How can we promote Chinese-Japanese dialogue online?

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.


  • The Civiblog would be willing to host a blog dedicated to this issue. All we’d need is someone to run it who is close to the issue. We host soemthing similar to Dialogue Now at

  • 两厢不情愿

    Joi (伊藤穰一)延续Andrea 在Global Voices上关于中国媒体对近期各个城市活动的反应了自己的理解。他希望中国的Blogger 对他的帖子发表看法,甚至也欢迎批评。我想他的坦白能够折射日本几代

  • MP

    As a non-Japanese who married into a large and very traditional Japanese family, I welcome this discussion. Joi’s perspective is a welcomed and constructive approach. It would be useful to have Japanese discuss these issues among themselves. I do not think many Japanese think about or are completely informed about issues between themselves and China. Also, the US perspective is useful, since much confusion has been introduced because of the Japan-US-China relationship. For example, the Senkaku-Diaoyutai issue is complicated by the Okinawa handover agreement between the US and Japan. Iam available for work on this as a facilitator or site adminstrator.

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