politics

Moon calls for 'restrained' language with Japan over wartime forced labor row

53 Comments
By Joyce Lee

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53 Comments
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As if Japan has a leg upon which to stand and criticize another country's judicial system . . .

-13 ( +15 / -28 )

I think it's time to put WWII in the past and leave it there. What the Japanese did was despicable and I don't think they have ever been remorseful enough. But why waste precious life in bitterness and anger pushing the issue? Life is too short. Time to move on.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

All matters have been already finished in 1965. It’s only between Korean government and his/her citizens.

Why has he been hiding the truth, which he received tremendous money from Japan and invested his own infrastructure development instead of competition?

19 ( +28 / -9 )

competition → compensation

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I think it's time to put WWII in the past and leave it there. What the Japanese did was despicable and I don't think they have ever been remorseful enough. But why waste precious life in bitterness and anger pushing the issue? Life is too short. Time to move on.

I agree.

The practical realities of what can come out of a better relationship between Japan and Korea are surely far more important to the people of both countries that yet another apology that may or may not be seen as sincere.

Especially with both as U.S allies. I would have thought both countries have enough to worry about with China and Russia as close neighbours.

It really makes a lot of sense to finally move on.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Japan dont take lectures from foreign Presidents, Moon.

Matt Hartwell:

Especially with both as U.S allies. I would have thought both countries have enough to worry about with China and Russia as close neighbours. 

SK may be a US ally, but not of Japan. You are fooling yourself if you think SK wont choose PRC over Japan in future conflict. All more reason to keep building a stronger Japanese Military.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

matt totally agreed. do hope sc has the mentality to do so.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Let it go, let it go...

7 ( +14 / -7 )

@Concerned Citizen

I think it's time to put WWII in the past and leave it there.

Germany can, Japan cannot.

What the Japanese did was despicable and I don't think they have ever been remorseful enough.

This is why Japan's past history must be left in the past.

But why waste precious life in bitterness and anger pushing the issue?

In order not to repeat the history.

@Ganbare Japan

You are fooling yourself if you think SK wont choose PRC over Japan in future conflict. 

More like Korea won't pick side and simply sit out.

@Sensei258

Let it go, let it go...

Frozen is not playing anywhere near me or you.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

I do not remember any person of Hiroshima and Nagasaki demanded compensation to U.S. I do not remember any Japanese protested U.S. explain that It was necessary to end the war quick. We are different and cannot understand their mentality.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Hypocritical as he was very inflammatory towards Japan earlier when it suited his politics.

Moon is trying to bring the North and South closer. I foresee both Koreas tagging along with China in the coming years as Japan, India, and other South East Asian nations balance it out.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Anyhow, I don't know who's doing the report, but Moon told visiting Japanese lawmakers in person that he was accepting the supreme court's decision; that the individual right to claim damages is not covered by the 1965 Treaty.

Meaning Moon will sit and watch when the lawyers representing forced laborers execute asset freeze on Nippon Steele and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, there is nothing Moon can do, the supreme court's verdict is final and must be carried out.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Agree with Concerned Citizen and Matt. I can't stand extremists on either side of this issue.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Schopenhauer

I do not remember any person of Hiroshima and Nagasaki demanded compensation to U.S.

The US and the Empire of Japan were formally at war, in A WAR STARTED BY JAPAN!

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

Yes, it is high time that Japanese nationists just shut up.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

Moon calls for 'restrained language' when it's his side that keeps bringing it up...

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Samit Basu

Moon and Koreans are saying it is free individuals claim compensations to Japan putting aside the agreement between the governments. They think the government and people are different.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

"Japanese leaders have reacted angrily..."

Attitude, please.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

Moon, who met Japanese lawmakers in Seoul on Friday, said his government would take its time to seek a solution because the issue was triggered by a judicial ruling that must be respected.

A State cannot use respect for the judiciary as a shield for judicial acts that violate international law.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Dear Moon,

You keep breaking every agreement sign between the two countries.. Even the one sign as Final and Irreversible.

Koreans hate Japan with a passion, so much so they built statues around the world to their victim mentality of comfort women.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Schopenhauer

I agree with your comment, very different mentality when it comes to dealing with history and how to move forward between Korea and Japan. Even though 2 atomic bombs is far worse than anything that happened to Korea by Japan.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Mitsubishi could make this problem go away for a pittance. It chooses not to because of its pre-war position as a zaibatsu, and still considers itself above reproach. In point of fact, it ran a plant using conscript Korean and war prisoner labor on an island the Japan had declared a world heritage site - showing that the current government of Japan will go to any lengths to cover up the crimes committed during the Showa Emperor's reign.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

How was the $500 million used in 1965? it was a huge amount of money 53 years ago!

It should have generously helped most victims while they were still alive. Where is the accounting on that?

What sense does it make to attack Japan 3 peaceful generations later for several hundreds of thousand $ for merely a few dozen survivors? Is it not driven by petty hatred of Japan by Mr. Moon?

Evidently all Korean presidents are gangsters only not all of them are in prison!

14 ( +16 / -2 )

For a conflict to come to and end and resolve you have to actually want a resolution. There’s so much antagonism between the two nations you have to wonder if they really do want to see an era of cooperation and friendship. In the meantime it’s tit for tat games in the sandpit.

Use the Australia = New Zealand model. Just take the piss out of each other nonstop until your thick skinned enough to deal with sheep jokes, then have a rugby match to level the playing field; Barbie, beer, repeat. Sorted.

Laugh it off fellas. Learn to act like adults. Instead, there’s already talk of who would win the initial phase of World war 3.

Still waiting for the Asian century. ..

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ganbare Japan!

SK may be a US ally, but not of Japan. You are fooling yourself if you think SK wont choose PRC over Japan in future conflict. All more reason to keep building a stronger Japanese Military.

Correct assumption. SK always side with China; if SK and NK become one country; they will instantly become a Chinese ally and not an US ally. Therefore, Japan must build a strong military a.s.a.p. for self defense. The best deterrent to war is possessing a powerful military.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"South Korea has said it will discuss with Japan what to do with the balance of the fund, which stood at 16.08 billion won($14.2 million) by end-October, including Seoul's contributions."

Why not give it to the Women? That's what its for, isn't it? Both Japan and South Korea are rich as heck, can't afford to give dying women their deserved wealth so they can live their final years as queens? Nah, waste huh?

Completely ignoring the original cause. Wow.

Japan apologized in 2015, accept that.

FUN FACT: Japan apologized twice (at least) officially. Korea paid the victims their donations 0 times.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Of course, Japanese politicians react angrily!

Being supremely ignorant of Asian history means that history is not factually understood.

I would say revionist but that is not the correct word.

Maybe denial based on ignorance would be closer.

This self-serving ignorance allows Japanese politicians to deny the Nanjing massacre,prostitution in Asia and various other atrocities carried out by their Imperialist ancestors.

However, all is not lost!

A number of times ordinary Japanese have expressed heartfelt remorse to me for their bellicose history.

Thankfully, the people of Japan seek a brighter future than their idiotic politicians.....

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

The South Korean’s have more chance of this happening:

Fly me to the moon

Let me play among the stars

Let me see what spring is like

On a-Jupiter and Mars

In other words: Don’t waste your time

In other words: Take a hike

7 ( +8 / -1 )

In other news:

South Korea has a festering sore for which it is continuing to refuse treatment, despite there being a cure.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I agree that Japan should apologize and atone for their past misdeeds; however, we are not really in a position to stand and judge them on their actions. Japan is not the first country to commit the actions that they committed. Furthermore, they are not the only fully developed nation that has committed unspeakable actions yet refuse to apologize or make amends for it. Look at history of the United States of America as a prime example. If a country such as America is not willing to do the same, then why should other countries be expected of doing what other countries will not do? The only difference between Japan and some of these other countries is that Japan lost the war.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The people of Korea should understand that political selfishness has nothing to do with how the majority view the situation....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes siree. I agree with many. Time to put this to bed once and for all. The Koreans remind me of my first wife.

A money grubbing....Well you know the rest.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I agree that Japan should apologize and atone for their past misdeeds; however, we are not really in a position to stand and judge them on their actions.

Japan did already. It was not just Willy Brandt style.

Japan is not the first country to commit the actions that they committed. 

But Japan is the first and the only to have apologized to the colonized in Imperialism era

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This will never end in the minds of many.

Ask how many Armenians are happy with Turkey 100 years on?

Ask how many Polish are happy with Nazis 80 years on?

Ask how many Estonians are happy with Russia 70 years on?

Ask how many Vietnamese are happy with America 50 years on?

......etc....etc!

For many, it's not over until it's over - and it's not over.

They're not my sentiments, but they are the sentiments of people who have direct connections to the sufferings inflicted by Powers.

This can all be confirmed by the fact that Nazi war criminals are still being hunted to this day and being brought to court - the latest case afaik was last month - 73 years after the wars end!!!

Governments may well construct resolutions, but people, by nature, are not always so easily swayed by the gibberings of politicians and are not so easily lead to forget or forgive.

For better or worse.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

We study history so that we can learn from it. "Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

Very few of the people who lived through World War II are alive today. Certainly we do not want to blame grandchildren for sins of their grandparents. What makes it so hard for those who have suffered to forgive and forget is the refusal of those from guilty countries to admit, and apologize.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Japan gave that huge settlement in 1965 which still has significant balance remaining. This settlement would have been in compensation their acts of war. If South Korea has mismanaged this money, allowing those who suffered the most to languish in poverty and pain, its their corruption.

Very sad. Japan has suffered its own burdons it's had to bare. I think Japan is under a lot of pressure with global trade and political climate heating up. Abe needs to brush up on his diplomacy. Distance himself from that awful tainted war criminal shine

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

War crimes and Crimes Against Humanity are not covered under the 1965 Treaty. You can agree or disagree but at least understand the argument and form an intelligible opinion. In Korea, however the law of the land is decided by the judicial system. That's how a normal working democratic system works. Deal with it.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

Melonbarmonster:

My feelings about the reparations aside, I have an issue with calling south Korea a working democratic system. Either political intrigue causes former president to be imprisoned by new incumbent or corruption is so rampant that democracy has faded. Perhaps the best fix is for SK to go parliamentary. Remove unpopular prime ministers at any time, rather than the unnatural timed elections of presidents. The new president (reserve executive to protect constitution) would be above politics and selected by lottery.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Japan should break off economic ties with South Korea. That country offers nothing that Japan can't import from elsewhere, is not a major importer of Japanese exports of any significance, and Japanese companies can not risk the chance that the anti-Japan faction may dig up some connection to past historical claims, be it through corporate entities or even in personam the way it's going. It's clear that the SK government does not stand by it's Agreements and Treaties, and is controlled by the CCP.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Ossan* break off ties with its closest neighbor? Can’t learn to cooperate with and at least try and find some mutual respect for the other major economic powerhouse democratic Asian nation sitting right next door?

Really?? It’s that bad? The French and the English have their issues but still manage to work around them. Why so hard? What is it about Asian cultures and grudges?

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

The French and British don't have a history of breaking Treaties and Agreements that have been negotiated and signed by both parties. Neither the French or British engage in historical revisionism and make hatred for the other a national pastime. The only "Asian Grudge" here is South Korea.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Keeping 1965 treaty itself effective but putting those disputable issues outside the treaty so that S.K does not have to pay back any of what it received from Japan, the bottom line of the verdict is "mandatory compensation for damage(both physical and mental) caused as results of Imperial Japan's illegal occupation" . Logically speaking, every single Korean citizen around 20mil under Imperial Japan ruling 1910~1945 has right to claim for compensation. Moreover the right to claim is inheritable, this means everyone who lives now on the peninsula (except those who naturalized to the peninsula and their descendants after 1945) has rights to claim some sorts. And Government's diplomatic protection is to be fully utilized for those issues (comfort women, wartime labor, atomic bomb victims, Sakhalin remainders, etc) the logic defined outside the treaty.

No way Japan could go around with this insanity. Ossan is right. Break them all off.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@OssanJapan

The French and British don't have a history of breaking Treaties and Agreements that have been negotiated and signed by both parties.

Well, Koreans didn't break the 1965 Treaty. Individual damages claim is not included in the 1965 Treaty.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

LOL either some of you are undiscovered legal savants who can do jurisprudence from a single out of context sentence.... or you have no idea what the heck you're talking about.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

If Japan causes more publicity with this, it will only bring more publicity to Japanese war atrocities. I don't think you folks realize how ridiculous all of this sounds to people in the US and Europe. No one likes perpetrators of historical war atrocities who go around denying it and whitewashing their deeds.

-16 ( +1 / -17 )

There exists Korean domestic law already which binds individual claims to be solved domestically and top court's verdict and Moon's remark go against it. looking Idiotic.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Christians believe that committers of heinous sins 'will suffer eternal damnation in hell.' I have never heard anyone protesting, 'Hey God, why dontcha get over it.'

I committed some stupid sins in my youth for which I feel shame and guilt but I have never denied I committed those acts and have worked hard to modify my behavior to atone.

It is historical fact that Japan committed unforgivable atrocities on millions of others; therefore, must suffer eternal condemnation, so why doesn't everyone just shut up and take it like a man?

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

macvToday 03:08 pm JST

Christians believe that committers of heinous sins 'will suffer eternal damnation in hell.' I have never heard anyone protesting, 'Hey God, why dontcha get over it.'

I committed some stupid sins in my youth for which I feel shame and guilt but I have never denied I committed those acts and have worked hard to modify my behavior to atone.

Don't really know what god you believe in but to my knowledge God condemns the sins not the sinner AND does not have sins pasted down through generation.

Tell me which Christian school teach in that fashion because I have never heard of Christians condemn the son for their father's sins ?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Samit BasuToday 10:43 am JST

Well, Koreans didn't break the 1965 Treaty. Individual damages claim is not included in the 1965 Treaty.

This has been ridiculed and scrutinized finding that your claim is denied reflecting various international laws and past examples.

You can keep on claiming your faith but that is all it is, faith that does not reflect the truth.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Japanese leaders love to play semantics whitewash & weasel their way out of responsibility e.g. calling sex slaves 'comfort women' I wager my life that not one sex slave condones being called a 'comfort woman'

I urge all to visit the Women's Active Museum a memorial museum to sex slaves https://wam-peace.org/en/

Hopefully younger generations of Japanese have developed consciences, admit and regret what their ancestors did and atone.

I have seen revolting anti-Korean demonstrations in the streets of Tokyo since I arrived in the 1970s. Historically and perhaps even now in certain cases generations of families were ostracized for the crimes of a family member, so that concept is not foreign to the Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Grown children surprised to find their fathers absorbed in internet rightwing sites

told ya they have never changed

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@melonbarmonster

I don't think you folks realize how ridiculous all of this sounds to people in the US and Europe.

It sounds ridiculous, but not for the reason you're thinking...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The origins of this new or renewed effort for wartime actions is quite different from the abduction of foreigners by N Korea and and detainment of foreigners by China. That is obvious. However, the "emotional" aspect is especially troubling in all.

Emotional approach has detracted from the rational and pragmatic view and appreciation of current situation and environment within which we all live. Time = Change... but values , human values are not measured only by yen/dollar/signs on money and the amount of money. Money is but just one of the many ways amends are made for any misconducts and transgressions. And the obligation to make amends are on the transgressors themselves at that time and not the heirs and future generations. Unless one is in countries that punish the entire family or clan as in the Feudal periods, decades after the fact (if provable), these demands lose their credibility and meaningfulness, especially after decades of silence and after trillions in Yen has been given to their country as reparation for decades to rebuild their nation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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