China Is Totally Freaking Out Japan

China Is Totally Freaking Out Japan

Big bad China. The Mainland. The second biggest economy on Earth. Communism. And a whole military complex. neighbouring Japan is worried. What about game companies?

It used to be the other way – China worried about Japan. During the early part of the last century, Japan romped through Asia in a smash-and-grab, taking land and leaving destruction in its wake.

There were atrocities, horrible, horrible atrocities. Yet, even today, some in Japan argue that the military aggression and territorial expansion was no different than what the Americans and Europeans carried out in previous centuries. But that was then, and in the middle of the 20th century, Japan was the “yellow peril”

The war left Japan occupied by its victors and without a standing army under its new, American-written constitution. Today, Japan has a Self Defence Force, created to protect the country. However, that hasn’t stopped the SDF from being deployed in, say, Iraq.

Yet, Japan is worried. “We can’t help but have concerns about a certain lack of transparency in (China’s) defence build-up and growing maritime activities,” Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said earlier this week (via Yahoo!). Last year, the two countries went head-to-head over a dispute caused by a Chinese fishing boat and land claims. Whether Japan has a right to be truly worried or whether the country is overreacting is up for debate as China is both too scary and not scary enough to be villains.

“Conflicts over maritime interests have been surfacing recently and we cannot ignore that they are becoming elements of regional instability,” Kan added as he stressed the importance of Japan’s relationship with the US. “We should claim Japan’s own rights openly and squarely.”

While the Japanese government might be worried about China, the Japanese game industry does not – or at least isn’t showing it. Sony, maker of the PS3 and PSP, is moving forward with entering the Mainland. This is a huge, largely untapped market for console gaming.

Sure, there are copyright concerns with China, as the country’s laws and attitudes are traditionally lax, resulting in various indiscretions like Gundam statues and vaguely familiar products.

While most video game consoles are banned in China (save for portables like the Nintendo DSi and the upcoming 3DS), the country manufactures home consoles for the overseas market for both Sony and Nintendo as well as American rival, Microsoft. And with outsourced manufacturing comes an increasing number of leaks.

Before the PS3 Silm was revealed, photos of it from a Chinese factory made their way online. What’s believed to be the PSP Phone, which Sony hasn’t yet officially revealed, was taken apart and posted on a Chinese website weeks ago. And stuff isn’t leaking online, it’s been leaking out of factories, like the 3DS that apparently went missing earlier this month. Big news carelessly leaked out for everyone to see. Maybe it’s the diffusion of the internet, maybe it’s the time we live in, but stuff like didn’t happen to Sony and Nintendo in years gone by. But nothing worth worrying about just yet, right?

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.


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