Monday, September 24, 2012

Japan is weird.

The strangest thing about televised News in Japan isn't a dude in a black bear suit bungie-jumping off of a bridge. It is not the permanently grinning facade hiding a man experiencing face-bleaching terror, with flapping arms being the only indication of his perception of imminent, rapid, gravity assisted doom.

It's the programming around the falling bear that defies my comprehension.

As of the time of this writing, China and Japan are in a territorial dispute over what we Americans call the Pinnacle Islands. They are known as the Diaoyu Islands to the Chinese, and the Senkaku Islands to the Japanese.

The Islands were claimed by the Chinese until 1895, which were then captured and held by the Japanese until the end of World War 2's Pacific Theatre in 1945. In 1972, the United States relinquished control of the islands back to Japan.

While China is arguing from a position of rightful sovereignty and legitimate claim to territory, the most salient reason for the territorial dispute is due to the reserves of oil located within the region. These reserves have been left untapped by both Japan, and China when it still controlled them.

Nonetheless, both countries have escalated their respective naval presences in the region.

Had this been an American territory, entire news channels would be devoted to covering the great and imminent danger that China poses to not only our claim of the island, but also to our very way of life. News pundits would speak in rapid succession about how the Chinese citizenry loathe the American citizenry, and how they resent the freedom to hamburgers and reality television we so enjoy.

Military officers would be interviewed. B-roll of the Pacific fleet, Osprey helicopters, and drilling Marines would run almost non-stop. Anchors would guess about what was going on in the Pentagon. The President would give a speech about our God-given right to the territory, and then be seen boarding various aircraft while wearing a dire frown.

The Nuclear Option would be discussed.

The English speaking percentages of Facebook and Twitter would devolve into a great fountain of jingoism at best, and outright racism at worst.

In Japan, we get two minutes of politicians bowing, clapping, and discussing, followed by a destroyer cutting across the ocean.

End segment, start up the tranquil music and footage of a wrinkled farmer in a shady green orchard starting the day's lime harvest.




  1. Stay calm and eat a.... cupcake? Or maybe sushi? 0.o

  2. Hmmm. I think I might prefer their reaction over the tendency of an overblown reaction we get here in the US. But maybe that's just me.