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Kishida tells South Koreans his 'heart hurts' over pain caused by occupation

53 Comments
By Choonsik Yoo, Hyonhee Shin and Sakura Murakami

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53 Comments
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Oh dear.

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

Statesmen would move on for the good of both countries and all people.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Gotta give the guy credit for this. Previous PM's are rolling over in their graves and spitting up their coffee, but it had to be done.

Now if he could just stop with the ritual offerings to Yasukuni, and folks just might take him as being sincere.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

One small step for Kishida, one giant step for Japan.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Exactly. Nice first move Kishida, now get the rest of your LDP cronies in line and stop going to Yasukuni and put some teeth into the anti-hate speech act.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Now let's just wait and see how long it actually takes for some politician to come on the scene with a snidely pathetic, far right speech claiming what things didn't happen during the war, who did what to whom, throw in some Yasukuni, then some redneck like Kawamura claiming it's actually SK's own fault. And before "one step forward" turns out to be more like three steps back, as it has been for at least the last three decades, when relations on a political level between SK and us seemed to be returning to normal. In return, an imbecile similar to the one here appears in turn in there, declares what JP did to SK and things start, again, from the beginning.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

"...Kishida stopped short of offering a new official apology for wrongs committed under the 1910-1945 occupation "

So, what's it all mean then?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Is Kishida referring to some sort of natural disaster or something? It's incredible how Japanese politicians cannot directly acknowledge history and use the word colonization.

"under the difficult circumstances of the time"

当時厳しい環境のもとで多数の方々が大変苦しい、悲しい思いをされたことに心が痛む。

0 ( +10 / -10 )

I read that as "head hurts" and it seemed to have a completely different connotation.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

He'd better be careful or he'll have the uyoku nutters driving round his residence shouting abuse through loudspeakers and sending him bullets and fingertips in the post.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Well done, credible and empathetic, unlike so MANY leaders who seem Exact Opposite in nature regarding terrible war time inhuman behavior.

Ethical Global Values Need be Displayed in this Manner!

We're Lucky to have this Prime Minister, now possible to chart better future together with South Korea & Others!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Yoon is facing criticism at home that he has given more than he has received in his efforts to improve relations with Japan,

These SK critics are wrong. President Yoon has regained Japan's trust. Something that the previous SK president Moon had thoroughly destroyed.

Surely South Koreans understand the Confucian concept of 無信不立.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

At least Kishida's heart metaphorically aches, though he does not cry real tears.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

YubaruToday  07:31 am JST

Gotta give the guy credit for this. Previous PM's are rolling over in their graves and spitting up their coffee, but it had to be done.

Please name which previous J-PMs and why.

Now if he could just stop with the ritual offerings to Yasukuni, and folks just might take him as being sincere.

The 21,151 Koreans enshrined in Yasukuni might not appreciate that.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Michael MachidaToday  08:30 am JST

"...Kishida stopped short of offering a new official apology for wrongs committed under the 1910-1945 occupation "

So, what's it all mean then?

You cut off "but said his government inherits the stance of earlier administrations, some of which have issued apologies."

Which means that the previous position and apologies stands unchanged.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Science nations, working for the improvement of the whole human race.

Now just cross the border. Pure evil, hostile, dehumanizing ideologies.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

To establish firm ties with South Korea, Kishida needs to ignore the influence of ultranationalists in the LDP and other parties at home. Which he won't do, because it means political suicide.

Which is only one way in which Japan is stuck, because the Tokyo establishment cannot distance itself from the shadows of Nippon Kaigi and Yasukuni Shrine.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

So far PM Kishida has gone out of his way to support Pres Yoon, for the betterment of both nations. Both leaders are to be commended and should be supported.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

How many years should you have to apologize for something you didn't even do? Japan has apologized and "regretted" the past so many times. It's time to grow up, countries, and move on. The best way to heal is to move on and try not to repeat the past.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Yes, there are still many banzai nutters out there that are not gonna like this but(!) Kishida needed to say some strong words…; it doesn’t feel good to say it, I know, but we can’t change the past…; but there are limits… and I believe that President Yoon is smart enough to understand and accept those limits. Well done, PM Fumio Kishida. Well done, President Yoon Suk Yeol.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

You cut off "but said his government inherits the stance of earlier administrations, some of which have issued apologies."

Which means that the previous position and apologies stands unchanged.

Apology for what? Japan didn’t invade Korea.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

It hurts so much that he :

https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Kishida-sends-ritual-offering-to-Yasukuni-shrine

Kishida sends ritual offering to Yasukuni shrine

I guess he felt better after that?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

It's easy to be cynical, and I am sure there will be some people back-pedaling as always, but some political leaders on both sides have gone out of their way to show the type of sincerity that Koreans want to see.

The usual words like 'regret' etc. do not really cut the mustard, but original thought, and expressions such as this do.

心が痛む, 'kokoro ga itamu' gets closer to a feeling that all people of any nation can recognize, even if some readers here may quibble over the exact translation. These two guys are doing a very good job in this respect, IMHO, and I wish them luck.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

KIshida did not say his 'heart hurts' over pain caused by occupation

He said "For me personally, my heart hurts when I think of the many people who endured terrible suffering and grief under the difficult circumstances of the time," where "many people" , needless to say, means all Japanese (Korean Japanese in Korea and mainland Japanese in Japan) who went through the same experience, i.e., wartime labor, conscription, comfort stations, atomic-bomb, etc ...during war time.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Gotta give the guy credit for this. Previous PM's are rolling over in their graves and spitting up their coffee, but it had to be done.

Agree.

One small step for Kishida, one giant step for Japan.

Excellent post.

He'd better be careful or he'll have the uyoku nutters driving round his residence shouting abuse through loudspeakers and sending him bullets and fingertips in the post.

Oh there will be some blowback. What exactly it will be remains to be seen

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Yet South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party criticised Yoon for being submissive, "oblivious to history", and engaging in "humiliation diplomacy."

Who no doubt would love to stay on the eternal resentment train, that goes round and round, with no chance of venturing off to newer and greener pastures.

If these two cousin democracies couldn't ever get along, they may as well just fall into the jaws of the waking dragon, that would have chewed them both up and spit them out with contempt.

Now that the adults are at the table, China will have to sit back down too. It's like a pebble in a pond.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This is honestly a bit cringey and reminds me of Euro-apologism over their Imperial pasts, but I get that he is playing the longer game here. It's well timed. Overall Yoon is probably one of the more rational statesmen regarding S. Korea-Japan relations, so for Kishida to do this now makes sense.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

So, bye, bye Miss American Pie, took my Chevy to . . .

Yoon Sok Seol is one heck of a politician. We need more leaders like this guy.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"Speaking to reporters after his summit with Yoon, Kishida stopped short of offering a new official apology for wrongs committed under the 1910-1945 occupation..."

Sigh... well, better than what most have offered lately, and I like that it was not prearranged. Baby steps, I guess.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

South Korean politicians will still be digging up old wounds and milking the imperial occupation of four generations ago 1000 years from now.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

South Korean politicians will still be digging up old wounds and milking the imperial occupation of four generations ago 1000 years from now.

Maybe, but far less likely if they're working together to solve real problems based on shared values & interests, especially with less friendly counties participating together - opposite of war/military escalation/disruption.

Let's all be optimistic but contain our expectations, every journey needs that first big step - and that's what this is!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One has to look at France and Germany today, those two have moved nicely in just 78 years, so it's all doable!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

first visit to the South Korean capital by a Japanese leader in 12 years

What have the other PM:s been doing the last decade? At least Kishida did this thing right. (As for the words spoken, as usual vague to avoid upsetting either left or right wingers...)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What have the other PM:s been doing the last decade? At least Kishida did this thing right. (As for the words spoken, as usual vague to avoid upsetting either left or right wingers...)

You're being kind, decade?! More like centuries!

Remind people that China just brokered amazing peace reproachment in the Mid-East, Suni and Shia, Saudi and Iran, causing +1.5 billion Muslims celebrate!

In case of Japan and SK, only about 10% as much, but we'll cheer even louder!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told South Koreans on Sunday his "heart hurts" when he thinks of suffering and pain during Japanese colonial rule, in a nod to historical disputes that have soured relations between the two U.S. allies.

Give me a break. Is anyone buying that crap?

Since when does Kishida have empathy (or any kind of knowledge) for anything?

Why doesn't he just give Korea 500 million yen, like Africa and call it a day already.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yoon and Kishida understand that overall it is beneficial to both countries to move forward and become closer again. As Yoon said a while back something like it is unfortunate that 50 years of terrible times can overshadow 1,500 years of relatively peaceful times. Japan and Korea have so much to offer each other. It's time to work towards that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

FredrikToday  02:07 pm JST

first visit to the South Korean capital by a Japanese leader in 12 years

What have the other PM:s been doing the last decade?

Waiting to be invited to Seoul as the ally that they are, instead of being treated as an enemy.

This is what SK Presidents have been foing for the past 12 years.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is politicians that need to withdraw, replaced by an independent commission made up of educators, diplomats, historians from both countries to report with guidelines and policies that create trust and change.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, in fact every past Prime Minster or President has failed to convince their peoples to embrace or even endorse any long term stable security economic co operation structure or agreement.

What's absent missing is certitude, confidence, trust., belief between both peoples that past grievances resulting from belligerent imperialism can be overcome.

The Government of China is waiting to pounce, to control through any means necessary to displace democratic governments and enter into a military campaign to control the crucial global shipping routes.

Coercion, I believe this coronavirus crisis as UN is coming to accept is a act of hostile intent.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol could create the building blocks to counter political reticence within there countries

Time is running out

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, there are still many banzai nutters out there that are not gonna like this but(!) Kishida needed to say some strong words…; it doesn’t feel good to say it, I know, but we can’t change the past…; but there are limits… and I believe that President Yoon is smart enough to understand and accept those limits. Well done, PM Fumio Kishida. Well done, President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Yoon has signalled he doesn't believe Japan needs to "kneel" any more over what happened in the past, …

..

As for Yasukuni (not far from my house): there are 2466532 names there…; of those 2466532, 1054 were convicted war criminals and 14 were A-Class war criminals…; do the math…; I say let the Japanese honor the people that suffered and died for Japan…; their country, their blood, their shrine.

..

nandakandamandaToday  11:22 am JST “ It's easy to be cynical, and I am sure there will be some people back-pedaling as always, but some political leaders on both sides have gone out of their way to show the type of sincerity that Koreans want to see. 

The usual words like 'regret' etc. do not really cut the mustard, but original thought, and expressions such as this do. 

心が痛む, 'kokoro ga itamu' gets closer to a feeling that all people of any nation can recognize, even if some readers here may quibble over the exact translation. These two guys are doing a very good job in this respect, IMHO, and I wish them luck. “

Well said.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kishida probably got played, he's way too quick to lift the sanctions on South Korea. when their next president takes over, it'll be the usual bs again.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hurting heart? No reperations?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ridiculous man is Kishida. The South Korean bloke isn't much better.

All for show, all an act. I wouldn't trust Kishida at all

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

One has to look at France and Germany today, those two have moved nicely in just 78 years, so it's all doable!

Germany has ever colonized France? More like it just invaded France for a while? What was France under German ruling like? Were there any political powers in France including then-PM and other ministers governing France, who requested Germany to absorb France under one unified country?  Did Germany invest into France for its industrial and social infrastructures to improve the lives of French people to double/triple up lifespan and literacy rate of French?

One has to look at Japan and Taiwan today, which went through Japan’s ruling as well, even longer than Korea did to realize the fundamental problem(s) which makes the perception so different between Korea and Taiwan really.    

What have the other PM:s been doing the last decade? At least Kishida did this thing right. (As for the words spoken, as usual vague to avoid upsetting either left or right wingers...)

No one would ask such question if he/she knows what other former SK presidents have done that last decade… At least you should know the one who had kept rejecting meeting Japanese PM , home or away, until last minute intermediated by Obama.

Damn, what could you folks possibly expect Japanese PM against those kinds of counterparts who have kept back-pedaling, tossed up by ignorant and NK influenced-populace?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why so many people in HongKong say " I am not a Chinese. I am a HongKonger"?

You never know if current HongKongers might be missing days under British ruling like very old Taiwanese who know their good old Japanese days missing their Japanese days. And You certainly don't know the the difference between Korea and HongKong in terms of the historical junctures that put both under other's ruling.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good on PM Kishida, for saying what he should have said.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Donald SeekinsToday  09:58 am JST

To establish firm ties with South Korea, Kishida needs to ignore the influence of ultranationalists in the LDP and other parties at home. Which he won't do, because it means political suicide.

Wrong. Kishida has little resistsance from within the LDP towards his accomodating President Yoon's agenda. It is Pres Yoon who has the far greater hurdle of overcoming decades of ingrained anti-JPN sentiment, which his politica adversaries are using against him. Japan's "ultranationalists" have the United States behind them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One person showing a smile with teeth and the other person showing none at all. Ok which one is lying through their teeth?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's definitely a step in the right direction but it's not an apology.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both sides showed sincerity and wisdom of forward thinking. Of course Japan will do more for the relationship if the atmosphere is right. Some pressure from the Korean DP is fine but should not become the stumbling block that it has for too long. The triple alliance among the US, Japan and Korea is gaining strength but definitely should add Taiwan and the Philippines in to really strengthen the First Island Chain, much needed in Cold War 2.0 started by the New Axis (China, Russia, NK) as in the 1.0 (featuring the same rogue trio).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan annexed Korea without any problem in terms of international law and made it a part of Japan, but Koreans cannot accept it and continue to cry out for aggression.

I do not deny that there were professional prostitutes, but unfortunately there is no evidence other than the testimonies of those who claim to be survivors that they were kidnapped by the Japanese army.

The South Korean government claims that 200,000 women were kidnapped, turned into slaves, and killed, but it is a strange issue to finally come to light about half a century after the end of the war. And none of the alleged victims' families have spoken out.

Even in the issue of forced labor, the court has made it clear that they were simply migrant workers and not people who were forced to work by the state.

Despite this, South Korea's Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional and seized Mitsubishi's assets for the victims.

Countries that make judgments based on national sentiments rather than laws are not called developed countries.

Needless to say, these problems created by South Korea should be handled within South Korea regardless of Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@A.N

You have such a dystopian take on the Japanese invasion of Korea.

Where are you getting it from?

Do your history books picture the WW2 like that?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It would be ideal for Koreans and Japanese to get along and confront China and Russia, but unfortunately it is not realistic due to North Korea's maneuvering.

For Koreans, anti-Japanese education cannot be abandoned, and the spirit of resentment will continue to be carried on.

For Koreans, history is something that they modify for their convenience, and it cannot be said to be true.

Those who believe in the Korean historical view need to examine why their history is not accepted in the world and is said to be untrue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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