politics

Japan, N Korea show no signs of holding Abe-Kim summit soon

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By Tomoyuki Tachikawa

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No surprises here. If Un is too busy visiting a potato factory when Sec. of State Pompeo pays N. Korea a visit, well . . . What do you expect?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Both South Korea and the US. are officially in a state of war with North Korea. Japan isn't. North Korea has nothing to offer Japan, whereas Japan the 3rd largest economy in the world, has much to offer North Korea, IF they are prepared to follow through with denuclearization and open themselves up to the international community. Japan has no need to be rushing to be in the forefront with North Korea.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh well.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan is an observer.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Abe said he wants to meet Kim J. Un personally soon on TV news. But where, in Pyonyang? Well, he'll be another abductee, if he wants as he pleases, I don't care.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe is stuck. He has used the basically fake abduction issue, kidnapping did happen but that was 40 years ago now, to fool voters into voting for the LDP. Now that Trump is buddies with NK, who would have guessed that happening, Abe is immobilized by the dead weight of this fake campaign of the last ten years. He cannot end the adduction campaign but NK has moved on now from the 1970s. NK will continue to ignore Japan and the ROTW will understand as long as Japan continues to make a dead issue the deal breaker. Abe has painted himself in a corner and cannot get out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan can't even sit down with S Korea and squash their disputes. As if a meeting with N Korea would end any differently.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good. It would be a total waste of time. Japan should build its own ICBMS to deal with both China and Korea.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

they do not need to, US and others are handling it. Japan would only bungle the situation by forcing themselves to be involved and push the abductees issue on everyone

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Given that japan can't make its own decisions without uncle Sam's say so, this is an obvious move. It would be a total waste of time on NKs part.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

if I were DPRK I'd lay down the law no talk with anyone who butchered my people until lifetime reparations deals are enacted

“Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during WWII, would find such a statement deeply hurtful and outrageous,” read the apology petition signed by tens of thousands of South Koreans.

In 1910, Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan after years of war, intimidation and political machinations; the country would be considered a part of Japan until 1945. In order to establish control over its new protectorate, the Empire of Japan waged an all-out war on Korean culture. 

Schools and universities forbade speaking Korean and emphasized manual labor and loyalty to the Emperor. Public places adopted Japanese, too, and an edict to make films in Japanese soon followed. It also became a crime to teach history from non-approved texts and authorities burned over 200,000 Korean historical documents, essentially wiping out the historical memory of Korea.

During the occupation, Japan took over Korea’s labor and land. Nearly 100,000 Japanese families settled in Korea with land they had been given; they chopped down trees by the millions and planted non-native species, transforming a familiar landscape into something many Koreans didn’t recognize.

Nearly 725,000 Korean workers were made to work in Japan and its other colonies, and as World War II loomed, Japan forced hundreds of thousands of Korean women into life as “comfort women”—sexual slaves who served in military brothels. 

Korea’s people weren’t the only thing that were plundered during Japan’s colonization—its cultural symbols were considered fair game, too. One of the most powerful symbols of Korean sovereignty and independence was its royal palace, Gyeongbokgung, which was built in Seoul in 1395 by the mighty Joseon dynasty. Soon after assuming power, the Japanese colonial government tore down over a third of the complex’s historic buildings, and the remaining structures were turned into tourist attractions for Japanese visitors. 

As historian Heejung Kang notes, the imperial government also attempted to preserve treasures of Korean art history and culture—but then used them to uphold imperial Japan’s image of itself as a civilizing and modern force. This view of Korea as backwards and primitive compared to Japan made it into textbooks, museums and even Koreans’ own perceptions of themselves. 

The occupation government also worked to assimilate Koreans with the help of language, religion and education. Shinto shrines originally intended for Japanese families became places of forced worship. The colonial government made Koreans “worship the gods of imperial Japan, including dead emperors and the spirits of war heroes who had helped them conquer Korea earlier in the century,” explains historian Donald N. Clark.

This forced worship was viewed as an act of cultural genocide by many Koreans, but for the colonists, it was seen as evidence that Koreans and Japanese were a single, unified people. Though some families got around the Shinto edict by simply visiting the shrines and not praying there, others grudgingly adopted the new religious practices out of fear.

By the end of its occupation of Korea, Japan had even waged war on people’s family names. At first, the colonial government made it illegal for people to adopt Japanese-style names, ostensibly to prevent confusion in family registries. But in 1939, the government made changing names an official policy. Under the law, Korean families were “graciously allowed” to choose Japanese surnames. 

At least 84 percent of all Koreans took on the names, since people who lacked Japanese names were not recognized by the colonial bureaucracy and were shut out of everything from mail delivery to ration cards. “The whole point was for the government to be able to say that the people had changed their names ‘voluntarily’,” writes historian Hildi Kang.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

USA must begin lifetime reparations -

We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another, and some in South Korea, too," said former US Air Force commander Gen. Curtis LeMay in 1988, during an interview for an Air Force military history volume.

By the time the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, North Korea -- which began the war with a population of 9.6 million -- had suffered an estimated 1.3 million civilian and military casualties, according to figures cited by the US Air Force. South Korea, meanwhile, suffered up to 3 million civilian and 225,000 military casualties, from a total population of around 20.2 million in 1950. 

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, a legendary figure in the US military who went on to become the commander-in-chief of the United Nations Command at the onset of the war, said during a congressional hearing in 1951 that he had never seen such devastation. 

"I shrink with horror that I cannot express in words -- at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea," MacArthur said. "I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there."

The war was one that many were reluctant to join, coming as it did just five years after the end of World War II. 

More than 33,000 Americans were killed in the fighting and 600,000 from the Chinese military -- who joined to protect their fellow communist neighbors -- were left dead or missing. 

The Chinese and the Americans went home after the fighting, but North Koreans stayed amid the ruins of the battle -- their entire infrastructure decimated, their towns and cities completely obliterated.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

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