A Diary of the Normalization of Sino-Japanese Relations: 1970s Japan from a perspective of a Chinese Diplomat and Correspondent
by Tai-ping Wang
This paper is a brief synopsis of Tai-ping Wang's diary. Tai-ping Wang was sent to Tokyo by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Tokyo, he was a correspondent of the Beijing Daily.
The diary is a primary source of the history of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. In Japan he hosted Japanese mass media personnel as well as had LDP members and business leaders visit him as informants. The diary also included his interviews with new-leftist students, workers, and farmers.
The diary documents observations of economically growing Japan. It also shows Chinese government view of Japanese minorities and Wang's curiosity about Japanese women gaining power in society.
On October 21st 1970, International Anti-War Day, Japanese women wearing helmets demonstrated with posters stating: "The State's Treasury should pay the cost of artificial miscarriage," and "Mom, is there really a happy marriage?" The journal states that on the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Self-Defense Army in November 1970, women in the Japanese Self-Defense Army crew wore mini-skirts and marched along Ginza Street.
The journal warns Japan's tendency toward hegemony and militarism at that time. It addresses Japanese problems: pollution, transportation, migrant workers, harsh entrance examination competition, and monetarism. Current relations between Japan and China seem to be reverse. Things have changed in the 40 years since Mr. Tai-ping’s diary.
As Mr. Tai-ping’s diary notes, the sculpture commemorating a former chair of the socialist party who was killed when giving a speech by a rightist in Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public Hall has been hidden for many years. While supervising the translation of the journal, I visited Hibiya Public Hall and asked about the sculpture’s present location. They reluctantly unlocked the billboard of a wall in the hall, which housed the sculpture and an epitaph.
For those who lived and were aware during the early Seventies, Mr. Tai-ping’s book may offer new insights. They will likely remember events that were not included in Mr. Tai-ping’s book.
Reviewed by Aiko Fukuoka, chief translator
Translated by Atsuko Ishikawa