Aggression and invasion

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Tokyolily

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Dear Teachers,

What is the difference in meaning and nuance between the words aggression and invasion when one talks of country A's aggression (or invasion) of country B?

Thank you.

YY
 

emsr2d2

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Have you looked both up in a dictionary? Please tell us what parts of the definitions of the two words are confusing you.
 

Tokyolily

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I admit I have only looked up the Japanese -English dictionary but the Japanese is the same for both and yet some people in Japan insist on using the word "aggression" in connection with our history..but you are correct I should look the words up in the English-English dictionary.

Thank you.

YY
 

Tokyolily

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Dear Teacher,

I have looked the two words up and still do not understand why some people insist on using the word "aggression" rather than "invasion" regarding
Japanese military action during the war.

Invasion, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is, an act of invading, especially; incursion of an army for conquest or plunder.
Aggression, also according to the above source, is a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or
master; the practice of making attacks or encroachments; especially; unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another.

So why is the word "invasion" not acceptable in the context of Japan's history?

Thank you.

YY
 

Tokyolily

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Thank you for your reply. Some people in Japan insist that only the word "aggression" should be used in connection with Japan's military operations during World War II ,as in "Japan's aggression against China." They maintain that the expression, "Japan's invasion of China" is not acceptable.
In the English - Japanese Dictionary , the definition is almost exactly the same for both words.
I have tried looking up the English-English dictionary and I still do not understand why both expressions cannot be used interchangeably.
Your reply seems to indicate that the answer is so obvious. I am sorry if I am asking a stupid quesion but would be very grateful if you could explain.

Thank you

YY
 

Tdol

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This has to do with perceptions of history. I imagine aggression is used because it sounds less serious than invasion. It's a form of euphemism, just as people sometimes use conflict instead of war.
 

Jaskin

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hi,
Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker;

I'm unable to answer why some people might insist on that distinction it could be as Tdol says. I think there is a subtle difference in implicature.[STRIKE] An invasion is an act of aggression; but[/STRIKE] not every act of aggression is an invasion. An invasion also implies entering the invaded country mainland. So I think in some context it could be justified.
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afterthought

This has to do with perceptions of history. I imagine aggression is used because it sounds less serious than invasion. It's a form of euphemism, just as people sometimes use conflict instead of war.
I'm not sure if I could fully agree with that. We would talk about "an invasion of Normandy" but I don't think that anyone would call it "an act of aggression". Taking that to consideration it rather sounds more serious than invasion.

now I confused even myself

Is an invasion inherently an act of aggression ? Can one think of aggression as superordinate of invasion ?
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Another afterthought;

I'm sorry for a bit scattered answer but the question really get me thinking. After checking BNC for examples and reading two articles on Wikipedia about invasion and war of aggression it seems to me that there is a difference in the way the terms are used in the context of military operation.

after wiki on invasion :
The term does not imply the presence or lack of justification for the action, and the morality or immorality of a military operation does not determine whether it is so termed.
Whereas aggression implies the lack of justification.
So long as it is a matter of perceptions of history I definitely wouldn't say that it is used as an euphemism. I would even be inclined to say that the insistence of using aggression instead of invasion in the context of Japan military operation during the WWII is a form of admission of wrongdoing.



Cheers
 
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