal independence for Taiwan will trigger division of China
In fact, China’s greatest fear is that Taiwan will progress from de facto independence to de jure (legal) independence. Legal independence for Taiwan would certainly precipitate the dismantling of China.
China has declared that it is willing to use military force to block the legal independence of Taiwan. To the Chinese, Taiwanese independence means war. And of course, the outbreak of war will bring about the immediate collapse of the Chinese economy.
But China’s failure to initiate an armed attack on Taiwan would be tantamount to announcing that it is a paper tiger. Proponents of division inside China will be sure to come out fighting. When that happens, condemnation of the government will explode, the first steps toward division will be taken, and a bitter power struggle will ensue.
Put simply, aside from threats, China has no effective means in its power to prevent Taiwan from declaring its legal independence. If Taiwan commits itself to taking that risk, it has the power to destroy China. We must realize that China is well aware of that. The game of chicken between China and Taiwan continues.
More practical support for China’s democratization movement
But greater than China’s fear that Taiwan will declare its independence is the worry that an independent Taiwan will actively support the democratization movement in China.
Taiwan’s use of democracy to put pressure on China will have a destructive force equal to, or possibly greater than a declaration of independence. After all, the Chinese are dissatisfied with the current CCP dictatorship, and are seeking freedom of speech, democratization, and respect for human rights.
Most Chinese today are convinced that Taiwan is part of China. If Taiwan declares independence, they will side with the Chinese government against Taiwan and denounce Taiwan. In other words, if Taiwan becomes legally independent, the Chinese will be its enemies.
On the other hand, if Taiwan encourages change in China by supporting the democratization movement, it will make an enemy of the communist government, but not of the Chinese people. Ultimately, the battle will pit Taiwan and the Chinese people against the communist government. From the viewpoint of the Chinese government, this is probably the worst-case scenario.
Support for Chinese democracy movement from Nationalist Party
Beginning with Chiang Kai-shek’s regime, Taiwan consistently supported the democratization movement in China (a leftover from the civil strife between the Nationalists and Communists). When the Chiang government fled to Taiwan, his followers called their nation “Free China,” but it was a dictatorship, just like the one run by the communists. The so-called support for the democratization movement was nothing but a means for toppling the communist government. There was never any intention of democratizing China. No Chinese took Chiang’s premature promise of democracy seriously, and it had no effect whatsoever.
In 2000, there was a shift in Taiwan from a Nationalist government to one run by the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party). One might have expected the new president, Chen Shui-bian, to be pro-independence. But early on, Chen muted talk of independence and began pandering to China. Under his leadership, for the next eight years, talk of support for democratization was toned down, in deference to China. The funds that had flowed into Beijing Spring, a pro-democracy organization with headquarters in the US, since the days of Lee Teng-hui dried up.
Later Ma Ying-jeou adopted fawningly pro-China policies; and support for the democratization of China was nominal, if that.
Thus, both the Taiwanese and Japanese governments avoided taking any action that ruffled China’s feathers. They put their hearts and souls into pandering to China, abetting the growth and spread of China cancer.
Chinese admire Taiwan’s democracy and freedom
Even so, Taiwan exercises enormous influence on China. As soon as Ma Ying-jeou took office in May 2008, he opened up Taiwan to Chinese tourists. Since then, Chinese tourists have become a common sight in every corner of Taiwan.
What appeals to them is not Taiwan’s scenic spots, but Taiwan’s democratic, free society. Chinese tourists who do visit scenic spots often say that the scenery is more beautiful in China. Unkind comments like these are typical of the Chinese. But even the most narrow-minded Chinese must acknowledge the free atmosphere there, and the decency of the Taiwanese people. Most Chinese tourists are impressed by Taiwan’s democracy, and find the “free air” attractive.
Renowned Chinese author Han Han has written his impressions of visiting Taiwan on his blog, saying how much he likes the goodness of the Taiwanese and the democratic, free environment. While praising the elevating cultural standards of Taiwan, he emphasizes that the warm, welcoming aspects of society are possible only when the government is democratic.
As the Taiwanese come in contact with more Chinese, they will realize that they are not Chinese, but Taiwanese. And as more Chinese come in contact with Taiwanese, they will wonder why the Taiwanese have privileges that they do not, despite the fact that both they and the Taiwanese are ethnically Chinese. That doubt may mushroom, confront the CCP, and gather up enough strength to overthrow the communist dictatorship.
Another facet of Taiwan that Chinese tourists are drawn to is the availability of political ideas and historical writings that they cannot see in China. Some examples are books that are critical of China and the CCP, a memorial to Chiang Kai-shek (a bitter enemy of Mao Zedong), and anti-communist flyers and pamphlets issued by Falun Gong.
These discoveries not only permit fresh observations made in a foreign nation, but also bring the facts, the truth about Chinese history, to light. The CCP and the Nationalists are both Chinese, so they tend to lie, but they believe anything that makes their opponents look bad. The Chinese authorities could not have predicted that trips to Taiwan would have such a strong impact on the Chinese.
I recall experiencing that same impact. In 1987, when Taiwan was under martial law, I went to Japan to study. What impressed me the most was learning facts about Taiwan that I never could have had access to back at home.
As I read books that had been banned in Taiwan, I was filled with disdain for the Nationalist government that had deceived me for such a long time. I was moved to participate in the campaign for Taiwanese independence. Perhaps Chinese who read books and essays about the CCP have had the same experience as mine.
Taiwan is prompting changes in China that the Chinese government would never anticipate. For China, Taiwan is shifting from desirable prey to a disorderly nuisance.
Taiwan is not a Chinese core interest, but a nuclear bomb
As long as China is Taiwan’s neighbor, it will continue to be influential, politically, economically, and environmentally. But Taiwan’s most powerful weapon now is not military or economic strength, but freedom and democracy. Surely, if Taiwan shifts from a position of defense to offense, and actively promotes the democratization of China, it will be assuring its own security.
Precisely because the Chinese consider Taiwan part of China, Taiwan has more influence on the Chinese people than does any other nation. The more the Chinese advertise the fact that Taiwan is part of China, the larger Taiwan’s influence grows. If a more influential Taiwan decides to champion the democratization movement in China, China is very likely to split. Therefore, rather than being one of China’s core interests, it might be more accurate to describe Taiwan as a nuclear bomb.
Enact Japanese version of Taiwan Relations Act and establish intergovernmental relations with Taiwan
Unfortunately, Taiwan has not built up the wherewithal to oppose China on its own. Two reasons for that is its isolation from the international community, and the motto that has penetrated the international community: Don’t provoke China.
In order for Taiwan to exert its full power, it must have a relationship with Asian superpower Japan. But most Taiwanese believe that the Japanese are so afraid of China that they demonstrate absolutely no interest in Taiwan.
In fact, the Japanese government has positioned Taiwan as its partner in “non-governmental working-level relations,” and has continued to avoid political interference. The impression is strong that Japan is slavishly submissive to China. The fact that Japan respects and acknowledges the fact that Taiwan is part of China bears witness to that.
Such a stance belittles Taiwan and causes China cancer to spread and proliferate. The fact that the Taiwanese tolerate Ma Ying-Jeou’s pandering policies is a sign of desperation born from a sense of isolation.
Nevertheless, the Taiwanese continue to place their hopes in Japan. The selfless actions taken by Taiwanese in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2016, are evidence of the Taiwanese emotional connection with Japan.
The Japanese may have forgotten, but Taiwan is a treasured neighbor. If Japan shows itself ready to have governmental relations with Taiwan, and together to combat the China problem, it should be possible to summon up Taiwan’s strength to the fullest.
But the road ahead is very long, and now we are faced with a huge vacuum. This is a very bad situation for Japan.
To solve this problem, a Japanese version of the American Taiwan Relations Act is needed. By enacting such a law, the Americans are in a position to defy China and have governmental relations with Taiwan.
American version of the Taiwan Relations Act
In 1979 the US entered into diplomatic relations with China and severed its ties with Taiwan. The US also established the Taiwan Relations Act. That law places Taiwan in a different dimension, so to speak, and provides a legal basis for conducting diplomacy with Taiwan. The law comprises 18 sections, four of which contain its main purposes.
Section 2b. The United States declares that peace and stability in [the Asia-Pacific] region are in keeping with the political, security, and economic interests of the United States, and are matters of international concern.
Section 3. The United States has an obligation to provide defensive weapons to Taiwan, and to protect the stability of Taiwan.
Section 4. The United States will not suspend relations with Taiwan; all treaties concluded prior to 1979 will remain in force.
Section 14. The United States Congress will monitor the “legal and technical aspects of the continuing relationship between the United States and Taiwan.”
Thus the US has enacted a law stating policies vis à vis Taiwan in accordance with American national interests, which is monitored by the US Congress.
High praise in Taiwan for Prof. Asano Kazuo’s proposal for a law governing Japan-Taiwan relations
As far as the Japanese government is concerned, relations with Taiwan are to be conducted between private entities. There is currently no law providing a legal basis that permits affairs of state between the two nations. But a legal basis for diplomatic relations between Japan and Taiwan is absolutely necessary, and Japanese scholars maintain that there is a pressing need for the enactment of a Japanese version of the Taiwan Relations Act. In 2005 Heisei International University Professor Asano Kazuo announced that he had written a draft of such a law. His efforts won high praise from Koh Se-kai, then Taiwan’s representative to Japan, who had become painfully aware of the difficulty of conducting diplomacy with no legal underpinning.
Asano’s draft of a law is just that, a draft, which outlines affairs of state currently conducted between Japan and Taiwan, but there is a great deal of significance in incorporating the arrangements now handled by private entities into legislation.
The proposal written by Professor Asano, entitled “Basic Law Governing Relations Between Japan and Taiwan,” consists of seven articles. A translation follows.
Basic Law Governing Mutual Relations Between Japan and China (abbreviated as Basic Law Concerning Japan-Taiwan Relations)
Article 1: This law is intended to further commercial, trade, cultural and other interchange between Japan and Japanese nationals, and Taiwan and Taiwanese nationals, to achieve stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
(1) Japan and Japanese nationals shall maintain and facilitate relationships of a commercial, cultural nature, and the like, that are more extensive, closer, and more friendly, with Taiwan and Taiwanese nationals.
(2) The conduct of diplomacy on a foundation of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region shall benefit Japan in terms of political, economic, and national security, and shall be of significance to the international community.
(Guarantee of Legal Rights)
Article 3. Taiwanese nationals shall be guaranteed rights that they have acquired or shall acquire in the future in accordance with the laws of Japan, as long as those rights do not jeopardize public welfare.
(Sharing of Information)
Article 4. The Japanese government shall provide the necessary information to the Taiwanese government when the former deems doing so essential to the achievement of stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
(Matters Concerning Mutual Interchange)
Article 5. Regarding reciprocity between Japan and Taiwan, matters relating to the protection of life, limb, and property and the like of Japanese and Taiwanese nationals; matters relating to the entry into Japan of Taiwanese nationals and citizens of other nations residing in Taiwan; matters relating to the interchange of commerce, trade, tourism, and the like between Japan and Taiwan; and matters relating to the mutual academic, cultural, and athletic interchange between Japan and Taiwan shall be handled in accordance by an agreement between Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association and AEAR (Association of East Asian Relations) (signed on December 6, 1972). Any changes to this agreement proposed by the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association must be approved by the Japanese minister for internal affairs and communications.
(Administration in Taiwan)
1. The Japanese government has the right to take measures relating to the granting of corporate status in Japan to AEAR (Association of East Asian Relations), and of privileges and exemptions equivalent to those enjoyed by diplomats to its employees.
2. When it is necessary to take measures as described in the preceding paragraph, the Japanese government shall amend the relevant law.
Article 7. In the context of this law, AEAR (Association of East Asian Relations) has the authority over matters concerning mutual interchange between Japan and Taiwan; the organization known as AEAR was established by Taiwan.
October 13, 2005
Japanese anti-Chinese groups would welcome a Japan-Taiwan federation
The Japanese may not be aware of this, but Japan wields significant influence over China. That this is so is evidenced by the fact that the sparks that ignited the Xinhai Revolution, which toppled the Qing dynasty, originated in Japan. Without Japanese education, financial support, and the provision of weapons to the Chinese revolutionaries, not to mention the granting of political asylum, there would have been no revolution.
Japan is the only nation in Asia that can hold its own with China. Unlike Taiwan, an orphan in the international community, Japan has a voice in that community. Japan and Taiwan complement each other. If Japan could muster the will to act, it could join hands with Taiwan, support China’s democratization movement, and facilitate the division of China from within.
It is true that there are many private groups that support the democratization of China, both in Japan and Taiwan. But those groups lack the force required for the destruction of China cancer. It is not possible to create the energy required to hasten the segmentation of China — nations must get involved to make that happen.
Pro-democracy activists in China are hopeful of help from Japan and Taiwan. Jiao Guobiao, former assistant professor at Peking University, and author of Denouncing the Central Propaganda Department, delivered a lecture in Tokyo on March 10, 2006. He asked for help from the Japanese with the democratization of China and the protection of human rights.
Jiao stated, “All the democratic governments in East Asia must do away with the traditional diplomatic means of dealing with China, and reject the communist Chinese records of trampling on human rights. They must also emulate many of the Western nations by confronting China head on, and using the diplomatic route to exert influence on Chinese politics.” Jiao also criticized the governments of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan for their weak-kneed diplomacy with China.
He also placed further demands on the Japanese, accusing them of focusing all their attention on economic matters, and ignoring the difference between the democratic and non-democratic forces in East Asia. Jiao urged Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan not to ignore its duty to encourage the democratization of East Asian politics. He suggested that an international organization be established in East Asia whose main mission would be to advocate democracy, freedom, and human rights.
Precisely because Japan and Taiwan have embraced wholeheartedly the value system that cherishes democracy, freedom, and the protection of human rights, Jiao Guobiao is hoping they will take action. He is warning us: Japan and Taiwan must follow Black Jack’s example. If they fail to do so, it will be impossible to contain China.
Support needed for democratization of China
The Western nations are already supporting China’s pro-democracy activists. Some of their efforts have borne fruit, i.e., the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the former professor of Beijing Normal University who was thrown into jail for drafting Charter 08, a manifesto signed by many Chinese dissidents. Also noteworthy was the US government’s rescue of blind activist Chen Guangcheng.
The Chinese vehemently oppose such actions, but their violent objections are proof that overseas support of pro-democracy activists is effective.
But the Japanese government, which champions human rights, does not seem to be at all interested in aiding pro-democracy or human-rights activists.
This is not surprising; the prevailing policy of the Japanese government toward China is to avoid provoking China, even if Japan’s national interests suffer as a result. We can see how deep-rooted this disease is by observing the remarks of former Japanese ambassadors to China and former high-ranking Foreign Ministry officials in connection with the dispute over ownership of the Senkaku Islands.
Still, since Japan is a democratic nation, if the Japanese people are determined, they can bring about a change in Japan’s China policies. It is so important that the people who understand the seriousness of China cancer speak out.
Vigorous promotion of the democratization movement in China by both Japan and Taiwan is the only effective and realistic way of neutralizing China. But China cancer will not wait. It simply continues to proliferate. We must take action now!
We have reached a historical crossroads; the action we take will determine whether we live or die. The people of Japan and Taiwan must understand the urgency of this situation.
When my book entitled Why Does Japan Want To Associate with a Country Like China? A Taiwanese Physician Removes the Kid Gloves came out in 2006, there was quite a bit of criticism. “What a disturbing title!” “What a frightening book!” Apparently the topic was too nerve-racking for the peace-loving Japanese.
Subsequent events, such as the poisoning of gyoza prepared in China, and repeated infringement by the Chinese of territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands, caused the Japanese to look at China with a more gimlet eye. Still, since the Japanese tend to forgive the flaws of others, they avoid delving into the truth about China.
Such a tendency is a national characteristic of the Japanese, and it is to be admired; unfortunately, it sometimes places them in difficult situations. An analogy that occurs to me is a rabbit’s thinking that the wolf approaching it is a faithful watchdog, a protector. We all know the outcome of such an assumption without reading any further.
It is a self-evident truth that the prospects of a neighboring nation, especially a superpower like China, will affect Japan. That is why it is so important to seek the truth about China.
To understand China, we must search for its true nature from a scientific perspective; otherwise, we will fail to get to the heart of the matter. The Japanese seldom conduct political analyses using a natural-science approach, but it is impossible to separate any human activity, including politics, from the laws of Nature.
This connection is what led me to entitle this book China Cancer.
Goto Shinpei, who was also a physician, ruled Taiwan in accordance with biological principles. He realized the impossibility of transforming a flounder into a red snapper, for instance, because of biological differences. Goto was also aware of the differences between the Taiwanese and Japanese, and that knowledge informed his style of government.
More than a century has elapsed since then, but the systems and infrastructure Goto created endure in Taiwan. Moreover, the medical training he received served him well in the political arena.
A biological perspective is as indispensable to the monitoring of China as it was to governing Taiwan.
I learned how to conduct research and analyses from my mentor, Professor Oka Yoshitomo at Tokyo University. He taught me to resist capitulating needlessly to authority and to believe the data that I had assembled. I also am indebted to him for teaching me that the truth should prevail over everything else.
I elected not to become a researcher after all, opting instead for a career as a country doctor, and an activist working toward the independence of Taiwan. Perhaps I should describe myself as a deserter from the world of research. But the teachings of Professor Oka are very much alive in my mind as I observe China, and I used his observational methods to advantage in writing this book. I wrote it hoping it would be useful to the Japanese and would serve as partial repayment to Professor Oka for the knowledge he bestowed on me.
I would also like to express my gratitude to my friend and colleague Katano Shigemasa, president of Katano Pharmaceuticals, without whose support this book would not exist. Mr. Katano’s wholehearted encouragement gave me moral support, and proved to be a driving force during this project. I am also grateful to my longtime friend and kindred spirit Yuhara Masataka, executive director of the Friends of Lee Teng-Hui Association in Japan, who gave me valuable advice and checked my data. Without his kind help, I could not have completed this book.