Much Ado…[Insert Metaphor]

24 Aug

…About Specks In the Water? …About Japanese Politicians? …Boosting Media Profits?

If I have to differ with one line of arguments, it’s the “Europe Redux” line. I think it does East Asia no good, to argue that China, Japan, and the Koreas are acting just like old Europe and have to grow up like their more enlightened global peers. Legally, such an argument downplays East Asia’s unique characteristics and how both indigenous traits, like the Chinese tributary system, and foreign adoptions, like international law, have separately and in combination allowed China and Japan, to oppose one another in the region and globally by pitting these two legal traditions against each other. It also exonerates what Old Europe did in East Asia before it found peace after World War Two.

But, mostly, non-Asians need to accept the reality of the different constituencies within these countries, and how they drive policy.


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