Thursday, December 27, 2007
What value do Japan and China share in common except images of two nations infatuated by contempt and short sighted stubbornness of past leaders? Prior to Japanese prime minister Fukuda's visit to the country of Confucius, there is not much constructive talks that is murmured about what could be sketched on the way to achieve major progress in their bilateral relations and Asia house building. I mean in the non - sino - american condominium way. But is this timidity a pre-requisite as a first step into the right direction? They finally decided to talk to each other and call at each other's.
Raising the banner of progress and happiness is not enough. The question for China and Japan remains: how to re discover the limit, the sense of proportion and avoid theatrical stances and at what realistic price? "This form of paranoia and unprecedented social dementia reactions will occur again, unpredictable. One has never played the impunity road-map of the "de-civilisation." (Historian Pierre Legendre in "Dominium Mundi". "La theatralisation est inherente a l'espece douee de parole." (Click the title to access to the article)
Light output so far. Yielding on environmental empty pledges, doing nothing on hot talks such as China Sea territorial struggle, achieving nothing on massive reduction of defense spending, not reviewing historical, political, technological and cultural program drive to the expected fate: Utopia! As if Japan and China had never succeeded in getting out of the post colonialism values system dictated by bigger powers, far away nations. Japan remains unable to wake up and move on reform on the spiritual scale of what was achieved in the Meiji revolution (yes a revolution, not a mere "renovation", which means that there were people who lost their lives). Tokyo neither assumes its sovereignty on foreign affairs nor boost its defense on his own feet while China is too eager to show off building its condominium world-stage. Tokyo sneezes when Beijing shouts and the world is bored, so is my editor when he watches Japan news wires.
Not an easy task. How could decades of suspicion, confrontations, trade - only would shift into a paradigm of harmoniously built relation, a perception of common destiny? First, there is no shortcut to playing a greater role internationally than in deleting misconceptions. Second, building common shared values, integrate, assimilate. The "metissage we say in French." And to achieve this pyramidal-size political objective, as Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: "There is one necessity that is to dissipate history in a society that claims herself as equalitarian". Probably up to the next - next generation.
In the twenty-first century especially, wouldn't it be in the interest of national power to follow Tocqueville advises as power depends more on the accuracy of the validated domestic institutions and on country’s openness to flow goods, people, money, and ideas? Therefore favoring integration is not the utopia. Without fundamental reform in the Asian village, how Japan and China will educate their children, train their youth, provide ease for its elderly, interact with the global village, culturally, economically, and contribute to the world peace and safe-environment... How will neighbors use workforce and conduct politics in the fair way. Behind the myth of enrichment, a huge populations remains in need and is not in total anesthesia, unsatisfied with their leaders lack of imagination and policies ' diversity.
Hu and Fukuda have not yet reached the variable that might boost confidence outside. Tokyo and Beijing governments need to be more concerned about these aspects of life than about the outward robot-alike manifestations of strength.
"Architects of the modern Japanese state have to understand that national power depends on the quality of domestic institutions. It will determine where Japan will go from 2007." The question is not to reinvigorate Japan and China's muscles but to create a new code of behavior in international relations, a model's role of harmonious values, not an easy task as Professor Amako of Waseda told foreign correspondents and diplomats at a Foreign Press Center (FPCJ) briefing: "These values still have to be created." "Maybe harmony" is a sound road-map.
"Opera mundi" and show-off only politics, is it ?