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Stop Relishing over the Pain of Japan


Within hours after the 9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan and triggered tsunamis, Chinese online forums, social networks, and micro-blogs are swarmed with discussions and updates on the disaster. Some put up links on the latest news, some upload related pictures, and some are trying to reconnect with relatives and friends in Japan.

In a sea of information exchange, what surprises and angers me is that, some Chinese netizens are relishing over the catastrophe, and making unsympathetic remarks. These people are simply mean and thoughtless.

The Sino-Japanese relations in contemporary history have been anything but smooth. The World War II, the Nanking massacre, the disputes over Diaoyu Islands, the leaders of Japan honoring Yasukuni Shrine for war criminals, and refusing to apologize for the invasion and killings committed decades ago…… all these have led to resentment and prejudice against Japan.

However, we shouldn't let politics blind us from feeling humane. When our neighboring country is facing a catastrophe, and human lives and properties are in danger, from the perspective of humanitarianism, the only thing we should do is to offer help, not gloat.

China too is a quake-prone country. During the Sichuan earthquake, the Japanese rescue team was among the firsts to arrive at the scene, and I have learned from photos and videos how dedicated they are in saving Chinese victims. What moved me the most was the respect the Japanese showed for the departed, how they wrapped the corpses carefully and gently, then they all stood in silence, paying respect to the victims, giving them a simple yet decent farewell ceremony.

Respect for the departed, and honored the living, these values are beyond national borders and races. In the face of catastrophes, we should all be humbled and sympathetic, I fail to understand the mentality of those who jeered and gloat over the disaster, and publishing old photos of Japanese invasion into China at this juncture.

Translated by Guo Wei
Edited by Lam Li



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