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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blair's Christian 'challenge' to the East

Asia Times online (May 14 08) reprints another story about language and culture. This one by Masayuki Tadokoro originally appeared in the The Japan Institute of International Affairs.

"Former British premier Tony Blair, who recently converted to Catholicism, apparently believes his or other Christian faiths should underpin the West in meeting the challenges from the East. But people such as Blair should start taking the 'East' more seriously, and the coming Group of Eight summit in July could be an opportunity for Europeans to start calling democratic Asians 'we' rather than 'they.'"

This organization, the Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies (AJISS) has a number of good op-ed pieces on Japan and international affairs by first-rate Japanese sources.

Still on the theme of language (and how we "think") Takakoro asks,
"Is there such a thing as the East in the first place? The 'East' literally can mean the huge area stretching beyond Turkey all the way through to Japan and containing at least three major traditional civilizations: Islamic, Indian and Chinese.

"It has always been the home of a majority of the population on this planet who have dauntingly different religions, cultures, traditions and political systems, as well as levels of economic development. Does it really make sense to talk about the 'East', except in the sense that it is geographically non-European?"

Read the rest here =>Recommend this Post

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