Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Holy Zhongnanhai Batman!

If the Political Bureau of the CCP had a MySpace page, Today's Mood would be: Exceptionally Friendly.

While life for the Abe Cabinet is otherwise going to hell in a handbasket the relationship with China is soaring:

CCTV to screen series on Japan
China Daily

By Li Xiaokun - Updated: 2007-01-30 As China-Japan relations thaw the national television network has announced plans for a series on Japanese society.

CCTV will launch the series in early March, the TV station said yesterday.

The 20-part series, called Yansong: Eyes on Japan, comes as details are finalised for Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan in April.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited China in October.

"We thought we were familiar with Japan, but it's not the case," said well-known TV personality Bai Yansong, who will present the programs. "Actually it's a very strange country to many Chinese people.

"As the national and largest network, it's our duty to provide a comprehensive and objective view of Japan," he added.

CCTV will send its biggest ever team of journalists to Japan on March 4 to begin working on the series.

Their 15-20 day screening schedule will cover exclusive interviews with at least 10 Japanese figures in fields ranging from politics and economics to the arts.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe, former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, famous author Junichi Watanabe and actor Ken Takakura who are all well known in China, will be interviewed.

Several documentaries will also be produced, covering topics like Japanese history, the nation's animation industry, sumo wrestling, the young generation, and the aging society.

Well, I guess CCTV announcer Rui Chenggang's September 30 blog post was foreshadowing, not a wild anomaly.

Does anyone know which faction/grouping/ministries in the Chinese government or the CCP would end up profiting from a sudden rush to improve Japan's image in China? The approval for these attitude shifts must be coming from up on high.

Bringing myself back down to the muddy earth, I cannot wait to hear what Robyn Lim and the folks at Heritage, American Enterprise and CDI in Washington's environs will be offering as an explanations for this precipitous change.

No, really, I am serious.

Later - Here is the Jiji Tsushin report on the new television series.

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