politics

The enemy within: Shadow of Japanese colonial rule hangs over S Korea

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By Claire Lee

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Do we really believe that the Japanese occupiers gave the Koreans a choice?

Any protests to colonial rule were met by imprisonment and torture!

Defining people frightened to be punished as ‘collaborators’ is not accurate....

-17 ( +14 / -31 )

A house divided. Sounds too complicated to deal with and may take a hundred more years...

22 ( +23 / -1 )

It really sucks but what can South Korea do about it? Uproot entire sections of their economy to find and punish a few remaining collaborators? Sometimes justice can't really be served so easily and it might be easier to just make peace with it and move on.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Japan really made a mess in Korea. A big ugly mess, which it avoids dealing honestly with.

-16 ( +16 / -32 )

When the Seoul government signed a 1910 treaty handing sovereignty over the peninsula to Japan, 

There is a bit of information missing from this statement. "When the Seoul 'were forced to' sign a 1910 treaty....."

They were given a choice, but not the choice mentioned in the article. The choice was, sign it or face extinction at the hands of the Japanese imperial army. Korea did not have a strong military at the time and Japan just swept through the country killing thousands of people. This is what forced them to sign the treaty.

-8 ( +18 / -26 )

Please note that "collaborators" were those who openly supported and profited from the Japanese colonial regime. Even Park Chung-hee, who was a military officer under the Japanese was not classified as a collaborator. Certainly people who did ordinary work under the Japanese were not collaborators.

The tragedy of Japanese colonialism in Korea was that it tainted everyone: innocent as well as the guilty.

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

jeancolmarToday  04:57 pm JST

Japan really made a mess in Korea. A big ugly mess, which it avoids dealing honestly with.

Korean politicians are enjoying this mess and need it. The last thing the politician want is Japan to apologize again and offer more money as reparation because blaming Japan is easiest way to rally nationalism and get votes.

14 ( +25 / -11 )

It is only fair that collaboration be looked at and acknowledged as a part of history, and people realise that it needs to be rightfully put in the textbooks. What Japanese and the wannabes need to realise, more than that, though, is that collaboration by a very, VERY few does not preclude the fact that Japan left them little to no choice on the matter by colonising them by force in the first place, and that it then went on to commit atrocities that are among the most inhumane in human history, and THAT is not on the Korean people.

-15 ( +13 / -28 )

Defining people frightened to be punished as ‘collaborators’ is not accurate....

That's not how it is being defined. It refers to people who chose to work wth the Japanese, as "Japanese" even, so that they could prosper. The only risk to not collaborating was that it would be more difficult to get ahead.

To be fair, many of these collaborators saw themselves as Japanese, as that was how they were raised after 1910. There is a whole generation of Koreans who were brought up to see themselves as Japanese.

Many collaborators were war criminals of the worst sort. The issue is complicated. You cannot just absolve the Koreans of blame, the way smithinjapan does above. That is infantilizing and patronizing. People are responsible for their actions unless they are literally forced to do something under direct threat. On the other hand, one should understand that many collaborators quite reasonably did not consider themselves collaborators, but citizens of the Japanese empire.

I think part of the continued Korean hostility towards Japan arises from the desire to avoid honestly facing these issues.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

All this happened so long ago. It's time to move on. Are European nations like France and UK still protesting about what Germany did in WW2? Of course not! Why South Korea keeps protesting? Is it because their government needs a smokescreen for the upcoming coup against the deeply unpopular regime?

11 ( +25 / -14 )

There is a bit of information missing from this statement. "When the Seoul 'were forced to' sign a 1910 treaty....."

Nope. South Korea invited Imperial Japan in to modernize the nation and make it strong. There was certainly no coercion or invasion. Regular poster Ossan America is an expert in this subject, please consult him for information.

2 ( +20 / -18 )

All this happened so long ago. It's time to move on.

Justice has no time limit.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

"There is a popular Korean saying that translates to: 'Those who fought for independence have made three generations of their descendants suffer. Those who collaborated with the Japanese have made three generations of their descendants prosper" 

Shin -- whose mother was posthumously awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation -- will never come to terms with the contrast.

"I have prayed so that I could love my enemies," she said. "But I cannot possibly love the Japanese collaborators."

Looks like Shin's prayers aren't working. Most of the collaborators are dead now anyway.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Japan's policy is to sweep it all under the rug. But the truth will out. It is a mess and it needs some honest sorting out. Secret deals were done and certain war criminals held up as scapegoats and executed and others wormed their way out of punishment to serve high up in Japanese politics. Abe's grandfather was one of these. And Korea and China suffered horrendous losses. The more the relatives of war criminals try to pretend it didn't happen, the more noise those who were hard done by will make.

Germany faced up to it and dealt with it. Japan still hasn't done so.

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

Forgiveness and restoration as a foundation of good relationship between Japan and it's colonized neighbors MUST begin with Honesty , especially on the part of Japanese. Why ? They were the people with power of information, life and death over the subject. I, as an individual will NEVER entertain someone who came to my house, did abominations and then hides his evil deeds, minimizes even justifies himself as @ gambare says.

Truth and Honesty must be the basis.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

As a comparison, many French still have problems with what happened under the Nazis during WWII. Some collaborated, some fled, others joined the resistance. At war's end, some nasty confrontations took place.

It is always hard to maintain neutrality in such situations. There have been general amnesties in other countries around the world, (East Germany, Cambodia, etc.,) but none have ever been really satisfactory. Some people cannot forget, or forgive. Others can. And what will happen if ever North Korea allows power back to the people?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

"Korean politicians are enjoying this mess and need it." Where do you get this information anyway?

The one thing the Koreans are not enjoying is honest Japanese remorse. There isn't any.

Tell Joe Yan: What would you say if someone wrote ""Japanese politicians are enjoying the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and need it"?

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

"I have prayed so that I could love my enemies," she said. "But I cannot possibly love the Japanese collaborators."

Fair enough. In Europe, they had what was called 'purification' or 'wild purge' after ww2 (especially in france and the netherlands). During the wild purge in particular, thousands of suspected collaborators, french SS etc were executed (am talking summary/unauthorised executions, no trial). The new govt in place knew what was happening but decided to turn a blind eye knowing traitors had to be dealt with asap and that ppl/resistants had (sort of) earned this moment. Some historians say that up to 50,000 ppl were summarily executed in france alone (although 10,000 is probably more realistic)

Not saying it's always the right way to deal with traitors/collaborators but surely Korea hasn't 'digested' its past yet the way old Europe has.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I, as an individual will NEVER entertain someone who came to my house, did abominations and then hides his evil deeds, 

If you want to speak as an individual, then recognize that the individuals who did terrible things in Korea are far and few between, and all quite old. More than 99% of all Japanese individuals alive had nothing to do with it. So, as an individual, the issue should be mostly settled.

If, on the other hand, you wish to punish the children and grandchildren for the sins of their ancestors, you can look forwarding to perpetuating and making excuses for wars as they have been throughout history.

Peace.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Invading and colonizing a country needs deliberate and meticulous planning. One must have objectives always not very nice. Not to say much about intergenerational inheritance of sins, but it's possible for today's Japan, to face today's Koreans and apologize for the sins of their fathers.

Past sins do affect today's generations , Ainu, the American Indians, etc are vivid examples. Some countries are rich due to their sinful past, and I aver, Japan is among them

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

Oh Korea...

Forever pathetic and weak. You are like those folks who run around blaming their ex for everything.

7 ( +20 / -13 )

Another day, yet another article about South Korea, Japan, and colonialism.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

NK and SK are on the road to re-unification, with or without Japan and it's past.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

And according to historians hundreds of thousands more were forcibly recruited as frontline troops,

At least you did not have to apply for it if you did not want to help invaders at battlefields.

Korean military participation until 1943

Year      Applicants           Applicantsaccepted           Acceptancerate [%]

1938     2,946                 406                                  13.8

1939     12,348               613                                  5.0

1940     84,443               3,060                               3.6

1941     144,743              3,208                               2.2

1942     254,273              4,077                               1.6

1943     303,294              6,300                               2.1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_under_Japanese_rule#Education

How can JT experts stay sane hearing never-ending those biased Korean narratives?

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Address by President Moon Jae-in on 100th March First Independence Movement Da........

https://english1.president.go.kr/BriefingSpeeches/Speeches/128

The tone, and implication, one could be forgiven for interpreting President Moon Jae-in intentions of conducting a witch hunt.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  06:03 pm JST

All this happened so long ago. It's time to move on. Are European nations like France and UK still protesting about what Germany did in WW2? Of course not! Why South Korea keeps protesting? Is it because their government needs a smokescreen for the upcoming coup against the deeply unpopular regime?

It is not a matter of time but of sincere recognition of what happened.

France and Germany went hand in hand less than 10 years after the WWII ending. German schoolbooks contain everything about Nazi atrocities since that time.

Without real acknowledgement of mistakes (meaning in schoolbooks) and forgiveness, nothing can move forward.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

I repeat; Some countries are rich today because they massacred, pillaged and plundered their neighbours and others causing them trauma, poverty and many other negatives. Their ( marauders') collective spirit is restless every time they hear history from the other side.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

In a commemorative speech, President Moon Jae-in said "wiping out the vestiges of pro-Japanese collaborators" was a "long-overdue undertaking".

It's his reelection campaign speech? That speech was very strong and anti-Japan publicity. Most of South Koreans have some kind of hatred against Japanese Government and Japanese peoples. I wish that speech was addressed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un instead of South Korean President.

He was a left wing student and human right activist lawyer. Also the President Moon Jae-in was a North Korea sympathizer and anti-Japan politician. I don't think Japan - South Korea two countries' relationship will have some improvement in the near future.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

"How can JT experts stay sane hearing never-ending those biased Korean narratives?"

Probably because, the acceptance rate of Koreans into the Japanese army was ridiculously small (versus the enormous number of applicants); not fit enough, due to too much dog meat consumption!

JT "experts" just cannot swallow this bitter pill.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

" repeat; Some countries are rich today because they massacred, pillaged and plundered their neighbours and others causing them trauma, poverty and many other negatives. Their ( marauders') collective spirit is restless every time they hear history from the other side."

Such premise applies to every singe rich country in the world; every each one of them.

Mine included!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

hundreds of thousands more were forcibly recruited as frontline troops, slave workers and wartime sex slaves. A few thousand others went into exile in China to fight Japanese forces.

Mass protests against Japanese rule began that day in 1919, only to be forcibly put down, with 7,500 killed within two months and 46,000 arrested

These two bits of information is what the whole historical issue between the two countries is all about. Nobody in Japan knows these two bits of information, wheres every action the SK government undertakes is filtered through them.

At least you did not have to apply for it if you did not want to help invaders at battlefields.

Korean military participation until 1943

Year      Applicants           Applicantsaccepted           Acceptancerate [%]

1938     2,946                 406                                  13.8

1939     12,348               613                                  5.0

1940     84,443               3,060                               3.6

1941     144,743             3,208                               2.2

1942     254,273             4,077                               1.6

1943     303,294             6,300                               2.1

How can JT experts stay sane hearing never-ending those biased Korean narratives?

Nice straw man. The fact that there WERE Koreans who did apply to work for the Japanese military DOES NOT disprove the FACT that hundreds of thousands were forced to serve. The question is not whether the article is based, the question is, is it factually correct, or is it not factually correct. Are you disputing the validity of the information that there were hundreds of thousands of Koreans who were forced to serve in the Japanese military against their will? If no, then what are you complaining about?

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

World history is littered with winners and losers; what can you do about it? Apologize? For the sins of the parent? Not worth it. You can try to agree on the history, but even that has proven futile. I'd love to know all of the nationalities of the commenters on this board and see if they have anything in their histories to atone for. I betcha ya do. So dig deep into your pockets and hand over some cash? Not likely, and to whom?. All one can do is forgive and forget, knowing that at some time in the future, and that future is coming fast, there's going to be a whole lot of injustice. More than enough to go around, I'm positive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Peeping tom .

The difference is that I can have a civil debate with you and other colonizers without the fear of repercussions as opposed to THESE ones.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Nice straw man. The fact that there WERE Koreans who did apply to work for the Japanese military DOES NOT disprove the FACT that hundreds of thousands were forced to serve. The question is not whether the article is based, the question is, is it factually correct, or is it not factually correct. Are you disputing the validity of the information that there were hundreds of thousands of Koreans who were forced to serve in the Japanese military against their will? If no, then what are you complaining about?

Oh Yes I am disputing the validity of such information and the way the article nicely misses other information which are well known common sense. Not to mention 90% of Japanese young male were conscripted, about 200,000 Koreans were conscripted for military services for the 1st time in 1944 and they were JAPANESE then. Conscription is forcible recruitment? Oh Yeah. That’s what’s happening even now in South Korea. In Korea there was even suicide committed by the Korean who became too pessimistic over failure to pass the exam to serve IJA. If 300,000 willing youths unwillingly failed to be accepted in 1943, "forcible recruitment" as a system called conscription surely did not actually have to force those willing solders to join the military. 

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Historical resentment sours relations with Tokyo to this day and prevents South Korea making a proper reckoning with its past, says Lee Young-hun, a controversial former Seoul National University economics professor.

"Those who are labelled as Japanese collaborators are Koreans who actively embraced modernism," Lee, who is derided by some South Korean media as a "colonialist", told AFP.

Lee Young-hun is one of the rare brave scholars who challenged typical Korean narratives, exaggerations, and ended up with being punched in his face in public , forced to get down on his knees and palms. Unlike Japan where you have freedom to present their academic works whichever side you are with, you are socially crossed out in South Korea as you can see in his case and like the case of Park Yu-ha. So much for historical FACTS.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Historical resentment sours relations with Tokyo to this day and prevents South Korea making a proper reckoning with its past, says Lee Young-hun, a controversial former Seoul National University economics professor.

"Those who are labelled as Japanese collaborators are Koreans who actively embraced modernism," Lee, who is derided by some South Korean media as a "colonialist", told AFP.

Lee Young-hun is one of the rare brave scholars who challenged typical Korean narratives, exaggerations, and ended up with being punched in his face in public , forced to get down on his knees and palms. Unlike Japan where you have freedom to present their academic works whichever side you are with, you are socially crossed out in South Korea as you can see in his case and like the case of Park Yu-ha. So much for historical FACTS.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

DisillusionedMar. 7 05:03 pm JST

There is a bit of information missing from this statement. "When the Seoul 'were forced to' sign a 1910 treaty....."

They were given a choice, but not the choice mentioned in the article. The choice was, sign it or face extinction at the hands of the Japanese imperial army. Korea did not have a strong military at the time and Japan just swept through the country killing thousands of people. This is what forced them to sign the treaty.

Please name the location and battles where the Japanese troops "swept through Korea killing thousands of people". There were no battles and no invasion of Korea in concluding the 1910 Treaty of Annexation. You are attempting to re-write history by fabrication.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

While they're at it, why not go the whole hog and take the resentment and the "oppressed" mentality right back to the time of Hideyoshi's rule.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

In 90's Japan, it was difficult to talk about a good side of what Japan did to Korea during colonial rule.

The historical view, has to be like only black color, no gray or mixture of black and white, because of political correctness.

If you talk about even one good thing Japan did, you will be instantly label as Right wing, Uyokuu 右翼.

But today, people are smarter than 90's using smart phone, and can accept how complicated the reality was.

See the series of following tweets below showing many photos of Korea before and after under Japan rule.

See how it got modernized and ordinary people's life is getting better.

Japan spent a lot of money to invest Korea and banning barbaric habits existing Korea such as classicism, slaves and "tits exposed" woman clothes. Also they allow to teach kids both Korean and Japanese language.

https://twitter.com/bigdandy2/status/1083390842008555520

7 ( +13 / -6 )

During ww2, the brutality of korean conscripts in China even shocked regular Japanese soldiers. Decades later they did the same to Vietnam people as an American pupppet. Now they are crying the victim, LOL!

9 ( +13 / -4 )

"forcible recruitment" as a system called conscription surely did not actually have to force those willing solders to join the military.

But it did?

In your latest straw man argument you are forgetting one thing, which is that The Empire of Japan has invaded a foreign country -- FOREIGN -- country, and forced THEM -- the foreigners -- to serve in the Japanese empire.

The Koreans could not vote on whether to have a conscription or not, and how many Japanese were taken forcefully to serve in their own military is irrelevant to the FACT that that same military has invaded, occupied and FORCED foreign people into serving in their military. The fact that some applied to do it on their own does not disprove the fact that hundreds of thousands did not want, and were forced to do it. You did not actually disprove this information in anyway, you just said that you don't believe they were forced because others applied on their own. That is a non sequitur.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

IloveCoffeeToday 09:36 am JST

In your latest straw man argument you are forgetting one thing, which is that The Empire of Japan has invaded a foreign country -- FOREIGN -- country, and forced THEM -- the foreigners -- to serve in the Japanese empire.

No. Japan did not invade but annexed properly through official legal process signed by then-Korean PM Ye Wanyong(Note Int’l law did not always require signature by the King/Emperor for diplomatic matter). Including himself or the largest political group called Iljinhoe, pro-Japanese were not a few, who, whether you like it or not, had political powers in those days, representing the country,  pushed annexation of their country with Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Wanyong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iljinhoe

 

The Koreans could not vote on whether to have a conscription or not, and how many Japanese were taken forcefully to serve in their own military is irrelevant to the FACT that that same military has invaded, occupied and FORCED foreign people into serving in their military.

 

Did Koreans, I mean ordinary Korean citizen have any sort of voting rights in days of Chosun Dynasty or Korean Empire before annexed to Japan?

FYI, Koreans who properly and legally moved to Japan had both voting rights and eligibility for election in Japan.

 

 The fact that some applied to do it on their own does not disprove the fact that hundreds of thousands did not want, and were forced to do it. You did not actually disprove this information in anyway, you just said that you don't believe they were forced because others applied on their own. That is a non sequitur.

 

How can you tell they did not want just a year after the around 300,000 rushed and applied for the jobs only to find failing to pass the exam to become IJA soldiers. I mean IJA conscripted for the 1st time about 200,000 Koreans by the Law applicable not only to Koreans but Japanese, which doesn’t mean they were all unwillingly forced to serve Japan as Japanese citizen.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The Koreans could not vote on whether to have a conscription or not, and how many Japanese were taken forcefully to serve in their own military is irrelevant to the FACT that that same military has invaded, occupied and FORCED foreign people into serving in their military. The fact that some applied to do it on their own does not disprove the fact that hundreds of thousands did not want, and were forced to do it. You did not actually disprove this information in anyway, you just said that you don't believe they were forced because others applied on their own. That is a non sequitur.

 

Forcible recruitment to make youths serve in military? Let’s simply call it conscription. Among then-warmongers, syn , colonialist&expantionist, syn, ex western powers those days, which one did not have conscription under effect ? Why don’t you try to step back a moment to cease judging things simply by present-valuing them. The people in the peninsula were Japanese citizen 1910~1945 and were conscripted just like mainlanders in main land were.

 

Every single dispute between 2 countries, after all, are to be induced to whether annexation was legitimate or not. Comfort women, forced labor, territorial issue, are all the same.

 

that Japanese and the wannabes need to realise, more than that, though, is that collaboration by a very, VERY few does not preclude the fact that Japan left them little to no choice on the matter by colonising them by force in the first place, and that it then went on to commit atrocities that are among the most inhumane in human history, and THAT is not on the Korean people.

 

Collaborators were not a very, VERY few. What matters were who had political powers to lead the country.  Among those who had ones and run the country, Pro-Japanese were NEVER a very few, just like Pro-Russian & Pro-China were not but ended up with decreasing in number as both countries got defeated by Japan.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@showchinmono

If you actually for real believe that a nation with over 2,000 years of history and culture would voluntarily give up its sovereignty to another nation with whom they have a history of war, then you are either incredibly delusional to a point which defies common sense, or simply intellectually dishonest. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the latter. It would be nearly impossible for you to find any serious historian outside of Japan that would subscribe to that narrative.

And no, neither Koreans who lived in Japan, nor native Japanese had the right to vote in the Empire. Aside the fact that not only is there no evidence that Koreans were allowed to vote, not only is there an abundence of evidence and historical records of Koreans forced to work in Japanese industries, forced to serve in the Japanese military, and countless cases of brutal slaughters for those who defied authority, but once again, the assumption that an Empire controlled by an authoritarian regime would occupy a foreign territory, and grand the people there equal rights to their own people, including the right to vote, is something that defies common sense and basic reasoning.

As for your 3rd attempt at using a straw man argument on me, like i have said to you twice already, the domestic conditions of a foreign country is non of your business. By the same twisted logic, are you going to excuse European occupation of Africa on the ground that African countries were already ruled by authoritarians who killed their own people, so therefore its OK for foreign powers to occupy them and do the same? By that same twisted reasoning, America did you a favor by dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, since Japan was already ruled by an authoritarian regime who killed its own citizens, so that makes its OK for foreign power like America to carpet bomb your cities?

The people in the peninsula were Japanese citizen 1910~1945 and were conscripted just like mainlanders in main land were.

Yeah, on paper, because they were OCCUPIED by a foreign country. You keep ignoring this basic fact. You have no right to invade and occupy others to begin with. Trying to excuse occupying a foreign country and subjugating their people is really disgusting. Even if you are driven by a strong desire to save face, excusing murder and invasion of people and countries is crossing the line of decency.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Every day in South Korea, abnormal anti-Japanese acts that benefit China and North Korea are repeated.

【the recent main anti-Japanese acts in South Korea】

http://hontonorekishi.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-40.html

6 ( +7 / -1 )

People actually think Koreans wanted to be colonized? Keep it real folks.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

IloveCoffeeToday  12:55 am JST

@showchinmono

If you actually for real believe that a nation with over 2,000 years of history and culture would voluntarily give up its sovereignty to another nation with whom they have a history of war, then you are either incredibly delusional to a point which defies common sense, or simply intellectually dishonest. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the latter. It would be nearly impossible for you to find any serious historian outside of Japan that would subscribe to that narrative.

2000 years of history and culture? So what? It’s not a nation which doesn’t own the will but handful number of people with power who run the country at the time that affected the fate of a nation. Isn’t this what you call strawman? Or just dodging the essence of the issue? Whether it was voluntarily or involuntarily, whether it was giving up or willingly handing over, are all secondary to the fact those pro-Japanese political figures intentionally pushed for annexation of their country and signed on the treaty.

 

Besides, Goryeo, Chosun were tributary state of Yuan, Ming, Qing. I wouldn’t call these Korean dynasties independent sovereign nations.  

 

And no, neither Koreans who lived in Japan, nor native Japanese had the right to vote in the Empire. Aside the fact that not only is there no evidence that Koreans were allowed to vote, not only is there an abundence of evidence and historical records of Koreans forced to work in Japanese industries, forced to serve in the Japanese military, and countless cases of brutal slaughters for those who defied authority, but once again, the assumption that an Empire controlled by an authoritarian regime would occupy a foreign territory, and grand the people there equal rights to their own people, including the right to vote, is something that defies common sense and basic reasoning.

 

Drop your prejudice and check what happened when general election law was put into effect in 1925. How could ethnic-Korean Japanese become lawmaker at both House of Reps and House of Peers? Ethnic-Korean residents in Japan were even allowed to vote in Hungeul language since then.

 

As for your 3rd attempt at using a straw man argument on me, like i have said to you twice already, the domestic conditions of a foreign country is non of your business. By the same twisted logic, are you going to excuse European occupation of Africa on the ground that African countries were already ruled by authoritarians who killed their own people, so therefore its OK for foreign powers to occupy them and do the same? By that same twisted reasoning, America did you a favor by dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, since Japan was already ruled by an authoritarian regime who killed its own citizens, so that makes its OK for foreign power like America to carpet bomb your cities?

 

Asking OK or not by these kinds is nothing but present value-ing historical facts, in other words, just seeing what happened only within the frame of present sense of ethics or values.

Besides, what’s the point of you asking me whether it was OK or not by the current standard ethical sense? Those people lived those days and we live today.

 

Having said this, actually, I am for the idea a well-civilized democratic country would occupy the thug nations like North Korea, somewhere in Africa, somewhere in South America by force even NOW if can be done without civilian casualties. Those refugees blocked by the Wall abandoned their corrupt countries, escaped from poverty and crimes for freedom, foods, better life. You can never be sure that they would hesitate to sacrifice their own culture in order to become the citizen of , speak the language of the country they escaped to. You can never be sure either that none of those remained in such corrupt countries are actually hoping some foreign power occupy their country by force and change it all for better.

 

The people in the peninsula were Japanese citizen 1910~1945 and were conscripted just like mainlanders in main land were.

 

Yeah, on paper, because they were OCCUPIED by a foreign country. You keep ignoring this basic fact. You have no right to invade and occupy others to begin with. Trying to excuse occupying a foreign country and subjugating their people is really disgusting. Even if you are driven by a strong desire to save face, excusing murder and invasion of people and countries is crossing the line of decency.

 

Don’t make me repeat what I have already mentioned in my previous posts. Judging only by the surface and denouncing what happened between 2 countries by the present sense of value/ethics cannot make their one-way narratives historical facts.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@show

just seeing what happened only within the frame of present sense of ethics or values.

What's the problem of judging history with present day values? That it would make your country look bad? We are all aware that this happened in the past.

I would think it would be better to have a more detached view.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@commanteer

Having visited the War Museum in Seoul, I would propose that most Koreans have seen Japan as a foe rather than an ally.

Under Japan’s colonial rule, adverse circumstances led to opposition to Japan which gave way to demonstrators lobbying foreign embassies for recognition leading to March 1st as a day when Koreans celebrate taking back their country from overbearing colonial rule.

Colonial rule mans being forced to give up ones culture; that is not something done easily, yet you seem to think otherwise.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Here is the obvious that Japanese right-wing nationalists cannot or refuse to admit. Japanese colonialism was cruel. It's lasting effects are that it tore Korean culture into pieces. With the North and South divided what Korea once was can never be made whole again.

This article painfully details one of the worst aspects of Japanese colonial rule. Sellout and prosper or resist and suffer. It should be of no surprise to anyone that the bitterness still lingers in Korean society.

The tragedy of colonialism was followed by the tragedy of the Korean War. This war got Japan out of the American occupation's "economic morgue" and put it on the road to prosperity. War only brought ruin and misery to both Koreas.

Watch out, Japanese right-wing nationalists. South Korea is rich. Which means it the power to tell the truth loudly and clearly what Japan did to Korea. It also has the power to redress wrongs without fearing Japanese economic and political power.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

quercetumToday  03:00 am JST

People actually think Koreans wanted to be colonized? Keep it real folks.

Obviously some Koreans did. Unless you didn't read the article.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hordes of Americans who met in Madison Square Garden wanted Naziism and Hitler to take over the U.S. Most Americans didn't. The massive protests of 1910 against Japanese rule show that most Koreas wanted independence. You'd better re-read the Article O-A.

While I have your attention, it is worth noting that Japan has discriminated again Korean residents in Japan. Korean hibakusha were not recognized by the Japanese until many years and many law suits after 1945. Koreans were not allowed to put a memorial in the Hiroshima memorial dome until 1999.

Also, the Japanese ruling class has spent over 70 years hiding and downplaying facts about Japanese crimes against humanity.

Note to JT. Thank you for having the courage to print the above article.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

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