Communist China asks J-pop singer and actress Noriko Sakai to join anti-drug campaign
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
An image of the Soviet Union during the communist period reminds you of Joseph Stalin and authoritarianism. The same applies to China under Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) because you automatically think about the Cultural Revolution and mass chaos.
However, modern day communist China could not be further from reality because China is a nation where the income gap is enormous and where the rich can flaunt themselves. Yet in poorer areas or within major cities in China you have rampant poverty and internal migrants from the countryside face enormous discrimination when it comes to housing and education for their children.
The one-party state still exists and you have curbs on religion and clearly ethnic and religious tensions remain in west China, Tibet, and other regions. Despite this, the China of today is about the exploitation of labor, making money at the expense of the rights of workers, and materialism; and not the Maoist “red book” or communist ideology.
Therefore, the leaders of China have invited Noriko Sakai who was a distinguished J-pop singer and actress in Japan before her fall from grace. Her fall from grace applies to being charged with drug use and possession in 2009.
However, for the communist leaders of China it is clear that they understand modern culture because Noriko Sakai was popular in China and throughout northeast Asia. This fact means that they have turned to a famous celebrity in Japan in order to relate to the younger generation in China.
Noriko Sakai’s involvement in an anti-drug campaign is seen to be positive because she can connect with the younger generation. Given this, China is hoping to use famous people in order to spread the message of a much needed anti-drug campaign.
Yet the fact that the one-party state in China is looking to “a fallen angel” and a lady who was extremely rich and who enjoyed the material life, says more about politics in China. After all, it is hard to imagine heroin peddling from western China and other areas being stopped. However, in the big commercial cities where capitalism and materialism dominates, for example in Beijing and Shanghai; then the soft-power of Noriko Sakai and others may help to persuade some people to say “no to drugs.”
Also, just like the communist party began to redeem itself under Deng Xiaoping after tens of millions had died under Mao Zedong and the madness of the Cultural Revolution.
Then Noriko Sakai can redeem herself and it is to be welcomed that she joined the anti-drugs campaign in China. Also, Noriko Sakai and famous Japanese singers and film stars, and sports stars like the golfer Ryo Ishikawa; can “destroy negative images” between both China and Japan because of past history.
However, this article is more telling about the state of the Communist Party in China because it is abundantly clear that the majority of the younger generation care little about communism.
It is true that rural areas may be more conservative by nature but Christianity is flourishing throughout China and numbers vary between 60 million Christians to 100 million Christians, or more.
At the same time Buddhism is also starting to spread and Confucius thinking is starting to take hold in parts of China. Therefore, the onset of spiritual growth is filling the vacuum of rampant capitalism and exploitation in major cities in China and the economic gap continues to grow between rich and poor.
In the long-term redemption appears to be possible for Noriko Sakai and it is hoped that she can re-enter her career at a high level because clearly she does have pulling power. Also, the Japanese media blew up her case to the point of “over hype” and her many fans in Japan and northeast Asia should not be deprived of seeing her in the media.
Yet redemption for the one-party state appears to have no meaning because apart from the political elites within China which still values communism; over all, it is apparent that communism can’t be redeemed in big cities because it is all but dead already.
The Communist Party in China is like a mirage because it does exist and the People’s Liberation Army is potent and growing. At the same time, China’s economic growth is factual and this nation appears to have a bright future – albeit, with future political bumps ahead and ethnic tensions and religious issues will continue to simmer in west China and Tibet.
Mao Zedong once used the phrase “paper tiger” towards America and other enemies at the time. It was clear that Mao Zedong was right about “the Soviet Union paper tiger” but when China invites Noriko Sakai in order to connect with the younger generation; then it appears that the Communist Party is also a “paper tiger.”
However, unlike the Soviet Union this “communist paper tiger” in China understands the reality of modern culture and while economic growth remains the political elites will continue to hold onto their power base within the one party state.
Yet for Noriko Sakai it is about giving something back to her fans and to spread the message that drugs are dangerous. Therefore, the anti-drug campaign which fuses together the communist party, alongside the natural beauty of Noriko Sakai, is a win-win situation for both and let us hope that the Japanese media gives her a chance once more to whirl her charm.
http://www.fanpix.net/gallery/noriko-sakai-pictures.htm (images of Noriko Sakai)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noriko_Sakai (Information about Noriko Sakai)
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