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Japan's Impact on the Asian Image
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:00:48 PM)

t has long been seen as the fountainhead of consumer electronics technology. Its cars are consistently among the world's most admired. Its corporations own two major Hollywood studios. Its kiddie culture has all but killed off Mickey Mouse and Barbie. Its $4 trillion GDP is number two behind the U.S. and its workers earn 25% more per head than Americans.
     Bravo Castrati!
     That's how many Asian Americans see Japan. A nation that should command the stature of a powerhouse -- and elevate the image of all Asians in the process -- possesses the geopolitical profile of, say, Switzerland, a nation a thirtieth its size. Japan's leaders are seen as mere hand puppets in a sad half-century charade of democracy. Its homes are cramped. Its men function as soulless drones whose women fly into the arms of western males. Even its vaunted economy has been on the ropes for ten years and looks ready to go down for the count. What little testosterone it possessed seems to have left with Ichiro.
     A nation that should champion the Asian image has only reinforced every insulting stereotype. To many Asian Americans, Japan has done less than its smaller, poorer neightbors. Little Hong Kong exports asskicking action stars. South Corea exports people who take hooey from no one. Taiwan exports tech entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley. Impoverished China, Vietnam and even nutcase North Corea showed balls in standing up to the west. But mighty Japan? Spiritually it seems never to have recovered from its defeat in World War II.
     Is Japan carrying its weight or slacking in the Asian image department?

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[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
Area 51!!!(One only has to look at Korean and the Philipines to see how many women of these countries marry military men or western males.)??? What do you want to say with this? You're partly right but is it true that Japan is just trying to forget their past? Fortunately there are many Japaneses who are proud of what happened and want to justify. And Japan doesn't have the same history with others. The Japanese girls in a certain region in Japan, still crazy about American soldiers don't exist in Korea for example.
Juqt Open your eyes!!!
   Monday, April 14, 2003 at 14:31:06 (PDT)    []
Let me make myself more clear.

It is obvious the author is not stating his position. We all know he or she is stating concerns or issues that he or she feels are worthy. But its pretty weak journalism because it raises a lot of non-issues. And this is what I'm taking issue with. I don't think any major publication would print this article because it flies in the face of mainstream Asians who do not feel they need other Asians to empower them.

Who here feels they need other people to improve their own image or self-esteem. Not me. Not the Asians I know.

We are what we make of ourselves.

   Tuesday, April 01, 2003 at 09:26:55 (PST)    []

[We don't think any major publication would print your comments. However, pursuant to our policy of encouraging Asian Americans seeking to share their views, we have given you two opportunities to contribute to this discussion. So far, you have shown only a desire to cast aspersions on this site.
This piece is obviously not a standalone "article" but a means of starting a discussion on a topic on the minds of many Asian Americans. You may have noticed that this directory is called "Issues".
Asian Americans don't depend on others to create our image, but do resent the propogation of false impressions about Asians. Many AA have complained that aspects of Japanese society undermine the image of all Asians. This is especially true because Americans often make the mistake of looking to Japan as the leading Asian nation.
We'll give you one last chance to contribute to this discussion. After that, we'll treat you the way you would like to treat us. --Ed]
The author of this article does not realize that it is wrong to say that Japan is not promoting the right image of Asians. Those who insist that others should have the responsibility to promote his or her self-image is like blaming someone else for their own misfortune. We should all take it upon ourselves to do well and then we will promote a more positive image as a whole.

Name calling and finger pointing only portray Asians as shallow cry-babies. And rightfully so.

When the auther points out that Japan's women "fly into the arms of western males" also shows how little he or she knows about Asia and human nature.

One only has to look at Korea and the Phillipines to see how many women of these countrys marry military men or western males. In the US, there are many Asian women who prefer Caucassians too. This has nothing to do with men of Korea or the Phillipines or Asian American males. Sometimes opposites attract. Western males almost always finds the shy and conservative Asian females very appealling since most western women are more independent and sometimes intimidating. On the contrary, as an Japanesse-American male, surrounded by Asian females while growing up, I find this independent quality in western women appealing. I also find their looks and openess also very sexy. It so different and there is nothing more exciting than experiencing different things.

There is nothing wrong with Japan. It is a country that is no better or worse than any other country. We all have our past and our faults. We have all made our fair share of mistake as humans. The best thing about life is that there is most likely going to be a tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day - providing everyone with a second chance to make tomorrow better than it was today. There is the life we live and the life we live by. Japan is doing fine today and hopefully it will keep on striving to do better tomorrow.

As to the authors opinion that that Japan has never been able to regain spiritually since WWII is totally untrue. Japan is the only country who can say they survived a nuclear holocaust and become one of the most successful industrial nations. Japan did not point its finger and blame others for there destruction. They did not hang their heads and feel sorry for themselves. Japan accepted its fate, got back up, pulled up its sleeves and went back to work. They are a testiment to the human spirit.

Lets stop blaming others and start living our own expectations.
   Tuesday, April 01, 2003 at 03:50:50 (PST)    []

[The author takes no position. Learn to distinguish statements of issues from positions. --Ed]
I hardly think China is impoverished, while their standard of living is lower than Japans, China's poverty level is only at around 2% lower than any country whether it be developing or developed. Japan is of course the second strongest economy in the world however China has now become the 6th largest overtaking Italy and expected to overtake both France and the UK in the next 2-3 years. Personaly I feel there is a resentment amongst the Japanese as to how fast China's economy is moving. Japan is afraid of the economic powerhouse of the "rising dragon".
   Saturday, March 01, 2003 at 11:15:33 (PST)    []
Japan is the Great Britian of Asia, helping in spreading the Industrial revolution in Asia, just as England did with Europe and the World.
Black Face
   Sunday, February 23, 2003 at 11:35:54 (PST)    []
Japan was completely destroyed in WWII. It had 2 atomic bombs dropped on it. In less than 50 years after the war it is now the second largest economic power in the World. Enough said.
Raymond    Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 18:26:16 (PST)    []

Thank you, one more time for your wise post!! God bless huu76 whenever he is...
Takayuki Kaneko
   Friday, January 03, 2003 at 00:24:11 (PST)    []
To Ed:

"Japanese per capita GNP is about 10% higher than that of the U.S."

GNP? I think you actually mean GNI, gross national income, per capita.

First of all, here is the GNI figure from world bank for US and japan in 2001:

(In US dollar)
Japan: $35990

United States of America: &34870

Even you have admitted that Japanese at best is about 10% higher in GNI per capita than american(No even so according to the world bank figure, but if we include exchange rate into our reckoning, and boost the figure up to $38000, the highest hypothetical figure from you, it will be roughly 10% higher)
So where did you get the staggeringly overstated 25% from?

Secondly, if you really concern about the dollar-denominated problem so much, GNI is pretty much another dollar-denominated figure.

Here is a figure independent of the exchange rate, PPP, purchasing power parity, which will give you some real senses of people's wealth level, released by world bank in 2001 for US and Japan:

(In US dollar)
United States of America: $34870

Japan : $27430

Ironically, american ppp per capita is approximatly 25% higher than japan's.

Thirdly, this information is for the year of 2001 too, so forget about what japan has suffered ever since.

Finally, I too don't want to waste anymore minutes on this tangent(the term you are so fond of).

BTW, you don't have to post this message.
   Tuesday, December 31, 2002 at 04:53:52 (PST)    []

[This will be the last few minutes we waste on the dismal science (on this page devoted to the Japanese impact on the Asian American image). And this digression could have been prevented had you been a better reader. The 25% figure refers to the earnings of the average worker, a very different concept from per capita GDP, GNP or GNI. As for Japanese purchasing power, that's another issue entirely, i.e., the Japnanese government's deliberate policy of discouraging consumer spending on things like bigger homes -- and the things that go to fill them -- for the sake of stimulating exports, higher savings rates and bigger foreign exchange reserves. Future efforts at prolonging this tangentia will be ethered. --Ed]
The old men running the country and their children might like German cars, but ask the "average" Chinese citizen which car they like, and realistically can afford, and you'll get a much different answer.
Lots of AMericans like Vettes and Porsches, but ask them to pay for it and the cars turn into Accords and Celicas.

I like Bimmer's too, but realistically, I'd settle for anything from Japan that isn't owned by Ford. Also, VW, MB and BMW's rep for high quality automobiles is dropping, as is their prestige (Lexus is catching up and outselling).

If Japan decided to close their overseas plants, they'd still be able to sell their goods, albeit at lower profits. Who gains more from Japan's generosity? The Americans are in the same boat, but atleast Japan enjoys military support from the U.S.

Japan's GDP might be high, but their real purchasing power is not. For example, where I live, someone in the city making 2x as much as me has the same purchasing power.
   Tuesday, December 31, 2002 at 02:05:06 (PST)    []

"Secondly, chinese love european automobiles more. Japanese vehicle is generally being perceived as something cheaper and inferior to its european, and american counterparts."

no no no. chinese perceive japanese cars as being superior to american ones nowadays. chinese drive lexus more than cadillacs.
hoklo taiwanese
   Monday, December 30, 2002 at 10:20:49 (PST)    []
I connect you
Aung Myo Thu    Monday, December 30, 2002 at 06:58:59 (PST)    []

"Japan and Korea will supply the technology and innovation, while China will provide the labor."

lol! with a mentality like this, you expect the chinese to work with you???
hoklo taiwanese
   Saturday, December 28, 2002 at 19:52:12 (PST)    []
Written by huu76

"Japanese manufacturing has also spread to Vietnam and China. True it can do more, but then again, they haven't exactly received any gratitude for it.
i.e. Honda, Toyota and Kawasaki open plants in China."

You are such a funny guy, but enough crap here. You sound so much like the japanese investment is some kind of benevolence. It's not. They are there to make big bucks, not to set up charity funds. It's basically a reciprocal relationship. Both side get better off.

To your surprise, chinese has investment plants in U.S. as well(shocking?). e.g. Haier, a home appliance manufacturer, one of the biggest in china, has already open factory and office in U.S.

So, according to your logic, the us should start thanking chinese for......ha, whatever reason there is.

"Chinese love Japanese cars and motorcycles, yet they hate the Japanese and only have negative things to say about them."

First of all, please keep this generalization to yourself. You can say anything you like about yourself, but not any other people.(e.g. you may consider yourself a loser, and speak it out aloud, but you can't do this to anyone else)

Secondly, chinese love european automobiles more. Japanese vehicle is generally being perceived as something cheaper and inferior to its european, and american counterparts.(Sorry if this offend any japanese, i know japanese car is of good quality, but you can't change people's confirmed perception overnight)

BTW, i think Economist is right. Here is the GDP per capita figure released by World Bank for US and Japan in 2001:

(In US dollar)
United States of America: $35820

Japan: $33400
   Saturday, December 28, 2002 at 04:06:17 (PST)    []

[You're forcing us to waste 2 more minutes on a tangent. First, there's a big difference between per capita GDP (which takes into account investment earnings and is dollar-denominated and therefore dependent on the exchange rates) and average workers' wages. We explained the reason for that. For example, Japanese car companies pay American workers less than they do Japanese workers. Secondly, this article was written in 2001 and used figures available then. Japan has since suffered a bit of negative growth and a drop in its exchange rates. Enough of this tangent. The topic here is Japan's impact on the Asian image. --Ed]

You are so right...
Did you graduate from MIT???
I did. You got that heart to change the whole world...I truly admire you!
Takayuki Kaneko
   Friday, December 27, 2002 at 19:37:19 (PST)    []
To Mr. Takayuki Kaneko,

Thank you for your comments.

East Asia can be a very powerful economic region, if Japan, China and Korea can overcome the past conflicts, and start working with each other.

My vision of a powerful East Asian region....

I think maybe the East Asian countries can help each other to manufacture large 'Man-Made Islands' since Asia is very populated! These 'Man-Made Islands' can serve as commercial and residential centers. Japan and Korea will supply the technology and innovation, while China will provide the labor.

Besides this, Japan should invest in China, since China has economic potential and developing cities. This can help restore Japan's slow economy. Then in turn, China can provide natural resources for Japan and Korea because it is a big country with empty land.

I say all of this because I have positive experiences working with many Japanese and Koreans. I believe we will have good teamwork if we can cooperate.

If we can be successful, we might even Go to the moon and start something new!

Europe has not been very productive for many years. America was never productive after the 1970's. America only manfuctures dollar bills to buy other countries' resources and products.
   Friday, December 27, 2002 at 09:36:39 (PST)    []

What specifically do you think is BS about my original post?

This thread is about the impact that modern-day Japan has on the image of ASIANS as a whole, not just Japanese - and the content of my post should have reflected that I believe that modern-day Japan has contributed in a positive manner to the image of Asians in the eyes of non-Asians.

As far as the rest of my post - I may not be an expert in Japanese history, but I consider myself to be better-informed than most with regard to history in general, and would willingly defend my arguments.
"B" as in "bictory"
   Thursday, December 26, 2002 at 21:11:04 (PST)    []
Takayuki Kaneko-

It's completely true that other asians tend to be unfairly biased against Japan in ALL things.

But you cannot seriously expect Koreans to change their attitude over-night considering that many of those who suffered under colonialization still breath air. You think that it's only Chinese and Koreans who got some sort of anti-Japanese inferiority complex, but you must remember that Japan was also in the Phillippines, Burma, Guam, etc etc--I assure you that Koreans and Chinese were not the only ones Imperial Japanese Army "recruited" comfort women from--

I don't want to dwell on the past either, and most Korean people do understand this regretable part of history often saying that had the Korean King westernized before the Japanese Emperor, we might have done the same thing to you.

On a lighter note, many Korean people are genuinely fascinated by japanese people by our similarity and by our differences. Personally I like Japanese pop culture, food, and yes even people. I think Americans think in the same lines about the Japanese. Most Americans seem to associate Japan more with pop-culture and brand-names then with history. If you have patience enough, then anti-Japanese feelings will dissipate naturally.
   Thursday, December 26, 2002 at 09:32:48 (PST)    []