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NBC boots analyst over Japan comment at Pyeongchang Games

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By Liana B Baker

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0 ( +0 / -0 )

certainly don't know why they'd feel inferior to China.

Here you go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing for sure. Korea is no longer under the yolk of colonialism.

Unlike Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is really stupid. South Koreans are really nationalistic, I get the feeling they are the most nationalistic ones in East Asia, probably because, like I read in many geopolitical analysis, they always felt inferior to China in ancient times, and both to China and Japan now.

I really doubt inferiority complex has anything to do with it, and certainly don't know why they'd feel inferior to China. For whatever reason they seem to just not let go of things easily. Look at the past examples of death threats to Olympic the American speed skater and Russian figure skater. On Japanese news we only hear about their attitude towards Japan, but I get the feeling they are complaining about a lot of things all the time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Yubaru: You seriously have NO IDEA about Japan / Korean history do you? You sprout rubbish from the little knowledge you have in that void between your ears!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I really don't understand. It would be like if someone in Europe wanted to deny that industrial revolution began in Britain, and from there spread in the rest of the world. In Asia, the first Country to modernize itself, according to Western standards, has been Japan, and after WWII, it has been the main model for its closest Asian Countries.

Tina isn't wrong when she says that many kanji used in Chinese language, in scientific fields, are adopted from Japan. This doesn't mean that Japan created all kanji, for heaven's sake! Tina never said something like that. Everyone knows that kanji are Chinese, and both Japanese and Korean writing systems were derived from Chinese writing system.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I said Mr. Ramo was right when he said Japan has been a model for South Korea development, and it's also true Japan played a huge role in South Korea modernization, both during the occupation, but especially after war of Korea. Japanese investments have been also superior to American investments in South Korea for decades, and Japan transferred to South Korea a lot of technological know-how. These are simple facts that you study also at elementary schools, when you learn about the "Asian Tigers". I never said Mr. Ramo was right when he said "every Korean knows that..."

It's a well known fact your average South Korean will never admit these obvious facts, obvious for anyone isn't Korean. And admitting this doesn't mean to justify colonialism or war crimes. This is really stupid. South Koreans are really nationalistic, I get the feeling they are the most nationalistic ones in East Asia, probably because, like I read in many geopolitical analysis, they always felt inferior to China in ancient times, and both to China and Japan now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Every Korean will tell you"? This guy is an expert on Asian culture and thinks EVERY Korean is going to credit Japan's influence?

I remembered seeing an interview years ago with an executive of Hyundai. He was asked if he thinks Hyundai is catching up to Japanese automakers in terms of quality and so on. He laughed at the question and said we are already on par with Japan if not better.

No matter who may be "better", Japan and South Korea has a a bit of a rivalry and it is not always friendly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm very interested to ask smith, are you happy with the North suddenly turning up at these Olympics and getting free PR with their cheerleaders and Kim's sister, knowing the pain they have caused with the South throughout history? Isn't it quite obvious that this is a very impressive public relations exercise?

Its not like the North have come with an olive branch vowing to bring peace. The Olympics are here so they want a seat in the royal box whist their guns are still trained on Seoul.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

TigersTokyoDome: "But then take umbrage when a commentator comments on Japan's post-war success."

What many are suggesting is that Japan gave Korea it's modern culture during colonization (just look at tinawatanabe's comments, and others'), and Korea, as well as Japan, got their economic models, education, and success in post-war by basing it all on American and European systems. You think in the Meiji Restoration they were "Easternizing" and after WWII went back to being samurai?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

This guy should have never been employed to do the job, given his ignorance.

Schopenhauer: "Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea - though it was done by means of colonization, what would Korea would have been?"

You realize that all of modern Japan is the result of British and American models, right? I mean, because if you're going to brag and make claims that Japan is the center of modern culture and what not.

tinawatanabe: " Many Chinese leaders studied in Japan and learned modern science including Kanji."

Now there's a new one! China learned Kanji from Japan! Hahaha... wow. I suppose Japanese taught Europe Roman characters, too. And while we're at it, maybe Japan invented electricity!

Alex80: "What he said is simply the truth."

Oh, really? So, "every Korean will tell you Japan is the source of their modern culture", eh?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So the Koreans have no problem with promoting a unified Olympic flag and merchandise that would obviously upset Japan (adding the tiny rock of Takeshima as a visually larger Korean island). But then take umbrage when a commentator comments on Japan's post-war success. The art of hypocrisy some would say.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@Kidas DomToday: It's true. Korea owes Japan big time.

And Japan owes China big time for development of its ancient culture.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Can you imagine if a Fox News analyst made the same comment--posters on this site would be foaming at the mouth with indignation. But kidding aside, if it wasn't for Japan's onerous war reparations, American universities training many Korean engineers and their totally one-sided trade agreements with the US, they wouldn't be in much better shape than their northern brethren.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Foot, meet mouth. All of you who think so-and-so is better off because of so-and-so need to STOP! Often you tend to measure ''success'' based solely on an economic view. How about looking at it from a viewpoint of lives lost, families destroyed, cultural heritage suppressed and even outlawed, etc. People from the most advantaged groups usually tend to believe their group has benefitted the world the most. Many others' opinions would rightfully differ. It's not you who can tell me what is/was best for me/my group.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nan - which foreign country did Korea use chemical weapons. They did not drop the atomic bomb on anyone. They did not create the Gulf of Tonkin to get into the Vietnam war. They did not invade Iraq on the false lies of weapons of mass destruction. They did not overthrow central American governments. North Korea has done none of this

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Since its th Korea Games, he will be under too much pressure from now. But Korea is probably better off now because of Japan, just like Japan is probably better off because of the USA.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nordic503Today 11:40 am JST

"Has North Korea been engaging in war all over this planet"

The answer is yes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@tinawatanabe: I don't know about that. Anyway, both Japan and Western Europe got some kind of assistance from the Americans, after WWII.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Alex80

After WWII, it received American assistance, exactly like Europe got the Marshall Plan.

US later demanded the payment for the assitance.  Japan was surprised but paid on installment when Japan was still in poverty after the war.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Nordic503: exactly because history went in this way, and not in another one, it's also more absurd to assume like some are doing that South Korea would have been able in any case to modernize itself. In the first place, if history had been different, South Korea wouldn't even exist. Probably, Korean peninsula would have continued to be a Country heavily influenced by China.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Nordic503: I think every Country should be free from any colonial occupation, of course. But we can't deny history. So, exactly how it's a fact that colonization brings a lot of brutality and exploitation, it's also a fact that in some cases, it brings also modernization. We are not speaking about morality here, about what is right or wrong. We are speaking about historical facts, period. And despite you want to deny it, there's not any good reason for thinking that Korea wouldn't have been invaded by another Country, since almost every single Asian Country was conquered by Western Powers. Probably, Russia would have invaded Korea.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Alex - I do not ignore what you said. It is true western colonialists were invading. This is correct. We do not know for the fact whether or not Korea would have been colonized or not. This period of time is over and we cannot do the reply under different circumstances.

Do you think Korea could have been better under the colonial power? Or do you think Japan was acting in good faith as the protector of Korea?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@Nordic503: I see you want to ignore what I explained. Okay, it's your choice. But honestly, we can easily say that Korea would have been simply invaded by a Western Colonial Power. Of course, you can understand this if you know the historical period that is discussed here.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Mr. Alex - Nobody knows what would have happen there. That is all. Japan made the colony of Korea and used Korean people as the bread basket and to feed the military of Japan. If Japan did not do such a thing we do not know what might have happened

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Well, not only has NBC apologized, it has fired Joshua Cooper Ramo as an analyst. Good riddance, not simply because of this one comment about how Koreans view Japan but because of his overall vapid, superficial, empty-suit commentary that gives people from think tanks a bad name. Apparently Ramo was also a commentator for NBC at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 and made similarly cliche-ridden comments about Asian culture and so forth.

Very glad NBC won't have this guy around for either Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022 (as I'm sure they were planning).

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Nordic503: nobody knows, really? Europe was conquering the whole Asia, if you don't know it. So, which is exactly the reason why you think Korea wouldn't have been invaded by a Western Power? Japan only arrived before than Russia or England or France or whatever. This doesn't mean that Koreans are inferior people, this is only like history went during those years.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Alex - After the Korean War (Invasion) North Korea got the aid from the CCCP. After the Korean war the North Koreans bravely and strongly rebuild a great industrial economy with aid from USSR. Once USSR started to collapse the aid was no longer coming and North Korea economy started to fall. North Korea was brutally isolated by the imperialists and reactionary regimes and thus became poor.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Mr. Jeff Lee - I agree. I am not sure how the racist bigoted comment such as that is allowed. It is saying the Koreans are inferior people. I think not. No one knows what would have happened to the Koreas if Japan stayed out. Also we do not know what might have become if the Korean War did not happen as well.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

If it was not for Japan the Koreans would still be living in the dark ages

The North Koreans are. So much for that argument, eh? Anyway, that comment is soooo out there, I don't even know where to begin to rip right through it. Suffice to say that some (many?) people's attitudes in Japan haven't changed a whit since the 1930s. Scary.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Has Korea been able to modernize itself like Japan did during Meiji Period, becoming powerful as much as Western Colonial Powers? No. This is the only historical truth. So, assuming that Korea was able to do it, when it didn't actually happen, it's really stupid. For this reason, it's also stupid the argument that tries to compare the Korean situation with post war Japan and American assistance. Japan developed itself already during the Meiji Period, without economic help from Western Powers. After WWII, it received American assistance, exactly like Europe got the Marshall Plan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Should not have apologized, the Koreans will milk this for years to come like the comfort woman thing. They are professional complainers.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Spectrum. I agree with you fully. North Korea, until this time, invaded no nation. The US is the only country to use the nuclear weapons. They dropped the weapon twice on innocent Japanese civilians, slaughtering them and burning them alive. The US is creating wars all over the world for decades, Vietnam, Central America, Middle East and killing millions. North Korea has done nothing. It is the right of North Korea to have this method for defending itself and also the whole Korea when the land is unified.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

YubaruToday 09:41 am JST

I think he said a right thing but he made a mistake about TPO. Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea - though it was done by means of colonization, what would Korea would have been?

Wow, just wow, how much more arrogant and condescending at the same time, can someone get?

If Japan had not annexed Korea in 1910 it would very likely have become part of the Russian Empire.

Just imagine if the US hadn't rebuilt Japan after the war and executed the Emperor instead and left the people here to fend for themselves.

Then post 1945 Japan would have become part of the Soviet Empire.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

This is exactly why a unified Korea needs North Korea's nukes, so it can stand up to arrogant and condescending America and Japan on equal terms. Americans won't be laughing so hard once there are a few hundred nukes aimed at every major city in America

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

@Yubaru: actually, you can't prove absolutely in any way that without Japanese role in its history, South Korea would be a developed Country, today. Japan modernized itself, became an Empire, and despite the brutality of the colonization, implied in every colonization, it actually developed Korea also during the occupation. After WWII and the Korean war, Japan contributed hugely to South Korea development. In the first place, the so called "miracle on the Han river" was realized mainly by the general Park Chung-hee, whose culture, political and economic know-how was basically Japanese based. Plus, Japan invested in South Korea for decades, becoming the first investor in the Country, surpassing also the US. Korean companies learned a lot of know-how from Japanese companies. Can we say that if Korea had became a Spanish or French colony, the things would be gone in the same way? We can't know it, but I doubt it, since many ex-colonies of these European Countries are still underdeveloped Countries. Plus, both Taiwan and Korea had been developed during Japanese occupation, but Western powers weren't used to develop their own colonies.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

This is a symptom of where our country is heading. The know nothings are running it, and providing the news. The lack of critical thinking skills is amazing and depressing.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If it was not for Japan the Koreans would still be living in the dark ages, the Koreans should be thanking Japan not always complaining like they do!

Then in the same breath you had better be thinking that if it wasn't for the US Japan would be.......(feel free to fill in the blank)

You and others making comments like these are one of the biggest reasons that these two countries can not find peace together, REAL peace.

Were you alive over 100 years ago? Doubt it, but you think the Korean's were living in the dark ages? How arrogant and condescending.

It's rather obvious that plenty of folks here DO NOT want peace between these nations, because then they would have to give up their narrow minded views!

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

If it was not for Japan the Koreans would still be living in the dark ages, the Koreans should be thanking Japan not always complaining like they do!

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Yubaru: Japan modernized itself already during the Meiji Period, if you didn't know it, becoming one of the most powerful Countries in the world, together with the Western Powers. No other Asian Country had been able to do that, during that age. This is why its interests were in conflict with American interests.

I know all about the history, I was commenting on the comment made, the person I was replying to was just as guilty in their arrogance to suggest that without Japan's assistance Korea would not be where it is today.

 Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea - though it was done by means of colonization, what would Korea would have been?

His comment is just as bad as the NBC announcer's. Hence my response about Japan.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

@Yubaru: Japan modernized itself already during the Meiji Period, if you didn't know it, becoming one of the most powerful Countries in the world, together with the Western Powers. No other Asian Country had been able to do that, during that age. This is why its interests were in conflict with American interests.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I commend most of the above commentators.

Indeed, the South Korean government does in fact owe much of their economic development and success to Japan's technical know how. Not only from the initial use of Japanese technology in South Korean industries, but also the building of infrastructure due to the billions of dollars it received from Japan as compensation for Japan's actions in colonizing Korea (during the mid 1960's). This isn't revisionist history, it's fact.

I agree that perhaps the announcer could have phrased it better. When I first read it, what he said struck me as something that could definitely be twisted and construed to be pro-Japan in a bad way. But the gist of what he said is correct, and has nothing to do with painting Japan's WW2 and colonial actions in a good light. Certainly Japan's past wartime aggression was terrible and should never be forgotten, but that's not what this incident was about.

Of course the rest of the world media and the anti-Japanese crowd were quick to pounce on this incident, and taking it beyond the NBC announcer's statements, and once again attacking all Japanese citizens who had nothing to do with what this announcer said. I wouldn't doubt that we'll see some nationalists thumbs down posts like these that are contrary to their viewpoints that all things Japanese are evil.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

I think he said a right thing but he made a mistake about TPO. Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea - though it was done by means of colonization, what would Korea would have been?

Wow, just wow, how much more arrogant and condescending at the same time, can someone get?

Just imagine if the US hadn't rebuilt Japan after the war and executed the Emperor instead and left the people here to fend for themselves.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

He didn’t say anything wrong at all, SK’s economy is an almost carbon copy of Japan’s export driven economic model. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deliberately deluded.

Maybe he could have phrased it better, but the veracity of his claim cannot be contested, except by those bitter at Japan for personal reasons

14 ( +18 / -4 )

IMO he just worded what he was trying to say incorrectly. As bad as the Japanese colonization of Korea was, their current modern society is heavily inspired by Japan, but they won't admit that.

You can't say anything positive about Japan to a Korean person in Korea. Just try the sea east of Korea it "Sea of Japan", they get pissed. Or point out to one of the old Korean ladies that the Daiso they love so much is a Japanese company, they'll get livid with you.

You can also blame anything negative about Korea on the Japanese and they'll be ok with that.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Stuff like this wouldn’t happen if NBC (and in the past ABC) didn’t feel the need to fill up every silence with chatter.

It was a lazy connection. I think what he was trying to say is "While Japan occupied Korea for decades, forced brutal and exploitative conditions that included 'comfort women' (i.e. sex slaves), I guess we could give them a minor shout-out for having created the Export-based economic model which Korea now uses to great success, having even surpassed Japan. I guess it shows that once you are released from under a despot's brutal thumb, you can learn to beat them at their own game."

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

He should stick to reporting.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What he said isn’t really debatable as the comments here have pointed out. It’s surprising though how he isn’t more aware of the sensitive Korean reaction by his comments.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

JeffLeeToday 07:40 am JST

Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea

Korea was a basket-case in Aug 1945,

Nowhere near Japan was in Aug 1945. And nowhere near as the Korean Peninsula was prior to 1910.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

It's true. Korea owes Japan big time.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

What the NBC broadcaster said was correct, although perhaps "all" was not needed. Just as an amazingly backwards Korean Penninsula owed it's roads, school system, hospitals, anything "modern" to the Japanese colonization period, South Korea owes most of it's post 1950s economic advancements to Japan. The very first Hyundai cars has engines built by Mitsubishi Motors. The first Hyundai Shipbuilding ships were licensed designs from Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Anyone who has studied far east economic development takes this as granted. Unfortunately, the nationalism that now exists in South Korea has reached a level where any views regardless of factual historical evidence, that counters that South Korean nationalist view of any topic is simply not tolerated, and faces censorship on a state level.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/01/confronting-koreas-censored-discourse-on-comfort-women/

18 ( +25 / -7 )

At this point, let's rewrite completely history, for the sake of politically correct. But in this case it's really hypocritical to demand more transparency about history only from Japan.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

@ThePBot: he didn't say Japan has been the exclusive cause of South Korea development. He said Japan has been a model for South Korea. I don't see how this comment is wrong or offensive, it's simply the truth. He didn't even speak about the Japanese direct involvement in this development, even tho also this is a fact. Not the only reason for South Korea development, but one of the main reasons for sure, same for the other Asian Tigers, and to some extent also for China.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

It can't be all credited to Japan.

I don't think he's wrong because he wasn't being PC about it. I think he's wrong because his statement is not entirely factual.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Yep a poor choice of words for sure, for someone supposedly familiar with the region this guy surely is no diplomat & I wouldn't be wanting his opinion from Kiss-a$$ associates either....

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

What he said is simply the truth. Anyone who studied history and economy, at least here in the West, knows that Japan has been a model for economic development of South Korea. I mean, it's something you learn also when you are a kid at school, and you study the so called "Asian Tigers". Plus, Japan made huge investments in South Korea, especially during the 80s, even more than the USA. He was wrong in saying that "every Korean admits this fact". He could avoid this sensitive topic, but the fact he is accused to have said something incorrect about Japanese role in South Korea development is embarrassing. Apparently censorship about anything positive involving Japan is rampant in South Korea.

25 ( +31 / -6 )

Well a sports commentator better be on his tippy toes if he’s gunna try and comment on it.

At the same time is he supposed to be like “Oh there’s the North Koreans walking along next to the South Koreans.....they COOL!

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea

Korea was a basket-case in Aug 1945, according to the first American OSS agents who arrived to help form some sort of govt. The Japanese colonists simply fled or were in the process of doing so, leaving Korea in dysfunctional chaos and having to rely on the Allies for food, water and eventually nation building. Then came the Korean War, which reduced Seoul to rubble, like Hiroshima.

S. Korea's "modern infrastructure" today is a testament to its own efforts combined with lots and lots of US assistance.

9 ( +23 / -14 )

I think he said a right thing but he made a mistake about TPO. Imagine if Japan had not introduce basic infrastructures of a modern nation in Korea - though it was done by means of colonization, what would Korea would have been?

9 ( +23 / -14 )

I think I understand what Ramo was trying to say, but his words came out wrong and displayed profound ignorance about South Korea's history since its creation in 1948. South Korea was under undemocratic dictatorial rule from 1961 to 1988. The obsequious, pro-Japan lackeys who ran South Korea during that time were not at all representative of the preferences and views of the South Korean people. Major grievances vis-a-vis Japan were swept under the rug for the sake of fulfilling America's desire to draw South Korea economically closer to Japan. South Korea's own people had little or no say in implementing this policy.

Why did NBC hire some vapid, cliche-spouting empty suit from Kissinger Associates? Nobody associated with Henry Kissinger should be offering commentary at the Winter Olympics or anywhere else.

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

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