Progaganda Wars

Good morning everyone,

Well, you don't need a degree in meteorology to guess the forecast today, do you? Ha ha! Just look out the window. It's raining, it's going to rain tomorrow, then the next day and the next day and the next day. And if that wasn't enough, a quite big typhoon is headed our way the middle of the week. It's still a bit too early to tell if it's going to hit us or not, but it's still going to bring wind and rain even if it misses us. Not a nice week, weatherwise...

If you read the newspaper, you'll know that Japan, Korea and China are not on good terms at the moment. While the relationship between the three countries is never great, it's lower now than it has been in a long time.

There are disputes about territory and history along with current issues like free trade that make things a bit tense at the best of times.

And the one way to 'win' the dispute is to get the rest of the world on your side. It means that you need to get your story out there in the world and show your side. This is one area where Japan is really lacking. Both Korea and China are using a variety of means to get the issues out in the rest of the world so that everyone can see it from their point of view.

One way of doing that is by opening up language schools overseas. The more people that speak the language the more they will be interested in the culture and history of the country and the more they will be inclined to see the country in a favourable light.
china and korea
China  and Korea have a huge number of language schools in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe while Japan is lagging far, far behind. Some experts claim that this is hurting Japan's image in the world because more and more people are studying Chinese and Korean and seeing the issues through the eyes of Koreans and Chinese where the Japanese people are painted as the 'bad guys'. It's almost impossible to reverse this...

Check out the details...

In North and South America...
Japan has 5 schools in 4 countries.
Korea has 8 schools in 14 countries.
China has 528 schools in 16 countries.

In Europe...
Japan has 7 schools in 7 countries.
Korea has 23 schools in 14 countries.
China  has 302 schools in 36 countries.

In Asia...
Japan has 8 schools in 8 countries.
Korea has 76 schools in 23 countries.
China has 147 schools in 32 countries.

In Africa...
Japan has 1 school in 1 country.
Korea has 5 schools in 5 countries.
China has 48 schools in 30 countries.

The government needs to be much more proactive about promoting Japan abroad and not just at official government agencies like the UN. They need to establish Japanese language and culture centres in more countries and regions. If not, Japan will lose the propaganda war and once you lose people's minds and hearts, you can't win...

What do you think? Am I worrying too much?

Have a great day!

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The idea of opening more Japanese language schools abroad in order to promote Japan is new to me. It's amazing !!
My son is dreaming? to live abroad in the fufture. Will he be the one who opens a school somewhere in other country and "win a propaganda war"? Anyway, the point is that we Japanese need to make our pont of view clearer to the rest of the world. Japanese "enigma"is not an effective strategic way any more...

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↑Junko
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