Social Movements by the Government

by Naoko Yoshida

As we learned in the class, social movements are the effective methods to change the society. And almost always, those social movements are started by people in lower position against the authority such as the government. For example, people in Fukushima have been taking action in order to stop the use of nuclear power plants in Japan against Japanese government, and in the US, many labor movements are launched by workers against people in high positions. However, there are another kind of social movements which are intended by the government to make people start. I have two examples here. One of them is China, and the other is Korea. Chinese government and Korean government intended to have social movements inside their country for the same reason. That reason is to distract their citizens’ attention from the problems inside the country.

Firstly, Chinese people had a huge social movement against Japan. And that movement is still remaining a little bit. This social movement is started by Chinese people in order to be against the Japanese possession of Senkaku-islets. But this movement is not simply because Japan claimed their ownership of those islets but because of many complex causes. One of those causes is Chinese government’s anxiety of antigovernment movement. We can say there are many problems inside China such as a huge gap between social classes, and slowdown economy. In addition, they were facing a once-a-decade transition of political leader on that time. Therefore, Chinese government made people act against foreign enemy by using mass media in order that Chinese people do not notice the problems inside China, and enhance nationalism for upcoming election. In short, Chinese government made people start social movement against foreign enemy in order to discard people’s attention from problems inside the country and to enhance the nationalization.

Secondly, in Korea, there has been a movement about Take-shima/Dokdo against Japan. Korean government also made people act against Japan in order to enhance nationalism, and distract their presidents corruption because they also have an election.

In conclusion, although many social movements are started by people in lower class against people in higher class or authority in order to make their living better, there are also social movements which are planned by the government in order to discard their citizens’ attention from the problems inside the country and to enhance the nationalism. We should not be deceived by that movement by the government.

References

Beech, H.(2012/10).The madding crowd: Beijing inflames popular sentiment against Japan, but it could get burned.Time, 50.

Yokota, T. (2012/9). You say Dokdo, I say Takeshima… let’s call the whole thing off. Newsweek, 16-17.

How media gives effect on social movement over Diaoyu-dao issue

by Rina Terasaki

Variety of social movements happen in worldwide, and also in Japan. As we learned in the class, social movements can bring people’s attention into issues and moreover can influence the public policy. To bring public attentions more and more, social and industrial media act a big role in the movements. One characteristic of media is bias. It only leans to one side or one specific position, and keeps insisting that they are the only right. Sometimes, ironically, media even announce things over and worse than its actual, so that it makes people confused and blindness to other ‘reasonable’ information. So the part taken by media in social movements can be said as very huge.

In this summer of 2012, there happened many movements in Japan and China over the issue of ownership of islands which is called ‘Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) issues.’ I was on an exchange program to Beijing, China at the time of the beginning of the series of these issues. Many movement were actually happened and also media in not only Japan, China and worldwide also showed them for not a short time. Then, I felt there is happening one thing, but since the difference of information, (and also nationalism and other reason on the background), the recognition among people in these different countries also turns to be scattered. In this essay, I would like to explain the facts of ‘Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) issues’ from each side and analyze how our recognition of this issue were made.

After Japanese governments’ announce of purchase of the island, in China, not only through the central TV news and newspapers, but also through many forms of medium, it was informed to nations. Sina Weibo, which is Chinese twitter, informed registrants the newest things at any time. This way, the issue was spread to be understood by even people who do not have television and computer. The 19th of August 2012, huge people took part in a demonstration in Shenzhen. People who participated destroyed Japanese things such as cars and shops, and Japanese TV companies kept airing repeatedly this scene on news. As I felt, hearing voices around me, abuseful scene gave people impression of savage, especially to elder people. Also at the governmental phase, the central government of China wrote propaganda on foreign masmedia. Although it seems just like propaganda that has no justifiable data as people say in Japan, through they keep insisting strongly, it can be said that ordinal people’s recognition over the world has been lean toward to Chinese side. This seems similar to what Joseph Caldwell Wylie says the “Cumulative strategy.” I felt media how much effect public opinion. This way, social movements including demonstration and a part of riot would be justified

As I wrote above, Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) issue consists of ‘image-making’ factor. Although the fact should be one, through media with different position, and their partial strong insists, image that receiving end get would be decided differently.

Resources:

-Beijing news portal. “Shenzhen Diaoyudao Demonstration hurts Japanese Cars” 25.Aug.2012 written by David Cao http://beijingimpact.com/society/2325-shenzhen-diaoyudao-demostration-hurts-japanese-cars.html

-Kaikoku Bouei Journal 29.Sep.2012 http://blog.livedoor.jp/nonreal-pompandcircumstance/archives/50680819.html