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Aid offer bonds old foes – compassion dissolves war. March 13, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, China, human quality, life challenges.
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THE earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan may ease strained relations with China, allowing the rivals for the moment to look past lingering territorial, economic, military and historical disputes.

When news of the disaster spread, Chinese leaders offered condolences and support. China is also prone to earthquakes and Chinese officials put a rescue team in place to send to Japan if needed.

China’s Defence Minister, Liang Guanglie, called his Japanese counterpart, Toshimi Kitazawa, to offer military assets. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao also had a telephone conversation Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and offered China’s condolences and help.

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China’s show of sympathy and solidarity towards an Asian neighbour in distress contrasts with the heated rhetoric of the past half-year, which saw anti-Japan demonstrations and the cancelling of ministry-level exchanges and tour groups.

Officially sanctioned editorials talked about shared pain and what China can learn from Japan’s response to the disaster. Commentary from state-run Xinhua, recalled how Japan assisted China after the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province.

”The virtue of returning the favour after receiving one runs in the blood of both nations,” commentary said.



When I read news that China is offering help to Japan, I felt a great sense of comfort. At least, it isn’t what I have been hearing from certain groups of people who seem to think that the Tsunami in Japan is a sheer kind of retribution. Regardless if it is one or not, I wouldn’t think we should say that. And I think China has made the right move in sending words of concern and sympathy; and more vitally real action of assistance by mobilising teams to help Japan.

It would have been very wrong to stay aloof at Japan’s current plight. Not to mention about feeling totally mean about the neuclear explosions and the massive physical devastation to their infrastructure. In Singapore, I heard there is a national team of peoplw who will be meeting up at Raffles Place this Wednesday to pray for the Japanese. I don’t know what exactly that is, but if time permits I want to join in too.

Compassion yields compassion. Perhaps at this very trying time in Japan, these actions of help might well be a source of light that shines globally that humanity still exists. Doesn’t matter if you are Caucasian, Asian, African, Hispanic, Mexican, Indian or Chinese; in times of need, when you feel lost, there will be ready help when one needs it. It should be a change of emotional tide about the past grudges about who did what to who. Trying to line up the atrocities only breed further anger that might end up engulfing both parties.

What we should learn about history is about what went wrong. And not counting foes and wrongdoings for ‘revenge’. Surely there are uncountable misgivings. My grandparents, like most others, have suffered tremendously during World War 2, when the Japanese occupied Singapore. It wasn’t any peach and roses. Many went to fight against the Japanese and had been killed on the spot or sent to the notorious massacre at Hong Lim Park or the Changi beach. Even today, Asian countries are still wary of Japan.

Personally I have thought about the historical impact and I can honestly say that I do not like some of the ways the Japanese are, typically their history texts about the World War. But I also know that many Japanese are not mean and know where their flaws are. The Japanese community here in Singapore are very modest and extremely hardworking. And I know with their industriousness and perseverance, they will survive this natual calamity well. It will be difficult but if they can survive 2 atomic bombs from the US, and come up from the ruins after the war; then they can recover and survive this current one.

Just remember that the history of civilsations, that every one of them has done some misgivings at some point. It would be a dire and regretable mistake to repeat them mainly because of revenge.

Can’t type too much for now. I need to get up super early and I am now left with 5 hours of sleep. But I sincerely hope Japan recovers and that from this nightmare comes a dream of true hope, where peoples’ compassion will dissolve all woes of the past. — Karen Fu


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