I'll never understand the foolish pride people exhibit. The most recent example is the row between China and Japan over the ship collision and detention of a Chinese ship captain by the Japanese authorities.
I wrote about how this event has escalated and turned into a sour mess and has hurt the pocketbook of both countries here.
Now, the Japanese prime minister has stated that Japan absolutely will not apologize for this incident.
As the Sydney Morning Herald has reported:
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Sunday rejected China's call for an apology and compensation for the detention of a Chinese trawlerman, Jiji Press and Kyodo News reported. "The Senkaku islands are Japan's own territory. From this viewpoint, compensation is unthinkable," Kan told reporters in Tokyo, according to Jiji. Beijing has made repeated calls for an apology and compensation from Tokyo over what it called the "unlawful" detention, demanding "practical steps" to resolve the diplomatic row.
This seems to me that this obstinate attitude by both sides is causing a great deal of misunderstanding. From what this says to me is that China is asking for an apology and compensation for what happened to the ship and the detention of the captain. Possibly a fair claim. Japan insists that the islands are hers. Are they talking about the exact same things? No, it doesn't seem that way.
Excuse me, but it does seem that they might be talking about two different things. I don't see where China is claiming the islands are hers. Maybe she is upset that some fool ship captain went out and caused an incident but they don't feel that he should be made into an example for the whole world to see...
I understand that Japan feels that these islands are hers and there be no need for apology... But isn't this foolish pride business a bit ridiculous at times? I mean, what's wrong with apologizing? Why can't the Japanese prime minister say, "I'm sorry for this regrettable situation and hope that these things never happen again," without admitting any guilt or wrong doing?
Isn't this a regrettable situation? Isn't everyone sorry that this happened? Is there anyone who is happy about all of this?
Hell, I had nothing to do with this situation and I'm sorry it ever happened. Why do the people of each nation have to suffer the consequences of our stubborn political leaders? What would it hurt to say, "I'm sorry that this happened. Let's talk and make sure it doesn't happen again?"
Just flat-out killing the chance for any sort of rapprochement between nations by making idiotic (and seemingly aggressive) statements like "No apology" is foolish. This sort of statement seems antagonistic on the face of it and might not translate well from Japanese to Chinese.
Anyone agree with me?