Onsen comments

Posted in: Seoul, Tokyo bickering days before 3-way summit with China See in context

The reason that Park has been reluctant to hold a summit meeting with Abe was because she herself had told the Korean people that a meeting with Abe would not happen unless the comfort women issue was resolved.

This may have had the effect of improving her popularity domestically, and she had always demanded this before any meeting with Abe would take place, while Abe always said that the door for talks was always open, but with the proviso that there would not be any preconditions.

What I find hard to undestand is why she made such a commitment, seeing that Abe was hardly likely to bend on the comfort women issue. Did she really believe having good relations with Japan was not important for Korea? Having made such a promise to her own people, she has put herself in an impossible situation.

And alas, Obama pushed for better Korean-Japanese relations which in this case has resulted her in caving in to her previous promise, and now will be meeting Abe who has not changed his stance on the comfort women issue at all.

Furthermore, Korea needs Japan more now as can be seen by Korea's wish to reinstate currency swap deals which they said was not needed back in February. Korea is not part of the TPP, but they now want to be included, which means that they need the cooperation of Japan.

I suppose it really is hard to be Korea right now. With economical giants China and Japan as their neighbour, the unsettled war situation with the North, trying hard to be the "balancer" for China and USA relations, etc, etc.

The spin doctors supporting Park must be having a real headache now. Well, in the end, the bat finally loses all its friends...

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Posted in: Japan hits out at UNESCO for archiving Nanjing massacre documents See in context

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Posted in: Indonesia defends rail project after Japan expresses anger See in context

Japan has been giving Indonesia a tremendous amount of financial assistance. 47% of all world wide ODA (2001-2005) Source is : http://www.id.emb-japan.go.jp/oda/en/datastat_02.htm

For whatever reason the Chinese offer was chosen, it seems clear to me that Japan will no longer favour Indonesia as in the past, which I think would be a detriment to the Indonesian people as a whole.

There is no such thing as a free lunch in the modern world. If Japan will not be getting payback for her generosities in the past, then no more generosities.

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Posted in: Indonesia defends rail project after Japan expresses anger See in context

I don't know how true this is, but on Japanese TV, there was the following explanation.

1) In the final bid, the Chinese offer was a little more expensive than the Japanese. 2) The clincher was 2 fold, one was that the Chinese did not require Indonesian governmental gurantee for the financing and the second was that the completion time was much shorter for the Chinese.

The Chinese are saying that they can complete the project by 2018, while the Japanese offer required test operations for 2 years after mechanical construction, meaning that they would not be ready until 2021.

One of the panelists mentioned that the reason for the speedier competion was due to the fact that unlike the Japanese offer which included laying out brand new rails, the Chinese was opting for using the exisiting rails and upgrading them only, which apparently means that they need not do any boring nor geological surveys.

It was also explained that the location of stations are chosen by Indonesian politicians and hence the Chinese choice of the locations of the stations was not copied from the Japanese offer.

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Posted in: Disney apologizes for tweet on Nagasaki bombing anniversary See in context

The wording of

was forced to apologize

seems inappropriate to me.

Maybe "had to apologize".

Did they receive so many complaints? It was after all only an unintentional misjudgement to use the phrase from the Japanese sub-titles.

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Posted in: Heritage status for Japan industry sites draws mixed reaction from S Korea, China See in context

I think that the Japanese government was concerned with only one issue. Specifically, that Japan was in adherance to the International Labour Organization Convention C029 of 1930 and that her actions were entirely legal. Please note item (d). Korea had been annexed by Japan. So its population were legally Japanese. In terms of conscripted labor, The majority were homeland Japanese, and only near the end of WW2 were the Korean Japanese conscripted. It should also be noted that these laborers were paid. Furthermore, there were more applicants for this job from Korean Japanese than there were openings when initially the work was voluntary. The reason being that it was a highly paid job, considering that it had high risks.

Anyway, the point is that Japan is accepting that they had conscripted labor at that period of time, but it was also legal at the time.

Article 2

For the purposes of this Convention the term forced or compulsory labour shall mean all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this Convention, the term forced or compulsory labour shall not include-- (a) any work or service exacted in virtue of compulsory military service laws for work of a purely military character; (b) any work or service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the citizens of a fully self-governing country; (c) any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations; (d) any work or service exacted in cases of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war or of a calamity or threatened calamity, such as fire, flood, famine, earthquake, violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by animal, insect or vegetable pests, and in general any circumstance that would endanger the existence or the well-being of the whole or part of the population; (e) minor communal services of a kind which, being performed by the members of the community in the direct interest of the said community, can therefore be considered as normal civic obligations incumbent upon the members of the community, provided that the members of the community or their direct representatives shall have the right to be consulted in regard to the need for such services.

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Posted in: MERS sparks mask rush in Asia, but are they effective? See in context

The real benefit of wearing a mask is that it prevents one from easily touching their own mouth or nose with their hands. The reason one is advised to wash their hands is that more often than not, it is through hand contact with an object like a handrail for example that can pickup germs/virus and such. The mechanism of infection is that these germs/virus get into the body, usually through a mucous membrane. Which is most simply done by fingers touching the mouth or nose. You would be surprised how often people touch their mouth or nose without realizing it. Rubbing your nose, wiping your mouth, that kind of thing. Oh, and picking your nose too! Wearing a mask is simply an extention of washing your hands.

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Posted in: Swimmer Tomita suspended until March 31, 2016, for camera theft See in context

Papi2013

The only sources I could find were comments from Japanese officials that there was no clear CCTV footage actually showing Tomita stealing the camera. Where is your source for your opinion?

I also found some sources that he was actually indicted by the Korean authorities.

If he admitted to theft, why was he not arrested? This seems strange to me.

I have no opinion on whether he is guilty or not, but there must be a logical reason that he is now going to hold a press conference with the intension of announcing that he did not actually steal the camera in question.

Oh, I also read that he is supposed to have removed the lens from the camera body and stole only the body. I wonder why that is. A long focal length length costs much more than the camera body. Leaving the lens there is a very stupid way of telling the owner his camera was stolen.

Perhaps he is stupid and/or a kleptomaniac. Or he could have been framed.

I reserve judgement until I actually see the CCTV footage and hear his explanation.

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Posted in: Swimmer Tomita suspended until March 31, 2016, for camera theft See in context

I look forward to hearing what he has to say on Nov 6.

If he was really caught stealing the camera on CCTV, not only how but why would he deny it? And why deny it now even after admitting to the crime when still in Korea?

But then again I have seen no footage of the actual CCTV nor an accurate account of exactly what he said in his so called admission.

Is there a possibilty that he was framed, and in order for him to get out of Korea there was no option other than to make a false admission and make a quick settlement with the owner of the camera?

The fact that the stolen camera's owner was a Korean journalist could mean sometihng?

Let's wait until his press conference.

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Posted in: Asia News Weekly Network - S Korea’s defamation charge against Sankei reporter See in context

SamuraiBlue,

I would suppose that Korea would mark him as a persona non grata and refuse entry into Korea. Which if you turn it around, should simply be that since he is in Korea now, he should be told to leave the country immediately as he is not welcome. Much more appropriate than indicting the guy.

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Posted in: Asia News Weekly Network - S Korea’s defamation charge against Sankei reporter See in context

You guys seem to be forgetting that the online article written by Kato was in JAPANESE.

What I am interested in, is the question of defamation in such a case. It became known to the general Korean public only after some guy decided to translate it to Korean.

Now, how accurate was the Korean translation? Should defamation be based on an unofficial and non-approved translation? What if the translation was biased? Is the defamation against the original document (which was not meant for the Korean public) or the translated one?

If a foreign individual living in Korea posted on his blog in his foreign language that stated that he thought that the President was probably having an affair during the "magical" 7 hours, is that defamation?

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Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter See in context

JTDanMan

According to Press Freedom, the sharp drop in Japan's index is due to:-

In Asia, Japan (53rd, -31) has been affected by a lack of transparency and almost zero respect for access to information on subjects directly or indirectly related to Fukushima. This sharp fall should sound an alarm.

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Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter See in context

One more thing.

This is what Kato is saying about his questioning by Korean authorities.

<http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/foreign/news/20141010/frn1410101140004-n1.htm

It's in Japanese, though.

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Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter See in context

timtak,

You are saying that your interpretation of 秘線 is a location?? babylon says 비선 = confidential http://translation.babylon.com/korean/to-english/

Looking at other Korean source news articles related to 비선, it is clear that the word refers to a group of confidential aides.

You really think that at that time, when the official explanation from the Presidential Office is that Park was in the Blue House all of those 7 hours, that she was in the DMZ area?

I do not read Hangul, but you should check on other news articles using the word 비선.

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Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter See in context

Some Koreans need to calm down too, I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0hglKd5FDY

I really wonder if these people have any real understanding of this issue.

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Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter See in context

This is the original article in question.

http://www.sankei.com/world/news/140803/wor1408030034-n1.html

It is still available to be read online.

1) It is written in Japanese, so it is intended to be read by Japanese people. It is still available and not taken down. 2) The main point of the article is that the Park administration has become weak, evidenced by the fact that Chosun Ilbo and other sources were reporting even rumours about the 7 hours after the Sewol accident, that no-one was able to meet with Park and her wherabouts were unknown. And that the rumour was that the she was meeting a man. 3) Kato (and Sankei newspaper) is being pressured into making and apology and retracting the article, but they have not admitted any guilt for defamation and have not taken down the article. 4) This article was translated into Korean without the approval from or notification to Sankei, and there may be issues with the accuracy of the translation. In other words, the translator "added" some political angle by the use of certain words that have a much stronger and derogatory meaning in Korean. http://www.sankeibiz.jp/express/news/141010/exd1410100700002-n1.htm 5) The Chosun Ilbo was given a verbal reprimand from the authorities and apparently have retracted their original article and have made an apology (I do not have any souces for this information, though). But in any case, no criminal charges were brought against the journalist, nor the newspaper, nor the third party Korean national that made the unauthorised translation.

Kato has been charged not with a civil case, but a criminal offense that if found guilty carries a penalty of up to 7 years imprisonment.

It seems that there are many people who think that Kato wrote an article in Korean, aimed for the Korean audience on paper medium sold in Korea, that directly suggested that during the 7 hours Park went missing after the Sewol accident that she was having sex with a married man who used to work as a Presidential aide and is still often considered to be one of Park's confidantes.

I hope the facts above will clarify what actually occurred.

By the way, what is with the "East Sea (Sea of Japan)"??????

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Posted in: Abe seeks summit with S Korea's Park See in context

Ashlee,

Are you sure that you are not mixing up WWII, the Korean War, comfort women issue, the annexation of Korea by Japan all together? Or are you saying that typical Koreans mix these up? FYI Korea has never been in any war against Japan. So most Koreans want a genuine apology for which issue?

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Posted in: Abe seeks summit with S Korea's Park See in context

Does the populace of Korea really want to sacrifice the benefits that can be obtained from having better relations with Japan or do they wish for no improvement for the sake of a few women even if their stories are true. How many ordinary Korean people really care about getting apologies or individual reparations for the few while sacrificing the possibility that the Korean economy and security status may suffer? Or do they really want to have nothing to do with Japan?

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Posted in: RIKEN says stem cell research was falsified See in context

The investigation was to find out about irregularities with the research report.

But noone has mentioned the most important fact; are STAP cells for real? Everything else is relevant only if the STAP cell is a fake in itself.

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Posted in: Australia, NZ fear Japan may try to sidestep whaling ban See in context

The purpose of the IWC is:- The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an international body set up by the terms of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW),[1] which was signed in Washington, D.C., United States, on 2 December 1946 to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry"

In other words, the IWC exists to regulate commercial whaling. It is not a anti-whaling organization. Just the opposite. They are only suggesting a moratorium on whaling because they want commercial whaling to be sustainable. Once scientific data (such as those provided by the Japanese research) can determine sustainable whaling, then whale hunting will resume. That is why scientific data on whale population is important.

I hope everyone can see that the IWC is not a anti-whaling group. They want whaling to be a sustainable business for all of its members. It is not driven by conservation considerations.

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Posted in: Should Holocaust denial be a crime? See in context

We rarely hear about genocide committed by countries other than Germany and Japan.

Genocide of whom by the Japanese? Please tell.

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Posted in: China sends planes into air zone after Japan, S Korea defy rules See in context

Does everyone know that Japan actually scrambled fighter jets on November 23, right after China announced their unilateral ADIZ?

http://www.mod.go.jp/js/Press/press2013/press_pdf/p20131123_02.pdf

It was against a TU-154 and a Y-8 China military aircraft.

So Japan reacted first, even before the follow-up B52's from the USA.

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Posted in: Japan considers expanding its air zone See in context

smithinjapan,

Now, if Japan flies a plane or fighter into the air-space, I'll take it back.

Please read

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131128-00000026-asahi-pol

JDA has already sent aircraft to fly in the zone. Oh, and China didn't react by scrambling any fighters either.

So take it all back.

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Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal' See in context

Some more facts.

Ito Hirobumi was not the current Resident-General for Korea at the time of his assassination on Oct 26, 1909. The Resident-General was Sone Arasuke who was sworn in on June 14, 1909.

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Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal' See in context

Just to make sure everyone has the correct understanding, Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910. The assassination was in 1909. Korea was not "occupied" by the Japanese.

His written statement for why he killed Ito was for the following 15 reasons.

Assassinating the Korean Empress Myeongseong Dethroning the Emperor Gojong Forcing 14 unequal treaties on Korea. Massacring innocent Koreans Usurping the authority of the Korean government by force Plundering Korean railroads, mines, forests, and rivers Forcing the use of Japanese banknotes Disbanding the Korean armed forces Obstructing the education of Koreans 10.Banning Koreans from studying abroad 11.Confiscating and burning Korean textbooks 12.Spreading a rumor around the world that Koreans wanted Japanese protection 13.Deceiving the Japanese Emperor by saying that the relationship between Korea and Japan was peaceful when in truth it was full of hostility and conflicts 14.Breaking the peace of Asia 15.Assassinating the Emperor Komei.

The assassination was after the Eulsa Treaty of 1905.

He was pro Japanese Emperor and pro pan-Asianist. He himself was quoted as saying "I have ventured to commit a serious crime, offering my life for my country. This is the behavior of a noble-minded patriot." after hearing that Ito had died.

A person who commits a serious crime is called, guess what, a CRIMINAL.

And when Japan annexed Korea, the Great Powers accepted it with no hesitation.

So apart from killing an unarmed old man, who was against annexation of Korea, what exactly did this man do that makes him a hero to the Korean people? Annexation took place, so he didn't stop anything, in fact the murder of Ito only accelerated the annexation process.

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Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal' See in context

Guru29,

Copy and paste right from "Hope of Israel Ministries"

http://www.hope-of-israel.org/

THIS is the source of your information? WOW!

In any case, an assassination is murder. Someone committing a murder is a criminal. They get tried and sentenced. How else would you expect Japan to treat Ahn? Korea and Japan were not under war at that time. This has been the Japanese standpoint all along. Nothing new, as Suga mentioned.

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Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal' See in context

It seems that there actually was a statue of Ahn in Harbing in the past, and not too long ago.

http://www.rjkoehler.com/2006/03/23/beijing-ordered-removal-of-ahn-jung-geun-statue-in-harbin/

The statue was unveiled on January 16, 2006 in Harbing. But Beijing ordered for its removal only 10 days after the unveiling...

http://www.hanyangian.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=218

Hearing the news that the statue of Ahn Jung-geun, who is the symbol of Korean spirit and pride, has no where to belong yet, the Bucheon city decided to put the statue of Ahn in Bucheon Joongang park to mark the 100th anniversary of Ahn’s assassination.

So no-one wanted the returned statue?

And yet Beijing is now saying that they will “China will in accordance with relevant regulations on memorial facilities involving foreigners make a study to push forward relevant work.”

Hmm. Make a study...it's been 5 months since Park asked China....

And everyone has forgotten that the previous statue was removed under Beijing orders...

Learning from the past, I see. Way to go.

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Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal' See in context

chucky, my question is why now? What do you think is the motive/reasoning that Park asked for this to China? And why the news now that China is thinking about it? If he is such a hero, why didn't Korea ask in the past? It's been nearly 100 years! And is there a need to build a statue there to emphasize WHERE the assasination took place?

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Posted in: China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a 'criminal' See in context

The issue here is that Korea is wanting China to erect a statue in China. Park Geun-Hye is the one who asked China to allow this.

All countries have a right to their own opinions about their own "heroes" but why does Korea want to get China involved? And will China really do this? The Chinese government may want to keep antagonizing Japan, but to support a statue for a Korean person who assassinated a senior Japanese governmental official in the name of freedom and independence would seem to be very dangerous. Does the Chinese government want to encourage dissidents within their own country? And as far as I know, the Chinese government has never allowed any foreign statutes to be built within China for freedom-fighters.

It's all political in nature. If it was of any real historical value, why now?

The Chinese will keep saying yes, we will consider it positively for at least until the end of Park's tenure, no doubt, but never actually allow it.

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Posted in: School textbooks to be revised to reflect gov't view on history See in context

smithinjapan,

"how wonderful the atomic bombing were?" I have no idea to what you are referring to.

I would like to know from where you get your information on all of these "truths" that you mention. What exactly are you basing your opinions on? It seems you cannot read Japanese nor Korean, and you have not read Japanese history textbooks, nor the details of this planned reform from other Japanese sources.

The horrors of war? Are you a war veteran? A pacifist?

Changing some wording in textbooks will neither prevent nor cause wars.

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