Patriotic Moe


“Where is my home?” laments this rather appealing maiden. She is (literally) the new poster child for an initiative to “foster territorial awareness” by the Junior Chamber International Japan, the Japanese arm of international (and moderately conservative) civic group JCI. This group has no connection to the Japanese government.

“Let’s protect our home together” rallies the poster, urging participation in petitions for policies promoting the favourable (to Japan) resolution of territorial disputes, and supportive of national defence.

As you can see from the map upon which the maiden is superimposed, several territorial issues are alluded to:

Takeshima (Dokdo): A rock in the Sea of Japan which Korea insists is its integral heartland. Just who has the better claim to it is a matter of considerable dispute, though Korea refuses to submit the issue to international arbitration as Japan has apparently offered.

Tsushima: Lying midway between Japan and Korea, this larger island has a population of 40,000 Japanese and has been part of Japan for at least 1500 years. Lately Korean nationalist groups have started agitating for it to be “returned” to Korea, although the Korean government only made a demand for it once at the beginning of the post-war period. This is roughly equivalent to France demanding the UK “return” the Isle of Wight…

The Kuril Islands: This chain of islands was grabbed by Stalin at the end of WWII as a consolation prize for not getting Hokkaido. Russia insists it theirs by right of conquest. Legally, the islands probably belong to Japan.

The Senkaku Islands: These uninhabited islands are part of the Ryukyu archipelago (Okinawa); oil reserves were discovered on the seabed by the islands in 1968 by Japanese geologists. In 1970 both China and Taiwan decided to claim them for some reason. Previously, they were an undisputed part of Japan.

A fair and objective assessment of the use of these issues would probably conclude that this represents a quite moderate and reasonable stance, although the international media tends to prefer to brand this sort of thing “resurgent militarism”.

Certainly, these claims can absolutely not be equated with the kind of claims and revisionism exercised by fringe nationalist groups in Japan or elsewhere.

A preview of their promotional video:

You can see the campaign outline here.

With recent efforts to reach out to young people frequently drawing upon moe anime style illustrations, this marketing trend appears to be gaining strength…

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    Comment by Fat Cat Lim
    11:54 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japan wishes to be the little girl.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:05 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The arguments for saying these places are Japanese are reasonable. Stoking chauvinist passions is not. All three countries are guilty of childish chauvinism, but it's Japan's widely unrecognized historical guilt that is at the root of it all.

    The possibility of Japan-China-Korea conflict is a greater danger to the world than Islamic terrorism.

    Comment by Firetribe
    11:41 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Powderkeg of Asia...Not really. A China-Japan-Korea war would devastate all three countries both economically due to the fact that they all rely on the US. The U.S is Korea's key ally and probably has bigger problems(a nuclear north) to deal with. China is nuclear, but they would never go to war with Japan also because of the U.S which is China's main source of income, so I see we don't have to worry about any Asian conflicts for the time being.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    13:00 11/02/2009 # ! Transparent

    More to the point, Japan and China are as deeply economically entwined as the US and China or anywhere else...

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Pure hyperbole.

    Avatar of Kip
    Comment by Kip
    12:01 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    *Watches YouTube video*
    *Shakes head*
    Now what have we learned about personifying Korea and playing with his rocks?

    I don't suppose this is an argument of where "home" is, rather, "which of these do I have the resources to keep?"

    If space is an issue, Hokkaido still has the largest surface area and only about 5% of Japan's total population, which even had some territorial disputes way back when.
    If in fact if space is one such issue, and not just for Japan to protect its assets from other supposedly greedy countries, I'd take a bigger interest in wanting to have the Karafuto territory ( []) returned after it was taken from Japan after WWII peacetime "treaty negotiations".

    Comment by YassaiMossai
    01:07 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unfortunately, this make no sense, rather affect adversely.

    Because otaku have already heard these threats to Japan on 2 channel or Nico Nico Douga, in the mean time most japanese who dislike anime ignore these affairs.

    This film will get people to think
    "Otaku is nationalist? What did I say? Anime is evil!!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:47 11/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by GUNSPECTRE
    12:09 11/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I laugh at both of these Japanese and Korean attacks.

    Korea has its marching old men that have no disregard for animal life (or their own).
    Japan has its moe anime girl who has her puppy eyes.

    Judges, Scores for impact?
    Korea: 10 10 10
    Japan: 10 10 10

    Uhhh, scores for impact on weeaboos?
    Korea: 0 0 0
    Japan: 11 11 11

    The idea what all this is FUCKING stupid and wants to go home?:
    10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    23:26 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmmm they should have just put up posters of Ground Defence-Mao-chan...I'd so join the army if they did here lolz

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:37 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    artefact do you dislike/hate korea and its people? just wondering :)

    Avatar of g0dslay3r
    Comment by paul
    03:18 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    they forgot the land that the US is using for their bases

    Comment by LoliHat
    10:38 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why should they complain about that? They got the Ryukyu Islands back in the '70's, and should consider themselves lucky that they didn't get the Soviets in any of the four main islands.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    03:26 11/02/2009 # ! Astronomical

    They are paying the US billions of dollars to stay on that land.

    Comment by Hangmen
    23:10 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    23:05 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Haha so this is Japan's answer to get more Nationalist support? By luring in Otaku's and younger kids with this? Sounds no better than the BNP method. The Uyoku and Right Wing Supporters had some kind of hand in this? Though I admit, quite a good use of propaganda to cause a moral panic if it's used in schools, since Japan is known for it's xenophobia which can lead to racism.

    These territory disputes are useless. Might aswell give back America to the Natives and send all the 'European Colonists' back to Europe, or like the whole Tibet thing. It ain't gonna happen. Especially now with all round econimic downturn. If people are living in those areas, they can't be just kicked out anyway. Japan doesn't have to sit and take it like a dog (if it really is a big issue), well unless it's the Britain would. This group has no connection to the government, and the masses don't even care so...

    Avatar of RaikenTB
    Comment by RaikenTB
    02:30 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Indeed. There are enough issues within the country already in regards to the Ainu and Okinawans so how are they expecting to retrieve these pieces of land?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Retrieve, in the case of Tsushima and Senkaku?

    And I wouldn't worry about Ainu - there are a few thousand of them at best.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    cos the japs carried out a policy of extermination for a thousand years until last year they finally acknowledged the ainu's existence? your tone is rather insolently dismissive

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    You've already chosen what to believe, so why would I bother myself over that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:41 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Artefact... at least TRY to APPEAR like you have SOME credibility?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Of course - they were a bunch of northern savages; we would all be a lot poorer if these kind of groups hadn't been devoured by the strong. The US did the same thing, and look how splendid that turned out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:37 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    that's outright racism, cheering for being yourself

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    You should become a journalist.

    Comment by zad
    00:25 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How sad that Sankaku Complex is turning into a typical Japanese right-wing propaganda website aimed at foreigners. Anyway, almost 99.999% of entire Korean population don't give a f*ck about Tsushima. The same thing goes with Hetalia.

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    10:18 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    'Right-wing Propaganda'.... yeah right.

    I lean more to the left myself in how I act or the way I think. I simply happen to have equal contempt for *any* idiots on both sides of the political ideology spectrum.

    Comment by t//B
    03:20 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How is this right-wing propaganda? He was just pointing out the moe~ they're using as a posterchild.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Typical Korean apologist response - criticism is "right-wing propaganda", and whatever the issue at hand is "only a tiny minority of Koreans know or care about it". I notice you are silent about Takeshima...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:35 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The articles themseleves aren't really right wing, it's taken mostly from other sources as a critique. Also at the end of some articles tend to mention other similar events with similar things i.e. China Nico Nico, at end mentions youtube and other affiliated sites doing the same/similar things and aren't that much different.

    The only anti-anything I usually see are by some commenters who probably are nationalists/racists/weeaboo's/japanophiles/fanboys or just plain ignorant of anything outside their 6 walled imagination, another words can't see the whole picture or is reluctant to. Thus use the article as a catalyst to start bashing without fully understanding it/the situation.

    Besides these articles are great bait to draw out the said people above and show who are what and those who don't do their research on 'both' sides etc... There are also plenty articles that could put Japan in a negative light. Seen all the rape/crime articles?

    Comment by Risu
    23:04 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is roughly equivalent to France demanding the UK “return” the Isle of Wight…
    Ha ! Reminds me to demand the UK return Jersey + Guernsey + Alderney !

    More seriously, what do the local populations of Takeshima, Tsushima, the Kurils and Senkaku think of this ? Isn't it what really matters ?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    At least France (or rather, French lords) did actually have the Channel Islands for a time.

    Did you read the article fully? Senkaku and Takeshima don't have any population. Tsushima is 100% Japanese with no registerable Korean sympathies. Russia expelled all the Japanese inhabitants of the Kuril Islands, and now it is just Russian conscripts and fishermen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:37 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks very much like hetalia's japan. Almost same hair style.

    Comment by sankyuu
    22:08 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I haven't been keeping track for a long time, but aren't there already tons of military standoffs between Russia, China, and Japan around those islands already?

    Comment by TenAkira
    21:58 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    instead of YOUNG...what u r gettin' is only the

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    00:13 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not to mention YOUNG otakus as well. . . .

    rule 34

    Avatar of Narcissist
    Comment by Narcissist
    22:10 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hah, pathetic Putinland can try to make any demands over that island.

    The only good Korea is for is as WHORES for Japanese.

    Things like these always make my nationalistic blood boil.

    Comment by Sabekuji Kaneda
    14:22 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pathetic Putinland?

    Suddenly, nukes everywhere! LOL XD

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    They already occupy them so they needn't make any demands, just ignore them.

    Comment by Tomoya
    22:11 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now Go and March you YOUNG OTAKU

    Comment by Tenakira
    10:20 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    may b...OLD OTAKU

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:15 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh wow, the comments have already gotten turned into an anti-Korean rant. Both countries are home to packs of dickheads...

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:18 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh don't mind Narcissist, he/she hates everything other than Japan and him/herself, and is well a narcissist.

    And lol at your last sentance; you can use that for any country and it will be true ^^ e.g.

    US and Japan are home to packs of dicheads...
    France and England are home to packs of dickheads...

    Comment by Snakechimera
    06:28 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    since everyone is more or less a dickhead XD

    Comment by Dorian Cornelius Jasper
    08:34 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is true. No exceptions.

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    00:36 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the part where they reveal their plan to establish a nation for soldiers where they can be seen as more than just pawns.

    Comment by Firetribe
    11:42 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Metal Gear reference?

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    00:13 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Admittedly not a very well-placed one.

    Avatar of hiroy_raind
    Comment by H_R
    02:15 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If I'm a Japanese otaku I would've probably said
    "Leave me alone/out of this"

    Avatar of jinstevens
    Comment by Jin Stevens
    00:59 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know plenty of Koreans that care about Dokto, but don't care much about the rest of the islands. It's one of those weird issues that I just don't mention around them.

    I really don't understand the passion, since most of these are just rocks in the middle of the oceans. I wonder if there are natural resources or fishing rights associated with these - then maybe they're worth fighting over

    Japan stoking nationalism with an anime figure cracks me up though. I'm sure it will get all the otaku marching out in the streets in outrage. If the Koreans think about it logically (which they probably won't), all they'd have to do is just wait them out. It's not like Japan's population is getting any bigger...the younger generation just isn't breeding enough.

    Comment by AC
    01:22 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Jin, read this

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Senkaku is on top of an oilfield (I pointed this out in the article). Dokdo - maybe. The Kurils have plenty of fish.

    Do some research - Korea's demographic problem is just as bad. The same is true of China (which is going to be even worse thanks to the huge gender imbalance). These are all nations with rapidly lowering birthrates, and rapidly increasing life expectancies...

    And why is this automatically "stoking nationalism"? What would the US do if Mexico demanded the return of Texas? Dokdo may be more symbolic, but Tsushima has 40,000 Japanese living on it and has never been part of Korea... It would be unwise just to ignore such claims, especially when Korean politicians have been slow to condemn them.

    Comment by AC
    01:24 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    looks like you need to read this too, artefact.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Legally by international law.

    Avatar of NitWit005
    Comment by NitWit005
    15:18 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Which means basically nothing. "International Law" has recognized all sorts of absurd territorial ideas which had/have nothing to do with what's going on in reality.

    Don't go searching for moral correctness in laws or treaties.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I know about that - there's no point in claiming something if there's nothing in the waters around it though. As I said, there appears to oil, gas and fish involved in these disputes.

    Comment by AC
    01:59 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you see, artefact, my point is, japan is a resource-limited country, and they were and will be looking for territory expansion, probably not in forms of war, but certainly politics, there is no denying in that.(Note: this doesn't dispute the fact that korea is also looking for territory expansion.)

    IHO after reading the campaign outline:

    this is really a type of patriotic propaganda from a nationalist group that gets silent permission from government; the government itself can't perform this sort of public education as it will enrage neighboring country.

    There is no objectivity in Geopolitics, if you're talking about history, then these countries all have their own arguments.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Expansion? All the territory in question bar Dokdo legally belongs to Japan.

    Comment by AC
    02:23 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    legal by which law, japan's law?

    artefact, a dispute is called dispute for a reason, and no country take border issue with "a quite moderate and reasonable stance".

    anyway, I believe most of your reader will just LOL at this and move on, so there is no point for me to get into a tl;dr discussion.

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