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Anti-Japan protest in Seoul

55 Comments

Protesters with defaced Japanese rising sun flags and portraits of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shout slogans during a rally to mark the March First Independence Movement Day, the anniversary of the 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule, in front of Japanese Embassy in Seoul, on Friday. The banners read "Distorted Japanese history textbooks and full compensation and apology for wartime sex slaves from Japanese government."

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Enough already about compensation and apology. It's been done, get over it. And what exactly is "full compensation" anyway?

9 ( +21 / -12 )

These people need to get a life. Don't they see that the average normal South Koreans are just going to work, talking care of their families, seeking health and happiness? Instead being stuck on a 70 year old fixation? Didn't they learn that there was a war 5 years AFTER Imperial Japan left that did far more harm to their country than colonization did?

3 ( +23 / -20 )

Change the headline to "Typical Day in Japanese Embassy in Seoul".

I would not be surprised that one of these prostestors would meet a Japanese Embassy worker on the street on weekends and exchange some pleasantry. "Are these your kids?" "Are you showing up next Wednesday?" "It's supposed to be freezing so wear something warm" kind of exchanges.

-8 ( +14 / -22 )

At sensei258,. Full compensation means that all Japanese must bow their forehead in every Korean's feet!!! In other words, Korea will never move on until eternity! WHAT A PITY!!!!!!

0 ( +19 / -19 )

Hey, their March First Independence Movement Day is a serious thing.

Approximately 2,000,000 Koreans had participated in the more than 1,500 demonstrations to fight for their independence from Japan's colonial rule, many who were massacred by the Japanese police force and army.

I hope it's a peaceful and a more looking forward to the future celebration, but they should celebrate their independence.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Almost a hundred years ago.
6 ( +9 / -3 )

What was that about there being no Hate Speech in SK?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The banners read “Distorted Japanese history textbooks and full compensation and apology for wartime sex slaves from Japanese government.”

You had your compensation in 1965. So shut up and abide by the agreement that you wouldn't demand anymore compensation.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

What would be cool is if an equal sized mob of Zatokukai were there and clashed with the Koreans.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

titaniumdioxide: "Full compensation means that all Japanese must bow their forehead in every Korean's feet!!! In other words, Korea will never move on until eternity!"

And a Japanese leader should most certainly bow at the foot of Koreans in apology, sincerely, and get it over with once and for all. Instead what do you have? a Prime Minister who has formed a bunch of like-minded revisionists to 'write a new apology' that is 'less hurtful' to Japan. So, yeah, you'll never have Korea or China move on so long as Japan is truly unwilling to admit and atone for the past. It only stands to reason among those with common sense.

KariHaruka: "You had your compensation in 1965. So shut up and abide by the agreement..."

A perfect example of the 'sincerity' of the Japanese side of things. "Shut up and love us already!".

-10 ( +13 / -23 )

Good on them. They are fully justified

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

" These people need to get a life. Don't they see that the average normal South Koreans are just going to work, talking care of their families, seeking health and happiness? Instead being stuck on a 70 year old fixation? "

Fair enough its a 70 year old fixation , so I,m looking forward to hearing the same sentiment from our resident JT right brigade when next there is an article about people suing the Asahi re. the sex slave issue or the " Takeshima Day" or the " Northern Territories " or whatever else the black truck boys come up with. Interesting how a number of posters here always come up with the " it's been 70 years so move on already argument" re. Japan' s neighbors but never Japan. No better example of double standard than that.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Why is it Germany's victims have moved on with the rest of the world, yet Korea can't, even after 70+ years.

I don't know if links are allowed, but from wikipedia, Japanese DID compensate Korea. I wonder if the regular Korean citizen knows this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan%E2%80%93Korea_disputes#Japanese_compensation_to_Korea_for_the_reign_of_Japan

On a trip to Korea a few years back, we spoke to a 45 year old Korean man about Japanese-Korean relations. He told us how angry he was that Japan hasn't given a cent (yen/won) to Korea after the war.

This common knowledge must be a state secret and Korea will not let if go until the government releases the redacted version of the compensation.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Japan's "colonialization" of Korea is actually somewhat accurate. What Imperial Japan did was to annex Korea as part of Japan, theoretically making Koreans Japanese. Of course, the Koreans were treated as inferior to regular Japanese, and large numbers of particularly lower class Japanese emigrated to Korea, where they dominated all aspects of economic and governmental life with the brutally effective military and police, very often complemented at lower levels by some Koreans.

With this annexation, Japan sought to eradicate the Korean family system (which is why so many Korean women born during the era have "ja" 子 as the last part of their given name (as in Michiko or Akiko in Japanese). The Hangul based education system was abolished, greatly lowering the literacy rate of Koreans, and intentionally aimed at separating the Koreans from their culture. Many palaces were deliberately wrecked (and the Governor-General's office -- eventually dismantled by Kim Young Sam -- was erected on the site of the main palace). Japanese "collectors" liberated many Korean artifacts in the name of preservation.

The March 1, 1919 demonstration arose from many factors. One was Wilsonian principles of self-determination (should not the ethnically and linguistically distinct Korean nation be recognized?). Another was the continuing solidarity of peaceful organized resistance against discrimination and being consigned to second class citizen status in their own native land. The demonstration was peaceful and in mass, taking the Japanese by surprise. This may have been a factor in the brutality of the suppression that followed. Lest one think that this is just word of Koreans against Japanese, there are in fact records and documentation, as well as the accounts of some western missionaries.

I am not Korean, but I have lived many years in Japan (mostly in the Kansai) and in Korea (and also China), and there are objective facts. The March 1 movement is anti-Japan, but that is because Japan annexed Joseon and tried to turn its people into second class Japanese forever to be inferior. Similarly the 抗日戰爭 -- the Anti-Japan War -- is precisely that because of the Japanese war of aggression -- there is in fact an easily understood definition despite Abe Shinzo's weak language capabilities -- against China.

I think the vast majority of Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese want to move on. But denialists and revisionists among Japanese leaders aid and abet those Koreans and Chinese who want to continue this.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Why is it Germany's victims have moved on with the rest of the world, yet Korea can't, even after 70+ years.

If you look at Germany's showing of repentance since the war vs. Japan's showing of repentance since the war, the answer becomes very clear very quickly.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

@marcelito I don't think anyone argues that territorial disputes should be subject to a statute of limitations.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No tearing asunder, stamping on, burning Abe's effigy and Japan's national flag?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Diplomacy has clearly failed. Japan should downgrade its Seoul embassy's status to a Yoshinoya franchise.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan's national flag?

Is Japan's national flag, the Imperial Japanese flag with the Rising Sun picture ?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

liarsnfools

Boy talk about ignorant talking.

Where did you get your information from a propaganda sheet from VANK?

The literacy rate before Japan entering Korean peninsula was lower than 5% and usage of Hangul was mostly dead due to being a vassal state of China.

As for Given names, Japan never forced any Japanese names to Koreans. In fact Koreans had been imitating naming their suzerain state and most present Korean names are actually based on Chinese like Kim(金), Pak(朴),etc.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

The literacy rate before Japan entering Korean peninsula was lower than 5% and usage of Hangul was mostly dead due to being a vassal state of China.

And now we're back to the old "well, we may have been invaders, but we were benevolent invaders!" argument.

You just need to explain it to the Koreans that way Tina. I'm sure they'll feel better knowing their country was occupied and their citizens made second class if they can just realize that it was for their own good, and that you guys were actually doing them a favor.

On that note, maybe someone needs to come into Japan and take it over for 35 years, in order to solve the current problems. As long as they leave Japan better off than when they came, you'll thank them for the invasion, right?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

liarsnfools - well put - many people have no idea about the historical background you refer to. They never studied it in any detail or they were presented with an "air-brushed" version by the authorities responsible for education and society building.

For example, Ex prime minister Ito Hirobumi's assassination in Korea in early 20thC, is viewed as a heinous murder in Japan, but for many Koreans(that I've spoken to) his killer is historically viewed as a "Resistance Fighter". Even though Ito actually was sympathetic to Koreas plight and apparently had friendly desires, he nevertheless was a symbol of an occupying force bent on stripping Korea of it's self.

And today the multi-versions of history remain, so we get conflict esp when one sides version is disprespected by the others. The revisionist comments by the self-righteous right in Japan only continue to fuel the anguish felt by some Koreans, so the repetitious and retalitory cycle of demonstrations and objections continues.

It seems Abe has too much face to lose to be seen as concillatory(as does his Korean opponents), so there is no end in sight until someone of enormous human character rises, and says and does what is neccessary, irregardless of the political / social fallout.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

These people need to get a life. Don't they see that the average normal South Koreans are just going to work, talking care of their families, seeking health and happiness? Instead being stuck on a 70 year old fixation? Didn't they learn that there was a war 5 years AFTER Imperial Japan left that did far more harm to their country than colonization did?

Ossan -- had no doubt you'd post on this -- since it presents a chance to rail on either SK or China. But, I just have a simple question -- What basis do you have for your rant, other than your own clearly biased opinion? Can you present any facts or figures to support your beliefs, both in regards to their "being stuck on a 70 year fixation", as well as the fact that the Korean War "did far more harm to their country than colonization did". I'd like to know what insights you have into the SK psyche that we should find credible.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I don't know if links are allowed, but from wikipedia, Japanese DID compensate Korea. I wonder if the regular Korean citizen knows this.

Yes, they did, but they didn't compensate the sex slaves. They were covered by the treaties on forced labour which Japan signed in the 1930s and obviously broke. So in that light Korea is fully justified. Ask the average Japanese person on the street if they know what they did to Korea between 1910-1945. Most know little to nothing. Why? Because they are not being taught properly at school

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

stranger:

If you look at Germany's showing of repentance since the war vs. Japan's showing of repentance since the war, the answer becomes very clear very quickly.

Here, here!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Thanks for many people that provided links to the actual facts on the Japanese-Korea Disputes, but the fact , if you click to to translate to the Korean language, there is nothing written , so , if its not written in their language , it does not EXIST! and they will always complain about it !

2 ( +5 / -3 )

stranger:

If you look at Germany's showing of repentance since the war vs. Japan's showing of repentance since the war, the answer becomes very clear very quickly.

Here, here!

Typo:

I should have said hear, hear!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Being forced to be a comfort woman started the misfortune of their lives. It can never be recovered with money. In Japan, all discussion of World War II has emphasized the plight of the Japanese as victims. Other aspects remain to be considered, such as that of Japan, the aggressor. The situation must be reviewed over all. A small section of it must not be magnified.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

There are so many things that one could say on this topic, but, in watching the comments here, there is only one winning move: to not play the game, as this is just one big rabbit hole.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Strangerland

Well if you educate the truth it will relieve a lot of misconception that when Japan entered Korea, Korea was at the same level of civilization through out the nation as Japan which was not. Korea was a very backward nation still believing in superstition and witchdoctors. Had a very low literacy rate and life expectancy rate before Japan entered due to their then malevolent rulers and backward philosophy.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

"A small section must not be magnified."

Agreed. We need to look at the whole story. Including the reason why the white elites in the west decided that yellow folk weren't allowed to establish an empire like they did. Thus causing the Pacific War.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

perhaps they should move on... 1) they have their own land 2)they dont have the big radiation problem

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I agree Samurai Blue, it's all just a big misunderstanding. If you simply explain that you were benevolent overlords, I have no doubt they will forgive Japan for invading their country and occupying it for 35 years. After all, as long as you were nice, taking over their country and oppressing their freedom is no hit deal, right?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Why is the girl in the center in"blackface"? What does the blackface symbolize for them. I know they do it also in Japan "for different reasons" But what is the significance for doing it in Korea? Also in South Korea's state-run TV network KBS, feature comedians wearing blackface. Maybe its for the 50,000 year ago heritage? Or to symbolize a distinction from North Korea? Or does it symbolize sharing the plight of the aboriginal people of the earth?. They sell a hell of a lot of hair to black women in the US.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@100cpm

Why is the girl in the center in"blackface"? What does the blackface symbolize for them. I know they do it also in Japan "for different reasons" But what is the significance for doing it in Korea? Also in South Korea's state-run TV network KBS, feature comedians wearing blackface. Maybe its for the 50,000 year ago heritage? Or to symbolize a distinction from North Korea? Or does it symbolize sharing the plight of the aboriginal people of the earth?. They sell a hell of a lot of hair to black women in the US.

It's a statue.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What does the blackface symbolize for them.

I don't know what it does symbolize, but as it is not America, I know what it doesn't symbolize.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Takeshima out" wait,,,I believe South Korea are in charge of that Island,

I can see the misinformed protesters!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yawns! It is back to schoolbooks again? At least Korea got rid of the Japanese. Okinawa still has them today as well as Americans. The Koreans should stop complaining and work toward making Korea a better place. I am hearing they want to be vassals to China again. Will laugh a lot when the Republic of Korea kicks out the Americans in favor of Peoples Republic of China.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Enough already, how much more of my tax money do they want? Give an cm and they want a km. The only way to stop this nonsense and from the beginning would have been if the Emperor himself would have done the apology not the Prime Minister. That is what the world has been waiting on for a very long long time. Just a simple and honest heartfelt apology this is not about money just a sincere formal official policy. Granted the Emperor at the time did not have much control of the military but as official he was in the need to know and final orders issued. There for the Emperor of Japan back then should have formally been present at the surrender and not the ministerial puppet. This would have ended all of the quarrels once and for all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Technically i wouldn't blame them for defacing Abe.But they were payed compensation and got an apology now lets move on and make a better tomorrow.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

At least Korea got rid of the Japanese. Okinawa still has them today as well as Americans.

What, Okinawans aren't Japanese?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

'Korea was a very backward nation still believing in superstition'

You mean as opposed to one believing a very ordinary man was a living god?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

'Jimizo

I see you are against Christianity and Muslim, good for you.'

As it happens, yes. I just wondered what kind of superstitions the 'backward' Koreans believed in which were more backward than believing a hereditary monarch was a god. I'm genuinely interested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Samblue - re superstitions - I'd have to honestly say Modern Japan is one of the most superstitious countries I have encountered. It permeates so many aspects of normal daily life to be ubiquitous - from shrine amulets to good luck days to blood groups to bad luck days to .....!

So Korea over a century ago wasn't so unique, and rationalizing an occupation / invasion based on the cultural beliefs of a population seems quite extra-ordinary.

Japan still talks about it's 6+ year occupation by the Americans and it's impact 70 years ago as if it were yesterday, so it's not so hard to understand that there may well be some like minded Koreans who recall the 40 year impact of Japanese occupation.

Not saying I agree with the demonstrators - just I can understand the link and the different feelings being displayed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Nationalism is such a cancer.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The S. Korean National pastime... protesting. The thing is.... the more and more they protest... the less meaningful it becomes. Its like a child that barely falls but bursts our crying just for the attention.... but when the kid really falls and gets hurt no one pays attention thinking its just another cry for attention.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

hollyholy: "Why is it Germany's victims have moved on with the rest of the world, yet Korea can't, even after 70+ years."

If you truly do not know the answer to this you will be forever asking. As Strangerland pointed out, German leaders, even to this day, so true repentence and sorrow over what happened. A COUPLE of Japanese leaders in the past have apologized, but others have denied wrong doing and even want to retract others' apologies. They have indeed thrown a pittance to Koreans a long time ago, and the 'Shut up and move on' that follows is part of the reason why you need to keep asking yourself.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

You can protest in Korea and not be deported as long you are Korean (not American-Korean):

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday an anti-North Korea law was needed because the two countries remained technically at war, after a Korean-American was deported to the United States under the law for making positive comments about the North. The National Security Law, enacted after the two Koreas were split at the end of World War Two but before the 1950-53 Korean War, prohibits South Koreans from publicly praising the North Korean regime. The war was ended only by a truce and not a peace treaty.

=> Is Japan "technically at war" with SK. From the SK media propaganda you could make that case and they are perpetually under martial law.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/22/president-obama-states-of-emergency/16851775/ (the US Gov "state of emergency" / "martial law" perpetually)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, at least this one seems (at least in this picture) peaceful. No bird killing, no cow blood splashing, no excution play. Those are bad for children to see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a parable for S. Koreans that can't move on: "Keep picking a scab, it's going to get severely infected and kill your whole body!" Look at most Muslim dominated Nations for prime examples that keep bringing up crap from the past, just continued death and destruction.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@vincehwr

Well said. Or, as Einstein put it:

"Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Underdawg the people of Okinawa are not of Japanese descent. We are Japanese nationals but that is where it stops. As for the Americans they continue to control Okinawa. They still control the sea and air and whatever ground as it pleases them. Okinawa was invaded by Japan in 1872 and America keeps returning us to Japan. As for the Korean protest nothing will make them happy about Japan. If Japan was no longer an issue, what would distract the Korean people from their real problems?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Comparing Japan's crimes to the Nazis' is silly, because in most cases some of the worst depravities and acts of collusion in Europe were by those occupied countries themselves. Japan's was mostly done by themselves, while Poles and Ukrainians in occupied Europe were rounding up Jews constantly. Because of this European countries were much quicker to accept apologies from Germany..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese administration in Korea has done more to advance the interests of Korea than any other government has done to advance the interests of any country in the world. And if if Korea were a self-governing country instead of a Japanese colonial dependency, be hailed throughout the Western world as an astounding example of national progress.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yuri, maybe Okinawans aren't of "Yamato" descent, but they are Japanese - nationals or what have you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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