Extended Learning Activity 1 Burden of history and Sino-Japanese disputes



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Extended Learning Activity 1



Burden of history and Sino-Japanese disputes

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Historical context:

In the 1960s and 1970s, some Japanese started to advocate that Japan should admit its war crimes and shoulder the war responsibilities. Meanwhile, some right-wing Japanese nationalists attempted to weaken the narration of Japanese imperialism in Asia inside History textbooks. In 1982 and 1986 respectively, the Japanese Ministry of Education approved History textbooks that substantially misrepresented the impact of Japanese militarism on Asian countries. At least 200 Japanese historians protested against such approval of textbooks, and the publishing, legal, political and educational sectors involved in the heated debate. The Chinese authorities and civilians expressed their discontent with the response of the Japanese government, despite some minor attempts of the Japanese government at rectifying the History textbooks. Renewed right-wing attempts at misrepresenting Japanese militarism in History textbooks took place in 2001 and 2005, and both occasions further strained Sino-Japanese relations.



Objectives:

After this learning activity, students should be able to:



  • cite the sensitive issues that strained Sino-Japanese relations in recent years, and

  • identify different parties’ views towards these issues.

When to use this learning activity:

This learning activity, related to Sino-Japanese relations, can be used in both the chapter on China and that on Japan.



China:

  • After teaching the modernization of China in Reform and Opening Up period (1978-2000)

  • Before teaching the impact of the Reform and Opening Up on Sino-Japanese relations (i.e. as a lead-in to Sino-Japanese relations)

Japan:

  • After teaching the post-WWII political and social development of Japan

  • Before teaching the changes and development of Japan’s political, economic and cultural relationships with her Asian neighbours (i.e. as a lead-in to Sino-Japanese relations)

How to use this learning activity:

  1. Students divide themselves into small groups in which they collaborate in reading, deconstructing and conducting inquiry learning on Sources R and S.

  2. Students raise questions among themselves so as to extract information and interpret viewpoints from the Sources. Sample questions and answers are as follows:

  1. How were Sino-Japanese relations made worse?

Ans.: When the Japanese government approved controversial history textbooks (Source R). / When Japanese politicians visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine (Source S).By downplaying Japanese occupation of Asian countries in the early 20th century (Source R). / By paying homage to Japanese war criminals despite China's protests. (Source S).

  1. How did the Chinese respond to the Japanese actions?

Ans.: By heavily criticizing history textbooks approved by the Japanese government (Source R). / By warning the Japanese government about its own promises and its duty to deal with historical controversies responsibly (Source S).

  1. What did the Chinese want the Japanese to do in order to repair the Sino-Japanese relations?

Ans.: To disapprove the misrepresented history textbooks (Source R). / To recognize Japan's war guilt (Source R). / To stop visiting the Yasukuni Shine (Source S). / To shoulder more responsibility for the historical controversies (Source S).

  1. Afterwards, by using the following questions, teachers can guide students into realizing the limited help offered by the Sources in terms of a comprehensive understanding of the controversies in Sino-Japanese relations:

  1. Do Sources R and S reflect the Japanese views about the approval of the history textbooks and the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine? No.

  2. Do Sources R and S reflect the reasons/motives of the Japanese government and politicians in taking the controversial actions? No.

  3. Do Sources R and S present any response from the Japanese government to the criticisms by the press and the Chinese authorities? No.

  4. Where can we find information about the Japanese views about and reasons/motives of their own actions?

Ans.: From newspapers, the Japanese government's declarations, analyses by Sino-Japanese relations experts, etc.

  1. Students can be required to conduct a mini-research based on the 4 questions above, and give presentations of 5 minutes each on their findings in the next lesson.

SOURCE R

The following is an extract from a news article in Britain on 6 April 2005.




The Japanese government's approval of a set of controversial history textbooks has reignited bitter disputes over the region's past in the South Korean and Chinese press…The China Daily agrees it is a "political provocation", worrying the books downplay Japanese occupation of Asian countries in the first half of the 20th century. Chinese dailies pull no punches in slating the history textbooks as well as the government that approved them.

Source: Japan textbook angers Chinese, Korean press - BBC News website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4416593.stm) (Accessed on 15 August 2014)


SOURCE S

The following is adapted from a news report in the U.S.A. on 17 October 2012.




The head of Japan's major opposition party and favorite to become the nation's next prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited a controversial shrine Wednesday in a move likely to ratchet up already heightened tensions with China.

Past visits by Japanese prime ministers and other political leaders to Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 of Japan's Class-A war criminals are enshrined with thousands of Japanese soldiers, have ignited a firestorm of controversy with China as well as North Korea and South Korea.

Responding to a question about the visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday that Japan should abide by its promises and handle controversial issues responsibly, the state-run Xinhua news service reported.


Source: Shrine visit could inflame tensions between Japan, China (http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/17/world/asia/japan-china-shrine-visit) (Accessed on 15 August 2014).
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Extended Learning Activity 2



Sino-Japanese relations in reciprocity

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Historical context:

Though Japan and the People’s Republic of China had been enemies during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45) and the early years of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (1950s), the two nations maintained unofficial relations, i.e. bilateral trade, since the signing of the First Sino-Japanese Non-official Trade Agreement in 1952. With some ups and downs in between, this relationship was enhanced and consolidated by the Sino-Japanese Long-term Trade Memorandum in 1962. Sino-Japanese relations were finally formalized in 1972 when the Japanese government recognized the government of the PRC as the legitimate representative of China. In 1978, the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship was ratified. Since 1978, Japan and the PRC were both diplomatically and economically linked up with each other. The ever-growing trade between the two countries substantially expanded the scope of contact and mutual influence, thus increasing both cooperation and clashes.



Objectives:

After this learning activity, students should be able to:



  • identify the positive and negative elements in the bilateral relationship between two nations, and

  • assess the usefulness of a textual source in reflecting historical facts.

When to use this learning activity:

  • After teaching Japan’s relations with her Asian neighbours

  • Before moving on to any other topics


How to use this learning activity:

  1. Students get into pairs or groups and read Source T.

  2. Students identify the positive and negative elements affecting the Sino-Japanese relations as shown in Source T.

    Positive elements

    Negative elements

    • rising export trade

    • exchange in technology

    • investment on each other's market

    • decreasing Chinese demand for Japanese products

    • Chinese enterprises finding alternative products from non-Japanese suppliers

    • trade competition from other countries

    • emergence of right-wing politics

  3. Students discuss the following question:

  1. What other elements are not yet shown in Source T?

Ans.: The Japanese war crimes controversy (e.g. comfort women); the history textbook controversy; the Diaoyu Islands sovereignty disputes; Japan's military/diplomatic links with the U.S., etc.

ii. How would you judge the usefulness of Source T in reflecting the factors affecting Sino-Japanese relations since 1978? Explain why you think so.

□ A. Source T is largely useful and comprehensive in reflecting the factors affecting Sino-Japanese relations.

□ B. Source T is largely insufficient in reflecting the factors affecting Sino-Japanese relations.



SOURCE T

The following is an extract from an article featured in a news website on 9 January 2013.



“The spats have become increasingly costly as Japan’s dependence on China as an export market has risen,” said Tony Nash, a Singapore-based managing director at IHS Inc., which provides research and analytics for industries including financial companies. “Nationalism around the issue has resulted in lower demand for Japanese products in China and even Chinese firms sourcing products from Korean suppliers.”

“As Japan’s politics turn decisively to the right, more and frequent spats between Japan and China are expected,” said Liu Li-Gang, chief economist for Greater China at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. who used to work for the World Bank. “Both economies will lose in the end. Japan will lose a big market, and China will not be able to leverage on Japan’s technology and investment for growth.”



Source: China-Japan Dispute Takes Rising Toll on Top Asian Economies - Bloomberg website (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-08/china-japan-dispute-takes-rising-toll-of-asia-s-top-economies.html) (Accessed on 15 August 2014).
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Extended Learning Activity 3



Impact of the end of Cold War on ASEAN

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Historical context:

The establishment of ASEAN in 1967 was landmark in the history of Southeast Asia as it signaled the Southeast Asian nations' recognition of and dedication to regional cooperation. They pledged to solve territorial, political and regional conflicts by peaceful negotiation. Yet, certain issues arose to challenge the nations' solidarity, sometimes even to produce distrust between each other and shake the foundation of regional cooperation. Such issues include the waning of communist threat from Vietnam, the decreasing popularity of communism and communist revolutions, as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. These developments have gradually altered the focus and concerns of the ASEAN member states, thus also changing their relations, alignments, diplomatic approaches and, ultimately, their willingness to pursue further cooperation.



Objectives:

After this learning activity, students should be able to:



  • identify and explain historical events that affected the development of international cooperation in ASEAN, and

  • arrange such events coherently using a timeline and coloured boxes.

When to use this learning activity:

  • After teaching the establishment of ASEAN in 1967

  • Before going into various factors affecting the development of international cooperation among ASEAN members

How to use this learning activity:

Source U is an academic text and may not be easy for students to comprehend. Teachers are, therefore, suggested to select the proper task from below according to students’ ability.



Approach 1: For students with higher reading and organizational ability

1. Students work in pairs or groups, and read Source U on their own.

2. Students find answers from Source U to the following questions:

SOURCE U

The following is adapted from an article on ASEAN which appeared in a book first published in 2004.




There are, however, a number of structural and issue-specific challenges that confront ASEAN as well. Structurally, at the international level, the dissipation of bipolarity and the collapse of the Soviet Union as previously constituted removed the anti-communist ideological glue that informed and led to convergent foreign and defense policies. The resulting decompression effect has been a reordered agenda in terms of external threat perceptions, defense strategies and arms acquisitions. For example, the Soviet Union and its perceived proxy Vietnam are no longer the threats to regional security. Similarly, the disbandment of communist insurgency movements in Malaysia and Thailand has significantly altered threat perceptions and defense doctrines.

Source: ‘ASEAN: A Community Stalled?’ in Jim Rolfe, ed., The Asia-Pacific: A Region in Transition (Honolulu: Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, 2004), pp.116-132.


  1. What historical events/developments are mentioned in Source U? (Also, when did these developments take place?)

Ans.: The waning of communist threat from Vietnam (1980s-90s), the decreasing popularity of communism and communist revolutions in SE Asian countries (1980s-90s), the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991).

  1. How was/were the pattern(s) of ASEAN politics before these historical events/developments took place?

Ans.: “Anti-communist ideological glue that informed and led to convergent foreign and defense policies”, i.e. With a strong sense of solidarity and communism as common enemy, all ASEAN member states took the same diplomatic and military stance against communism.

  1. How did those historical events change the pattern(s) of ASEAN politics?

Ans.: “A reordered agenda in terms of external threat perceptions, defense strategies and arms acquisitions”, i.e. ASEAN members started to have different perceived enemies, adopt different national defense strategies, and find their own ways of building up their armaments.

3. Students use a timeline (maybe also some boxes and symbols if appropriate) to link up the events, developments and changing patterns mentioned above to demonstrate the continuities and changes in ASEAN politics.




Decreasing popularity of communism and communist revolutions




Waning of communist threat from Vietnam




Different perceived enemies




Strong sense of solidarity in ASEAN




Different national defense strategies and armament acquisitions

Anti-communist ideology and stance




Similar foreign and defense policies

1980


1990
1991: Dissolution of the USSR

1975: End of Vietnam War




Approach 2: For students with lower reading ability

Students work in pairs or groups, and read Source U with visual prompts and guiding questions.

Students answer the questions in the margin boxes.



  • What historical events/developments are mentioned in Source W? When did they take place?

    • Communist revolutionary groups in Malaysia and Thailand were disbanded.

    • Collapse of the Soviet Union (Year: 1991)

    How was the original pattern of ASEAN politics?

    • All ASEAN countries were anti-communist.

    • They shared similar foreign and defense policies

    How did those historical events change the pattern(s) of ASEAN politics?

    • ASEAN members no longer saw the Soviet Union and Vietnam as enemies.

    • They started to have different enemies.

    • They started to adopt different national defense strategies

    • They started to find their own ways of building up armaments.


SOURCE U

The following is adapted from an article on ASEAN which appeared in a book first published in 2004.




There are, however, a number of structural and issue-specific challenges that confront ASEAN as well. Structurally, at the international level, the dissipation of bipolarity and the collapse of the Soviet Union as previously constituted removed the anti-communist ideological glue that informed and led to convergent foreign and defense policies. The resulting decompression effect has been a reordered agenda in terms of external threat perceptions, defense strategies and arms acquisitions. For example, the Soviet Union and its perceived proxy Vietnam are no longer the threats to regional security. Similarly, the disbandment of communist insurgency movements in Malaysia and Thailand has significantly altered threat perceptions and defense doctrines.

Source: ‘ASEAN: A Community Stalled?’ in Jim Rolfe, ed., The Asia-Pacific: A Region in Transition (Honolulu: Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, 2004), pp.116-132.

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Extended Learning Activity 4



Has the ASEAN lived up to its members’ expectations?

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Historical context:

The South China Sea covers a very large area off the southern coast of China and between the Southeast Asian countries. Over the post-war decades as well as after the national independence of various Southeast Asian countries, there have been a certain number of diplomatic efforts in clarifying the sovereignty of some islands, parts of the sea and the natural resources associated with these territories. However, due to the rapid industrialization of the People’s Republic of China and the Southeast Asian countries, as well as the global need for fuel and energy, the natural resources in the South China Sea have become the target of rivalries among all surrounding countries. While some politicians demanded forceful actions from their governments to proclaim sovereignty, others suggested that the ASEAN should assume its role as an arbitrator.



Objective:

After this learning activity, students should be able to:



  • interpret cartoonists’ views about and attitudes towards regional conflicts in Asia

When to conduct this learning activity:

How to conduct this learning activity:

  1. Students get into pairs or groups.

  2. Students read and compare Sources V and W, and answer the following questions:

Step 1 - Identifying facts and relevant information

  1. What common kind of conflict do Sources V and W represent?

Ans.: Territorial conflict.

  1. Which countries do Sources V and W commonly point to?

Ans.: China and the Philippines.

  1. Which organization are Sources V and W commonly related to?

Ans.: ASEAN.

  1. What role is this organization commonly assumed to play in both cases?

Ans.: Arbitrator of territorial conflicts.
Step 2 - Interpreting views and attitudes

  1. Refer to Source V. What is the cartoonist's view about the influence exercised by the ASEAN?

(Hint: What solution does the ASEAN adopt towards the conflict? Could it effectively stop the interrupting behaviour of the Chinese fisherman?)

Ans.: The cartoonist thought that the ASEAN could not effectively resolve the South China Sea problems by simply encouraging its members to act according to the code of conduct. / The cartoonist thought that the ASEAN failed to resolve the South China Sea problems as the countries in conflict simply ignored its call for observation of the code of conduct.



  1. Refer to Source W. What is the cartoonist's view about the influence exercised by the ASEAN in the territorial conflicts between China and the Philippines?

Ans.: The cartoonist thought that the ASEAN played no role in resolving the territorial conflict as the participants of the ASEAN ministers meeting simply ran away without paying heed to the Philippines' call for addressing the territorial conflict. / The cartoonist thought that the ASEAN failed to resolve the territorial conflict in solidarity as some members ran away when the Philippines called for a resolution.

  1. Do the cartoonists of Sources V and W share the same attitude towards the influence exercised by the ASEAN in handling territorial conflicts in Asia?

Ans.: Yes, they share the same attitude.

  1. What attitude(s) do they have towards the performance of the ASEAN in common? Choose the proper adjectives below to describe their attitudes?

Positive attitudes

Negative attitudes

□ approving

 disapproving

□ trustful

 critical / skeptical

□ understanding

 antipathetic

□ sympathetic

 unsympathetic


SOURCE V

The following is a cartoon that appeared in an Asian magazine on 11 July 2012.


Source: “2012-07-11 cartoon - Asia Observer website “(http://www.asiaobserver.org/?attachment_id=8179) (Last access 19 August 2014).

SOURCE W

The following is a cartoon published in a Filipino newspaper on 4 August 2012.


Source: “Disturbing development in ASEAN - Filipino Star News website” (http://www.filipinostarnews.net/editorial/disturbing-development-in-asean.html) (Last access 19 August 2014).


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