How the Palestinian Press and Social Media View Japanese Culture, Literature, Technology, Economy, and Palestinian-Japanese Relations


Mohammad Daraghmeh


Japan has a presence in the Palestinian media. But while this presence expands significantly in news about Japan's generous economic assistance to the Palestinian people, whether through UNRWA, or through infrastructure projects and other assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) since its founding in 1994, it significantly narrow when covering other areas related to Japan, its culture, literature, economy and the customs of its people.

Japanese Culture 

You rarely find a special topic about Japanese culture in the Palestinian press, but there are some writers and journalists who have visited Japan and recorded their impressions of that country and its people. There are also international news outlets the covers exciting and interesting stories that are published in the Palestinian media.

On October 18, 2010, Dr. Khaled al-Hroub published an article on the opinion page of the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam about a visit to Japan in which he documented the Palestinian presence in those distant countries, and some deep impressions of the country's beauty, people's customs and scientific and industrial progress.

"On the road between Tokyo and Kyoto, on the fastest train in the world, the plains and valleys confined to the mountainous nature of the country and crowding it. ... Mount Fuji, the tallest and the most famous, stands in the middle of the distance between the two cities, hanging between the white clouds. We see its upper half, while the whiteness wraps around its center like a devoted monk's wrap."

On public ethics in Japan, he writes: "It is said in the interpretation of the amazing politeness of people here that their overcrowding in the few lands that nature has made possible has forced them to develop traditions of politeness and respect for the feelings of others."

"What lies ahead in Kyoto, one of the most ancient cities, the oldest capital of the empire, and the starting point for the Meiji Restoration," writes Khaled al-Hroub of Japan's ancient capital Kyoto. “We will visit the most important university, and visit the great Golden Temple, where visitors stand silent, wondering on its doorstep the edges of a history that goes thousands of years... In front of Tokyo's similar Asakusa Temple, there was a long street leading to the luxurious façade where the Japanese scattered their impressive artifacts. They welcome visitors with their polite bows and hospitable hand movements."

Khaled al-Hroub writes in his article of the Japanese Arabist, Nobuaki Notohara, author of "The Arabs: A Japanese Viewpoint," which put a "blame" on Arabs for lagging behind the peoples of the developed world: "Why don't you rise up? You started with us, Muhammad Ali in Egypt, and the Meiji in Japan set off in an approximate time, so why did you freeze?"......Full Report