Theatrical media manipulation? Attempt to frighten Japanese and Chinese? Well, focussing on reality does not necessarily show the same pictures. Watching the flocks shopping to Ginza, Nanjing Road, Wangfujing, is a way to check a closer look at the factual Asian reality...
Tokyo, 18h59 October 16 2010
Chinese and Philippines group tours shopping on Ginza with local Japanese shoppers
Recently, "headlines" in the Japanese press and in some of the western news agencies catch our attention on what seems to become an alarming violence happening now between China and Japan, in Tokyo and in 3 cities in China, on Saturday October 16th 2010.
Of course it is good to spot on zone and report about a demonstration set in front of a building or in a park, followed by a population of Internet nerds who do not exactly represent the numerous population of the East Asia region concerned. It's also a good thing to watch them freely showing and expressing their disappointments. But the funny" way this "tension" was presented in today's news and papers in Tokyo make like it appears that the Japan China situation is close to chaos, near war, in a climate of hate between Tokyo and Beijing.
In the same time the APEC and COP 10 nations are gathering right now without any disturbance for prep' meetings in Niigata to Nagoya and Tokyo. In other important places, financial gurus and politicians gather and lecture in very posh areas about the Yen about the Renminbi, the $ etc. In Japan and in China. Holly smokes! Where are these pictures and why can't we see them on the front pages?
Of course we can (sorry, we must!) believe what the media (we) say about things and strictly follow the buzz and the tune of the day.
Of course what we have read, well, we quite have NOT really seen it in the real world of Tokyo and in major Chinese cities, so it's not too bad to rebalance with a few pictures made on Oct 16 which seem to describe how the real world was (is) in Tokyo. Calm and peaceful with lots of Chinese and other Asian nations tourists shopping, smoking, partying, on Ginza, the "Tokyo Champs-Élysées"...
Saying in other words that there is "instrumentalization", an agitation and use of propaganda from some biases watchers, call them the Japanese neo conservative media, and add to the borsch a "touch" of foreign watchers ready to make a quick "buck" or two, to ignite tension and to alarm the opinion. Then indeed (!) there is a construction that a very bad bad relation exists between China and Japan. Problems exist, have they reached such enormity? No.
You know the way we in the TV, we do, focus on a crowd and no large view of the situation, creating an illusion of chaos. Or when we film with sequences edited into progressively shorter shots to create a mood of tension and excitement or even filming with no travelling shot. It scores pretty well with viewers!
Actually, I have to confirm that my party and I, we saw uniforms yesterday night in Tokyo, in Ginza, they belong to one of the most formidable Navy in the world and they were dispatched in a group, hiding behind trees, progressing orderly, from street to street, and as soon as we identified them, we had them followed until the main Ginza boulevard where we saw that they were up to making close pictures of... a Louis Vuitton shop and of the near-by illuminated streets while on a touristic day journeying in what some described as a quasi "Tokyo burning" atmosphere.*
We'll be there to report, as we did in the past, when something really serious occurs! Until then, sleep tight.
Tokyo, 18h54 October 16 2010
Navy staff shooting at the illuminated luxurious Ginza streets
Alarming headlines, quotes (En and Fr):
"Deux mille manifestants ont défilé samedi dans les rues de Tokyo pour dénoncer ce qu'ils considèrent comme une invasion par la Chine d'îles revendiquées à la fois par Pékin et le Japon.
A Japanese woman protester wearing a pink kimono and headgear marches down streets in central Tokyo as an estimated 2,500 protesters take to the streets during a protest against China on Saturday Oct. 16, 2010.
A man holds a banner while marching during an anti-Japan protest in downtown Zhengzhou, in central China's Henan province, Saturday, Oct. 16, 201
Chinese paramilitary police march near the Japanese embassy in Beijing, China on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. Heavy security was enforced in the areas around the Japanese embassy after thousands of Chinese marched in the other Chinese cities in sometimes violent protests Saturday against Japan and its claim to disputed islands, a show of anger far larger than past protests over the competing territorial claims.
A man holds a banner while marching during an anti-Japan protest in downtown Zhengzhou, in central China's Henan province, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010. Chinese characters on the banner reads, "Down with Japan, Protect Diaoyu Island."
A Japanese protester holding a placard with a message reading, "Free (Nobel Peace Prize winner) Dr. Liu Xiaobo," marches down streets in central Tokyo as an estimated 2,500 protesters take to the streets in a protest against China on Saturday Oct. 16, 2010."
End of alarmed quotes.
* Regarding Tokyo burning, I encourage reading the excellent "I Saw Tokyo Burning" by Robert Guillain with whom I had an informative epistolary correspondence in his last years of a truly fascinating life.