politics

Japan-S Korea row over history, trade deepens as man dies of immolation in Seoul

84 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Joyce Lee

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84 Comments

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Sad that someone with obvious mental problems also bought into all the right wing rhetoric and hate and revenge filled politics and felt he had to do this.

South Korea should consider the negative effects of raising a generation of people hell bent on blaming my dead grandfather for what he did when he was 15.

28 ( +41 / -13 )

And here we go...

What had been relatively peaceful protests and demonstrations, is now being escalated no doubt with the encouragement of anti-Japanese nationalists throughout South Korea.

The next steps will be burning of Japanese flags, violent marches with clashes against riot police, and destruction of Japanese products and possibly Japanese businesses.

These people know no bounds in their quest to gain world sympathy and support against those 'evil' and 'unrepentant' Japanese. Throw in the "b-b-but Japanese have 'never' apologized" and we're in business.

Good lord.

33 ( +44 / -11 )

Reminds me of the movie "The never ending story".

18 ( +22 / -4 )

" I prepared for the sentence thinking of rebuilding this country" said A supreme court judge who soon retired after making this what a poster here kept calling " the landmark court decision" in 2012.

I wonder what he has in his mind now looking at this mess breaking down the country rather than rebuilding it.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Reminds me of the movie "The never ending story

I know, right!? I love that scene where Atreyu set his dog-dragon on fire and sat on it just outside the home of the Giant turtle.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So a Japanese minister is asking a representative of a foreign government to ask his government to overrule the independent judiciary of his country to save Japan losing face at the WTO?

-25 ( +9 / -34 )

Good for Japan. Summoning the South Korean Ambassador in Tokyo and reading him the riot act over the issue. If he does not follow orders, expel him and all SK diplomatic staff from Japan . It is just a matter of time before we see mass anti-Japan rallies on the streets of Seoul, attacks on Japanese businesses, damage of Japanese cars etc.

Moon - overturn that court ruling NOW to stop your nations economy being destroyed.

20 ( +31 / -11 )

@expat Today 01:09 pm JST

So a Japanese minister is asking a representative of a foreign government to ask his government to overrule the independent judiciary of his country to save Japan losing face at the WTO?

You need to clarify your own objection. Is it because:

1) You feel the Korean ruling has merit?

2) Is it because you feel the Korean ruling is meritless but nevertheless is unchallengeable?

Let me know which one is closer to your position so I know how to expend my breath.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

How would a Japanese ambassador or the Japanese government respond to a similar "request"?

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

Unfortunately mental health illness is hidden under the carpet in SK, and tragedies like this occur hourly in that country, as in this case with this deeply mentally disturbed individual. SK still has a long, long, long way to go before joining the big boys as proven by the fact that these mental problems appear to have compromised even their government.

Sad, but this is entirely the fault of the SK government for failing to tackle mental health illness.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

People didn't believe me that mental sickness is a problem worldwide.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

70 year man set himself on fire accidentally as there a lot of gasoline in the car. It seems he was supposed to set fire on the Embassy. He got badly burn injury but he is still alive in the hospital.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

@expatToday 01:16 pm JST

How would a Japanese ambassador or the Japanese government respond to a similar "request"?

As far as I know, it hasn't been tried, and the reason it hasn't been tried is because the Japanese government and judiciary are more aware of their international obligations. You may remember how the airbase noise claims were solved by the court finding illegality and making the Japanese government pay compensation, yet say they can't force the Americans out because they don't have jurisdiction. As long as you don't bother other nations, you can do what you want.

Or Sunagawa. While leftists have complained, it is undeniable the final solution - refraining from declaring unconstitutionality, ensured Japan did not have to breach any treaty commitments.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

A guy stupid enough to burn himself almost to death over a trade dispute. Darwin.

I'm glad this article didn't go too in-depth into to the historical hoo-haw about WWII, comfort women and compensation yadda yadda which accompanies every news article related to J and SK.

25 ( +28 / -3 )

Seems to me that that fire was meant for the Japanese embassy in a terrorist attack. Glad he self-thwarted his own attack and this embarrassingly incompetent terrorist was caught alive to face justice

16 ( +21 / -5 )

So a Japanese minister is asking a representative of a foreign government to ask his government to overrule the independent judiciary of his country to save Japan losing face at the WTO?

No, the Japanese government is asking the South Korean government to comply with the terms of the 1965 treaty, a treaty which the South Korean government willingly signed, but is now refusing to uphold.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

SK is not a good country with good faith. They are like NK

15 ( +22 / -7 )

Insurance scam? "He died for the country, y'know? Now pay up!"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This poor guy got sold out by his country’s ineptitude. If they hadn’t completely bungled things up, he wouldn’t have had to be so frustrated about the current state of events.

They really need to figure out what it is they’re demanding so that this issue can get resolved.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Unfortunately, it seems that SK leadership is beholden to older citizens who refuse to move on from the past. But, there is no benefit to the SK people in their govt fighting over this issue. As evil as the Japanese were to them 75 years ago it doesn't really affect the people now, and ought to be left in the past.

SK, get on with positive progress now for the sake of your citizens.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Nam responded that South Korea was working every day to create an environment where the lawsuits could be dealt with in a way that would be acceptable to both sides and not harm bilateral ties.

Needs a lot more work.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

There are certain places in Japan where Korean laborers were worked to death. Some of these sites have restricted access which prevents Koreans paying ‘respects’ at a place where their ancestors died.

As ancestor worship is part of Confucian culture this action is deeply disturbing to those relatives.

Do we really imagine that the Japanese of this generation are really slightly sympathetic to the plight of the Korea s?

If they are, then they are not showing it!

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

Why can't Abe and Moon work things out like adults instead of letting things escalate like this ?

I wonder who is benefitting from this whole ugly situation.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I can't figure out if this man should be considered patriotic or just a plain idiot.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Japan stop yr bullying with trump, don't U see u are being played ???.

-23 ( +1 / -24 )

Those who are still at this point criticizing Japan's export curb had better clarify on behalf of those lunatic Koreans who might set fire on themselves or on embassy, what is it making you hysteric about Japan treating SK in the same way as Japan does every single other Asian nations?

I am asking you this, as it is only those 3 materials for now but it's just matter of less than a month SK would be out of list completely.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I read the reparations agreement, and did more research, Japan has paid quite a bit of money, yet the Korean government according to records denied payment to the victims and instead spent the money on major infrastructure projects while denying Japan a proposition to direct payments to the victims such as possibly the above man who chose to take this action instead. I hope this is resolved soon for both countries and people.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

There are certain places in Japan where Korean laborers were worked to death. Some of these sites have restricted access which prevents Koreans paying ‘respects’ at a place where their ancestors died.

Many years ago there was a documentry about these sites. These sites are just open unmarked ground, and local people actually tell their childen not to play there.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If Japan really wants closureto put an end to this then it should be contacting the victims directly!

Does Japan want world public opinion on its side or not?

There should be huge publicity and a ceremony in Korea where the victims are publicly compensated-every time anybody attempts to gouge more money then it can be shown on NHK.

There is a Japanese embassy in Seoul that needs to do some work.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

!So a Japanese minister is asking a representative of a foreign government to ask his government to overrule the independent judiciary of his country to save Japan losing face at the WTO?"

No, the Japanese minster is asking the Korean government to submit the dispute to international arbitration .

9 ( +11 / -2 )

If Japan really wants closureto put an end to this then it should be contacting the victims directly!

Japan did that. It was called the treaty of 1965. Korean welched.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Everything was settled and compensated in the 1965 agreement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

But many Koreans don't want to hear the truth: their government is completely corrupt...

20 ( +22 / -2 )

I was in Seoul in 1974, right after a N. Korean agent from Osaka attempted to assassinate Park Chung-hee, and they were going crazy back then too. They were chopping off their fingers with cleavers and writing protests in blood on a Japanese flag in front of Seoul central station. Koreans certainly have a flair for the dramatic!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@Vernon Watts

Everything was settled and compensated in the 1965 agreement. 

The term like "everything" is legally impossible and meaningless. The scope should be specified to be effective as a treaty. It is impossible either logically or legally to pay money for damage while not admitting any damage.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

@NCIS Reruns

I was in Seoul in 1974, right after a N. Korean agent from Osaka attempted to assassinate Park Chung-hee, and they were going crazy back then too. They were chopping off their fingers with cleavers and writing protests in blood on a Japanese flag in front of Seoul central station. Koreans certainly have a flair for the dramatic!

Sounds like at least better than kamikaze.

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

2019 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX

Ranking: Japan (67) / US(48) / S.Korea(41)

Be careful of fake news.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

@rgcivilian1

I read the reparations agreement, and did more research, Japan has paid quite a bit of money, yet the Korean government according to records denied payment to the victims and instead spent the money on major infrastructure projects while denying Japan a proposition to direct payments to the victims such as possibly the above man who chose to take this action instead. I hope this is resolved soon for both countries and people.

Was it reparation agreement? You even did not read the name of agreement. Read the title of the agreement: "Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation".

The money was paid for economic cooperation, not for reparation, as Japan never admitted any wrongdoing or damage during the WWII.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

I read this;

Police and fire officials both declined to comment on the man's possible motivations, citing ongoing investigations.

Probably best to allow an investigation to be carried out prior to speculating.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

South Korea has rejected third-country arbitration and Kono said Seoul must take swift measures to correct what Japan says was an improper ruling last year by South Korea's Supreme Court ordering two Japanese firms to compensate the wartime workers.

Why is SK rejecting a third-country arbitration?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Courtesy of Wiki:

In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty. The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that the Japanese government actually proposed to the South Korean government to directly compensate individual victims but it was the South Korean government which insisted that it would handle individual compensation to its citizens and then received the whole amount of grants on behalf of the victims.[10][11][12]

......South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty.[12]

No wonder Korea refuses to go third party arbitration. LOL.

Korean government should NOT BE TRUSTED. Japan has been manipulated by Korea for 50 years. Good on Abe to stand up to them.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@ rgcivilian1

Did you read the San Francisco Peace Treaty ? Korea was not part of it, so the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea came after. The necessity of a further agreement was stated in the San Francisco one, in the articles regarding territories occupied and damaged by Japan, maritime and fishing rules .

So there is no mention of compensation being paid in the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea. It seems it is in the negotiations part that it has been discussed and that is between countries. Regarding the binding of individuals, around the world the precedence are kind of contradictory. And you have to take in account the Sovereign Immunity before the post war constitution (thought precedence could broke it in some case but still contradictory).

= Can individual sue Japanese as a country ? Difficult to know but that will most likely need going far up.

In the case, we are talking about, no state is involved so that is irrelevant. In precedence, Japanese court go for the statute of limitation not these treaty when they had to deal with individual against company.

You should also look about the unpaid wages by companies :

https://web.archive.org/web/20070225091519/http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9703

https://web.archive.org/web/20070222234540/http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2005012450398&path_dir=20050124 - Japan's passive legalism, 3 last paragraph if you are lazy

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

The man's father-in-law was said to be a victim of forced labor by Japanese firms during World War Two and he may have acted in protest against Japan's export curbs, South Korean media said, quoting the police.

I didn't see anything about "mental illness" in the article. It was a statement of protest against what many in his country perceive to be an unwillingness of Japan to take responsibility for war crimes. By the way, Abe's grandfather got away Scot-free after years of running a slave-labor racket.

Might rankle me if I were Korean....

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"What the South Korean government is doing now is equivalent to subverting the post-World War Two international order," Kono said at the start of the meeting.

Yes, because that international order was decided by people on the table, while Korea was on the menu. Now that Korea has taken seat on the table, they want to change the menu.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Not sure that unsubstantiated claims such as "By the way, Abe's grandfather got away Scot-free after years of running a slave-labor racket." help the discussion.

In a world generations ago, it is true that Japanese did some terrible things. Appropriate apologies and reparations were made IN THE 60's!

Get a life. Move on SK. In my opinion at least, the Japanese have done what was asked of them.

These recent "export controls" are simply a way to say, "pull your head in" SK and stop pandering to small-minded nationalistic weirdos.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The dude was 4 years old when the war ended. His hatred was learned, not experienced.

True story. My ex-wife's mother said she hated the Chinese. I asked her why...she said she didn't know why.. She was an idiot.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Excuse me but this is disingenuous: "No, the Japanese government is asking the South Korean government to comply with the terms of the 1965 treaty, a treaty which the South Korean government willingly signed, but is now refusing to uphold."

The treaty was shoved through by dictator Park, a former colonel in the Japanese military, a member of the pro-Japanese elite created by Japanese colonialism and no doubt a pro-Japanese operative. The South Korean people opposed this treaty, created by the U.S. There were violent demonstrations against the threat. Park was later dusted off. The 1965 treaty is trash. It certainly failed in setting accounts owned to the Korean people.

Fight on, South Korea, you are in the right. And those who slander you simply do not count.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Read up on the Korean concept of “han” and you will see the problem. Korea can never let go of the past....the entire nation of Japan could commit suicide and it would change nothing. The injury is eternal and irrevocable and cannot be forgive or forgotten. No apology will ever be enough, no buckets of money will be enough. It is an eternal enmity and the relationship will always be rocky.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

"When a treaty has been fully incorporated into domestic law, the courts are often called upon to interpret the treaty. The courts in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom interpret treaties in accordance with internationally agreed rules of treaty interpretation.88 By looking primarily to international law, rather than domestic law, as a guide to treaty interpretation, the courts help promote compliance with the state’s international obligations. "

http://law.scu.edu/wp-content/uploads/Introduction20Jan_202009.pdf

The general, default position is " Pacta sunt servanda".

Don't know if Korea abides by this maxim, or incorporated the treaty at all.

Out.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

S. Korea has allowed the hate and propaganda against Japan to reach ever higher peaks. Their own government fuels this fire and hate.

-When Japanese reporter got caught in middle east and killed by cutting off his head.

S. Koreans when protesting Japan would immate ISIS cutting off head of doll.

-A few years back a S. Korean planted a bomb inside the bathroom of Shrine. Than left and ran back to S. Korea.

It will never end if you allow their hate to benefit them by being on White list, by getting all the benefits of a friend, ally nation when they hate your very existence. The worst comments about Japan come from Korea.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Their was a fire in Japan less than a day ago.

How do S. Korean respond?

By trying to set another fire to himself or Japanese embassy..... Korea.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What a waste of human life. Did he really think he'd be remembered for doing such a stupid thing?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Kazuaki...

 the Japanese government and judiciary are more aware of their international obligations

Biggest joke of the decade! Have you been living under a rock! The Japanese judiciary is one of the most crappy and corrupt for a developed country and as a matter of speaking it’s also far behind some developing nations! South Korea’s judicial system is much better ( look at their corrupt former President and kPop celebrities behind bars...this would never happen in Japan !!! Politicians and celebrities get a free pass against crimes such as corruption, bribery and even rape in Japan - I can highlight hundreds of examples if you need so! )

Japan Government breaks international commitments every time decisions go against them ( IWC ruling is just an example ! )

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

@freedom-of-speech

Why is SK rejecting a third-country arbitration?

 

Yes. Good question. I detail my opinion.

 

If S. Korean government accepts the Japanese request of third-party arbitration, it means that S. Korean government would defy the ruling of the Korean supreme court in 2012, which basically says the damage from illegal actions of Japaneses companies was not covered in the 1965 treaty. And, the 1965 treaty mentions third-party arbitration. The ruling says that the 1965 treaty covered only legal actions, as the Japanese officials denied any wrongdoing and the subsequent damage during the WWII. This means that the court says that this ruling is irrelevant of the 1965 treaty, which covers only the damage from illegal actions.

 

Even the Japanese government gave the deadline based on the 1965 treaty. If S. Korean government replied to the request by the deadline, it would mean that S. Korean government completely ignores the ruling of S. Korean court to surrender to the Japanese government. It would be illegal within the territory of S. Korea, and all involved government officials may be indicted.

 

What the Abe administration asked was a request that is implausible within the judiciary system of S. Korea. Abe had to ask an alternative method that can allow S. Korean government to circumvent this judiciary problem. He and Kono asked a completely nonsensical request in the name of diplomacy.

 

S. Korean government suggested to Japan an alternative method to solve the issue without defying the supreme court ruling. And Abe and Kono still say the same thing that S. Korean government should defy her own judiciary ruling.

 

IMHO, this is just political propaganda of Abe. Abe and Kono are not fool. They at least know what they are saying, unlike most Japaneses who are brainwashed by Japanese newspapers and tabloids and do not know what they are saying.

The key legal question here is actually the legality of the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1910-1945.

The Japanese government threats S. Korea that they will bring this legal dispute to the ICJ. If S. Korea loses in the ICJ, they will have to just return money to the Japanese companies. On the contrary, if Japan loses, then they should pay pay all comfort women, Korean soldiers under Japanese army, Korean victims of atomic bombing, Koreans in the former Soviet, and etc. Not to mention N. Korea. Compared with the money that S. Korea would pay when she loses, the money that Japan would pay when she loses is at least 100 times greater but the chance is equal, 50%, considering the uncertainty in the ICJ ruling. If you are the prime minister of Japan, would you bet 100 dollars to earn just 1 dollar?

This is why the Japanese government hesitates to bring this dispute to ICJ, which will rule whether the Japanese occupation of Korea was legal or illegal. I am waiting to see what the Japanese foreign minister Kono will say regarding the ICJ in the next few weeks. This will test whether my opinion on this matter is right or wrong.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

It is time for Abe to meet Moon urgently to find a solution in a big context, including history, peace, and co-prosperity.

Also, Abe should meet with Kim as soon as possible. Korean problem can only be resolved when both NK and SK are involved.

Abe, do something historical, for future generations.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Only northeast asians can resolve northeast asian problems.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I smell BS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is what happens when your government hides the truth from you. SK didn't mention anything about 1965 until 2005 and you get a lot of brainwashed uninformed people. Same thing in China but at least the Chinese are a little more pragmatic about it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

A few years back a S. Korean planted a bomb inside the bathroom of Shrine.

It seems the aim of the perpetrator was to damage the shrine not to harm people.

You forgot to mention that it was not a random shrine, it was Yasukuni Shrine. The shrine whom the master Priest found a good idea to enshrine war criminal, claim it can not be cancelled neither can other people enshrined be removed because they were supposedly merged together. Do you imagine how horrific it can be for the family ?

This shrine take a big place in the difficulties of fixing relationship between Japan and its previous colonies.

Several voice came out to ask for a secular memorial far away or better just do bunrei/kanjou to separate the enshrined criminals. I do not even get why government people could find fine to go there. The Imperial family didn't and stopped going there.

Terrorist attack is bad but that does not make that shrine good.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

I really wonder why South Korea doesn't accept third-country arbitration. It never ends without third-country's calm judgement. It is waste of time, media and politician.

Both governments have a lot of other things to do for their own country, don't they?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The equivalent of $8 billion dollars was paid to S. Korea in 1965 to settle all claims.

S. Korea took the money, was happy with the results, with the outcome.

Court ruling in S. Korea, was not even international Court, it was a Korean Court decided to give power to a few individuals to sell Japanese assets or seized them in 2019.

2015 aggrement to settle Comfort woman out the Window in 2019.

50 apologies by a dozen Japanese PM never happened.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The 1965 treaty does not settle all claims.

The "Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation" includes all claims for property raised at the individual level. But such properties only include confiscated land, food, machinery, resources etc. of individuals. That is, "Property".

Claims for damages made by individuals as compensation for sufferings, rape, torture, accidents, human experiments, murder, etc. are not even included. That is, "Damages".

Unfortunately, this is the Japanese government's own undoing because at that time they thought that by including the word 'damages', it meant they admitted their colonization was illegal which they were ashamed of.

Even the Japanese government in 1991 admitted twice, through Yanai Shunji, in the Japanese Diet that an individual’s right to file a claim had not been terminated despite bilateral agreements like the 1965 treaty.

Furthermore, the 1996 U.N. resolution by Commission On Human Rights recommended that Japan accept legal responsibility and pay compensation to individual victims of Japanese military sexual slavery, which Japan refused erroneously arguing that it is all covered under the blanket 1965 treaty.

Yet even more recently, Taro Kono told reporters that a victim’s individual right to file a claim had not expired when Korea's Supreme Court verdict was upheld last year. It's funny how he now changed his stance saying that Korea violated the agreement on a permanent solution reached through the 1965 bilateral treaty.

The Abe government's stubborn stance and backtracking are all to avoid paying damages, not just to the South but to North Koreans.

The case regarding the Korean Courts seizure of assets did not fall under the realm of the 1965 treaty.

In hindsight, it seems as though the loss of face in 1965 would have been the far better option for Japan.

BTW, Korea only received USD 300 million, the other USD 500 million were loans which they had paid back. This is paltry compared to the USD 10 billion that US and Britain received.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why are so smart people so splitted ? Why ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

To kill oneself to protest is not a democracy. It is primitive and a wrong idea to appeal others.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Moon with very little effort can get relations back on track, Japan is waiting and willing to be good friends and neighbors if S Korea is willing to do the same in return.

1965 aggrement
6 ( +7 / -1 )

AlexBecu, it is wrong to wait for a good relationship. You have to work on it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There are reasons why the Germans have been forgiven and the Japanese not.

Amnesty International defines successful apologies as follows:

1) Acknowledging what’s done wrong by clearly stating the offence and describing the effect

2) Accepting responsibility for what’s done

3) Expressing sincere regret and profound remorse

4) Promising that such action would not be repeated

5) Making reparation through concrete measures

1) The present Japanese government has modified the statements of past leaders, distorted or concealed the truth regarding military sexual slavery, and deleted factual information from the textbooks. The Germans have acknowledged their wrong doings conclusively and decisively, unlike the Japanese.

2) Abe's continued stance that the operation of comfort women were all legal shows that the government is not accepting responsibility.

3) Japanese leaders continue to do things that bring sufferings to the victims. Eg. visit war shrines to worship war criminals, use of the militaristic rising sun flag etc. Does Angela Merkel bow at Hitler's remains (supposedly in a river)? Is the swastika ever used?

4) Never made a promise

5) Reparation agreement in 2015 was not through concrete discussions with individuals. Even the German's apologised individually to the victims, and that's when most of the victims were alive. More than half of the Korean sex slaves were already dead when the first 'apologies' were made by Japanese.

Although the Japanese government insists that they have apologized numerous times, the victims of the military sexual slavery find it more of a lip service rather than a sincere apology as actions and words are never aligned.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

There are still claims that Japan has 'never' properly apologized to the South Korean people.

Oh, really?

How about this ONE example:

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".

8 ( +8 / -0 )

While Japan has atonement to be made for their actions against Korea, the fact is, the Koreans have made a grand mess of this. They negotiated a final agreement to clear up the solution once and for all. The Koreans agreed - then ripped up the agreement, and four years later have proposed nothing in its place.

This proves the Koreans cannot be negotiated with. They don't care about coming up with a solution, they just want to be able to whine about Japan until the end of all time.

If they have zero interest in a reconciliation, then why should Japan make any effort towards it? You can't appease someone who refuses to be appeased. There comes a time when you just have to step back and let them wallow in their own hatred alone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@jansob1

Read up on the Korean concept of “han” and you will see the problem. Korea can never let go of the past....the entire nation of Japan could commit suicide and it would change nothing. The injury is eternal and irrevocable and cannot be forgive or forgotten. No apology will ever be enough, no buckets of money will be enough. It is an eternal enmity and the relationship will always be rocky.

I read up on 'han' and found it very enlightening. I always wondered why the Sth Koreans could not let go of thier bitterness. Now I know why. Thanks for posting.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Koreans have already lost face due to their inability to move beyond WWII Issues that were resolved years ago. Their politicians seem to have no platform other than blaming Japan for their own failures.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

yaponezyToday  05:15 am JST

There are reasons why the Germans have been forgiven and the Japanese not.

Please enlighten us all when and how Germans made such apologies to it's ex-colonies like

Deutsch-Neuguinea

Deutsch-Südwestafrika

Deutsch-Ostafrika 

 Kamerun 

Togo

Deutsch-Witu

 Samoa 

 Kiautschou 

Also when and how Germans made such apologies to the victims of German military brothels which existed

all over it's territories.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_military_brothels_in_World_War_II

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@SJ Today 12:00 am JST

The key legal question here is actually the legality of the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1910-1945.

Since this is the second time, I will ask you what is your basis for saying it is the key legal question, since it is well known the Koreans signed the 1965 treaty on their understanding that it is illegal. So, it is "The Koreans think it is Illegal, but they agreed this formulation settles everything". For the rest since we've done this before, I just vector everyone to my previous answer in "South Korean political parties back Moon in Japan trade row" at July 19 11:55 am JST.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@yaponezy

Although the Japanese government insists that they have apologized numerous times, the victims of the military sexual slavery find it more of a lip service rather than a sincere apology as actions and words are never aligned.

I agree with you in many ways. The Japanese apologies have been too shallow and too late. However, for the good of their people, the older generation and SK leadership need to put it all in the past. Life is precious and too short to waste on bitterness and anger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@SJ Today 12:00 am JST

Yes. Good question. I detail my opinion.

Interesting reasoning. However, first I will point out that a country may not use its internal law as justification to refuse to execute a treaty provision (Article 27 of the VCLT). Further, such a reasoning all but admits Korea will lose the arbitration, since there will be no problem if the arbitration sides with South Korea. Admittedly, I do think their case is very weak so I think this result would be fair, but the point is that until the arbitration result comes down, Korea is not necessarily in a pickle.

Should South Korea lose the arbitration ... there are still a lot of cases that hadn't been fully processed yet, and those can have different verdicts since the law deck has shuffled again. As for the one that moved past the final stage, Korea may beg for it to be preserved to preserve the integrity of its legal system. Japan may even accede, since it is probably more interested in stopping a tidal wave of claims and the Korean self-proclaimed "right" to determine them unilaterally than one or two cases which admittedly are peanuts, as a symbol of respect for South Korea's sovereignty and procedural (if not substantive) justice. There is some precedent and principles in letting old judgments lie even after the correct interpretation of the law changed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Since this is the second time, I will ask you what is your basis for saying it is the key legal question

https://www.newsweekjapan.jp/stories/world/2018/12/icj_1.php

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@ oldman_13

Which part of 'successful' apologies I mentioned is it hard for you to NOT understand?

You just brought up one example of the many 'apologies' made by the Japanese.

Any criminal can make apologies after the crime, but it's the actions that follow that make it a successful apology.

If I were the Japanese, I would have made proper apologies and be very remorseful and not do actions that the Koreans are against. Japanese have never done this and left it too late.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@ showchinmono

Please enlighten us all when and how Germans made such apologies to it's ex-colonies

Thanks for proving my point. No Europeans in the list, which is where the Germans did the atrocious acts. The Germans only colonized the countries you mentioned, not do inhumane acts.

German acted like an adult and apologized conclusively and decisively, unlike the Japanese who skirt the issue and leave it until everyone is dead.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@ Bruce Kidd

It doesn't help when the Japanese government keeps reminding the Koreans of their past atrocities. Honoring the war criminals, raising the rising sun flag, changing historical facts, trying to reclaim Dokdo, ignoring the comfort women issue, whitewashing the occupation as saying it was to modernize Korea etc. And people like you who are ignorant on these issues and blame the Korean government for not moving past WWII.

It's funny how everyone thinks that the Koreans should easily forget and move forward. I don't think it's that easy. For over a 1000 years, Japan invaded Korea every 300 years, Japanese pirates attacked Korean merchant ships/harbors every year, Japanese military burnt or destroyed cultural and historical monuments all over Korea (imagine Kyoto and Nara being completely destroyed!), kidnapped Korean artisans and craftsman etc. It's only in the last 70 years when Japan did not attack Korea at all.

So now you come and say Koreans cannot forget when 99% of their history of over 1000 years involved the Japanese attacking Korea. Go figure.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@SJ Today 11:20 am JST

https://www.newsweekjapan.jp/stories/world/2018/12/icj_1.php

I think you slightly misunderstood the writer's stance. In the introductory section he says that most media frames this as a battle between claim rights and diplomatic protection rights, but this is false. The next section explains the Supreme Court's view as he understands it - a distinguishing tactic, where damages is separated from claims because of the purported illegality of the annexation.

The third is the long term consequences of that interpretation, which does say it can apply to a very large number of people.

He doesn't spend too much time giving his evaluation, but he does call it "独自の論理構成" (unique theoretical formulation). You don't want someone calling your reasoning "unique" - you want your reasoning to be "evolutionary" or 通説 (in accordance common academic theory) or 判例 (in accordance with precedent).

The next section says it is not a political judgment, but rather a conservative liberal split. (I think the judgment is political, in that it is crappily reasoned from a legal perspective, but it was an independent solution in that the executive either did not push them or they had no effect)...

In the last half of the section, he writes out his fears

請求権協定そのものの解釈...それ故対処を誤れば、仮に元徴用工等に関わる部分では勝訴しても、元慰安婦らに関わる部分で日本側は敗訴する、という可能性

He says that the debate will be centered on what the treaty covers. This is not the same as saying it will be on the legality of the annexation. If the legality of annexation is what decides the question, then it won't be possible to have different verdicts of the workers and comfort women. Either they both win, or they both lose.

The only way you can have the workers lose and the comfort women win is if the reasoning went the same way as I predict in July 19 11:55 am JST, but the comfort women win on another ground. The most likely possible ground will be, borrowing from President Moon (Japanese translation by your favorite Japanese lawyers since I can't read Korean):

お話の中の日本軍慰安婦の部分は、韓日会談当時、知り得なかった問題でした。

Claiming they are out of the treaty coverage by non-knowledge. Really, from a purely legal point of view, this point is weak - the South Korean government is responsible for collating the claims which serve as a basis for its requests. The fact that in the end they couldn't get the Japanese to admit any fault does not change this. If they didn't know about certain women, that's their fault and cannot be used as a basis for a new claim.

However, Professor Kimura is correct in his view of world opinion. Further, whenever at all possible the ICJ will usually avoid a solution where one side wins everything (see the recent ruling between India and Pakistan), and the comfort women bit is a convenient place to throw SK a bone since the remaining victims ARE few and it will require only an adjustment of facts (to agree that the South Korean government did not and could not know about the women) rather than one of law.

So Kimura's fear is somewhat reasonable, but it has little to do with Annexation being the main point.

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@Kazuaki Shimazaki

You asked me the basis of my statement:

The key legal question here is actually the legality of the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1910-1945.

I cited one source written in Japanese. If you have difficulty in reading and digesting it, please refer to the following one in English.

https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02703/

What is the legal main point or the major difference between Japan and Korea in the above document?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

yaponezyToday  11:54 am JST

@ showchinmono

Please enlighten us all when and how Germans made such apologies to it's ex-colonies

Thanks for proving my point. No Europeans in the list, which is where the Germans did the atrocious acts. The Germans only colonized the countries you mentioned, not do inhumane acts.

German acted like an adult and apologized conclusively and decisively, unlike the Japanese who skirt the issue and leave it until everyone is dead.

It’s amazing Germans didn't do any inhumane acts to those Non-European colonies. Really? It contradicts with so many reports and the actual demands for compensation and apology made by some of them, Namibia, Tanzania. Go search yourself.

Also, "thanks for proving my point" doesn't let you dodge my 2nd question about German's sincere apologies made to their comfort women.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The incitement of hatred toward current Japanese is bewildering. Those players complicit in the war would be something like great, great grandfathers of a typical university student here.

There is a great episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where the sincerity of an apology is brought into question. Measured in angles.

75 years have passed. Almost everyone involved have already passed. I think the time is over for Korea to simply accept their unacceptable apolgy and move on. Aren't there better issues out there?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Thanks for proving my point. No Europeans in the list, which is where the Germans did the atrocious acts. The Germans only colonized the countries you mentioned, not do inhumane acts."

I love this site; full of authoritative statements made by mostly clueless folks.

Brilliant!!!

"In 2004, the German government formally recognised the colonial atrocities perpetrated in German South West Africa and issued an apology. However, at the time, the German government ruled out any reparations for the survivors or their families. In 2015, the German government officially recognised the atrocities to constitute Völkermord (genocide) but again, ruled out any reparations. "

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaochab/2018/05/24/the-herero-nama-genocide-the-story-of-a-recognized-crime-apologies-issued-and-silence-ever-since/#5690a3f36d8c

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Additional info.

Here is the summary of Japan support to Korea to be modernization.

(May missing some...)

Currency = JPY

1966 - S korea Railway, Bridges and other infra -- 167.43 Million

1967 - S Korea Railway, transportation, Sewerage, Landline, Dam development etc -- 103.24 Million

1968 - S Korea Highway and Seoul infra construction support -- 17.28 Million

1969 - S Korea Highway, Agricultural products promotion projects, Thermal power generation implementation etc -- 41.21 Million

1970 - S Korea Dam development, Seoul city landline expansion project -- 32.18 Million

1971 - S Korea Steel-making project support -- 28.8 Million

1972 - S Korea Seoul subway development, Steelmaking project support -- 456.89 Million

1973 - S Korea Communication line expansion project, Flood alert system development -- 77.49 Million

1974 - S Korea Steel-making project support, Dam development, Agricultural products support -- 518.08 Million

1975 - S Korea Steel-making project support -- 2.25 Million

1976 - S Korea Harbor small business support, Shipping development support, communication line expansion project -- 233.2 Million

1977 - S Korea Agricultural products promotion projects, Super high voltage transmission line development -- 166 Million

1978 - S Korea Dam development, Agricultural products support, Medical facility expansion development etc -- 410 Million

1980 - S Korea Support for Educational facility (basic science) by Ministry of construction, Medical equipment support -- 190 Million

1983 - S Korea Seoul college hospital (pediatrics) medical equipment support, Sewerage, Dum construction etc -- 451 million

1984 - S Korea Sewerage infra (Multi city), Health prevention R & D, weather & climate modernization supports -- 495 Million

1985 - S Korea Medical facility extra construction, Sewerage, Educational facility, Oceanic study etc supports -- 542.8 Million

1987 - S Korea Educational School facility, Agricultural products promotion projects, etc -- 446.33 Million

1988 - S Korea City infra construction, Breakwater construction, Sewerage, Genetic engineering, Electronics, Chemical study for Seoul college hospital etc... -- 6132.62 Million

1989 - S Korea Sewerage constructions for multi colleges, small business modernization supports -- 76.39 Million

1990 - S Korea Support for National bank for Seoul subway projects, Seoul college hospital medical equipment, compound feed factory developments etc.. -- 995.9 Million

TOTAL : 11774.09 Million JPY

Exclude 1965 treaty (5 million JPY)

Most Korean do not know how much Japan effort to help S Korea.

SK governments hidden the truth for their nation over the half century.

Japan is just tired to baby sitting for S Korea.

SK government teach Anti Japanese to their children at the school where the facility built by Japanese support. Very sad...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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