picture of the day

Courtesy call

38 Comments

South Korea's new ambassador to Japan Yoo Heung-Soo, right, talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, left, during their talks at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on Thursday.

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38 Comments
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The world would be a better place if these two countries broke up any kind of relation, also economic.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

All Japanese ask for "the problem of Japanese people abducted by North Korea".

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Foreign relations between the two nations are at a critical stage. But the most important question at this point in the history of the two nations relationship - which country has the best looking interpreter?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I guess it would be too much to ask for either side to look like they weren't severly constipated.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I always support diplomacy, but both Japan and South Korea use their reciprocal hate as an excuse to distract public opinion from their internal problems. Their political and economic relations are ridiculous, so there wouldn't be any real damn if they stopped their relations. They are forced ny the US to keep some kind of relations, because of their pivot to Asia.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Where do people get the idea that the "hate" is reciprocal? Haven't you ever heard of "Kanryu"? Never seen Girs Generation or Korean dramas? I'm afraid the "hate" is entirely one sided, and what hate you see in Japan is a response to it.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I think the hair-style of the Japanese translator is a bit untidy, whereas the clothes of the Korean translator look like those of a university senior who is looking for a job. Is there anything else worth talking about?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The two women are interpreters, not translators but if the two countries ain't talkin' then just photo accessories?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Alex80 Japan does not needs SK as an excuse to distract public opinion from their internal problems. Japanese are stopping their ears, averting their eyes from inundation of SK's Japan bashing.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Each of them looks in a different direction :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ossan

Data is helpful:

Among all the countries which participated in the BBC World Service Poll in 2007 and 2009, South Korea and People's Republic of China were the only ones whose majorities rate Japan negatively.

The two exceptions to this positive reputation for Japan continue to be its neighbours China and South Korea, where majorities rate it quite negatively. Views are somewhat less negative in China compared to a year ago (71% down to 63% negative) and slightly more negative in South Korea (54% to 58% negative).

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/mar07/BBC_ViewsCountries_Mar07_pr.pdf see pg 9.

And then there is this study: http://www.genron-npo.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50:the-1st-japan-south-korea-common-opinion-poll-&catid=2:research&Itemid=4

First of all, the percentage of Japanese respondents who replied that they have a "favorable impression" of South Korea was found to be only 31.1, including those who replied they have a "relatively favorable impression" of South Korea. This number in South Korea was a mere 12.2%. In contrast, those who responded they have an "unfavorable impression" of South Korea, including "relatively unfavorable," was 37.3% in Japan. In South Korea, this number was 76.6%, showing that almost 80% of South Koreans have an unfavorable impression of the Japanese.

If these data are correct, then it is not true that only Koreans hate Japan, and not the other way. The data shows that Koreans hate Japan at a much higher rate than vice-versa.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Would be very happy if Japan breaks diplomatic relations with the "republic" of Korea. Wonder if the new Ambassador insulted the Foreign minister?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

This new Ambassador said to SK media "To improve the tie, Japan must show sincerity first". Good start.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Everyone who believes Korea and Japan should drop all of their diplomatic talks and relationships really should go back to school. When you drop all ties, you are in a state of war/ cease fire. Do you want a war with Korea, thereby acknowledging everything the Korean far right has been saying about Japan? Think about that a bit. As for the picture, everyone present was likely ordered no to smile as symbolic show of caution. Smiling could be seen as undermining or insulting the other person.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Cho3Cho: That hair style is American style. Have you visited hair dressers or watched Movie star magazines? These interpreters had to wear these business clothes so that they could hide mike and earphones of gadgets.Dance dresses do not work for interpreters.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

everyone present was likely ordered no to smile as symbolic show of caution.

Or SK guy is lecturing, and the rest are listening.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The hate is strong on Japan Today! Many negative comments from both pro and anti-Japanese sides. It was to be expected. What we got here is a harmless photo of two gentlemen and their attractive interpreters. These are dutiful, respectable people doing their job, which is a difficult job. Yet most commenters jump to conclusions at the moment they spot the photo.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Why is everyone so negative on Korea-Japan ties? I have a rather rosy view about the future of their bilateral relations moving forward!! Just because the past relations of both Asian nations was bad doesn't mean it cannot improve in the future!! :)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The world would be a better place if these two countries broke up any kind of relation, also economic.

..

Would be very happy if Japan breaks diplomatic relations with the "republic" of Korea.

@Alex80 and YuriOtani: Do you realise that SK is Japan's 3rd largest trading partner (after China and USA), and that Japan enjoys a large trade surplus vs SK?

Not that it's ever going to happen, but cutting all diplomatic ties with your 3rd largest trading partner will have far-reaching ramifications on the economy of Japan. I bet you wouldn't be "very happy" at the result, and it's difficult to know if the "world would be a better place", but Japan would certainly be a worse place.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Michael Jun Sung Shim, Why do you want a future with a country you are intensively bashing?

Mitch Cohen, there are more important things in life than money. And yes SK is the 3rd trading country, but now rapidly Japanese are reducing travel and investment in SK and instead increasing in frendly countries so you won't be saying that argument so long. Besides, Japan's most GDP is coming from domestic. So even now, business with SK is insignificant.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

isoduckyAug. 29, 2014 - 01:03PM JST Everyone who believes Korea and Japan should drop all of their diplomatic talks and relationships really should go >back to school. When you drop all ties, you are in a state of war/ cease fire.

The absence of diplomatic or any other relations does NOT equal a state of war.

Do you want a war with Korea, thereby acknowledging everything the Korean far right has been saying about Japan?

Even if there was a "war" that would NOT acknowledge anything that the Korean Right has been saying. I'm not advocating breaking off all relations but your conclusions are a mystery.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

business with SK is insignificant.

Tina, meet reality. Reality, this is Tina.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I wonder why many of you guys want Korea and Japan to break relations. I can't understand that. It is a so destructive behaviour.

Japan and Korean must be friends!

Let me use a little bit of logic to try to write something intelligent: When you have a company and you are the boss, if don't like your employee you just fire them. The same is valid for friendship. You don't like a person, you just ignore him and don't talk to this person. You search for new people to share experience.

But if you have a sun, a child, you can't ignore him because it is your family. Instead, you have to educate him/her.

For neighbouring countries like Japan and Korea, they cannot just change who is their neighbour, they can not fire each other like in a business. These two countries will be neighbours forever!!! Besides being so wrong, also it is stupid to enter in a conflict with neighbouring countries. It would be much more intelligent to cause conflicts far away from home.

Please, Korean and Japan, use your intelligence.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

tinawatanabe I think you misunderstood my point which is that I merely express my view that I am optimist. Why should I hate Japan even if so many other Koreans don't like Japan? I have my own way of thinking even though I have two passports one Korea and another U.S.A.!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Foreign Ministries are not politicians. They talk with understanding. Nice to learn this meeting. Because of their deep concerns, this meeting will succeed. Forget about mouthy ignorant behind in their countries. Just let these meeting succeeds. Let's think about these countries instead of talking about hairdo and clothing as if that are the topic of the article.

@Chuichi HashimuraAUG. 29, 2014 - 07:23AM JST All Japanese ask for "the problem of Japanese people abducted by North Korea".

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

You don't know S Korea is an independent country and North Korea is another country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

FernandoUchiyamaAug. 29, 2014 - 09:53PM JST I wonder why many of you guys want Korea and Japan to break relations. I can't understand that. It is a so destructive >behaviour. Japan and Korean must be friends!

You are preaching to the wrong board. Try a Korean board. Japan apologized for the past and signed a peace treaty with South Korea in 1965 which included among the reparations money designated for "individuals". The South Korean government kept that a secret from their own people as they had used the money for something else. Now they act as if Japan has never addressed the past and are on a global agenda to damage Japan's image. Japan has and continues to seek a head of state meeting to improve relations but South Korea continues to refuse. The "hate", hostile behavior and deterioration of relations is all emanating from South Korea.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Mitch Cohen, Japan's export to SK amounts only 1.12% of Japan's GDP. Hardly significant.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"So even now, business with SK is insignificant." Really? Then why are the Japanese companies that have had invested money in Korea before bilateral ties got worsened still keeping their business intact?

I live in Seoul,Korea now and I have never heard of even one Japanese company, who had promised to invest in Korea, to announce that company decided not to invest any more money in Korea because if that was ever true then I would have read such articles from Korean Yonhap News Agency!!

I can understand the frustrations that Japanese people have towards Korea and it's both Korea and Japan's fault and they should stop blaming each other.I ask Koreans to try to understand the Japanese psyche that Tokyo is having rough time right now and I also entreat Japanese people to be more mindful that Koreans had to suffer the unendurable pains under Japanese rule and please don't compare S Korea to Taiwan or any other former Japanese colonies!!

I do fear however that Korea maybe focussing too much on negative things with Japan and Korea too should grow up and act more maturely.I personally blame former Korean President Lee Myung Bak for visiting Dokdo Island (Of course I & 100% Koreans think Dokdo is 100% Korean territory) but his visit there was totally UNNECESSARY!!

He could have gone there after his resignation from Presidency.Lee also blamed Emperor Akihito saying if he wants to visit Korea then he should apologize to Koreans.Again that's Mr.Lee's mistakes and I ask Japanese people to get over the difficulties caused by his insensitive behaviour!! But if Japanese people still hate Korea even after that then I say please vent your anger at Mr.Lee not ordinary citizens like me or other innocent Korean citizens!! Thanks and Have A Nice Time!! Peace!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But if Japanese people still hate Korea even after that then I say please vent your anger at Mr.Lee not ordinary citizens like me or other innocent Korean citizens!!

Even after what? Why is that when a Japanese leaders does something to offend South Koreans, they are quick to demand an apology while not a hint of considering offering apology to Japanese citizens when Korean leader does something to offend them?

Just looking at the Japanese media outlets and the opinions expressed by Japanese people, it's clear that they moved away from the prior 'must appease Korea first' mentality for they are pretty much disinterested in having a 'good relations' with them.

Japanese government could very well play the same game played by President Pak which is to set a 'condition' prior to agreeing with the bilateral summit like 'accept Takeshima/Dokdo as a dispute and agree to settle via ICJ' or 'remove comfort women statue in front of the Japanese embassy' or 'to drop the issue forever in regards to ANY matters concerning any issues prior to 1945 as per 1965 treaty'.

With the recent review of the Kono statement and the retraction by Asahi in regards to the comfort women, the general public attitude towards the Korean government and the Korean people have changed dramatically.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Nigelboy you should ask your questions by writing a letter to Korean government not direct at me please! OssanAmerica So only Korea hates Japan? Why don't Japanese demonstrators target China? Why did those people shout kill Koreans? In Europe,hate speech is wrong and is punishable by law! Why doesn't Japan have such rules regarding hate speeches? Surely if Japan likes to emulate Europe then ban ALL forms of hate speeches NOW! OK! Peace Brother!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Nigelboy you should ask your questions by writing a letter to Korean government not direct at me please!

Sorry. I'm kind of glad of the recent trend for relations with Korea should be 'limited' at the bare minimum for this Ambassador pictured above and his comments clearly indicates that 'nothing' within the Korean government has changed.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Let's get this straight.

The notion that Korea is an "important" ally to Japan is simply a U.S. pipe dream for Korea has shown quite the opposite including former President Roh's designation of placing Japan as a 'hypothetical enemy' and being one of only two countries that have opposed Japanese government's recent reinterpretation of the constitution which allows limited collective self defense.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The notion that Korea is an "important" ally to Japan is simply a U.S. pipe dream for Korea has shown quite the opposite

Korea's the buffer zone / canary-in-the-coal-mine for Japan vs DPRK. And also vs China, if they get friendly with DPRK again.

If ROK had fallen to DPRK at any time in last 60 years, Japan would from that point have been looking at DPRK across the Korean Strait western channel, 50 km Busan to Tsushima Island. And looking forward to the time that DPRK would decide to move across the strait.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If ROK had fallen to DPRK at any time in last 60 years, Japan would from that point have been looking at DPRK across the Korean Strait western channel, 50 km Busan to Tsushima Island. And looking forward to the time that DPRK would decide to move across the strait.

Yes. In the 1900's, it was the Russians. Now, possibly China. However, history has shown it's better for Japan to not get involved in regards to Korean peninsula. The Korean government attitude is helping this. It's all good.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Mitch Cohen: like Tina said, there are more important things than money. I'm not even Japanese, I'm an Italian who likes Japan. And I'm damn tired of Japan bashing by SKorea. My reaction isn't rational, but just a natural reaction of frustration. In Japan you have some right-wing guys and politicians who are nationalistic, but you have also left-wing people and press, and hate against SKorea isn't learned at school. In SKorea hate against Japan is in the schools. It's normal. I'll never forget some anti-Japanese pictures drawn by children in Korean schools. Sorry, but my heart is with Japan. Call me weeboo or whatever you want, but if Japan dropped any tie with SKorea, at least I could help to read every damn day the same things about the bad relations between these two countries, and more interesting news about Japan.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In SKorea hate against Japan is in the schools. It's normal.

No it's not. I know because I attended 6 years of school in Korea. We learn modern history, including the Japanese annexation. We learn about Korean resistance to Japanese annexation in the same way French children learn about French resistance to the Nazis. And during breaks we would read Dragonball manga, play basketball inspired by Slam Dunk, and after school we would all rush to whoever has a Nintendo to play games all afternoon.

I'll never forget some anti-Japanese pictures drawn by children in Korean schools.

I know the EXACT video you're talking about. Some nutjob right-winger teacher made his young students draw hateful anti-Japan pictures. It made the news all over Korea because it was outrageous. If that was common in Korea, why would it have been on the news? If that was common in Korea, why would there be JUST ONE VIDEO of school children drawing anti-Japan pictures? Don't believe me? Find me just 1 more video of SK children drawing anti-Japan pictures. You won't find it, because it doesn't happen, and when it did, it made the news.

I know I'm not going to be able to reason with you, because you have already made up your mind (like the time you admitted you formed your negative opinion of Korea through ultra-nationalists on Youtube who claimed Italians were jealous of Korea), but I hope to at least give you some insight.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Mitch CohenAug. 29, 2014 - 06:39PM JST Do you realise that SK is Japan's 3rd largest trading partner (after China and USA), and that Japan enjoys a large trade surplus vs SK? Not that it's ever going to happen, but cutting all diplomatic ties with your 3rd largest trading partner will have far-reaching ramifications on the economy of Japan.

Today, South Korea no longer sees significant importance to Japan. So for South Korea, good relations with Japan is not a priorty. The bilateral trade has reduced significantly. In the last ten years, Japan had fifty percent reduction in import from South Korea. Currently Japan exports $60 billion to SK, while SK exports $25 billion to Japan. It's a one way trade for Japan. Even Hyundai no longer sells cars in Japan. Do you see many Samsung phones? South Korea sees China as a future growth, and they will focus on increasing trade and improve their bilateral relations and cooperations.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Mitch Cohen: In your country Japanese pop culture was banned until the late 90s. In the schools, hystory is biased, indeed they never speak about how Japan pushed Korean modernization. So, speak about revisionism only in Japan's case is convenient.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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