politics

71% of S Koreans see Japan unfavorably as ties sink to record lows

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Some 71.6 percent of South Koreans see Japan unfavorably, up 21.7 percentage points from the previous year, as diplomatic relations between the Asian neighbors sink to historic lows over wartime labor issues, a survey shows.

South Koreans who have good feelings of Japan fell by 19.4 points to 12.3 percent, near the record-low of 12.2 percent in 2013, according to the poll conducted in September and October by Tokyo-based nonprofit think tank Genron NPO and the Seoul-based East Asia Institute.

The annual survey, which started in 2013, reflects sharply deteriorating sentiment among South Koreans toward Japan. Those who see bilateral relations as extremely poor or poor soared 22.3 points from the previous year to a record-high 88.4 percent, it said.

Tokyo-Seoul ties tumbled following a South Korean top court order in October 2018 for a Japanese company to pay four men for the forced labor they endured during the 1910-1945 period of Japan's colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.

Japan argues the ruling goes against a 1965 bilateral agreement under which it provided financial aid to South Korea with the understanding the compensation issue was settled "completely and finally."

Among Japanese, views on South Korea have slightly improved from last year, with 46.3 percent saying they have unfavorable feelings, down 3.6 points, and those having good feelings climbing to 25.9 percent from 20 percent, which was the lowest since 2013.

"It is said that 2019 was the worst year for the Japanese and South Korean governments. Their dispute over their views on history also spread to economic and security issues," Yasushi Kudo, head of Genron NPO said in a statement.

Kudo was referring to Japan's apparent retaliation to South Korea's ruling that saw Tokyo tighten export controls of materials used to manufacture semiconductors and display panels and Seoul's threat to terminate a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact that helps the countries respond to missile threats from North Korea.

"While both governments have not been able to show any intent to improve the difficult (situation), moves to boycott Japanese products and trips to Japan escalated among the South Korean public. On top of that, the novel coronavirus pandemic has virtually stopped bilateral exchanges," Kudo said.

The top reason for South Koreans viewing Japan in a negative light, was because "Tokyo is not correctly reflecting on its past history of aggression" to South Korea at 61.3 percent, followed by the existence of a territorial dispute over a pair of islets in the Sea of Japan at 45.0 percent.

On the Japanese side, 55.7 percent said they have a poor view of South Korea because it continues to criticize Tokyo over wartime history, the survey showed.

The survey received responses from 1,000 people aged 18 or above in Japan and 1,006 people aged 19 or above in South Korea.

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The top reason for South Koreans viewing Japan in a negative light, was because "Tokyo is not correctly reflecting on its past history of aggression" to South Korea at 61.3 percent, followed by the existence of a territorial dispute over a pair of islets in the Sea of Japan at 45.0 percent.

This is precisely what happens when the anti-Japan nationalists continue to spread their misinformation propaganda among Koreans starting at a very young age. After all the numerous apologies by Japanese PM's going back three decades, and the two official apologies and compensation offerered to the Comfort Women, this is exactly what I mean when the anti-Japan do to Japan what they themselves accuse Japan of doing, whitewashing and distorting the historical record.

And even with all the "Boycott Japan" nonsense in South Korea, even with all the non-stop insults and attacks towards all things Japan by many South Koreans, Japanese opinions of South Korea actually improved and is far more considerate than South Koreans of Japan. Tells you all you need to know. During the height of the ridiculous "Boycott Japan" movement in South Korea, I had to laugh when some South Koreans claimed it was only directed at the Japanese government and not the people. When you boycott goods and services manufactured and offered by Japanese people, then you are attacking these very same people, not the government of Japan.

I eagerly await the opinions of Samit.

25 ( +49 / -24 )

The South Korean government is complicit in literally brainwashing their population with anti-Japan sentiment through their actions and historical revisionism. South Korean youth are taught all the "evils" of Japan. But they are not taught that Koreans fought for the Japanese Empire, or that the 1910 Annexation occurred because some Koreans were for it while some were against it. They do not teach that the some 200,000 Korean men in the Imperial Japanese military forces made use of the Comfort Women System. The South Korean government breaks treaties and agreements with Japan as if it's their God given right, and does nothing to stop the activists who are spreading that anti-JP sentiment around the world. The very CW activities are hypocritical considering the treatment of South Korean Comfort Women (yes that's what they are called in SKorea) who served US troops during the Korean War. Or they rapes of Vietnamese women by SK Troops during the Vietnam War.

South Korea is unilaterally disrupting the US-JPN-SK military alliance and it's about time they got their heads out of their rear ends or just go ask China to protect them. They already won't participate in FON exercises for fear of "provoking" China, which supports NKorea who kills SKoreans. But they will provoke Japan knowing that they are constitutionally constrained from doing anything. A cowardly nation with no credibility. Does the average South Korean know that this is how their governments actions paint their country in the world's eyes?

16 ( +38 / -22 )

When I see young generations of South Korea on TV, there is a big gap between them and their government. I expect things will turn better in due time. It is futile and unproductive to rewind the clock and revive hate. Not only between Japan and S. Korea, the world will fall in confusions, if they bring up issues in the past and begin arguing.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Hopefully younger Japanese and Koreans will come to realize they need not join their grandparents' fight.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

the reason for such poor relations between the two countries has to do with all the brainwashing of South Koreans. this is all because of South Korea(ns), not Japan(ese). they wanna bring Japan to their knees / do whatever they say but that’s not gonna happen so they keep playing the victim. in fact, ( being 2020 ) we could almost say, in a way, Japan is the victim and South Korea the aggressor. Japan wants to focus on the future and improve the relations but ( older ) SKoreans are not letting that happen.

and while we’re talking about this, millions of Japanese are watching Korean dramas and movies and millions of South Koreans are watching Japanese animation, movies and dramas. go figure.

14 ( +26 / -12 )

I’m not fond of SK. They keep bringing up this comfort women which Japan should have paid off years ago. SK’s government probably didn’t disperse the money to those who were suppose to receive it.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Make no mistake about it:

On top of the agenda for President Moon is to damage, dominate, humiliate Japan to the maximum extent possible. His hatred and jealousy toward Japan is rabid.

Ever since he has come to power he has soughts to propangandize hatred for Japan. His first obejctive was to industrialize a campaign to endless compensation on the pretext of WW2 events. One part of this was to shut down the Japanese supposrt fund for comfort women that still had millions of dollars in it to support the few remaining survivors, then Moon schemed to install the statues of victims all over including Berlin. Next came the outrageous legal ruling to seize the assests of Japanese companies in the ROK, something you might see in the Uganda of Idi Amin.

The theft of Takeshima, the radar-locking onto JSDF aircraft, the incessant mouthing off on Japaneese officials internal affairs visiting shrines must be stopped once and for all!

The appointment of the Yoo Myung-Hee as director general of the WTO will be an absolute disaster for Japan because in effect gives control of the WTO to president Moon, who is already salivating at the prospect of manufacturing policies to cripple Japan's trade.

To date I have seen nothing from Japan to effectively mitigate these attacks.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

I was neutral on this point. Because I’m not Japanese or Korean. But my family is Japanese, and the way this article is saying how South Koreans are boycotting Japan and how 61% of them view Japan negatively—now my favorability of S. Koreans has dropped a few percentage points.

12 ( +28 / -16 )

Not surprising at all. I thought the % would be closer to 95%. Brainwashed masses, simple as that. The younger Koreans are the most full of hatred to Japan.

Do these people not realize how Japan helped in the development of their nation? Can they not move on from events that took place almost a century ago? They have a chip on their collective shoulders, hate and are jealous of Japan, and constantly bully Japan for politucal gain.

It would be best if Korea just focussed on being a tribute state of their master, Communist China, while Japan grows more powerful and influential in the world.

12 ( +25 / -13 )

It is very sad to see all this hatred and dislike between Koreans and Japan,things are going wrong even around the world,instead of building a strong united Europe the UK separated and in countries like Ukraine and White Russia things are left in a Limbo,a new Russia Vs Nato cold conflict has begun and strong rivalry between the west and China have risen.

Humans instead of helping each other hand in hand and learn from the past are in constant hate.

In this specific case the South Korean government approached the whole thing in a wrong way using their propaganda to animate hate against Japan.

I’m against nationalisms from right and left wings and I consider myself a centrist,but these days you either gotta be full right or full left.

How sad,will we humans ever learn to put the past behind and work like brothers from the same Homo Sapiens Sapiens specie?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Another thing I find insulting is when certain people bemoan South Korea/Japan relationships and lecture Japanese people that they are the ones that need to open dialogue with South Koreans, as if it's Japan's fault.

I remember a South Korean celebrity stating that he hoped there would be open dialogue between Japanese and South Koreans to help bridge the perceived gap between them.

This poll, others similar to it, and boots on the ground anecdote prove that it's not Japanese that need to open dialogue, it's the South Koreans. Contrary to South Koreans, Japanese don't boycott Korean goods or engage in general such childish behavior. Japanese continued to eagerly consume South Korean products and embrace South Korean pop groups even at the height of the "Boycott Japan" nonsense.

Japanese people have no reason to open any dialogue with South Koreans, because again they are not the ones boycotting South Korean goods or espousing hatred towards them.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

I'm sure that 99% of Japanese couldn't care less what the Koreans think about them.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Koreans will never stop playing the victim and demanding money from Japan.

9 ( +36 / -27 )

Turning to China like South Korea is what got them to the position they are in now. Seems they didn't learn the first time when they crashed and burned. Japan is doing well into turning to other countries outside China and SK. Even a deal with the Russians is a much better gain than the other two but that's a last resort.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

"Maybe the pollsters should have asked the plane full of passengers on my last flight from Incheon to KIX their respective opinions?

As that is a short flight it is always full and there have been times when I’ve had to fly in business class, it has been the same-completely full!"

So what if the plane was loaded with Koreans coming to Japan?

JT is populated by 90% of anti everything Japanese related gaijin. Don't they actively refuse to leave,  notwithstanding that everywhere else is so much better?

So, no.

There's no point asking Korean travellers, same as it would be utterly pointless asking JT everything Japan detractors.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

SK is like a child crying and seeking attention, everyday is about whining for Japan war crimes and nothing else. How many time they need Japan to apology and compensate them? never-ending grumbling

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The Japan hatred has been pushed by successive Korean governments as a political weapon. I am really getting tired of it.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Lottsa racists in South Korea.

8 ( +26 / -18 )

It's not so bad for both sides to stay away from each other and cool heads down awhile. Keep some social distance with minimal diplomatic channel open. Better utilize limited diplomatic resources for something more meaningful.

I hate the cliche stating that the two should be cooperative or friendly simply because of cultural & geographical proximity. From Japan to travel westward, the SK is the most far away country.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Another day and yet another poll which states the obvious. It is time that Japan end this K drama once and for all. I see no reason why Japan should have any dealings with South Korea on any level. Japan should focus her diplomatic and economic energy on building ties with India, South East Asia, Europe and North America. South Korea is a waste of time.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Theres probably massive peer pressure and government pressure to see Japan in a bad light in Korea and China as well.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

S. Korea is like the perpetual 5 years old kid who's balls haven't dropped yet.. Always either bitching about something or looking for reasons to bitch about something. Powerless enough to prevent it from moving along and mind its own business without causing trouble. Grow a pair, Korea!

7 ( +15 / -8 )

I hate the cliche stating that the two should be cooperative or friendly simply because of cultural & geographical proximity. From Japan to travel westward, the SK is the most far away country.

Self-correction: westward (x) -- eastward/eastbound (o). In relatively lack of info and contacts, people don't usually hold strong emotional attachment or grudge against distant countries. Again, it's not so bad as the physical/social psychological distance enables us to see things in perspective and more prudently.

I still observe some "normative" drive by liberal-lean media and activists trying to promote "Japan-Korea friendship", which unfortunately doesn't reflect the wider public viewpoint. Some Japanese broadcasters keep featuring Korean culture or dramas in spite of low viewer rating while they may (mis) believe that media are responsible for enhancing the bilateral ties at any commercial cost, for no other reasons than "the closest neighbors must be friends"- creed.

Despite efforts and resource inputs, these promotion campaigns have made things worse, resulting in further mutual misunderstanding and hatred. This latest survey just proves that. Many and rising number of people have already got burnout and disinterested. Time to stop and think twice.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Desert Tortoise

when it comes to Japan’s military past and the atrocities they committed since the 19th century, it’s impossible to defend the Japanese. but... you talked about Hitler and the Nazis. excuse me, but if you want to make comparisons between post war Germany and Japan, things are not that simple. you do realize you talked about the most hated person of all time and the country responsible for two world wars and the worst event in human history (ww2). The Nazis killed millions of people and wanted to kill millions more, maybe billions. Germany deserves to be praised for what they did since 1945, but it was never that difficult. regarding Japan, things are more complex.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

KurukiToday  01:31 pm JST

They WANT to stabilize and even unite with NK. It's the larger global powers (US, Soviet Russia and China) that split the country in half. Global powers (especially Japan) don't want Korea to reunite because it will only make Korea even more economically powerful and competitive.

Ridiculous. Japan is the third largest economy in the world. If South and North Korea were to unite, it would take 50+ years to become economically stable. And that's with help from Japan along with other countries. Does anyone think South Korea today is the economic powerhouse that West Germany was? You are projecting South Korean inferiority complex onto Japan. And it's way off the mark.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Letsberealistic, resolution of past conflicts can only be achieved through releasing resentment, accepting atonement, fundamentally finding a process of absolution.

Honestly Japan is a peace loving people, my family here supports fully the constitution. Article 9...

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.

This is reason why.

Diplomacy, a suggestion would be, Royal Commission, free from political interference, give it time.

Over 80% of the J people were not even born, no rational individual would contend they are responsible.

Angry get you nowhere, quickly.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think SJ raises a fair and curial point regarding the education system.

How does a society, that on occasion would prefer to simply ignore the benefits of velitation when debating necessary historic injustices.

Silence is golden, however self defeating.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I lived in Korea, now over 50 years ago, and I still speak Korean. I was (blush) hooked on Kyeoul-yonga (Fuyu no Sonata). Koreans are easy to admire--and just as easy to find exasperating...Regarding Japan, there is a modern myth, with varying versions, north and south, which demonizes Japan.

Japan had little choice in becoming involved in Korea at at the end of the 19th century: Korea was in no condition to maintain its independence and was prey in particular to Czarist Russia. No one can claim that Japanese policy was consistently wise, enlightened, or altruistic, but the fact remains that Japan modernized the country and left a deep impact on institutions and practices, most of them positive. Korea's ongoing imitation of Japan is immediately obvious to anyone familiar with both countries. And yet Japan remains the country that Korea (or at least its government) loves to hate.

Not so long ago, Japan was wallowing in cultural narcissism. Does anyone remember 日本人論? Things have changed--I think remarkably--for the better. And the wild-eyed political fanatics, both left and right, seem to have largely faded away. South Korea will, one hopes, change too. I have personally observed how South Koreans' self-absorption (along with outright xenophobia) has eased up over the years, but there's still a long way to go.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Not China or Sk bt Quad plus ASEAN plus Taiwan Manchuria Xiangjiang Tibet Hongkong will b the next thing

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@oldman13 & ossan

well said - spot on !

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Boycott Japan

S Koreans try not to boycott things made in Japan any more. Many Koreans woke up. Some news reported they start to buy more Japanese things recently, especially high class people buy more Japanese cars. They must be now very sick and tired of ever boycotting.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

All democratic governments need a soft target to blame their failures and the country's problems on. Be it immigrants or minorities or external enemies. South Korea's leaders will similarly keep the boogeyman of Japan's wartime past alive.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The Government of japan has never made any attempt at advanced missile development. Let a alone launch ballistic missiles in the sea close to there neighbors.

Can that be said for North Korea?

A yet President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in gushed in a recent interview of his vision and dream of a complete Korean Peninsula *polic*y.

Kim Jong-un Supreme Leader of North Korea , has committed unspeakable human right abuses and atrocities to his own people.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

SJToday  05:43 pm JST

It is all rooted in the Galapagos syndrome of Japan. The propaganda of the Japanese government does work only within Japan, and many Japanese do not know what people in other countries think about them. Japan has successfully brainwashed the obedient Japanese people with distortion of history by assuming themselves as a victim rather than an aggressor.

The historical revisionism and anti-Japan agenda taught in the South Korean schools is the problem. Some non-brainwashed South Korean students have even spoken out about it.

"Public high school teachers in Seoul forced students to engage in “anti-Japan” acts, such as holding posters that say “Japan must apologize” at a school marathon event, two of the school’s students said at a press conference they held to protest the teachers’ behavior.

The teachers belong to the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union, which supports the administration of President Moon Jae-in. Local newspapers are criticizing the teachers’ behavior, with the JoongAng Ilbo daily calling it “politically biasededucation.

According to South Korean media reports, teachers at Inhun High School in southern Seoul ordered students to make posters calling for a boycott of Japanese products prior to the marathon event held on Oct. 17. On the day of the event, they were forced to shout slogans such as “Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party should collapse,” referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe."

https://asianews.network/2019/10/28/south-korean-high-school-students-protest-teachers-forcing-anti-japan-acts/

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Maybe the pollsters should have asked the plane full of passengers on my last flight from Incheon to KIX their respective opinions?

As that is a short flight it is always full and there have been times when I’ve had to fly in business class, it has been the same-completely full!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

AkieToday 07:34 am JST

I hope SK, Japan and China can unite this year to form economic core for the sake of humanity. It only take one smart Japanese to do that, only one.

Wrong on many levels.

SK and Japan will never join China to form an economic core and if they did it would not be for the "sake of humanity".

China is untrustworthy and trying to build it's hegemony and make other nations colonial colonies of China.

I could go on but wont.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

letsberealisticToday  11:51 am JST

Please stop the victim blaming. 'Japan already apologized' = well if that's the case why not SHOW you are sorry rather than just 'saying' it Japan. If you commit an atrocity against another country you don't just get to say 'sorry' a few days and expect everyone to forget it, or deny it, forever.

Let's be realistic.

June 22, 1965: Minister of Foreign Affairs Shiina Etsusaburo said to the people of South Korea: "In our two countries' long history there have been unfortunate times, it is truly regrettable and we are deeply remorseful" (Signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea).

August 26, 1982: Chief Cabinet Secretary Kiichi Miyazawa said to the people of the Republic of Korea: "1. The Japanese Government and the Japanese people are deeply aware of the fact that acts by our country in the past caused tremendous suffering and damage to the peoples of Asian countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) .Japan has recognized, in the Japan-ROK Joint Communique, of 1965, that the 'past relations are regrettable, and Japan feels deep remorse.

September 6, 1984: Emperor Hirohito said to President Chun Doo Hwan: "It is indeed regrettable that there was an unfortunate past between us for a period in this century and I believe that it should not be repeated again." (Meeting with President Chun Doo Hwan.)

April 18, 1990: Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Nakayama said to the people of South Korea: "Japan is deeply sorry for the tragedy in which these (Korean) people were moved to Sakhalin not of their own free will but by the design of the Japanese government and had to remain there after the conclusion of the war" (188th National Diet Session Lower House Committee of Foreign Affairs).

May 24, 1990: Emperor Akihito, in a meeting with President Roh Tae Woo, said: "Reflecting upon the suffering that your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by our nation, I cannot but feel the deepest remorse" (Meeting with President Roh Tae Woo).[13]

May 25, 1990: Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, in a meeting with President Roh Tae Woo, said: "I would like to take the opportunity here to humbly reflect upon how the people of the Korean Peninsula went through unbearable pain and sorrow as a result of our country's actions during a certain period in the past and to express that we are sorry" (Summit meeting with President Roh Tae Woo in Japan).[14]

January 1, 1992: Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, in a press conference, said: "Concerning the comfort women, I apologize from the bottom of my heart and feel remorse for those people who suffered indescribable hardships".

January 16, 1992: Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, in a speech at dinner with President Roh Tae Woo, said: "We the Japanese people, first and foremost, have to bear in our mind the fact that your people experienced unbearable suffering and sorrow during a certain period in the past because of our nation's act, and never forget the feeling of remorse. I, as a prime minister, would like to once again express a heartfelt remorse and apology to the people of your nation".[15]

January 17, 1992: Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, at a policy speech on a visit to South Korea, said:. "What we should not forget about relationship between our nation and your nation is a fact that there was a certain period in the thousands of years of our company when we were the victimizer and you were the victim. I would like to once again express a heartfelt remorse and apology for the unbearable suffering and sorrow that you experienced during this period because of our nation's act." Recently the issue of the so-called 'wartime comfort women' is being brought up. I think that incidents like this are seriously heartbreaking, and I am truly sorry"

July 6, 1992. Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato said: "The Government again would like to express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called 'wartime comfort women,' irrespective of their nationality or place of birth. With profound remorse and determination that such a mistake must never be repeated, Japan will maintain its stance as a pacifist nation and will endeavor to build up new future-oriented relations with the Republic of Korea and with other countries and regions in Asia. As I listen to many people, I feel truly grieved for this issue. By listening to the opinions of people from various directions, I would like to consider sincerely in what way we can express our feelings to those who suffered such hardship" (Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato on the Issue of the so-called "Wartime Comfort Women" from the Korean Peninsula).[17]

August 4, 1993: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yōhei Kōno said: "Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women" (Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women"),[18]

August 11, 1993: Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, at the first press conference after his inauguration, said: "I myself believe it was a war of aggression, a war that was wrong".[19]

August 23, 1993: Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa said in a speech at the 127th National Diet Session: "After 48 years from then, our nation has become one of nations that enjoy prosperity and peace. We must not forget that it is founded on the ultimate sacrifices in the last war, and a product of the achievements of the people of the previous generations. We would like to take this opportunity to clearly express our remorse for the past and a new determination to the world. Firstly at this occasion, we would like to express our deep remorse and apology for the fact that invasion and colonial rule by our nation in the past brought to bear great sufferings and sorrow upon many people" .[20]

September 24, 1993: Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa said, at the 128th National Diet Session:. "I used the expression war of aggression and act of aggression to express honestly my recognition which is the same as the one that the act of our nation in the past brought to bear unbearable sufferings and sorrow upon many people, and to express once again deep remorse and apology".[21]

August 31, 1994: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said in a speech: "Japan's actions in a certain period of the past not only claimed numerous victims here in Japan but also left the peoples of neighboring Asia and elsewhere with scars that are painful even today. I am thus taking this opportunity to state my belief, based on my profound remorse for these acts of aggression, colonial rule, and the like caused such unbearable suffering and sorrow for so many people, that Japan's future path should be one of making every effort to build world peace in line with my no-war commitment. It is imperative for us Japanese to look squarely to our history with the peoples of neighboring Asia and elsewhere. Only with solid basis of mutual understanding and confidence that can be built through overcoming the pain on both sides, can we and the peoples of neighboring countries together clear up the future of Asia-Pacific.... On the issue of wartime 'comfort women,' which seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women, I would like to take this opportunity once again to express my profound and sincere remorse and apologies. With regard to this issue as well, I believe that one way of demonstrating such feelings of apologies and remorse is to work to further promote mutual understanding with the countries and areas concerned as well as to face squarely to the past and ensure that it is rightly conveyed to future generations. This initiative, in this sense, has been drawn up consistent with such belief" (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the "Peace, Friendship, and Exchange Initiative").[22]

June 9, 1995: House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan passed a resolution stating: "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, this House offers its sincere condolences to those who fell in action and victims of wars and similar actions all over the world. Solemnly reflecting upon many instances of colonial rule and acts of aggression in the modern history of the world, and recognizing that Japan carried out those acts in the past, inflicting pain and suffering upon the peoples of other countries, especially in Asia, the Members of this House express a sense of deep remorse" (Resolution to renew the determination for peace on the basis of lessons learned from history).[23]

July 1995: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said in a statement: "The problem of the so-called wartime comfort women is one such scar, which, with the involvement of the Japanese military forces of the time, seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women. This is entirely inexcusable. I offer my profound apology to all those who, as wartime comfort women, suffered emotional and physical wounds that can never be closed" (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the occasion of the establishment of the "Asian Women's Fund").[24]

August 15, 1995: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said in a statement: "During a certain period in the not-too-distant past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asia. In the hope that no such mistake will be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humanity, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology" (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama 'On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end').[25]

June 23, 1996: Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said in a press conference: "Hashimoto mentioned the aspects of Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula such as the forced Japanization of Korean people's name and commented "It is beyond imagination how this injured the hearts of Korean people". Hashimoto also touched on the issue of Korean comfort women and said "Nothing injured the honor and dignity of women more than this and I would like to extend words of deep remorse and the heartfelt apology" (Joint press conference at summit meeting with President Kim Young Sam in South Korea).[26]

October 8, 1996: Emperor Akihito said in a speech at a dinner with the South Korean president, Kim Dae Jung: "There was a period when our nation brought to bear great sufferings upon the people of the Korean Peninsula." "The deep sorrow that I feel over this will never be forgotten".

October 8, 1998: Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi said in a declaration: "Looking back on the relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea during this century, Prime Minister Obuchi regarded in a spirit of humility the fact of history that Japan caused, during a certain period in the past, tremendous damage and suffering to the people of the Republic of Korea through its colonial rule, and expressed his deep remorse and heartfelt apology for this fact. President Kim accepted with sincerity this statement of Prime Minister Obuchi's recognition of history and expressed his appreciation for it. He also expressed his view that the present calls upon both countries to overcome their unfortunate history and to build a future-oriented relationship based on reconciliation as well as good-neighborly and friendly cooperation" (Japan-South Korea Joint Declaration A New Japan-South Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century).[31]

October 15, 2001: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said: "During the talks, President Kim highly appreciated the words of the Prime Minister Koizumi at Sodaemun Independence Park, in which he expressed remorse and apology for Japan's colonial domination" (Japanese prime minister visits South Korea).

2001: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (Also signed by all the prime ministers since 1995, including Ryutaro Hashimoto, Keizō Obuchi, Yoshirō Mori) said in a letter: "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future. I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations" (Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women).[38]

September 17, 2002: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said: "The Japanese side regards, in a spirit of humility, the facts of history that Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of Korea through its colonial rule in the past, and expressed deep remorse and heartfelt apology" (Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration).

We can go on and on. The 2015 allegedly irreversible Comfort Women Agreement also included an apology from PM Shinzo Abe.

5 ( +19 / -14 )

Well long rule of SK by china has instill the middle kingdom disorder in genes of SK people thats y they want to re write History well except in SK all other countries in the world with exception of CCP know n learn real history war its cause

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Brainwashed crybabies!

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The only neighbor that loves Japan, and bears no grudges from events up to a century ago, is Taiwan. This is the great nation Japan should build their relationship with - diplomatically, economically and militarily.

All the other neighbors can just shut their mouth.

Dont trust them, don't need them.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Meanwhile, Japanese TV channels are full of weepy Korean dramas, so there are some cultural exchanges going on at least. Both countries could benefit economically from more amicable relations, but perhaps it's not to be. At least nobody's shooting at each other. If you're going to dislike somebody, keep it non-violent.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As a Japanese ethnic myself who have many Korean colleagues at work, I have to say that my experience has been really different.

A lot of my Korean colleagues loved Japan, it's people and culture. They relate to Japanese people a lot in terms of mannerism and values. But one thing they dislike is how the Japanese government approached the Korea-Japan relationship. They know that their government has been corrupt as well, resulting in poor approach to the situation.

I know it's easy to hate from reading these articles, but hate on hate really doesn't improve anything. I wonder if any of the commenters above have Korean friends...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Never saw any animosity between Koreans and Japanese that I’ve met.

I have. I’ve heard some disgusting things said about Koreans from Japanese and vice versa. It isn’t on the same level as Chinese and Japanese in my experience, but it’s still ugly.

Plenty of it on this site, but a lot of it is coming from the same people with multiple accounts.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

South Koreans

Would never tell you how they feel about Japan in person, to your face. Never!

Always a smile on the face, always playing nice in front of the Japanese... That's not the true feelings of the Korean deep down.

That's not the real emotions of the Korean towards Japan. Those emotions rise up when Koreans among themselves start talking, start planning, find weakness and apologiest back in Japan to give them what they want.

South Korea spoiled after decades of apologies and compensation, spoiled by a Yes! JAPAN. Yes to everything Korea wants including the Dokdo Island, 50 apologies, $5 Billion dollars paid in today money.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The result of the poll is hardly a surprise or revelation.

It is a disappoint, and frustrating that a Country/People/Government so technically advanced, politically seemingly is unable or unwilling to absolve, or exonerate the People of Japan.

The effect on the next generation could be a poisonous dissension.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Cogito Ergo SumToday  04:59 pm JST

As for Joining with NK? It's a hard and complex problem best left in abeyance for the time.

Indeed. The South has a "Ministry of Reunification" in it's government. The North has a preamble to their constitution which declares the national goal of reunifying the Korean Peninsula under the Kim regime's rule. The financial burden for South Korea to "unify" with the economic basket case North is beyond imagination. And that's if the political and social issues can be overcome. To claim that Japan, the arguably most apolitical major nation, with the exception of it's relationship with the US is trying to "keep Korea from unifying" is, as stated, ridiculous.

JimizoToday  04:20 pm JST

You are projecting South Korean inferiority complex onto Japan

Ossan, you are truly bitter on this subject.

Please refrain from making snide personal attacks if you have nothing to contribute to the discussion.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan is always in a defence position when SK spreads out its propaganda. Japan also does not publicly admonish SK on its education propaganda against Japan. Just recently I realized Arirang TV (that SK government propaganda channel) will use a new satellite in Europe for its program so there were links to koreaDOTnet about this station in forums but when clicked on the direct link you are rerouted to the welcome page with information about Dokdo, the East Sea, the comfot women and Japanese aggressiontowards Korean... Just despiteful. Therefore those unfavorable survey numbers come to no surprise. Much worse I think is the ongoing false information to the world from SK while Japan stays in a defending position only and with just boring facts can hardly compete about the volume SK uses.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The recipients are not even graded by age and the sample size is far too small to reflect what the majority of Koreans or Japanese think.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@tokyo-engr

You are correct.

I have often been to Korea too and it is unrepresentative polls like this that give a misleading impression that may seek to keep people apart or is that a conspiratorial thought?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I once had a Japanese person get angry at me on LINE because I said something good about Korea during the “boycott Korea” movement last year. How dare I say good things about Korea - we should boycott everything Korean... she ranted to me, missing the complete irony that she was using LINE, owned by Korean Naver.

1 ( +17 / -16 )

@kurisupisu: Scientifically you’re right. The sample size of 1,000 is way too small for meaningful results. I would also like to know the age distribution and results by age group also. I’ve been going to Korea almost monthly for nearly 20 years and my observation (also not a valid reflection of the group’s feelings) is the same as yours.

It is sad as I like people from bothe countries and also see if Japan and Korea teamed up it would be an amazingly powerful alliance.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is precisely what happens when the anti-Japan nationalists continue to spread their misinformation propaganda among Koreans starting at a very young age.

Incorrect. according to the article above, last years poll showed more South Koreans with a positive view of Japanese, that the Japanese had of South Koreans.

South Koreans who have good feelings of Japan fell by 19.4 points to 12.3 percent

So last year it was at 31.7% for South Koreans liking Japan

Among Japanese, views on South Korea have slightly improved from last year, those having good feelings climbing to 25.9 percent from 20 percent,

So last year it was only 20% For Japanese liking South Koreans

Perhaps last year it was people saying that anti-South Korean Nationalists continue to spread disinformation propaganda among Japanese starting at a very young age.

Statements like that only fan the problems between the two countries and do both a disservice.

The "like" factor seems to be fluid and driven by Nationalists on both sides and revolves around past and present disputes. There needs to be a way to get past issues and back to restoring good relations and trust on "both" sides. It will not be done by treaty, but by people, common ground and building relationships.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Government of japan has never made any attempt at advanced missile development. Let a alone launch ballistic missiles in the sea close to there neighbors.

Japan launches rockets into space. This is technology easily transferable/usable for a missile program. Some would say it is even more advanced than just developing missiles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Something has to be done to improve the ties, as simple as that.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

I sometimes feel South Korea is more democratic than Japan. Their loud voices topple the government easily and send their former presidents to jail often. In other word, the government is weak and unstable. Probably, power struggle is hard in South Korea. They have to check trend of public opinions carefully and answer the violent emotions of people. So, Moon's concern is answering the voices of their own people and relationship with Japan is next. This may not be true democracy but populism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan did some incredibly horrible things during the war, unit 731 comes to mind, but SK is not one to speak as they let crazy NK exist to threaten the entire world due to their lack of action.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The affairs of men are only tangentially affected by logic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ saisku

Japan did some incredibly horrible things during the war, unit 731 comes to mind, but SK is not one to speak as they let crazy NK exist to threaten the entire world due to their lack of action.

Correction - They WANT to stabilize and even unite with NK. It's the larger global powers (US, Soviet Russia and China) that split the country in half. Global powers (especially Japan) don't want Korea to reunite because it will only make Korea even more economically powerful and competitive.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Japan's economic rise to its position deserves plaudits. But, it's a process that is being replicated all over.

Remember the " cheap " tag on Japanese cars and electronics in the US and Europe ? Well, Taiwan went through the same, so is/did China and am of the opinion that the ones who really shed blood, sweat and tears are....the SKs. Even today , with its 50M population ( less than 0.5% of Japan) , the country is an economic hard- hitter.

As for Joining with NK? It's a hard and complex problem best left in abeyance for the time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The survey received responses from 1,000 people aged 18 or above in Japan and 1,006 people aged 19 or above in South Korea.

Not reflective of either societies, at all!

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I am an American with Japanese wife and kids. Occasionally I fly over to Seoul to visit. I noticed that they play American rap music in the grocery stores full blast. Very hard to shop to. But the little old ladies seemed not to notice.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The two nations are going to allow the past to ruin both of their futures should they fail to bury the hatchet. China is going to dominant them both when they should be putting up a united front for their mutual defense.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It is all rooted in the Galapagos syndrome of Japan. The propaganda of the Japanese government does work only within Japan, and many Japanese do not know what people in other countries think about them. Japan has successfully brainwashed the obedient Japanese people with distortion of history by assuming themselves as a victim rather than an aggressor. In the future, once escaping from the Galapagos, they may teach a truthful history to future generations, and allow more freedom for the Japanese press.

https://rsf.org/en/japan

The education system of Japan has been notorious in the world. The problem lies in Japanese history education in school, not in Korean schools.

For example,

Absent is a complete record of her imperial ambitions in the neighboring countries of China and Korea, of her provocation and slaughter in the former, and subjugation of the latter.

But old habits are hard to break. Effective authority seeped back to the Ministry in the 1950s and '60s as it took increasing advantage of a textbook screening law passed in 1949 for the original purpose of preventing the inclusion of ultranationalist indoctrination in teaching material. Turning this authority on its head, the Ministry eventually applied it to weaken textbooks' descriptions of Japan's wartime deeds. The Ministry also started. to supply local school districts with textbooks free of charge. Today, the local boards are free to decline a particular text, but only from a selection approved by Tokyo. The national government remains firmly in control of the material taught throughout the land.

https://www.heritage.org/asia/report/the-pearl-harbor-anniversary-japan-still-says-dont-blame-me

(.pdf version is available there)

University student Mayako Shibata told McClatchyDC in 2014 she "can’t remember any class where she learned why the attack on Pearl Harbor happened.

https://www.ranker.com/list/how-pearl-harbor-is-taught-in-japan/kellen-perry

After decades of obfuscation, Japan stated today for the first time that bungling within the Foreign Ministry 53 years ago was responsible for Japan's failure to declare war on the United States before launching its attack on Pearl Harbor.

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/21/world/japan-admits-it-bungled-notice-of-war-in-41.html

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

ReasonandWisdomNippon: "South Koreans Would never tell you how they feel about Japan in person, to your face. Never! Always a smile on the face, always playing nice in front of the Japanese... That's not the true feelings of the Korean deep down."

Funny, cause if you swap the names it's actually Japan you are talking about, and not SK. The difference is, I don't know any Koreans that ask Japanese what they think of SK, I only know Japanese who ask everyone what they think of Japanese, then smile, play nice in front of them, and turn around and complain and make articles like this, or if it's praise print it on the front page of every paper.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I like Korean girls.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  01:30 pm JST

> It is a disappoint, and frustrating that a Country/People/Government so technically advanced, politically seemingly is unable or unwilling to absolve, or exonerate the People of Japan.

Why should they?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Fighto!Today  01:09 pm JST

The only neighbor that loves Japan, and bears no grudges from events up to a century ago, is Taiwan. This is the great nation Japan should build their relationship with - diplomatically, economically and militarily.

All the other neighbors can just shut their mouth.

Dont trust them, don't need them.

You clearly lack an appreciation of history and how it affects relations today.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Japan's attitude and actions towards its neighbors and other people in general is one of condenscensions. Liberally applying disingenuity and double-speak ,confident in their own self conceit that, others have no brain capacity to know or understand because they ( others) are lesser beings.

Many of the apologies issued were given out in moments of expediency, convenience and flinching recalls of horrors of defeat in ww2. No sincerity whatsoever!! I do understand why such incidents flare up from time to time.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Taiwan doesn't 'love Japan', @fighto. This is a myth.

The older generations especially don't "love Japan'.

And why would Koreans view Japan favourably, really?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

It's funny you don't at all see the irony in your statements on SK -- which always come at 7:00 a.m. (or earlier), ensuring you jump on to set an anti-Korean tone before anyone can even read the article. And yet you support a government here that removes references to sexual slavery from textbooks students use, you know, "starting at a very young age", and spout the same propaganda they do. Well done on proving the pot calls the kettle black.

It’s the same names and weird flurries of thumbs-up/down on these topics.

I can pretty much predict every name that will pop-up on these stories and the number of votes. They come in fours or fives at a time.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Government polls? Yeah, okay, I believe it. I haven’t seen any S.Korean who dislikes Japanese.

oldman_13, spot on.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

oldman_13: "This is precisely what happens when the anti-Japan nationalists continue to spread their misinformation propaganda among Koreans starting at a very young age."

It's funny you don't at all see the irony in your statements on SK -- which always come at 7:00 a.m. (or earlier), ensuring you jump on to set an anti-Korean tone before anyone can even read the article. And yet you support a government here that removes references to sexual slavery from textbooks students use, you know, "starting at a very young age", and spout the same propaganda they do. Well done on proving the pot calls the kettle black.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Over 80% of the J people were not even born, no rational individual would contend they are responsible.

No doubt it's the remaining 20% geezers, who are the problem for Japan. Since they're the ones who hold real power thus the major opinion shapers....and nolstagic about twhat had been the dai nihon teikoku.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Genetically the Koreans are very close to Japanese -they are close cousins-maybe, that is why they have similar views..

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Never saw any animosity between Koreans and Japanese that I’ve met.

Somebody wants a fight.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Somehow, Japan and South Korea are stuck in some kind of historical antagonism, now their relationship is sinking further, with almost three-quarter South Korean view Japan unfavorably. The thorny comfort women issue remains unsolved, it would be most difficult to bring the two nations any closer in the near future.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

You are projecting South Korean inferiority complex onto Japan

Ossan, you are truly bitter on this subject.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Please stop the victim blaming. 'Japan already apologized' = well if that's the case why not SHOW you are sorry rather than just 'saying' it Japan. If you commit an atrocity against another country you don't just get to say 'sorry' a few days and expect everyone to forget it, or deny it, forever.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

So?

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Until the leadership of Japan either repudiates the Yasukuni shrine or removes the convicted war criminals from it and until the Japanese leadership revises Japanese textbooks to tell the truth about Japan's butchery from the late 1800s onward till their defeat in September 1945 trust will be hard to find for Japan. The presence of those war criminals and the disgusting prayers said over their wretched bodies by Japanese so-called leaders is an offense to all the people who's families suffered or died trying to end Japan's reign of terror. Germany has fully repudiated its past and teaches its people the truth. No German politician would dare make an official visit to Hitler's grave and say a prayer over it. But the Japanese are blind to the offence they make by praying at the graves of their own barbarous war criminals. The South Koreans have good reason to dislike the Japanese. So do all the allies from WWII but for geopolitical reasons the US and other western nations cultivate Japan as a hedge against even greater enemies, the old USSR now Russia and today it is China. Japan has a long way to go to earn the trust and respect the Germans have today and they need to follow the example of the Germans very carefully.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

So?

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

I hope SK, Japan and China can unite this year to form economic core for the sake of humanity. It only take one smart Japanese to do that, only one.

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

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