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God granted the Japanese people the blessing of a small minority of non-influential demagogues unlike us in the Arab world that is full of such characters. It is for this reason that the Japanese live in peace and enjoy prosperity. Imagine if the Japanese media and opinion writers were similar to ours, they would have dragged them into war, applauded small victories and would have endorsed the extermination of their people as they do in our Arab world today. Fortunately, the Japanese do not speak Arabic, do not follow our media, are not hosts to our preachers and lecturers, and do not turn to our politicians for help or advice. This is a great blessing. They ignored that small minority of demagogues and chose to present the sensible people amongst them. They have admitted defeat, embarked upon reconstruction projects and won the battle on all levels without shooting one bullet, without demonstrations, without burning flags, and without fabricating battles and championships of rhetoric. They defeated the Americans through their industries and matched their level of science until they earned themselves a reputable position in the international arena.

The Japanese could have established liberation movements, launched daily raids, and depleted the enemy for many decades, however, they chose to rearrange the status of Japan until the occupying American forces withdrew from their country, enabling the Japanese to build their state rather than embarking on military heroism. Japan rose from the ashes and reestablished itself, becoming a prosperous and respected nation and eliminating war and crises from Japan.

Imagine if our Arab demagogues, who hold official, public and media positions were the leaders of Japanese society that had suffered the destruction of two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki over sixty years ago and whose emperor was forced to give up all that he deemed sacred. If we were an example to be followed, the country would have survived decades of tragedies. I remember one Arab writer criticizing the subservience of the Japanese, a writer who appeared to be completely unaware of Tokyo’s success over the years. Such distracted individuals are unable to provide us with one successful model in our world for our people and the Japanese to emulate.

It is not that the Japanese are people without emotion who accept defeat or humiliation, but rather they are confident, open with each other, pragmatic in society and less overbidding with each other.

It is for these reasons that I say that the people of the land of the rising sun have been fortunate to achieve a success during the past 70 years through hard work and the elimination of demagogues on the political and cultural levels that the Emperor’s army failed to realize. Be thankful that you are far geographically and ideologically from the people of the burning sun.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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