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S Korea's president raps cabinet on bungled pact with Japan

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I wonder how many years it is going to take for the two countries, particularly South Korea, to forgive Japan, but not forget, and let the past become a part of history books?

Culturally and historically speaking Japan and Korea have much more in common than not and it would be mutually beneficial for both countries to not only have this pact, but also increased goodwill and better relations between the two.

I hope that something good comes out of this.(Ok naive I know, but nice to dream!)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Japan does not need the GSOMIA with South Korea. Annul it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Jesus Christ! Don't these people know how to move on??

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This shambles is a cause of embarrassment for many Koreans created by stunning incompetence on the part of the ROK ruling party. This has provided Japan's looney right with 'evidence' of a carefully choreographed ploy to humiliate Japan. Depressing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It should be a given that Japan has to apologize to Korea once and for all for the mass-scale government-sanctioned raping of Korean women that took place during the occupation. That's to say nothing of other atrocities, but would be a good (and at the end of the day, essential) first step.

Then, it falls to the Koreans to get over it. After all, they actually invaded Japan first.

http://discovermagazine.com/1998/jun/japaneseroots1455/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

While this is unfortunate the brighter side I see in all this is that the views within S Korea nowadays seem to be divided and not uniformly one-sided. May have to do with different generations. As the same divide applies to Japan and the two countries are closer than ever not just economically but culturally (which is obviously very important) I am hopeful that things will gradually begin to settle. Emotional rivalry aside, the two countries have so many things in common and basically like and respect one another. Just as US and Canada or UK and France are likely to never enter a war, the same should apply for Japan and S Korea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then, it falls to the Koreans to get over it. After all, they actually invaded Japan first.

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1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Many older Koreans have bitter memories of Japan’s rule and military cooperation is a sensitive issue."

How many times has this sentence been repeated in articles relating to Japan/South Korea? Give it a rest.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I find it hilarious the number of people on here jumping up and down telling the Koreans to get over it and move on etc etc. I wonder if these same people will say the same thing next month when JT runs its annual feel sorry for Japan stories and polls. You demand Korea gets over the past just hope you are fair and do the same...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

so the koreans should "get over" it just like the jews should "get over" the holocaust? foolish remarks from the uninformed masses.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"I find it hilarious the number of people on here jumping up and down telling the Koreans to get over it and move on etc etc"

Cletus: Nobody is absolving Japan ( or a minority of Japanese ) of moving on and getting over certain issues, but there's an old saying, forgive, don't forget. At this point, some 65+ years later, South Korea still doesn't seem capable of forgiving and moving on.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

so the koreans should "get over" it just like the jews should "get over" the holocaust? foolish remarks from the uninformed masses.

I don't think they should get over it from a historical point of view, however the people in leadership positions today were either very young children or not even born when Japan colonized Korea.

It is time to forgive Japan, but like I wrote earlier, DON"T FORGET what happened and teach it to the children in schools, just as German children learn about the horrors of Nazi domination, or Japanese kids learn about Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa, or American kids about Pearl Harbor.

Korea and Japan could take a page out of the book of America and copy it down. The US and Japan were mortal enemies at one time too, yet they are now friends and allies.

Waiting for someone to apologize for the actions of their predecessors/ancestors never allows a person to be free from anger and frustration and just keeps the mistrust and hatred alive.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In 1945, Kim Il Sung has made the most stunning decision to free up the Korean peninsula from the Japanese rule: Split it up into two BLEEP! occupations in which 3 years later, became what is meant the worst attempt in history, in which reunification is permanently IMPOSSIBLE!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so the koreans should "get over" it just like the jews should "get over" the holocaust? foolish remarks from the uninformed masses.

There's a difference between getting over something and forgetting something. Moving on is better than playing the victim forever.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Probie Moving on is better than playing the victim forever.

Like Japan???

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Like Japan???

Japan should move on too, and quit whining constantly about getting nukes dropped on them like they were victims or something. But, the article is talking about Korea.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yubaru,

Korea and Japan could take a page out of the book of America and copy it down. The US and Japan were mortal enemies at one time too, yet they are now friends and allies.

Waiting for someone to apologize for the actions of their predecessors/ancestors never allows a person to be free from anger and frustration and just keeps the mistrust and hatred alive.

Excellent post. In fact, Japanese prime ministers have apologized and expressed regret specifically to Korea many times since the 1960's. Forgiving and not forgetting are both very important things. Today's Japan is not the same country it was when it colonized Korea and I highly doubt it ever will be again. It is time for more people in Korea to recognize the Japan of today. For Japan's part, more of an effort must be made to isolate rightists (such as governor of Tokyo and resident loon, Shintaro Ishihara) their unhelpful rhetoric regarding Korea and Asia in general.

However, this pact can be one of many ways to start to mend the fences between Japan and Korea. President Lee is correct. His country needs it and not just for security reasons.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Like Japan???

Certainly an interesting point. However, I think it can be said that Japan's 'victim playing' as it is often referred to does not generally interfer with her ability to conduct business with other country's. This time, in Korea's case, it does seem that way.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Guy-jin....kudos for the link, a quite interesting read. Thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take from Guy-jin's link and a rather appropriate quote I do believe;

Like Arabs and Jews, Koreans and Japanese are joined by blood yet locked in traditional enmity. But enmity is mutually destructive, in East Asia as in the Middle East.

As reluctant as Japanese and Koreans are to admit it, they are like twin brothers who shared their formative years.

The political future of East Asia depends in large part on their success in rediscovering those ancient bonds between them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, I just read an article about N Korea and it sounds like they are becoming more liberal with their new leader

North Korea's New Image Shaped by Platform Shoes, Earrings and Cell Phones

http://news.yahoo.com/north-koreas-image-shaped-platform-shoes-earrings-cell-192244070--abc-news-topstories.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many older Koreans have bitter memories of Japan’s rule and military cooperation is a sensitive issue.

Historical disputes still mar the two countries’ relationship despite their close economic relations.

The people from Israel, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, The United Kingdom, Greece, Egypt , Romania etc. were all able to move on.

The obstinate South Koreans really know how to hold a grudge!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The primary purpose for ROK entering this pact is to get access to information from Japanese AEGIS ships on North Korean air and missile attacks on the South.

Says something when you have people so blinded by nationalism that they would rather have North Korean missiles fall on their heads, than to be given any advance warning by Japan.

Honestly, sometimes you just can't reason.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Emi,

Dear oh dear. It is frequent comments like yours that mean grudges carry on being held. Stereotyping a nation by name calling is wrong.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

But they really are stubborn, don't you agree?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Asian inferiority complexes at their best!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This whole blow-up is only about "sharing intelligence". So let's think about this. Are the South Koreans afraid that Japan will use this intelligence for some nefarious military reason (Japan invading SK again)? Only the political opportunists (and maybe nutjobs) think that. The problem is that the South Koreans are letting the right wingers dictate policy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The people from Israel, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, The United Kingdom, Greece, Egypt , Romania etc. were all able to move on. The obstinate South Koreans really know how to hold a grudge!

Yes at least the Germans properly apologized for their mistakes and took responsibility for their actions and continue to do so. Can't say the same for Japan.

Imagine if you were raped, your family brutally killed, etc. Hey just move on, right? Stop being so sensitive! Why are you being so stubborn?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Ans since you like to compare, if Germany can teach proper history without getting nationalistic, then why can't Japan?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

To be honest though, I think that most East Asian countries in general (except for Hong Kong, Taiwan etc) are too immature and too egocentric to be able to make a more sensible and mature move. They are all pretty screwed up in their heads... too sensitive, too nationalistic, etc.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Can't say the same for Japan.

Actually, in point of fact and as I mentioned above, Japanese prime ministers have apologized and expressed regret specifically to Korea many times since the 1960's. There are lists of these apologies all over the internet and they have been reported in the media.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

, Japanese prime ministers have apologized and expressed regret specifically to Korea many times since the 1960's.

Yet they still continue to visit the Yasukuni shrine, etc... And talk is cheap. Why don't they teach proper history? Why don't they do it like the Germans did and vow to never let something like that happen again, instead of sweeping it under the rug and pretend that it never happened?

-8 ( +1 / -8 )

Numerous Japanese Prime Ministers have apologized and agreed to pay war reparations in addition to indemnity and/or grants to those countries that refused payment.

Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke. "We view with deep regret the vexation we caused to the people of Burma in the war just passed. In a desire to atone, if only partially, for the pain suffered, Japan is prepared to meet fully and with goodwill its obligations for war reparations. The Japan of today is not the Japan of the past, but, as its Constitution indicates, is a peace-loving nation."

Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke. "It is my official duty, and my personal desire, to express to you and through you to the people of Australia, our heartfelt sorrow for what occurred in the war."[

September 29, 1972. Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. "The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war, and deeply reproaches itself. Further, the Japanese side reaffirms its position that it intends to realize the normalization of relations between the two countries from the stand of fully understanding 'the three principles for the restoration of relations' put forward by the Government of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese side expresses its welcome for this"

August 24, 1982. Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki. "I am painfully aware of Japan's responsibility for inflicting serious damages [on Asian nations] during the past war." "We need to recognize that there are criticisms that condemn [Japan's occupation] as invasion"

August 26, 1982. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kiichi Miyazawa. "1. The Japanese Government and the Japanese people are deeply aware of the fact that acts by our country in the past caused tremendous suffering and damage to the peoples of Asian countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China, and have followed the path of a pacifist state with remorse and determination that such acts must never be repeated. Japan has recognized, in the Japan-ROK Joint Communique, of 1965, that the 'past relations are regrettable, and Japan feels deep remorse,' and in the Japan-China Joint Communique, that Japan is 'keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war and deeply reproaches itself.'

September 6, 1984. Emperor Hirohito. "It is indeed regrettable that there was an unfortunate past between us for a period in this century and I believe that it should not be repeated again."

September 7, 1984. Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. "There was a period in this century when Japan brought to bear great sufferings upon your country and its people. I would like to state here that the government and people of Japan feel a deep regret for this error."

October 23, 1985. Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. "On June 6, 1945, when the UN Charter was signed in San Francisco, Japan was still fighting a senseless war with 40 nations. Since the end of the war, Japan has profoundly regretted the unleashing of rampant ultra nationalism and militarism and the war that brought great devastation to the people of many countries around the world and to our country as well"

Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru. "As we have made clear previously at repeated opportunities, the Japanese government and the Japanese people are deeply conscious of the fact that the actions of our country in the past caused suffering and loss to many people in neighboring countries. Starting from our regret and resolve not to repeat such things a second time, we have followed a course as a "Peace Nation" since then.

April 18, 1990. Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Nakayama. "Japan is deeply sorry for the tragedy in which these (Korean) people were moved to Sakhalin not of their own free will but by the design of the Japanese government and had to remain there after the conclusion of the war"

May 24, 1990. Emperor Akihito. "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"

May 25, 1990. Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. "I would like to take the opportunity here to humbly reflect upon how the people of the Korean Peninsula went through unbearable pain and sorrow as a result of our country's actions during a certain period in the past and to express that we are sorry"

January 1, 1992. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. "[Concerning the comfort women,] I apologize from the bottom of my heart and feel remorse for those people who suffered indescribable hardships"

January 16, 1992. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. "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"

January 17, 1992. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. "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"

July 6, 1992. Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato. "The Government again would like to express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called 'wartime comfort women,' irrespective of their nationality or place of birth. With profound remorse and determination that such a mistake must never be repeated, Japan will maintain its stance as a pacifist nation and will endeavor to build up new future-oriented relations with the Republic of Korea and with other countries and regions in Asia. As I listen to many people, I feel truly grieved for this issue. By listening to the opinions of people from various directions, I would like to consider sincerely in what way we can express our feelings to those who suffered such hardship"

August 4, 1993. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yōhei Kōno. "Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women"

These apologies continue to this very day.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Thumbs me down all you want. The fact is Japanese prime ministers have apologized many times since the 1960's.

Yet they still continue to visit the Yasukuni shrine, etc...

I fully understand what you are saying. I agree such visits are not generally helpful. As I mentioned before, for Japan's part, more of an effort must be made to isolate rightists (such as governor of Tokyo and resident loon, Shintaro Ishihara) their unhelpful rhetoric regarding Korea and Asia in general. The issue of Yasukuni is a very complex one. One I also have strong feelings about. Feelings that probably mirror yours quite a bit. However, rightly or wrongly, the shrine is considered by many to be dedicated to war-fallen soldiers. Although there have been suggestions to move the dedication place to somewhere else, this offends some members of Japanese society who see changing the place or removing the war criminals also enshrined as impossible because they believe that all the souls (神) are intertwined as one and cannot be separated from each other. It is easy for many to say, 'just do it'. However, it is actually a lot more complicated than that.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Emi,

In point of fact, the apologies from Japanese prime minsters actually started in the 1960's. Sorry for repeating myself.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I agree such visits are not generally helpful.

I dont get why you used the words "generally helpful". "Generally " speaking it can be taken to mean that there is something about them that you believe to be helpful. AND there is the problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Emi Suzuki - ( But they really are stubborn, don't you agree? )

How can you say such about a whole people.

Like a apology will change anything if action to reinforce said words are not carried out. When was the last time J Govt just did a good deed not somethin owed but somethin just to bride trust to S Korea. Not just the ever present lip service.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I dont get why you used the words "generally helpful". "Generally " speaking it can be taken to mean that there is something about them that you believe to be helpful. AND there is the problem.

You are absolutely correct. It was a poor attempt at sarcasm. Thank you for pointing out my attempt was unsuccessful.

As you wrote, it is not helpful at all. ie, it is a problem.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ben,

My list has it from 1957 starting with Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Give it a break already people. It was a warring era. Everything happened. People should have forgiven and moved on. If you still bitch about it, then eat some facts: How about US nuked 2 JP cities? How about South Korean mercenaries killed countless innocent citizens in Southern Vietnam? Is SK so good & innocent anymore? Nope. They are the same beasts. A Vietnamese speaking.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Oh man I was a little angry and forgot how to spell.

Like a apology will change anything if action to reinforce said words are not carried out. When was the last time J Govt just did a good deed not something owed but something just to bridge trust to S Korea. Not just the ever present lip service.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Emi,

You are absolutely correct. However, I believe Korea was specifically mentioned in apologies made in the 1960's.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Thomas Anderson

"they still continue to visit the Yasukuni shrine"

Visiting Yasukuni is to honor many innocent soldiers who died for their country. It's not to honor war criminals. That's why many people say that we should separate regular solders from war criminals

"Why don't they do it like the Germans did and vow to never let something like that happen again,"

Japanese constitution prohibit having any kind of military. What more can we do ?

You are the one who should learn especially what has happened after the war.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ben,

Yes, on June 22, 1965 at the Signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shiina Etsusaburo said "In our two countries' long history there have been unfortunate times, it is truly regrettable and we are deeply remorseful".

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I would like to see strong ties between Japan and South Korea, and potentially Taiwan. I think such ties would be beneficial for all three countries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Utrack

Japan opened its market to South Korea. Or are you unaware of all the Korean tv dramas and K-pop idols. Never seen so much kimchi in my department store either!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Emi Suzuki

I am aware of that, but that is not a good deed that is just Money. K dramas and K pop are popular and have nothing to do remorse. Neither does you saying that Korean People are obstinate and stubborn. It's like me sayin all people named Suzuki are evil and prejudice.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

hs992326,

Yes! You understand it very well. The Japanese who go to Yasukuni Shrine don't pay their respects to the war criminals there. They go their to pray for those who fought and died for their country. A lot of people including presidents and prime ministers do the same in other countries. I think the people who are so hung up on Yasukuni Shrine still have deep grudges and are of the opinion that ALL Japanese soldies are war criminals.

I do agree that the war criminals should be moved to another place, but not to satisfy the demands of neighboring countries. That won't work. Japanese politicians are very obstinate/stubborn as well but maybe if Korea et al stops bringing it up every year, those stubborn old men in Nakatacho may decide on their own accord to move those ashes away from the Shrine.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

and have nothing to do remorse.

Certainly, I understand what you are saying. However, you cannot legislate or force remorse. More and more ties between the two countries, such as this pact, are what are needed for mutual understanding. Actually, the dramas and such do help as well as it fosters an interest in Korea amongst Japanese enthusiasts. Of course not everyone will do so, but having a favorite Korean actor/singer or whatever can be a springboard for wanting to know more about the country, its people and its history. Certainly there must be some people here in Japan who first had their interests peaked by some part of Japanese culture leading them to want to know more.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Utrack,

Okay, name an un-selfish good deed. Now you're just complaining without adding any solutions. Very immature of you!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Apologies - not enough

Money - not enough

Good deed - ??????

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Emi Suzuki

Immaturity Is calling a whole people names because they don't do what you think they should do. If you had read the previous article and this one too, you would have known that the Military Pact was being pushed through without notifying the South Korean people as to what was going on. But it backfired on the SK Govt.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Utrack,

I read the articles.

That doesn't change the fact that South Koreans continue to bring up the past year after year. I call that being stubborn. Japan has done what was expected of them, including apologies and war reparations. What else do you want?!

A good deed? What's that??

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Emi Suzuki

Wait put yourself in the South Korean situation if you can, then try that apologies and money thing. Because the meaning of a good deed is a selfless act of generosity that helps someone. Apart from the deep bows that don't change anything

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Emi Suzuki

The Japanese who go to Yasukuni Shrine don't pay their respects to the war criminals there. They go their to pray for those who fought and died for their country.

Including the war criminals interned there. After all if you go to pay your respects to a shrine it is too all interned within or are you trying to tell me you say your respects with a little rider saying all bar the evil disgusting war criminals interned within. Come on please be serious. You say your politicians apologise then they visit this place. Its a backhanded apology at best.

A lot of people including presidents and prime ministers do the same in other countries.

No lm sorry they dont. Most other countries do not worship their dead war criminals. In most places that have people of the ilk of the Japanese war criminals they are buried in secret locations so they cannot be worshipped not here though. You still glorify them and wonder why your neighbors and victims cant forget your actions.

I think the people who are so hung up on Yasukuni Shrine still have deep grudges and are of the opinion that ALL Japanese soldies are war criminals.

As someone who has visited this shrine l can say with great certainty that the reason this shrine has a bad name is the war criminals interned, and the revisionist message it portrays about your reasons for your actions and infact the actions you committed. As for believing ALL Japanese soldiers are war criminals, no they are not but a good portion are. And sadly the biggest one of all never paid the price for his crimes and his family rule continues to this day.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Suppose Japan should just drop the subject. Tell them to forget the treaty. The apologies have been made and money paid but it will never be enough. To the Japanese government, get your heads up and hind ends down. Koreans are taught from birth to hate Japanese. We need to move forward as a nation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Cletus,

When people pray in Japan they put their hands together in front of their chest and close their eyes.

Are you telling me you know what's going on in their minds at that very moment?

Because if you can do that then whatever the occupation you hold at the moment is a waste of time and oportunity. You should go into showbiz!

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Utrack,

I cannot wait for you too mention that good deed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I already have.

the meaning of a good deed, is a selfless act of generosity that helps someone. Not what is owed but a selfless act is considered a good deed

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Oh Emi Suzuki

I had to give Cletus 2 thumbs up so I switched to my other account but I had already answered your question in a previous post

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Modern Japan has and will continue to move on with or without Korea.

I'm afraid I can't say the same for vice versa

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Emi Suzuki

Cletus, When people pray in Japan they put their hands together in front of their chest and close their eyes. Are you telling me you know what's going on in their minds at that very moment?

Nope not at all. You made the statement "The Japanese who go to Yasukuni Shrine don't pay their respects to the war criminals there. They go their to pray for those who fought and died for their country." All l said was do you pay your respects to the dead and then tack on the end but not the bad people.... I think not. I dont claim to know what is going through their minds but l do know that by interning the criminals with the rest of the soldiers people who go there and pay respects to all are doing it to all including the criminals. And that is what makes it truly sad, and that is what makes the apologies hollow. That and the disrespectful museum on site unless you find symbols of mass murder as not being disrespectful. It is akin to the Germans having a museum denying the holocaust and in the entrance having one of the gas chambers they used.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Cletus,

Do you not remember German chancellor Helmut Kohl who visited the war cemetery at Bitburg in Germany together with Ronald Reagan? The cemetary contains the bodies of Hitler's Waffen-SS.

Reagan defended himself by saying:

"These SS troops were the villains, as we know, that conducted the persecutions and all. But there are 2,000 graves there, and most of those, the average age is about 18. I think that there's nothing wrong with visiting that cemetery where those young men are victims of Nazism also, even though they were fighting in the German uniform, drafted into service to carry out the hateful wishes of the Nazis. They were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps"

Reagan told his deputy chief of staff:

"I know you and Nancy don't want me to go through with this, but I don't want you to change anything when you get over there, because history will prove I'm right. If we can't reconcile after forty years, we are never going to be able to do it."

I'm sure they didn't agree to go ahead with the visit or added the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp visit in order to pay their respects to those SS.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Emi Suzuki

Or are you unaware of all the Korean tv dramas and K-pop idols. Never seen so much kimchi in my department store either!

So very true. I see plenty of Korean influence every time I visit Japan. It's not all about politics, there's a lot of admiration between South Koreans and Japanese at the grass roots level.

There's no good reason why Japan and South Korea can both move on together to a better future. Consider the coopeartion between France and Gemany, both former enemies. Yes, a lot of it's just based on economic convenience. But is that a bad thing? I don't think it is. Britain and the USA were enemies for years too. Now they are inseparable allies.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

YuriOtani

We need to move forward as a nation.

Quote of the week. And coming from you this is hilarious. Is this the same Yuri who week after week loves reminding us of how poor Japan has suffered for the actions of a few at the hands of those evil Americans? The same Yuri who constantly misrepresents facts and figures to make things look worse for Japan than is accepted, the same Yuri who constantly bemoans the US and plays the victim card for Japan?

Really Yuri you need to take your own advice here.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Cletus,

I dont claim to know what is going through their minds

Exactly! You can find out though, you know.

Just ask Japanese who go there or who have been there (including former Prime Ministers) what they prayed for.

The likely answer you will get is that they prayed for continued peace. For a war to never happen again. To thank God for the lives they are allowed to live now. Some might even tell you that they prayed for those who have died during the war. But I am 100% sure that they will not have prayed for the war criminals. Granted, there might be a few nutcases out there that do, but they do not represent Japan.

Really! Ask around.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Utrack,

Yes, you explained your good deed by repeating my definition; a selfless act of generosity that helps someone.

I'm still waiting on examples from you. Mere complaining isn't going to contribute anything positive, you know!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Cletus,

By celebrating the memory of one in this shrine you do so for all interned.

Nobody is celebrating anything or anyone. Your definition of a war memorial is way off I'm afraid.

For most of human history war memorials were erected to commemorate great victories. Remembering the dead was a secondary concern.

In modern times the main intent of war memorials is not to glorify war, but to honor those who have died.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Quote of the week. And coming from you this is hilarious. Is this the same Yuri who week after week loves reminding us of how poor Japan has suffered for the actions of a few at the hands of those evil Americans? The same Yuri who constantly misrepresents facts and figures to make things look worse for Japan than is accepted, the same Yuri who constantly bemoans the US and plays the victim card for Japan?

Wow Cletus! You're getting kind of personal here, don't you think? Try to focus on the matter at hand, please.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Emi Suzuki,

Nobody is celebrating anything or anyone. Your definition of a war memorial is way off I'm afraid.

You are correct sorry l meant commemorating not celebrating my mistake brain fade lm afraid.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Emi Suzuki

Wow Cletus! You're getting kind of personal here, don't you think? Try to focus on the matter at hand, please.

2 points here Emi. 1. If you had been here more than 5 minutes you would be well aware of Yuri's past statements. She likes to throw statements and accusations around (usually not based in fact) and complain at every opportunity about poor Japan and in the same breathe she tells other nations to stop living in the past.

Dont speak to me like lm a child, it comes across as you attempting to be demeaning and controlling and will only head one way if you continue.

Oh and as for my statement about the SS, not all SS personal where evil. Just as not all Japanese military where. But the difference is the Germans do not commemorate their war criminals like this country does.

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Zichi, you are surprised by this? Then, it falls to the Koreans to get over it. After all, they actually invaded Japan first.

Actually, it is a correct comment. In the 1200`s 2 attacks against Japan were launched from Korea but were repeled.

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@hs992326 "Why don't they do it like the Germans did and vow to never let something like that happen again,"

When it comes about talking about world war 2 you are supposed to use the terms Nazi`s and not Germans. The Germans can get very upset about that as it shows a close association.

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Well, Emi Suzuki, that is an impressive list of apologies.

And yet, I feel they are worth nothing. Here are 3 reasons why:

'1. Both you and I know how Japanese think in a "uchi" vs "soto" way. Many of the apologies are logically directed to the outside world. It's natural. But to make an apology really sincere, there should be also a message toward the Japanese themselves. In other words, how many cases are there of the prime minister or emperor telling the Japanese population that what Japan has done in the past was not acceptable, without using just vague terms like "it was regrettable"? I think there are very little such speeches, because in general, the Japanese population does not want to hear these kind of messages. And why don't they want to hear them? I think it s because the Japanese ultimately don't feel they did anything wrong. Now, is an apology really sincere when the person giving it does not really think he did anything wrong?

'2. Related to the above. A sincere apology is basically incompatible with history books that do not contain the truth, and a general attitude that shows that Japan sees itself mainly as a victim, with Japan's own actions become no more than details that can be easily forgotten by future generations.

'3. A sincere apology is not compatible with large numbers of ministers, including prime ministers, and law makers visiting a shrine where war criminals are honoured as gods. This is just insulting the victims of Japanese aggression. Think about it this way: when the BBC makes a joke about the atomic bombs, many Japanese are enraged because they feel the joke is "disrespectful" and "insulting" to the Japanese victims. Now, this is about a comedian making a joke. Compare that with prime ministers making official visits to pray in a shrine where war criminals are enshrined. How come Japanese do not see this as "insulting" or "disrespectful" behaviour towards the victims of Japan's aggression? Can we really call the apologies of these people "sincere"?
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avenger,

my ?????????? comment was because someone said Korea invaded Japan first. Korea has never invaded Japan?

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They go their to pray for those who fought and died for their country.

There is an easy solution to Yasukuni, the national government should build a separate secular shrine for ALL the dead in WWII, from ALL sides.

Anyone ever been to the Peace Memorial Park in Okinawa? ALL the dead, Okinawan, Japanese, Korean, Tawainese, American.....everyone who died there gets equal billing.

Yasukuni is a blot on Japan, JIETAI members who died while in service to their country CAN NOT be interred at Yasukuni because they weren't in the military according to Yasukuni.

The issue of Yasukuni will once again pop it's head up soon, next month to be exact, and I hope no politicians or public figures go and pay their respects there, there are plenty of other places they can do it.

It is time to bury the hatchets between Japan and S Korea!

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I think this whole military pact situation just goes to show that the citizens of South Korea have a lot of power to affect change in their country.

Now I'm thinking maybe a certain person is jealous of the power the citizens of South Korea have and that is why she was posting such prejudice things. It all makes sense now, Emi Suzuki, I don't think Japan would allow it's citizens to affect change to that degree. Stopping a military pact shows that South Korea's citizens are very powerful. They can move forward without Japan.

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The US and South Korea had a war game recently to show North Korea that the solidarity of US-SK is strong. But the US was put in a very tight position when at the beginning of the exercise, the South Korean declared: Our enemy is Japan.

Number 1 enemy* Japan. 2: North Korea, 3: USA. And the Koreans believe that Japan was the caused of the South and North Korean war and it is because of Japans meddling that they can't have unity. Go figure out.

World War II has ended 67 years ago but not for the Koreans. Chine sent more than 2 million troops to invade Korea during the SK and NK war and still CHina is supplying arms to NK but SK readily made a military pact with China.

SK soldiers killed about 50,000 NK civilians when they tried to defect to SK side because of fear they will be infiltrated by the NK. Thousands of US soldiers gave up their lives trying to protect SK during the war but SK consider them to be their number 3 enemy.

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I dont claim to know what is going through their minds but l do know that by interning the criminals with the rest of the soldiers people who go there and pay respects to all are doing it to all including the criminals. And that is what makes it truly sad, and that is what makes the apologies hollow.

I absolutely understand what you are saying. However, as I mentioned above, rightly or wrongly, the shrine is considered by many to be dedicated to war-fallen soldiers. Although there have been suggestions to move the dedication place to somewhere else, this offends some members of Japanese society who see changing the place or removing the war criminals also enshrined as impossible because they believe that all the souls (神) are intertwined as one and cannot be separated from each other. It is easy for many to say, 'just do it'. However, it is actually a lot more complicated than that.

What do you think they should do? I guess they could avoid going to the shrine all together. Certainly, that would solve the problem revolving around the shrine as far as Japan's neighbors are concerned. However, how about the Japanese whose family members' souls are also interned there and that are not war criminals? Don't they have a right to have politicians pay their respects to them? I honestly do not what the answer is. What do you think is the best way to solve this from your perspective?

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Mikihouse - there were more than US soldiers involved in the Korean War - it was also a UN operation... there were 22 countries involved in that war. The US had the largest number of non-ROK troops on the allied side, but they were certainly not the sole combatant outwith the peninsular antagonists.

That aside, I don't think the ROK people would accept any apology from Japan, even if the entire country got on their knees and bowed their heads... they just have a deep-seated hatred...even though they import the Japanese pop-culture, fashion, anime, TV and films, cars and electronics...

I had a great uncle who was held in a Japanese POW camp in Burma, and he returned home a shell. Do I hate the Japanese? No. My ex is Japanese and most of my closest friends are Japanese... I have no antipathy towards the Japanese. ROK should accept that what happened was two generations ago... don't forget what happened, but at least move on.

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Ben Jack,

I actually understand what you are saying. They should not have been interned there in the first place, however what can we do about it now. I think the bigger issue with Yasukuni is not the shrine itself but the shrine and museum in one. The museum is a disgrace, you are greeted at the entrance by a train from the Thai Burma railway basically a sign of the thousands of Allied soldiers who were worked to death. Then there is the revisionist history all over the place, "oh the US forced this war on us", "we where trying to save our neighbors from the colonial powers", and so on and so on...... I think both these things combined is the issue. Maybe if they where separated it would ease the issue a bit. But as a person who lost a relative to the Japanese l find it extremely distasteful when you can have convicted war criminals interned with others and ALL are worshiped together. How would people feel if Hitler was buried with all his SS soldiers and people went there to honor them. Or OBL buried in a public location.... This is EXACTLY the reason that they would have been better off after their executions burying them someplace secret. That would have solved it from the outset, l guess we have learnt from that now though

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Yubaru - there's an irony in your first sentence. I bet a lot of South Koreans would be able to start moving on if Japan actually acknowledged its behaviour during wartime in its history books at schools rather than glossing over past events.

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Just by quickly skimming through the posts in this forum one can easily make out that the two countries may not be quite there yet. Surprised to see the Yasukuni topic yet again being brought to the table, when Japan hasn't had any prime ministers or cabinet members visit the site for more than 5 years now since the Koizumi premiership ended, the non-visit decisions made by the subsequent leaders which is almost becoming a tradition that cannot be changed. Meanwhile, should be such a great relief for North Korea to learn about the hassle the two countries seem to be still going through before they can even sign an info exchange pact.

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This is a country that suggested to U.S. to place Japan as a "hypothetical enemy" just a few years back. Like someone else said, you cannot reason with the population that's fed on anti-Japan education.

And like clockwork, the usual Germany comparison comes to forefront as if Koreans during Japan's annexation period was comparable to the Holocaust. Pleeeeze.

This is EXACTLY the reason that they would have been better off after their executions burying them someplace secret. That would have solved it from the outset, l guess we have learnt from that now though

Cletus. Nobody is "buried" in Yasukuni. They are buried here.

http://1gen.jp/GDOH/SITISI/SITISI.HTM

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This is bizzarre: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/07/03/2012070301530.html If you notice at the bottom of that article:

... But only 66 percent pointed to North Korea as the South's main enemy, down 10 percentage points from the 2010 survey. The others named Japan (12.1 percent), China (8.9 percent) and the U.S. (8.5 percent)...

Now, I can understand why they'd think of Japan as their enemy (due to historical reasons) but the US?! WTF? coz the US stopped them from living in the paradise that is Noth Korea?!

-that being said, I've been living here in Korea for a couple of years, but have never met any blatant anti-Japanese sentiment, not from the young nor from the old; the opposite actually - people always telling us (my wifes the Japanese) they want to visit Japan, they liked living in Japan etc... even from a guy who worked in the mines in Japan just after WW2, he was all over us like he met long lost family or something...

I guess this line says it all:

The planned pact had sparked angry reaction from opposition parties and activists in South Korea.

Its not the 'general populace' thats up in arms over this issue - its the ultra-rightists, its a shame that the Korean government is paying any attention to them.

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Nick and Cletus have you ever read a Japanese school book? Can you read Japanese and well? Remember school books are written at different levels. Elementary students would not read about such but Jr high and Sr would. So please tell me which history book for students glosses over the facts. Name of the book, who published it and when. Oh also what is written and in proper Japanese. No, ah I saw it written on a Korean website. If you want to slander Japan give proper details.

That being said the Koreans must be laughing themselves SICK. I find it impossible that this type of charlie foxtrot could be done by mistake. It had to be a deliberate act to make the people who "discovered" this look good. While at the same time bashing Japan. This is clear evidence the ROK is not Japans friend.

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Elementary students would not read about such but Jr high and Sr would. So please tell me which history book for students glosses over the facts. Name of the book, who published it and when. Oh also what is written and in proper Japanese. No, ah I saw it written on a Korean website. If you want to slander Japan give proper details.

Japanese JHS and HS history books, a part of their social studies courses, only give a passing discussion about the war and the occupation of Korea. Japan's textbook writers are creating revisionist views of how and why the occupation and the war occurred, which is also further inflaming Korean sentiments against Japan.

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On history textbooks - Whenever people decide to take to the streets to burn the flag of another nation or cut their fingers off to claim rights to some unpopulated island far out in the sea, one would presume their upbringing to have involved some very strong educational influence leading to a strong conviction in what they do and relevant underlying hatred towards a specific nation. Having only one textbook, a national textbook prepared by the government and none else, should certainly prove to be effective in strengthening this conviction. Japan, meanwhile, has undergone and continues to undergo a serious and extensive academic debate at all levels on how it's modern history should be defined, which by no means has to do with "acknowledgment" vs "denial", but more to do with "expression" and "weight". Japan is yet to arrive at a full internal consensus amongst varied views typically categorized either as right(ish) or left(ish), which has left the country with a variety of textbooks with variances in "expression" and "weight", particularly as it  concerns specific events during the occupation or the war. It is indeed this internal debate that has finally caught global attention in the 1980s, Japan's neighboring countries in particular, and has since continued to fuel the so-called textbook issue particularly following Japan's new legislation set forth at the time ensuring that Japan's history textbooks take "sufficient consideration" of the views of Japan's neighboring countries. My realistic observation remains that, aside from specific matters which are already accompanied by a substantial amount of factual evidence for everyone to confirm and agree to, Japan (and the world for that matter) should continue to face challenges in arriving at a full and complete consensus on its overall definition of specific historical events which merely took place less than a century ago, considering it to be still premature for the country (or the world) to have a true grasp of the overall influences and implications of the events in question at both a national and global level. Having said that, I do take good comfort in the fact that Japan has a securely protected freedom of speech in full effect, which allows for intellectual academic debates to continue - whether it concern the degree and nature of actual acts conducted by Japan in Asia during the war and its occupation or the degree or nature of involvement of the government, military forces or the emperor at the time - thereby seeking to develop a full grasp of what it was that actually happened, and what we should be learning from our immaturity and our mistakes. This is indeed what has brought forth the variance of the textbooks available for the individual schools to choose from under their own responsible discretion in Japan, under the important recognition that such variances by no means concern denials of any sort but merely have more to do with "expression" and "weight". Variances in views should consequently arise in the course of such efforts and should trigger occasional criticism from abroad, but I consider it to be a far healthier situation than going through an upbringing where our minds would be controlled under a singular government-made textbook. If anyone in Japan begins to take to the streets to burn flags of other countries or cut their fingers off for an island out in the sea, I should be able to take a strong hint that there may be something beginning to go wrong, provided my thought at the time is not under control of someone else to the extent that I would consider such acts to be only natural, if not something to be praised.

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South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak ...."his country still needs it." that is ! And pointless for him to " bla..bla..bla" If anyone is to be held responsible, it should be he himself for mishandling the procedure probably under the pressure from the US..

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If signed, it will mark South Korea's first-ever military pact with Japan, which ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45. Reaction to the agreement among the South Korean public has been pretty negative due in large part to resentment associated with the colonial rule.

It was supposed to have been South Korea's first military cooperation deal with Japan, which is still viewed with animosity by most South Koreans for its often-brutal colonial rule in the early 20th century and its territorial claim to a set of islets administered by South Korea. The approval of the pact by the South Korean cabinet and the government's promise to Tokyo to sign it were kept secret from the people and the Parliament.

The uproar forced South Korea to put off the planned signing of the pact at the last minute on Friday last week, casting dark clouds over the prospect of whether Seoul will be able to press ahead to sign it.

Accusations flew that the government was "pro-Japanese," a far worse charge in South Korea than being "pro-North Korean," regardless of how bad inter-Korean relations were.

Mr. Lee's governing New Frontier Party, once supportive of the military pact, quickly distanced itself from it.

Announcing the presidential aide's resignation, Park Jeong-ha, a Blue House spokesman, said on Thursday that the prime minister or other cabinet ministers were not expected to resign. The controversy has added a sense of disarray to Mr. Lee's lame-duck government. His declining political leverage was demonstrated on Monday when he his speech before the National Assembly failed to draw any applause, and opposition legislators refused to stand when he entered and exited the chamber.

Kim is widely known as a hard-liner on North Korea and a strong advocate of the alliance with the United States. Some security experts have claimed that it was because of Kim's hawkish stance on Pyongyang that the inter-Korean ties plunged to the lowest ebb in decades.

Good to see the warmonger gone, now a hope for better peace in the region may prevail!

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/07/05/15/0301000000AEN20120705005552315F.HTML http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/world/asia/south-korean-aide-offers-to-resign-over-pact-with-japan.html

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Everybody needs to move on and get over the past. But those who refuse to admit the truth of the past, here in the present, are a problem in the present. And they will continue to be a problem until they admit the truth of history or die.

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