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Japan apology needed to solve wartime labor issue: S Korean presidential candidate

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Japan has repeatedly apologized and paid for its war crimes, yet South Korea denies that it paid, and it indoctrinates its children to hate Japan,

Just two years ago, people were refusing to refuel Japanese cars, breaking into a Japanese consulate in Busan, and harassing a US diplomat for having a moustache similar to a Japanese general's. This is the country where people set themselves on fire at protests, children drew pictures of Japan being nuked, and a district tried to put stickers in classrooms that say, "This device was made by a war criminal." My classmates in high school spit on me for wanting to study in Japan. My own parents constantly reminded me of what Japan did seventy years ago as if it happened yesterday.

Korea needs to stop blaming Japan when they're the ones worsening relations. Moon dissolved the comfort women fund that Japan started, and a Korean activist embezzled money meant for the comfort women.

The hypocrisy and self-righteousness make me ashamed to be Korean.

39 ( +51 / -12 )

Again?, they did that last week, for the 500th time.

27 ( +36 / -9 )

I'm of the opinion that the way Japan could solve this would be to take out full page ads in a bunch of Korean (and maybe other) national newspapers with a decent apology.

If they do that, they can bypass all of the politics and just make a clear unequivocal apology to the people as a whole.

They might also need to set up some kind of charity fund for compensation, but the key point would be to make a widely public and honest sounding apology that would be on the record for everyone to see.

If they do that, and then politicians continue to bash them for not apologizing, they'd have much more of a defence.

All their apologies so far have been half-hearted at best, so it allows the issue to keep dragging on and on.

Plus, frankly, it's the right thing to do.

-24 ( +8 / -32 )

Koreans need to get over it

21 ( +31 / -10 )

I like Korea a lot but the crybaby attitude of their citizens towards the people who brought them modernization makes everyone cringe.

17 ( +28 / -11 )

I do not think South Korea will ever get the type of apology it seeks from Japan and I do not think it should be required from this generation.

Previous statements of regret are about as much as will ever happen. What sours those apologies given is that from time to time official's in Japans government down play events or refute facts. Such things give the impression of insincerity and simply reopen old wounds.

This subject should have been resolved and be only part of history books.

Both sides need to contemplate their own position. No more asking for apologies and no more disputing the facts. If both can do that then maybe progress can be made in the relationship.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Mr Lee, even if elected would get no response, nothing from Tokyo, for his next 5 year-term. It's already a South Korean domestic issue, and the Korean government is guilty of fund embezzlement and negligence.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

@Peter14

What sours those apologies given is that from time to time official's in Japans government down play events or refute facts

And the tendency seems to be growing stronger...

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

How about SK apologizing first for being such hypocritical, nationalistic and precocious babies? And you wonder why NK is a train wreck? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

South Korea is doomed still having this kind of idiot as a candidate

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Korean cosmetic products, even Korean fashion (usually same type overall) and despite Japanese have their own sense of varities of fashion and even better overall) are hugely popular in Japan.

Japanese buys expensive merchandise, concert tickets etc of Korean artist and idols. Korean Kimchi, Korean BBQ are also very popular and Japanese support them all.

But nothing from Korean except Japanese AV is popular there and because of this, Koreans think of themselves very superior now.

Korean companies/idol groups/musician also make Japanese music album just to get huge profitable business in Japan. It won't be the same in Korea, instead boycott any Japanese related stuff.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

It wouldn’t be a Korean election without some kind of anti-Japan propaganda.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

How abt japan printing all the official apology letters written to SK in a News Paper n rid of this black mailing from noisy n unreasonable neighbor

4 ( +8 / -4 )

if Japan makes a "sincere apology," but did not offer a concrete plan to solve the issues

That's "How To Be A Politician" 101. Always "we should do this and that" but offer absolutely zero solutions nor offer ideas how to get there.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Break diplomatic relations with countries that are illegally occupying Japanese territory (Takeshima Island) or those who intend to claim another piece of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (Senkaku Island)). Just Break!!!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Lee Jae Myung seems to be oblivious to the fact that no domestic court can interpret treaty law.

The Government of South Korea will be compelled to respect international law or fact the consequences.

The only body that can adjudicate is the ICJ.

Through the agreed dispute procedure.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA. Treaty on Basic Relations. Signed at Tokyo, on 22 June. 1965. Official texts: Japanese, Korean and English. Registered by Japan on 15 ...

https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20583/volume-583-I-8471-English.pdf

This Treaty covers every legislative nook and cranny.

If any South Korean Government was to renege, the outcome could be punitive sanctions and asset seizures.

The SK private and state pension equity funds invested in Japan could be at risk of seizure.

Look you sign a treaty you own it. Boris Johnson is about to find out. like it or lump it.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Japan should apologize again just to get it over with.

S. Korea isn't worth it, in the future, it will get crushed between China and Japan, such as history.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Does it hurt to say "Sorry"? We all got bigger fish to fry.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Lee Jae Myung is akin to a blinkered horse running flat out toward a fence he has no hope of jumping over.

Foaming at the mouth, out of breath, demanding a never-ending political apology.

A ever constant and annoying repetition looped generation after generation.

Until Lee Jae Myung horse is humanly put out of its misery.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Definitely must make amends.

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

If he can get Japan to bow, once again, (like former Prime Minister Hatoyama) then his political star will rise.

Just the mere mention of this, even with no results, will also gather votes for him.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Here we go again.... and again.... and again. Lee Jae Myung is from the same party as the current failed leader, so don't expect anything from them. I also tend to think SK is confusing the aftermath of the Korean war in the 50ies more and more with the Japanese annexation, blaming the loss of the industrialization achievements from back then on Japan instead the Korean war.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Politics always need to use sensitive issue to get sympathy from electors.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I agree with Coffee.

Dear Mr. Lee Jae Myung,

Better relations with Japan is possible if S. Korea chooses to do so. South Korea holds all the power in this relationship!

Japan doesn't require anything, we don't ask for apologies, but then say it's not sincere.

We dont ask for compensation, but then say it doesn't cover this or that or not enough.

We don't build comfort women Statues, then say we can remove them if Japan plays its card right.

The list of demands always comes from S. Korea!

Japan is willing to work with S. Korea without list of demands and needs!, without playing mind games and flip flop on what's sincere and what's not!

Japan and S. Korea can be good neighbors, friends and allies with common goal if S. Korea says Yes.

Many projects we can work together, benefit S. Korea and Japan. If Korea says Yes.

We had S. Korea on privilege list of trading partners, only one in Asia. We can have them again if you say Yes.

Takeshima was taken illegally and by force in the 1950s, we still remain on friendly terms with S. Korea, we gave apologies and compensation over past historical grievances despite S. Korea being shady.

Japan even in 2015 when Abe was PM in power, consider by S. Korea a Right Wing Extremist.... That guy still gave you apology and compensation in 2015 when a majority of Japanese was against it and knew it would make things worse.

South Korea has benefit from bad relations wtih Japan. No consequences! We rewarded them instead! No consequences for backing out of permanent agreements, apologies, and compensations.

No consequences for taking land/islands away Takeshima. Trying to change the name of Japan Sea.

In fact we keep rewarding South Korea for their bad behavior!!!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Japan needs to apologize at least once a year otherwise some J politician will make a gaffe in the Diet refuting that Korea was ever invaded!

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

South Korea, grow up and stop being the "victim" if you want to move forward.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

TARA TAN KITAOKAToday  08:22 pm JST

Definitely must make amends.

Who must make amends? Please add some reasoning to whatever answer you give.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Here's a long list of all of the Japanese wartime apologies:

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

7 ( +9 / -2 )

That is the sound of status quo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The issue will never be settled because it is such a useful political weapon for nationalists in both countries. Nobody surrenders their best weapons.

Whether South Korean or Japanese, just ignore it all and get on with life. Citizens of both nations have more important things to deal with at the moment. Leave the ideological footballs for the politicians to kick about - they get paid to do it. Nobody is going to pay you to be their cheerleaders.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

People say that Japan is apologize often but every time Japanese political leaders go to the Yasukuni shrine it abrogate all of their broad apologies.

People say that Japan apologized often but every time Japanese political leaders go to the Yasukuni shrine it abrogates all of their prior apologies.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

South Koreans might be just pretending that they hate Japan in hope that propaganda and nukes of North Korea will be targeting Japan as the main enemy. Otherwise I am out of rational explanations to what is happening.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

More anti-japanese is needed to win elections. Please say something more like, I will make a statue of CW in Tokyo, that will win elections, that will also serve as a reminder as country on the west is evil.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As an American w/ Japanese blood I experience and have experienced the dislike of the Japanese by Koreans while living in America.

Their continued discrimination, passive-aggressive attitudes in the workplace, sneaky harrassment, and general stupidity about their own cultural faults towards the Japanese is ridiculous.

Japan doesn't owe Korea jack-nothin' anymore. And I think it's a poor choice for Americans to continue to trust the Koreas when Korea is likely only looking to steal money, technology, and intellectual property while smiling and faking their politeness.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Not surprising given the country, the audience, and the purpose. An arguably domestic issue being addressed towards a domestic audience with the intent of establishing and reinforcing domestic ties.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Here is a great opportunity for Japan to learn from the example of Germany. The Germans never assumed a single apology was all they needed to give, one and done. No. The Germans send military and diplomatic delegations each and every year to commemorate their atrocities and let the world know the current Federal Republic repudiates the Nazis and is committed to being a model representative democracy. The Germans participate in many such commemorations with the leaders of the host nation at the sites of some of their worst barbarities. No nation has to badger Germany to participate and their words at these occasions are heartfelt and humble. Japan has an opportunity to follow Germanys leadership and do the same for her Asian neighbors. Such annual pilgrimages would do much to heal the wounds and improve relations with its neighbors.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Desert TortoiseToday  12:23 pm JST

Here is a great opportunity for Japan to learn from the example of Germany. The Germans never assumed a single apology was all they needed to give, one and done. 

No you're way out in left field on this one. Korea was not one of the Asian nations invaded by Japan. In fact 250,000 Koreans served, most of them willingly, in the Imperial Armed forces, invading other Asian countries, making use of the Comfort Stations, Several rising to high ranks incliuding one Lt General who was tried and convicted as a Class-A War Criminal. With the exception of the PRC which also uses anti-JP sentiment as a political tool, the other Asian nations (including ROC which Japan invaded) have accepted the apologies and moved on.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Here is a great opportunity for Japan to learn from the example of Germany. The Germans never assumed a single apology was all they needed to give, one and done. No. The Germans send military and diplomatic delegations each and every year to commemorate their atrocities and let the world know the current Federal Republic repudiates the Nazis and is committed to being a model representative democracy. The Germans participate in many such commemorations with the leaders of the host nation at the sites of some of their worst barbarities. No nation has to badger Germany to participate and their words at these occasions are heartfelt and humble. Japan has an opportunity to follow Germanys leadership and do the same for her Asian neighbors. Such annual pilgrimages would do much to heal the wounds and improve relations with its neighbors.

His history starts only from before and after WW2, who probably don't know Germany was one of those Western Powers which butchered and split China, not to mention how Germany did neither apologize nor compensate toward its former colonies.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

And his history would have no words to justify Opium wars

3 ( +5 / -2 )

+Let's put it his way

Germans apologized only among whites' community

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Agree with @Coffee

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Also, agree with @CoffeeCrusher

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Germans apologized only among whites' community

So the people of Namibia are white? Really?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

No you're way out in left field on this one. Korea was not one of the Asian nations invaded by Japan. 

It was invaded and colonized by Japan. To claim anything else is a gross distortion of history. That some Koreans aided or identified with their colonizer does not change this.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Germans apologized only among whites' community

So the people of Namibia are white? Really?

For the very 1st time ever , yeah, admitted genocide caused by the hands of Germans but still denying it's legal reparation for damages caused, after how many years passed? What about German's other former colonies? How and what could Japan have possibly learnt from German

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It was invaded and colonized by Japan. To claim anything else is a gross distortion of history. That some Koreans aided or identified with their colonizer does not change this.

It was not just some Koreans aided or identified with Japan.

“But, at that time, we chose it by ourselves. It is not Japan invaded our land. Our ancestors chose it. If we chose Qing Dynasty that soon perished, we would have had more chaos on the peninsula. If we chose Russia that soon got overturned, we would have had the entire peninsula turned to a communist country. It might not be the best but if we were to chose, I valued choosing Japan as second best.”

President of Korea Chunghee Park

“As far as I can see from these official records, I don’t understand why Japan has to be accused of enslaving Korea. If it was enslaving, the Britain is guilty of accomplice and the US guilty of accessory. All that Japan did to Korea was legally conducted as an ally of Britain. They were in accordance with the international rules and the highest code of conducts of that time. Not only that, there rules and codes were not set up by the Japanese, but they were set up by the West, especially Britain.”

A US historian – Helen Mears

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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