Joi Ito has a thoughtful post responding to the anti-Japanese demonstrations in China. An excerpt:
As a Japanese who has a great deal of sympathy and empathy for China, what I find difficult is trying to understand the various threads and how Japanese people can try to make a difference. In particular, the hateful and extreme actions of some of the Chinese make it difficult, if not scary to even try to open a dialog. At the same time, the extremes in China are fueling the nationalists in Japan and not helping the cause for the more moderate voices. I believe hate will never help communications.
One of the biggest problems is that most Japanese don't understand the issues. Another point is that most Japanese are not great supporters of the military. …
Please read the whole thing.
I've been emailing back and forth with Joi, Isaac Mao, and Andrea Leung to toss around ideas about how we might start a blog or some kind of site using social software that might facilitate more calm online discussion between Japanese and Chinese people. Isaac would also like to do something facilitating dialogue between mainland Chinese and Taiwanese. He cites Dialogue Now for India-Pakistan as a possible model.
Got suggestions? Ideas? Interested in helping? Please hit the “comments” link and let us know.