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Lee says emperor would have to apologize if he wishes to visit S Korea

105 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa

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© 2012 AFP

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Must be an election year.

22 ( +25 / -4 )

“If he is going to visit with a term such as ‘regret,’ there would be no need for him to come,”

Zing!

Green Panda: In which nation? Seems to be yet ANOTHER Japanese election is in the folds as well. That would make six PMs while Lee has been in power in SK. Now, what was that about an election again?

-16 ( +11 / -27 )

Where did all the money go Mr. President?

12 ( +21 / -8 )

I'd reckon, in terms of dignity, self-respect and integrity, the Emperor's worth ten of this little toss-pot. And I'm no monarchist, believe me.

16 ( +26 / -9 )

Isn't this the monarchy that Koreans always harp about having ties to? Is that anyway to greet your long, not so lost Emperor? At his age the Emperor has probably had enough traveling for the year, especially since his trip to attend the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was just three months ago.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Aah, get over it Lee. Concentrate on the year 2012 for goodness sake.

It just goes to prove that the majority of Koreans hold a very aggresive chip on their shoulders about previous history when they weren't even born. No wonder there is still a huge wall between the two Koreas. Name me one other nation where a militarised wall still exists. Berlin came down, Cyprus is trying to integrate, Northern Ireland has peace. Even Beirut is peaceful now. These Koreans will start the next war with their hatred.

15 ( +26 / -10 )

I doubt if this remark would bump up S Korea as one of the Emperor's must-visit list.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Lee says emperor would have to apologize if he wishes to visit S Korea

Like the Emperor is really upset about crossing that trip off of his schedule...

“If he is going to visit with a term such as ‘regret,’ there would be no need for him to come,”

An apology also means 'to express regret'. A regret means 'to be apologetic'. So how about a sincere regret...?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

This gets ever more childish. Did the Emperor even want to go to Korea?

6 ( +13 / -7 )

The Northern Irish had been murdering each other in the name of religious divide. Families were filled with hatred and revenge for previous deaths carried out by the other side. Yet they shook hands and made peace to stop their country falling apart. Even the Queen, who had her own cousin murdered by the IRA, went to Ireland and shook hands with the people responsible for her cousins murder. The Koreans however, still want to carry their hatred from a time when they weren't even born.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For God's sake get over it. WW2 ended nearly 70 years ago. Wake up!

16 ( +22 / -7 )

Constant territorial disputes, politicians visiting yasukuni, white washing of history, denial of the existence of comfort women, faulty textbooks, defacing of Korean property by Japanese nationalists, harassment by your countrymen, etc isn't something that occurred 70 years ago. Stuff like this is happening right now as we speak. Thats why Koreans don't think too highly of Japan.

Yasukuni was fine until they enshrined those guilty of war crimes. It is also filled with those who died for their country. Where you come from, do your school history books tell the independent truth and admit guilt over previous history? I'm British and I was never taught the truth about British colonialism and it's horrors. There are nationalists all over the world, but they are just nationalists. But you don't need your president being a nationalist. if you want harrassment try living as a foreigner in Korea instead of Japan. Japan is way ahead in terms of integration.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Out of all countries in the region, Korea appears to have the biggest chip on it's shoulders. It's kind of hatred for hatred sake. A lot stuff happened all over the world in the world during the 19th and 20th centuries, in Europe, in Africa, in other parts of Asia, yet everyone is "trying" to or has moved on, except for Korea.

I think people are reaching the point with Korea as they did with the troubles in Northern Ireland. World opinion starts to change from "Terrible what happened to Poor Korea" to "what's wrong with these people".

As a foot note, the troubles in Ireland were still current at the time and crimes were being committed (you could see them on TV) right up until a working resolution was agreed upon. However with Korea, its like 70+ years and many generations ago. So again, "what's wrong with these people."

I am talking about the gerneral attitude of the Korean population here, AND NO a few right wing nutters in Japan or Europe or the US which the media like to blast us with, is not justification for general hatred.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Out of all countries in the region, Korea appears to have the biggest chip on it's shoulders. It's kind of hatred for hatred sake. A lot stuff happened all over the world in the world during the 19th and 20th centuries, in Europe, in Africa, in other parts of Asia, yet everyone is "trying" to or has moved on, except for Korea.

I think people are reaching the point with Korea as they did with the troubles in Northern Ireland. World opinion starts to change from "Terrible what happened to Poor Korea" to "what's wrong with these people".

As a foot note, the troubles in Ireland were still current at the time and crimes were being committed (you could see them on TV) right up until a working resolution was agreed upon. However with Korea, its like 70+ years and many generations ago. So again, "what's wrong with these people."

I am talking about the general attitude of the Korean population here, AND NO a few right wing nutters in Japan or Europe or the US which the media like to blast us with, is not justification for national hatred.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

the petty political grandstanding by this desperate loser Lee has probably just set relations between Korea and Japan back by about 20 years or so.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

the petty political grandstanding by this demagogic loser Lee has probably just set relations between Korea and Japan back by about 20 years or so.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Janesblonde

I totally agree. Lee is playong with the heart of the koreabs for his own benefits

11 ( +14 / -3 )

demagogic loser, meant to say demagogic, not desperate...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It will be interesting to see if he apologize. Back in 1992, i remember the king had to apologize to the people of chinese for his 6 days trip to beijing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

election time....who cares about what Korea think? This stunt was not really directed against Japan perse but to score points to remain in power. Pathethic and self defeating.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Fake sentiment is the worst kind

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is clearly getting fired up because of the renegade Korean athlete who brandished about the banner about Korea's claim to islands that Japan claims and got sent home by Olympic committee officials. Kind of foolish to do that. Neither the appropriate time or place as the Olympics tends to be a politically neutral time for countries to put aside their differences. Athletes are national representatives - and at the Olympics are essentially understood to keep out of politics.

Having said that Japan has much to answer for years of watering down and understating it's actions and responsibilities in WWII.

As for the Islands - since no one can make a happy decision about them - split them up into three or 4 (sometimes there are up to 4 countries claiming certain Islands) national zones - and work out access to fishery, mineral, and mining resources according to these 4 (equal in size) geographic zones according the international law of the sea until such time as a happier solution can be found.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

there would be no need for him to come

I'd leave it at that. No point in visiting a place where he isn't welcome.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The Emperor should visit Disneyland and Shinjuku absorb the night life... enjoy himself. He's old and tired with lots of family issues to deal with, it was his dad that decided to expand into the rest of Asia and leave a mark on Pearl Harbour.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No such visit has ever been planned you bastard! The emperor will never visit the Korean Peninsula.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it's wrong of Lee to make such a bold statement to the Emperor, quite frankly, who unlike many of the politicians here, has done nothing but try to help people. It would have been better to ask, than to threaten, and this looks bad on Lee and Lee alone. He is correct that Japan needs to atone for its history, but the Emperor is actually one of the only people in Japan that would probably have done so without being told. The Emperor himself admitted, much to the chagrin of rightists, that the Imperial family has Korean blood in it.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Lee is definitely crossing the line.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

Tim_Fox: "This is clearly getting fired up because of the renegade Korean athlete who brandished about the banner about Korea's claim to islands that Japan claims and got sent home by Olympic committee officials."

And why do you think the Korean athlete did what he did? Stupidity factors into it, for sure, but he had cause, and that means the issue existed before that fact. In other words, it did not start there. In fact, much of what's going on of late has to do with Japan's jumped up rhetoric on this and other island issues, not to mention the denial of sexual slavery and white-washing in the text books.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Well done president Lee! not just the people of Korea but also the people of China and the people of Russia will escalating their hostilities against Japan as island disputes continues! Three countries act together will brought Japan to see how wrongful they were being !

-25 ( +2 / -25 )

Many commenters here seems to misunderstand the article. Emperor akihito, in numerous occation, has been expressing agony and demage that his military gave to east asians in the colonial era and wanting to visit each country to apologize since, i believe, late 80's. but the matter is not that easy as it sounds because there should be political and economic agreements from both sides to make it smooth. If he has a drop of humanity inside, i believe he also wants to visit south korea to apologize but, at the time like this, i don't believe politicians both sides want him to do that.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Imagine if, though, the Emperor decides to take the high road (much higher than Lee's), and apologizes on Japan's behalf for the wrong doings of the past. It would be a sincere, heart-felt gesture as an attempt to make amends and move things forward. Now, think of how the Japanese media and right-wingers would play it. That's all I have to say on that.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

just-a-bigguy: "He has exceeded all those previous south Korean president in terms of anti-Japanese mania and ionically President Lee was born in Japan!"

Which makes him more qualified on the issues than anyone else. Ouch. That fact must hurt.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

This is the president of a proud nation in action.

-16 ( +3 / -18 )

Just wondering if the emperor express his desire to visit S.Korea hence Lee's comment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So even if Japan drops claims to the rocks there is always something else. smithinjapan, you could of fooled me.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Go easy on South Korea, they have one the strongest full militaries in asia, they have N.Korea and China to contend with, they are short on natrual resources, and they had to fight for their lives, before all this during WW2. This is not to mention all the horrifying things they had to endure during that war; that with the present mandatory enlistment of their men, barring a gold, silver or bronze metal, and you have yourself a very highstrung society, and rightfully so, I can't touch on all the reasons they have for pulling this card out from time to time, but to say that, histories like these die hard. And if our relatives had gone through such things and our families were as tightknit as they are in South Korea even today, I dare say, we would feel the same way. So like I said, let's go easy on this nation, lets work even harder, for as long as it takes, to get things right, evenif that day never comes in our lifetime, at least we tried right? Peace.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

They should spend a day apologizing to each other and be done with it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I was under the impression that the Emperor had already apologized twice to South Korea. But people these days have short memories.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

was under the impression that the Emperor had already apologized twice to South Korea. But people these days have short memories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan#cite_note-43

According to the Koreans this never happened tho.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The Japanese emperor seems to want to say more, but he is restrained by not only national sentiment but also the imperial household staff. He is more of a friend to Korea than anything else. So this is unfortunate comment and somewhat rude IMHO. Regrettable indeed!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

beowulf: "I was under the impression that the Emperor had already apologized twice to South Korea. But people these days have short memories."

What they want is something genuine, not mandatory. That said, if an when an apology is made by the Emperor it is immediately discredited by the government, which makes it rather pointless, no? This one man may be trying to do good if he apologizes, but it is immediately undermined by the right-wing nuts here.

That said, I ask you... what do you think the response would be if the Emperor went to Korea, bowed down, and apologized? It would be welcomed in Korea, and screamed at back home. Hence, all apologies have been nothing but empty words.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

ubikwit: "the petty political grandstanding by this demagogic loser Lee has probably just set relations between Korea and Japan back by about 20 years or so"

Ouch, so that would be like, what... 30 Japanese PMs? No wonder nothing ever gets done here.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Lee is in the last few months of his failed term as president. Riddled with scandal, and even his own party distancing themselves from him, he needs a legacy other than growing societal differentials, some of the lowest 'happiness' rankings in the OECD, and a state only benefitting the likes of Samsung; BINGO!! just before the last Liberation Day of his presidency he just happens to visit Dokdo, and will be forever noted as the first SK president to do so.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The emperor's already apologized, and he probably doesn't want to visit Korea.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Now that it's been settled the Emperor won't be vacationing in Seoul anytime soon, might I suggest Tokyo work on some urban beautification measures. It can start by removing those ugly hangul signs from railway platforms in the greater metropolitan area. And while they're at it, pull the bottles of makkoli and jinro out of the convenience stores.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Wrong time to play on "emotions" of any nation, especially when "nationalism" has been heightened by the fervor of Olympic competition. S. Korea especially benefiting from the presence of Japan more than the US, should realize that only by letting the past be the past, could real nation building begin. Political grandstanding and playing on "negative" emotions and directing such to potential "crisis" between nations, is definitely a lose - lose situation for all involved and may get involved, including China and the USA.

Just as the US helped in the growth of Japan after the war, Japan helped S. Korea, China and other nations throughout Asia. There were atrocities by all participating countries during the war and there still is during a war. Only by accepting the past and devoting the time and effort to making things better by performing better to higher standards, would the world improve.

Sad that "poor" economic conditions always seem to affect the emotions of people in power to instigate emotional reactions just to be able to distract the attention from the poor economic conditions and open up the possibility of war to "gain" properties and resources that "appear" to be the possible source for future economic boom. S. Korea is doing exactly what China is doing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lee's approval rating before visiting the rocks : 17%

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Tell 'im 'e's dreaming'! The continued Japanese denials / convenient amnesia / educationally negligent ignorance of issues such as the Nanking Massacre and sex-slavery is a stain on Japan. Put in a histo-cultural context, Japanese administration and many people who even bother to consider it feel they have paid their dues as 'the defeated'. Reparations were paid years ago and they will stick to that line. Sad as it is to say, in many ways the 'statute of limitations' on crimes of state committed in WWII have probably expired, even if many who suffered have no. As for a Japanese Emperor going to Korea? Not in my lifetime, and I ain't going yonder any time soon.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

ikkoikki: "Lee is in the last few months of his failed term as president."

Making him only outlast five Japanese PMs.

bicultural: "Lee's approval rating before visiting the rocks : 17%"

I guess it's a wee bit down from Japan's fifth PM since he too office. Might be sixth, soon. Call Lee what you want, but nothing will match the instability of the Japanese government. Heck, didn't 54% of those polled just the other day oppose Japan's handling of the issue in question?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Call Lee what you want, but nothing will match the instability of the Japanese government.

Korean presidents, like the US, are elected to serve a fixed term (of five years). Japan is a parliamentary democracy whose prime minister is picked by the party with the most seats in the lower house. It is patently ludicrous to attempt any comparison.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Rik314, Korea is the one doing the "whitewashing". Many Koreans served in the Imperial forces and they made up the bulk of the POW and Internment guards. Now they are Japans victims. About 'statute of limitations' most of the criminals are DEAD from old age. A 20 year old at the end of the war is 87.

I am for Japan becoming NEUTRAL in the Korean civil war. Since the southern faction hates us, why should we risk attack to support them? Tell you Article #9 already does this for Japan. Prevents the Americans from using their Japanese bases as well.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

To Virtuoso: Now that it's been settled the Emperor won't be vacationing in Seoul anytime soon, might I suggest Tokyo work on some urban beautification measures. It can start by removing those ugly hangul signs from railway platforms in the greater metropolitan area. And while they're at it, pull the bottles of makkoli and jinro out of the convenience stores.

I agree 100% with you!

Japan should retaliate economically, cut out export high tech parts that only Japan can produce and closes all pachinkos store, proven sickness of postwar Japan and has links with North Korea and the Mafia

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just...so disrespectful.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

While I am no fan Lee, he is bang on about Japans "apologies" they always are so vague to be meaningless, they always REGRET, but NEVER mention what they actually regret, its always left to interpret that Japan only regrets LOSING, not that it wrecked havoc & killed 20-30million people............

That said like Smith, I wud BET the Emperor if freed from his cage wud willing give a REAL heart felt apology, but alas the govt & his keepers will keep the Emperor shackled forever, very sad & unfortunate state of affairs imo

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@smithinjapan

yeah, that may be true but doesn't seem to relate to the statement at question.

the emperor of japan has hardly been a controversial figure, except to some extremist who would rather he not make statements that pull the national dialog back toward the center when it drifts too far to the right. let's recall that it wasn't so long ago during the furor over the hostage crisis that he did the exact opposite of what mr. lee has done. that is to say the emperor defused a growing nationalistic uproar being fueled by the right wing nationalist, whereas lee has fanned the flames of divisive nationalism, unabashedly and apparently simply for political gain.

since it's not as easy to replace the president in korea as it is a pm in japan, i certainly hope that he isn't reelected.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

South Korea should just concentrate on North Korea Issues rather than thinking about the History all the time..... It's not like the Emperor is entirely at fault.... Come on ! Don't be childish...

4 ( +5 / -3 )

People tend to forget that Lee asked publicly in 2009 for the Emperor to visit in 2010 and was refused.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zei1VbRfnvg

Now he has the audacity to put "conditions" on the Emperor's visit as if he's under the assumption that the Emperor wants to go there.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Go easy on South Korea

They are creating their problems.

(6) Rich tourists in Korea are Japanese, spending millions of US Dollar.

They are enriched North-Koreans that took Japanese nationality. They also own lots of SK industry (the Lotte group, etc). Now, if they find South-Koreans too painful... while the Northern polar bears are getting more friendly, they can move the cash to Pyongyang in a few weeks.

S. Korea is doing exactly what China is doing.

The Frog Who Wanted to be as Big as The Cow. At the limit China doesn't care about the rest of the world. But South-Korea ? They are such a small country. They have all to lose by not getting along with Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

sorry,,,but I am not going near "Korean BBQ " anytime soon!!

lost a costumer here!!!

( I am American but this guy , not to sounds strange , but this guy sounds like Fidel Castro)

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

GW: Japans "apologies" they always are so vague to be meaningless, they always REGRET, but NEVER mention what they actually regret

Ummm, like GW above, many commentors here fail to realize Japan has officially made undeniable statements of apology to Korea repeatedly, about 30 times actually, since the 1950s. Including the current Emperor and his father:

-Akihito in 1992 to Korean President Roh Tae Woo: "Reflecting upon the suffering that your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by our nation, I cannot but feel the deepest remorse"

-And most recently, PM Kan said in Dec 2010: "I express a renewed feeling of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by colonial rule,". Kan also said Japan colonized Korea "against the will of the Korean people" who suffered great damage to their national pride and loss of culture and sovereignty as a result.

-And lest everyone forget, in several repeated displays of apology, in 1992 PM Miyazawa first stated in no unclear words: "[Concerning the comfort women,] I apologize from the bottom of my heart and feel remorse for those people who suffered indescribable hardships",

-And then 2 weeks later Miyazawa said directly to Korean president Roh Tae Woo: "We the Japanese people, first and foremost, have to bear in our mind the fact that your people experienced unbearable suffering and sorrow during a certain period in the past because of our nation's act, and never forget the feeling of remorse. I, as a prime minister, would like to once again express a heartfelt remorse and apology to the people of your nation",

-And then again the following day Miyazawa stated to the entirety of the Korean nation while actually in Korea: "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."

So, please, tell me, what part of this don't you, President Lee, or the whole of Korea get?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

If Japan had "apologized" so deeply and earnestly... then the Japanese population as a whole would have no problem talking about the war and the atrocities that they have caused. But that's not how it goes. Do you ever hear a Japanese person saying that Japan was in the wrong during the war, and they have caused all its neighboring countries all sorts of problems? No.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Funny... history in another 100 years or less may reveal in more detail that Korea and Japan and even China are closely "related" people wise. The societies are different and nations may be different, but "culturally" they are very closely related. The difference are in their "development" as a society and nation within the last 1,000 years or so.

That said.., sad that people in "power" continue to want to see...only their own advancement and not the betterment of their society or the world as a single humanity. In doing so they bring much to much suffering to too many people. Even I have to think about what all this could mean to my family's survival.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not only did WWII end almost 70 years ago, Japan's colonization of Korea began just over 100 years ago. It really is time to move on otherwise they'll be doomed to an Israel-Palestine kind of situation that may just last forever. Some will say that the colonization lasted for 35 years so that is why it is hard to forgive but I still think Japan-Korea ties are the best they've ever been thanks to the 2002 World Cup and the myriad of cultural exchanges going on between "normal" citizens since then. As boring as Korean TV Dramas are (and Japanese ones for that matter!) a lot of people in Japan like them and that must be a good thing. Koreans are into Japanese culture as well (anime, manga, movies, and art etc.) so as long as that continues, gradually things will get better. In 30 or 40 years from now I doubt the current 20 to 30-year-olds in both countries will have the same negative feelings as many of the 60 to 70-year-olds may have, so the only way is for relations to improve, however gradual that may be. At the end of the day, it's worth making an effort to get along with your neighbor. Both countries are very interesting and both deserve to be understood by each other more and more. You have to move forward.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

How childish can you get Lee? Seriously grow the hell up.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Dear President Lee, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan Sincerely, The rest of the world

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's very interesting to see our president Lee suddenly commented on the Japanese King's visit to Korea while it was never discussed between both national diplomatics officially.

Now Mr. Lee's comment is another series of preparing for his last year's presidency term. He needs another bigger issue to make people's interets to other place while his brother got arrested for accepting bribery from saving banks. (getting on thin ice)

No matter how LMB commented and both governments reacted , I believe the exchange in civil level has no problem each other between both national people.

It's always third parties or medias who instigate these kind of issues which actually have no affect on the living of people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thomas Anderson: If Japan had "apologized" so deeply and earnestly... then the Japanese population as a whole would have no problem talking about the war and the atrocities that they have caused.

So, what would be satisfactory as an apology, other than officially stating it? (That is what President Lee's apparently failed memory just asked for, right?)

How about daily parades through the streets nearly 70 years after the war ended to remind everyone how evil their great-grandfathers were? (Even so, from the flippancy of Koreans, I doubt it'd be enough)

Or how about together signing a mutually agreed upon peace treaty where Japan gives Korea $800million in apology payments to the people who suffered and/or died? Oh wait, they did do that, in 1965. But even though Japan wanted to pay each victim directly, the Korean government seized control of the money stating they would dole it out themselves, and instead they didn't give one cent to the victims and secretly kept the payment in the government coffers (no wonder the comfort women complained for compensation for so long). But in case you missed it, this whole hidden payment scam became known in 2005 when Korean documents surfaced detailing how the Korean government used the money for road projects and other infrastructure development instead (I bet Hyundai Heavy Industries was happy about that).

Seriously. Of the uncountable war-crimes that have occured in the past 100 years, none have lingered with such rebuff as the Korean one.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It is actually very difficult to feel for any kind of Japanese people (who visit or living in Korea ) to find general Korean people are anti-Japan. (although people react differently during history related topic discussion) Poeple know to divide between history topic and actual-living.

Ask any Japanese people who actually been to Korea for travel or business trip. If they find it very unhappy or dangerous, they would not visit Korea nor do business with Koreans. Same thing applied to Koreans who visit Japan or make business with Japanese companies.

We are living under capitalism world where unvisible hands works.

History is another good topic to make special stories by medias and political field to get people's interets.

Internet opinions are reflecting only very part or biased opinions that goes completely different from actual world. People need to wary on this .

Regadless of the above facts , I believe just some minority portion of people in both nations have preconceptional biased view on each other. ( maybe less than 10 % in each IMO) but that does not mean that they are harassing in real.

Just ideas only.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's pretty sad when this hatred is on a national level. I've known people from SE Asia who were subject to Japanese atrocities in WW2, and THEY'VE GOTTEN OVER IT. It also seems like Korea's main reason for existence is to beat Japan in everything. Anyway, these antics they do sure tarnishes what their country has done economically the last few decades.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

smithinjapan since the south Koreans hate Japanese, why should we put our neck out for them? The SDF is for defending Japan and Japan should not get involved in other peoples fights. Seoul and Taipei do not like us and supporting either during a conflict opens Japan to be hit. Just letting the Americans use their bases is a form of passive support. Remember the Chinese and Korean civil wars are not our fights. About fighting the Chinese, I support defending our country and not attacking anyone.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's very possible that Lee, being born in Japan, needs to play the anti-Japan card more than others for the sake of political survival. But still, this is as really stupid and offensive statement comming from a head of state. The current Emperor had NOTHING to do with the Imperiasl Japanese Govornment under his late father. So why is Lee demanding an aplogy from him? I can not accept South Korea ignoring the 1965 treaty and the Payment that Japan made that was suppose to cover the comfort womem. I can not accept South Korea continuing to refiuse to put and end to the islamd dispute through the ICJ. But this comment from Lee really takes the cake. Global Korea? Try in another 50 years.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Meh, absurd political grandstanding on Lee's part. There have been apologies, but the Koreans always want more. Even if the Emperor read a script written by SK they would still want more. I think Yuri is right on this one; Japan should stick to it's national interests and let the Koreans pitch all the fits they want without a response. The SDF is for Japan's defense. That's the way SK and the rest wanted it, that's what they get.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Any leader of a country should tender an apology if they have done wrong for the purpose of unity and peace. No need for politics, which is the cancer of society.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It will never end. No matter how much the Japanese apologize,they will always want more and more.........

Maybe that's an inferiority complex ?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This problem is simple to break up, just japan to cut diplomatic and economic relations, now!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Loose-loose situation at the politicians bests!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once again, a vague "floating" story w/o context? Did Lee just happen to say this? Or is the emperor considering a trip? If the Emperor's not even thinking of going, it is pretty weak to just up and say "Yeah, n if he wants to come he better apologize!"

On the other hand, if he were to go, a sincere apology could be appropriate. I haven't read all the comments, but the top several were a lot of "WWII ended a long time ago, who cares" and "it wasn't this emperor it was his dad". Yes, but these things happen to hang on ppl. What things? There's colonies and then there's colonies. The jpns were not benevolent rulers of Korea. They forced everyone to learn jpns in school and wouldn't allow the Korean language. They bulldozed some huge part of I think Seoul, that wasn't just bulldozing, but something of a national symbol. On purpose. Then they deface several (all?) mountaintops. Everyone thinks Christianity and Buddhism when they think Korea, but there is an old long tradition of spirit-worship and mt-worship in Korea, and for a ppl who honor their ancestors as much as the Ks, even if their modern religion is another, these old symbols of national identity are very important. All of these things and more were done on purpose to break the spirit of the ppl. Other colonies have been worse, but this is one of the bad ones, to me. Even if you as a modern Westerner can't understand nature-god worship, the fact is that once something important is defaced and humiliation is experienced, it doesn't go away, and it doesn't go away in the hearts of the ppl. All this is not to mention the human sacrifice experienced at the hands of the jpns.

I agree w/ posters who say K has a jpn complex, and K pols manipulate the besmirched emotions of average Koreans for personal gain, and must get over it. However, I think Jpn has as much a K complex, if not even more, and the fact is the jpns are the ones who did the awful stuff. However symbolic a head of state the Emp is, a sincere apology/ acknowledgment of history would be the smart and necessary diplomatic move. And the fact is all that "regrettable" zannen crap that jpns trot out when trying to evade responsibility is really sickening.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Seems like Lee has a very short memory.

A little less than 2 years ago NK bombed SKean island and it almost went into an all out war.

And just over 2 years ago NK torpedo SK's warship killing 46 sailors.

I think he should watch his back instead of instigating a fight.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

well at least he got the "regret" nonsense correct. Japanese don't understand it. Can I blame the original translators of that?

Anyway not much of a story if it's all hypothetical posturing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do Korean people actually fall for Lee's show of using anti-Japan sentiment to boost his popularity??? I mean... people have access to the internet now a days and can see right past you!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Before any conflict between SK and Japan can escalate, it's more likely a civil war between North and South Korea would erupt. Lee should worry about that more than trying to improve his popularity ratings. And no need for an apology from the emperor, since nothing Japan does will appease insecure Koreans anyhow. It's more probable they'll get nuked by their commie brothers anyway before they accept any apologies. Wouldn't you agree, sfe6252ges?

-2 ( +4 / -4 )

Nice job moving the goalpost... not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Supey11Aug. 15, 2012 - 12:08AM JST Ummm, like GW above, many commentors here fail to realize Japan has officially made undeniable statements of >apology to Korea repeatedly, about 30 times actually, since the 1950s. Including the current Emperor and his father:

-Akihito in 1992 to Korean President Roh Tae Woo: "Reflecting upon the suffering that your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by our nation, I cannot but feel the deepest remorse"

-And most recently, PM Kan said in Dec 2010: "I express a renewed feeling of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by colonial rule,". Kan also said Japan colonized Korea "against the will of the Korean people" who suffered great damage to their national pride and loss of culture and sovereignty as a result.

-And lest everyone forget, in several repeated displays of apology, in 1992 PM Miyazawa first stated in no unclear words: "[Concerning the comfort women,] I apologize from the bottom of my heart and feel remorse for those people who suffered indescribable hardships",

-And then 2 weeks later Miyazawa said directly to Korean president Roh Tae Woo: "We the Japanese people, first and foremost, have to bear in our mind the fact that your people experienced unbearable suffering and sorrow during a certain period in the past because of our nation's act, and never forget the feeling of remorse. I, as a prime minister, would like to once again express a heartfelt remorse and apology to the people of your nation",

-And then again the following day Miyazawa stated to the entirety of the Korean nation while actually in Korea: "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."

So, please, tell me, what part of this don't you, President Lee, or the whole of Korea get?

Wow...score minus 10 for South Korea, Is there any point in apologizing to a party who never recognizes that apology and continues to demand one?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

President Lee and South Korea have nothing to apologize for to Japan. Instead, Japan has many things to seriously apologize for. So Japan's leadership should really grow up and apologize to Russia, South Korea, and China as a whole. For those westerners who will boycott some Korean businesses over this, I as an American will instead support those Korean businesses even more. Those of you who bash South Korea and its leadership for its righteous patriotic act need to do some serious soul-searching. The majority of East Asian neighbors are not on Japan's side. Japan should drop its arrogant ego from the international stage.

-14 ( +1 / -17 )

Meet the New Boss,Same as the Old Boss ! This Guy & those crybabies in Korea will be demanding their asses be kissed for the next 200 years,should earth still exist!
0 ( +0 / -0 )

CVHuanAug. 15, 2012 - 06:07AM JST

President Lee and South Korea have nothing to apologize for to Japan. Instead, Japan has many things to seriously apologize for. So Japan's leadership should really grow up and apologize to Russia, South Korea, and China as a whole. For those westerners who will boycott some Korean businesses over this, I as an American will instead support those Korean businesses even more. Those of you who bash South Korea and its leadership for its righteous patriotic act need to do some serious soul-searching. The majority of East Asian neighbors are not on Japan's side. Japan should drop its arrogant ego from the international stage.

I'm from Malaysia and even though the elderly still speak of japanese atrocities, there is no widespread hatred towards the japanese. actually the hardships faced during japanese occupation is used as a motivation for the younger generations to work harder as life is much better now. I know the situation in korea and malaya were much different, but this korean hatred towards the japanese is hard to understand.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

apparently japan has made huge loans to korea after the war that they have never paid back. how about you'll get you apology after you pay the loans.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I doubt the emperor would wish to visit South Korea anyway. From what I can see it seems to be full of surly, whingeing, disagreeable characters. It's best to ignore them, rather than indulge them in their childish tantrums.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Akihito in 1992 to Korean President Roh Tae Woo: "Reflecting upon the suffering that your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by our nation, I cannot but feel the deepest remorse" -And most recently, PM Kan said in Dec 2010: "I express a renewed feeling of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by colonial rule,". Kan also said Japan colonized Korea "against the will of the Korean people" who suffered great damage to their national pride and loss of culture and sovereignty as a result. -And lest everyone forget, in several repeated displays of apology, in 1992 PM Miyazawa first stated in no unclear words: "[Concerning the comfort women,] I apologize from the bottom of my heart and feel remorse for those people who suffered indescribable hardships",

etc

supey11,

Those are fine & dandy, but sincere & REAL THEY AINT. For every example above there are MANY more where J-politicians, PMs idiots who run Tokyo that DENY they things that Japan supposedly apologized for........

Sorry but these empty, unofficial ramblings dont cut it, not even close. If after these speeches we heard about agreement, learning form the past etc THEN peoples cud move forward, but in Japan for every vague or even not so vague statement there are many more denials from the halls of power in Japan.

So to summarize, to date, there have NOT been any sincere, accepted(by Japan/Japanese) official apologies for Japans past only a few blurbs(tatemae), but it short order & on a regular basis we get those shots of the honne, a classic being shinzo abe's incredibly STUPID denial of there being any sex slaves while he was PM! & there are 100s where that came from.

In order for Japan to be taken sincerely it has to be SINCERE, to date its clear Japan still prefers denial

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

10 years ago the Emperor embarrassed right wingers in Japan talking of his pride in his Korean heritage.

2 years ago, the former Zainichi Japan born president of Korea said he would not pursue diplomatic or historic grievances with Japan under his presidency.

Must be an election year...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Those are fine & dandy, but sincere & REAL THEY AINT. For every example above there are MANY more where J-politicians, PMs idiots who run Tokyo that DENY they things that Japan supposedly apologized for........

But they had no problem accepting their money am I right?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "smithinjapan since the south Koreans hate Japanese, why should we put our neck out for them? "

Ummm, you're not, are you? If anything SK is helping to defend Japan by keeping NK in check, despite all your nonsense about "the Korean civil war"! Why are you always edging for a fight, Yuri, as a former member of SDF? You want war with China, and talk about severing ties with SK, all the while demanding the US leave and defend you at the same time.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

YuriOtani: and for the record, Yuri, Japan doesn't stick its neck our for anything unless it's hiding behind the American shield. It's certainly not 'defending' South Korea by any means. SK has superior military force and Japan could not and would not do anything to challenge it.

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

And after the current emporer apologizes in the exact form and words that the south koreans expect, they will demand that they revive the previous emporer, the one who was actually alive during the war, to also apologize and every emporer before him up until the first invasion of korea, whenever it is that the koreans may dictate and even all of that, the koreans will still not be satisified and will still have something to bitch about...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What ever happened to international conventions that disallow discrimination by job or race?

The emperor in this case is being discriminated by a government for his job and family, not by any actions of his own. He should be treated as any other individual when it comes to letting him into the country. Whether or not they wish to entertain him or allow diplomatic status is a different thing.

Only an ignorant person would assume this should not hold for the emperor as well as anyone else.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

basroil: "He should be treated as any other individual when it comes to letting him into the country."

Actually, he should be treated with more respect than your average individual -- not because of his status or his family, but because of what he has done for others past and present. Lee is clearly wrong in demanding this of the Emperor, although he is correct in wanting it from Japan in general. Either way, he played it badly. It'll be interesting to see how the Imperial household responds.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Akihito will never say "sorry" - even if hell freezes over. A dribbly "regret" is all you'll get.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Akihito will never say "sorry" - even if hell freezes over. A dribbly "regret" is all you'll get.

You would be kidding yourself to think any apology will convince the stubborn to think otherwise. Their mind is made up to hate and they are just going to keep on hating till - to use your phrase, hell freezes over.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

smithinjapanAug. 15, 2012 - 01:35PM JST

Actually, he should be treated with more respect than your average individual -- not because of his status or his family, but because of what he has done for others past and present. Lee is clearly wrong in demanding this of the Emperor, although he is correct in wanting it from Japan in general. Either way, he played it badly. It'll be interesting to see how the Imperial household responds.

Should be read as "at least equally to other individuals". I just added the explanation due to censorship.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

First, it is extremely impolite that the President demands an apology to Emperor.

Second, for all the Japanese, Emperor of Japan is pride and a symbol. The Japanese has the special feeling to the Emperor. Lee's remarks is content enough to offend almost all the Japanese.

I think that this remark is equal to declaration of war.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

and Lee just made a statement backtracking his statement...saying he was misqouted...he said what he meant was should the Japan Emperor come and visit his country it is better that he offer an apology....

yup that was after Japan said they are going to suspend the currency swap between Korea and Japan and the proposal of the lawmakers to suspend the 5 trillion promised money to Korea by Noda

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm sure visiting SK is right at the very top of the Emperor's to-do list.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Crazy Joe states: Lee is definitely crossing the line. Gets plenty of thumbs up.

Presto states: This is the president of a proud nation in action. Gets plenty of thumbs down.

Could my statement have been misunderstood? My bad. What I meant was that the leader of a proud nation, meaning a nation that prides itself for its values, would never make statements to offend another nation, especially not a symbolic head of another nation. Nor would that leader make any demands or set insulting conditions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll never understand Koreans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's time Japan supported herself instead of the two Koreas. She needs to fix her country before she can make amends with her neighbors. Judging by the quality of Japanese Olympians, I would say Japan needs an all female political party. The men always disappoint, while the women always inspire us. Japan needs a compassionate empress.

Still, even if she did apologize on the behalf of all Japanese, the apology will be considered insufficient and insincere since it doesn't come from a Japanese man, and even if it is a male it would still not be considered official just like the last 10 times an apology was issued. Only this time Japan has said enough is enough, you continue to try to defame our sincere efforts to positively improve and contribute to the international community, we won't "loan"/ donate to you trillions of yen you never plan on repaying.

What will it take? Thousands of Japanese elementary school children to apologize for their parents? "please forgive our great grand parent's past misdeeds. Please don't teach racism in your school textbooks. Please don't breed our future enemies!"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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