I think you are right that washitsu is not only for bedroom, but can be used for various ways. The poll I linked before says more than 30% people use it as bedroom or private room, and28~29% use it as guest room. They can just relax in it, lying down on it to rest. But is it really that larger houses tend to have less washitsu? suburbs tend to have more washitsu than at urban areas, when I checked at home's.
"No, that's not the mat that people would miss the most, but the concept of a room/space that can transformed in a few minutes."
At least I think okidatamis have increased as washitsu decreased in numbers(that means as yoshitsu increased), but I don't know, you maybe right they might eventually disappear with washitsu.
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" I think eventually tatami will go the way of the public bath.People will be happy to occasionally pay the for experience of using them, at upscale resorts for example, but they won't want to actually live with them on a daily basis"
One way they might survive is okidatami, tatami mattress that can be just placed on wooden flooring, which is probably easier to handle than usual tatami and they don't need washitsu. But I don't know, I agree with you tatami might gradually decrease in numbers.
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I checked some more at home's because I couldn't do much in the morning. And I narrowed numbers down to houses that can be moved in immediately(即入居可）because then those houses will have arrangement of houses already decided. The numbers that I got is probably more precise than the one I gave in the previous comment. I checked not only Tokyo but Kanagawa Saitama Chiba. And I am also limiting searches to newly built ones, not old ones being sold again, and not including apartments, only detached ones are counted.
The result I got shows that in Tokyo 77 out of 166 houses had washitsu, which is less than half(46%. And if you limit to 23 districts it goes as low as about 30%). But in other areas, Kangawa got 62% of houses with washitsu, Saitama pref with 64%(but if you limit to saitama city it was 47%), Chiba with 72. I checked places like Nagoya and it was also more than 60%. Adding Tokyo, Chiba, kanagawa, saitama gave result of about 60%. Urban areas tend to have less washitsu, but I don't know the reason, is it because of availability of space, or because people think differently in urban areas.
But overall, this seems suggest that more than half of people actually want washitsu in their house. Which is kind of surprising to me.
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"most folk wanted to sleep on tatami." You might be right when I look at poll here I found now http://www.sumaito.com/community/result/back/05/theme01.html This shows more than 60% of people wanted at least one washitu in their new houses (but the poll was taken in 2001, more than decade ago).
But when I search newly built houses in Tokyo, It seems to me less than half of them have washitsu(out of 854 in tokyo, only 276 have washitsu at website of home's). That is strange. Maybe some people want to sleep on washitsu as you say, but they can buy tatami carpet that you can just put on yoshitsu, at DIY center, so they don't have to have original washitsu in new house.
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The poll in this article surprised me because most of the new houses built in Japan are western style houses and many of them don't even have a washitsu. And I found different polls with different results on the web, which puzzled me again.
But I realized they can be explained that when people are asked simply which room is more relaxing to spend time with(putting aside maintenance and cleaning), they tend to answer washitsu. But when they are asked in which room do you actually want to live(considering cleaning and so on), they tend to answer yoshitsu. I can understand this explanation more. I could not find poll asking "Do you want a washitsu in your house or no?"on the web. The result might change a little bit as you say, in favor or washitsu.
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I searched for more and found out the poll in the article hachima kiko, here http://blog.esuteru.com/archives/7684312.html and I found out similar result but different poll here http://wa.chobirich.com/official/vote/160 but again I found different poll that shows yoshitu is preferred more here http://antenna.tweepie.jp/?q_id=841
The second link has the largest number of votes. But the third one gives details of what kind of people prefer which. According to this source, both male and female prefer yoshitsu but female tend to prefer yoshitsu more. Young people tend to prefer yoshitu but people older than 60 prefer washitu(but only 30 old people answered question out of 999 people total). It's strange what is causing difference among those polls, maybe the way they ask questions? The first one is asked which do you like, the second is asked which is more relaxing, the third is asked which do you want to live.
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"They posted a poll simply asking whether their readers preferred washitsu or yoshitsu. The results came back overwhelmingly in favor of Japanese-style rooms with 1,840 votes and only 797 for Western-style rooms."
Where did this poll come from? I searched in Japanese and could not find any. I read the original yahoo news but there were no such number. which is probably here http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140517-00000565-san-cul
Instead I found the opposite result here http://earthtime-club.jp/enquete/045/ and here http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/04/22/206/ This poll says out of 500 people 82% preferred yoshitu. I think this poll is much more reliable than the one in the article. Tatami sellers give these numbers like this but I am doubting they are manipulating polls. And I personally prefer yoshitu too, it requires less maintenance, but I like the smell of tatami.
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You know, if you are bringing up history changing DNA of Japanese, same could be said with whites, blacks or other asians, and I can say dirty thing about them with your logic, which I won't say for now.
I don't know much about this law, but as far as I know, the landlord need to wait several month before bringing the case to the court, and the court takes about half a month to finish so about 7~8month, landlord have to wait for the money, or can't have any if lessee has no money. But sometimes lessee tries to pay when the case is brought to the court but landlord denies to receive because that is necessary for their legal ground to kick lessee out. Also it is not just about not paying rent, correct me if I'm wrong but the US law usually allows landlords to kick lessee out when the contract period ends(of course with proper procedure). But in Japan's law, the landlord need legitimate reason to kick out lessee when the contract ends, otherwise, basically the contract keeps on renewing.
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"inferiority complex toward westerners" There might be these feelings, but I think this kind of feeling usually end up in other way admiring westerners not hating them. There might also be some sense of superiority toward other asians, looking down on them, but I don't know if they are hating asians. Only foreign haters I have personally met are anti-korea or anti-china people, they expressed their feelings to me and they might be increasing but they were minority among people I've met. You are probably Japanese, and I bet you or people around you don't have hate toward foreigners in general.
I think this Japanese did this to me argument if you can't say details there is no way Japanese can learn what is wrong with them or if there is any fault with them. As far as I remember, I personally have not intentionally looked at foreigners with disgust in my life, just because they are foreigners. Rather I try not look at them because I think they don't want to be looked at with curiosity, or is that causing another insult to foreigners? I still think it is better to blame education system or gov rather than individuals. How can you force people to learn english without any gov policy, they wont unless it is needed in their work or something. I don't know what made you hate Japan so much, but I agree with you that Japan should change in someway if Masuzoe really want good foreign workers. But somehow, I feel it is not easy for him to succeed.
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I have personally never met any japanese showing such xenophobia, or at least they never told me such feelings. Rather some people I know said they visited foreign countries and said foreigners were nice and kind.
I guess there are Japanese people who can't understand english and when they are asked in English, tries to escape saying things like ask others, they are mendokusai people. I also think there are people who are simply scared of english just like you say. and escapes. But person I know who can't speak english, did what she could do to deal with foreigners who cannot speak Japanese, when she was working in shop in Tokyo, and I didn't feel that person is very unique in Japan.
I don't know which nation you are from but if somebody who cannot speak english goes to Australia or Canada or elsewhere and ask people around in non-english, I am pretty sure some of them will feel mendokusai dealing with non-english speaking person. Similar thing might be true in any nation, India, China or SK, etc. But I know it is better for Japan if more people speak English as you say.but I can't blame individuals for not being able to speak english.
I guess foreigners in Japan do have some hard times and it is not easy for Japanese people to recognize these things, and the same is true in many nations. It is difficult for people in their native land to recognize with what sort of things foreigners are having hard time with. And I admit that Japanese because they didn't have many foreigners like singapore or HK, might be slow in realizing these things, and it will be idealistic if these customs or rules change in a proper way acceptable for both Japanese and foreigners, which in reality might be difficult sometimes.
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As a Japanese, I think that Japanese might feel uncomfortable toward gaijin, not because they hate gaijin but because they rarely have gaijin near them and they cannot speak foreign language. That is what I feel looking at most japanese. In that sense 60% of people despising gaijin or thinking gaijin in worst context seems ridiculous idea to me. The word mendokusai might be more accurate, mainly because they cannot speak foreign language, but not despise.
But I do agree that Japan is somewhat closed nation, basically ethically homogeneous, most speaking only Japanese, and market might be also closed to foreign firms with restricitons, and immigration and police might also have some bias toward gaijins. But I also want to know, does not some Asians living in European nations or the US, or whites living in other asian states feel some kind of isolation in various ways? They might be, and this feeling of isolation might not be unique to just foreigners in Japan( but they also might differ in degree of how much isolation they feel. ).
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"Anyone who is for the pacifist constitution is pro-Japan IMHO"
I don't think things are that simple. There are people who are sincerely thinking about Japan and against changing of pacifist constitution. But there are people who are for the changing of constitution and also sincerely thinking about Japan. They just have different perspective on how the peace can be maintained, though I personally favor defending the constitution today.
North Korea or China will happily support the USA changing constitution to make it more pacifisit, but that does not mean NK or China today is pro USA..
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Steven C. Shulz
Edo period was period of feudalism, not modern, no democracy, no human rights, some uprisings, some famines, but I think it was basically a peaceful era in Japan's history. It is obvious if you compare that period with sengoku period with lots of civil wars or Meiji and showa period.
But I do think blaming threat of imperialism for the only reason of Japan's invasion is false, and Mr. Ed sounds rude to the United States, which I think is what you really wanted to protest toward Mr.Ed.
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I think you are right that militarism(fascism) made Japanese soldiers mistreat prisoners. But serendipitous is also right that the many Japanese soldiers thought surrendering as dishonorable and had little respect toward prisoners. And this surrendering is dishonorable idea became stronger during militarism.
Japan became militaristic in showa, you are right. But Japan had not been fighting in foreign land for more than 250years before Meiji. And they suddenly started fighting against china, russia, annexing korea in Meiji period which is about 40 years, why did they change so much? I cannot ignore influence of imperialism in explaining this.
As you say, Japan turns in to more militaristic state in early Showa, and that combined with already existing imperialism made Japan wage unreasonable war of invasion, but the expansionism itself did not suddenly start from showa.
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Some of your ideas were interesting. It is undeniable that Japan has made many mistakes during and around WWII, and there might have been many things Japan could have done to avoid war from happening.
But I sympathize with your view that Germany and Japan and Italy are solely responsible for the WWII is omitting some facts that need to be considered. One of the popular argument is that the Versailles treaty put too much burden on Germany that it helped the rise of Hitler. That might be true to some extent, but at the same time any victorious nation would have done similar thing to Germany (and actually Japan had been asking for more rewards for helping the Britain in WWI).
Good thing is that many nations learned from their mistake and some nations avoided asking for compensation toward Japan in San Francisco peace treaty, which helped Japan and I have a feeling of appreciation for nations like the US, Britain, Netherland etc. for this, and I think Japanese people should know this fact if they don't.
Other thing that might have influenced Japan is the idea of imperialism. The Japanese people before Meiji period felt fear, that they might be colonized by the west, watching other asian nations being colonized. By Meiji restoration, they thought that the way to survive is to make strong military and economy just like western powers (fukoku kyouhei), which later make Japan into another imperialistic nation with militarism.
The imperialism was still present even after the WWII and cases like Indonesian independence war, which I think was virtually an invasion by Dutch on Indonesia, not much difference from what Japan did to asian nations, however ,there was also strong criticism toward Dutch around the world, which led to Indonesian independence. But imperialism was just one side of the west's influence on Japan, there are many other good influences like modernization, democracy, human rights and so on, which should not be overlooked.
This way of thinking also works on China. For example, China might be acting in someway similar to imperialistic nation, one reason is that CCP is in power. Chiang Kai-shek, before WWII, was almost about to wipe out the communist party from China, but one of the main reason he could not was because of Japan's invasion on China. And it was mainly Chiang Kai-shek that was fighting against Japan, not the CCP, which might have weakened Chiang's power and later lead to the CCP's victory. The imperialism and exploitation by west and invasion by Japan might also be influencing the act of China today. I feel sorry for China about invasion, but I also feel sorry toward Chinese people, for helping CCP rise to power.
So the view that tries to put less responsibility on Japan might not be popular(especially in China and Korea), but holding that view this way, also should make Japan look at China or Korea with more sympathy, only reducing responsibility of Japan might be a double standard.
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Jerseyboy Then I want to ask you what Japanese should do with atrocities done by Soviet toward Japanese. More Japanese people died in soviet for forced labor than the POW died at the railway, though I am not denying many people suffered building railways.
If I talk about Japan and Soviet relationship, Japan did not attack soviet like Germany did, But I know there were some conflicts at borders and Germany and Japan had alliance but Japanese gov did not know Hitler was going to attack soviet until Nazis actually attacked soviet which surprised Imperial Japanese gov). So it was Soviet who broke non aggression treaty pact between Japan and killed and raped Japanese and took over islands, and I think Japan has more right to say things toward soviet than to other allies, when I look at these facts( But I also won't deny Soviet attacking Japan helped Japan surrender more quickly as a result).
Yeltsin has apologized to Japan for the treatment of POWs in 1993. I think no compensations are paid to those who died one reason would be there is peace treaty of 1956. Should Japanese people who survived soviet, or relatives of those who died in Soviet should still be hating Russia for what the soviet has done because they have not compensated? I personally respect people who has forgiven Russia and trying to build good relationship with Russia than people who are still full of hatred toward Russia, though I won't deny they suffered in Soviet.
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I think you are right that crime solving rate in Japan is one of the lowest in developed nations. But you should also know that larceny is the most common crime in standard criminal law of Japan and it amount to about 75% of all violations of criminal law in 2012. And at the same time the crime solving rate of larceny is one of the lowest among violation of criminal law which is bringing down the whole crime solving rate. I think things are similar in other nations also. And there are other developed nations with low crime solving rate if you look here http://hakusyo1.moj.go.jp/jp/60/nfm/images/full/h1-4-1-01.jpg You can argue that moj manipulated stat to show they are not doing bad, but then I think you should show which part of this stat is being manipulated. Also, I am doubtful whether criticizing heavily toward police for low crime solving rate is going to cause good effect. If you go to far, they might start making more cases like Hakamada, in that sense I am against supremacy of crime solving rate, though I think it is better if it is higher.
I agree with you that the rate matters more than number but I think it is difficult to calculate rate when many visitors do not stay in Japan the whole year. So it is easier to find crime rate of foreigners who have residency(at least temporary) in Japan like the US soldiers or Korean people who are living in Japan. And there are stats like that as danalawton pointed out. But the data of this article is about visitors, as Fadamor has pointed out, so things are little bit different, in my opinion.
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I got what you meant. You are probably talking about kenkyo ritu of standard criminal law in Japan. Which according to the article I saw is 29.8% in 2013. It was my mistake and sorry I could not understand crime solving rate in Japanese.
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All reported crimes probably means 認知件数(ninchi kensuu) in Japanese. But I cannot understand how you are calculating crime solving rate. Dividing numbers of criminals found guilty by the number of all reported crimes? Can you give me the source if possible, because that will be quicker if its on the net.
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There might be misunderstanding of your comment but conviction rate in Japan seems very high according to the wikipedia of conviction rate. It is said to be above 99%. Maybe you are talking about prosecution rate? But even prosecution rate I could not find your stat. If you can, could you tell me where you got the stat? I think it's wrong to criticize foreigners for rising arrest numbers, and I am sorry if you have true stat that I was not able to find, but I don't think it is good to tell false stat either.
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Jimizo because nobody is answering so I checked some. There might be mistakes but I could not find full 2013 version of statistic so this is 2012 statistic. I think the stats won't have significantly changed. Which is here. https://www.npa.go.jp/sosikihanzai/kokusaisousa/kokusai/H24_rainichi.pdf
If you cannot read Japanese, the total arrest number was 9149. Those who did not have passports, and visa violation(probably meaning不法残留 in Japanese, ) the total number was 553 and 1028 each, so the total is 1581. Leaving out all violations of immigration control law, the toal arrest number of foreigners is 5423. Which is just about 2% of the overall crimes in Japan. Overall arrest number is 287,021 in 2012. which comes from here http://www.npa.go.jp/toukei/seianki/h24hanzaizyousei.pdf
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I can understand your comment that people shouldn't be too much critical toward Park for ignoring Abe's effort in speaking in korean, if Park acted that way because she is fearful of heavy criticism from strong anti- Japan group in SK. As it is mentioned in the article, she has to distance herself from her father's position to avoid heavy criticism in SK. If this is true, the one to be blamed the most might be not Park, but those strong anti-Japan people who will criticize Park for meeting with Abe. But if Park is taking that kind of attitude on her will(which I don't know), she deserves criticism to some extent.
I might be wrong about this but I have suspicion that many of those who are really radical in being anti-Japan in SK might be pro-NK. Because the nation that benefit the most from SK and Japan relationship falling apart is probably NK. I want both anti- Japan people in SK and anti-korean people in Japan to recognize this. Because hate between Japan and SK is in my opinion, benefiting NK the most, no matter what the cause is.
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BNlightenedMar. 24, 2014 - 02:28PM JST
About the document you posted. From that document, it is possible to know that brothel was made and women were taken up by nearby villages. Forcibly or voluntarily is not written but it is possible that these women were virtually forced to serve, because the necessity of paying money does show higher possibility of virtually forcing women. But some rightists argue back saying even voluntary brothel can cause hate from man in villages therefore the money was needed, but even though it is not clear in the document I personally feel it is reasonable to think that women were virtually forced.
The document also says, that soldier had to forcibly negotiate with the military outposts to get the money(in Japanese "kyoukou danpan"). That makes me question why did he have to forcibly negotiate with the superior officers to get money. If this is so, it is more reasonable to assume that the soldier was trying to do something that is usually not allowed in the military, hiding up war crime by paying money. If it was a normal practice, he did not have to forcibly negotiate. Other explanations that I have not realized might be possible, and i might be making mistake in reading this document, but at least the Japan times has not mentioned kyoukou danpan part of the document, and I wanted you to know if you do not read Japanese.
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I made mistake on my last comment, Ishiba did not sack tamogami, he just criticized tamogami for writing papers.
I don't know how suga acutally is thinking about comfort women, but at the same time, suga also said politicians have to be humble in facing the history.
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I really appreciate many of your comments about comfort women, and I mostly agree with you. Many comfort women had to go under various hardships and many died and they deserve apology. Saying exaggerated things or saying Japan did no bad with comfort women, both of these claims are not helping. They are just not right and former will anger conservatives and rightists and the latter will anger many koreans.
But one thing I want to say is that, whether the Japanese gov gave orders to recruit women by force or not seems to be important issue to especially rightist people, and they are thinking inflation of numbers and this issue are both false accusations. I deny their saying such as they were all prostitutes, and I know inflated numbers are probably not true but for this issue, I don't know the truth and probably there is no academic consensus on this, so this is becoming a controversial problem. This need some kind of study or investigation as you say, and that is probably the only way to make rightist silent about this, in my opinion.
But I do understand your doubt that whether Abe is the appropriate one to investigate, and whether now is that good time to do it or not. If they had decided to investigate, I have to only hope that they do it properly, and at least they do not repeal the whole apology, because I believe sincere apology of some kind is needed.
LDP is conservative party that tend to be on the right, and I am not fan of the LDP and I am suspicious some of them being revisionist, but at the same time many of them are conservative on the right side but not revisionist in my view. For example Keizo Takemi from LDP has said something like we have to get rid of dangerous right winger's view, when we look at the history. Suga has recently made comment that Nanjing incident is undeniable and Abe cabinet thinks the same way. Shigeru Ishiba, the secretary general of the LDP, even though he was criticized recently for the comment about legislation, he admits it was a war of invasion, Nanjing happened and japan should apologize to china, he sacked Tamogami out from his place, and he says he does not want to visit Yasukuni because it was a wrong war. I hope these are coming out from good will of these people, and I just have to hope these good will help Abe make right decisions, if not I will be disappointed.
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I think war against China is becoming a larger threat to Japan. But I think most of the people in Japan are against the war with China, especially invading china, but self-defense war might be a different story. I am wondering if any war, even self defense war is a good thing or not, but I cannot be that critical about self-defense war, not only to japan but toward any nation. Abe's visit to Yasukuni is provoking china, I think that is true and he should have restrained it if he were to build good relationship with china, but that does not justify China to take military action toward Japan. If Japan's trying to invade China, your argument sound to have some legitimacy, but not for the self-defense war, and that is true even when Abe visit Yasukuni. And your argument should also be applied to China, to be fair. From your argument, if China is trying to take military action to any nation around China, they should be annexed by other peaceful nations. But I am against this idea, if annexation is causing another war.
If those extreme right wingers in black van is thick skinned, and don't care any insult, and not be angered by insult as you say, then I won't care for them, I might be preachy and I am sorry for that, but then you should be careful when giving insult who is not thick skinned. giving insult becomes a habit, a bad one, to anybody, including you and I. And it is going to cause another insult, if given to those who have no thick skin and keeps on going fore4ver. This is true with anti- korean and anti-chinese people in Japan, they should stop saying dirty words to koreans or chinese even when they seem to be thick skinned. I am sad people hating koreans and chinese are increasing today, these hate will eventually hurt themselves in my opinion.
Overall, I think I am not far from what you are thinking basically but the mean to achieve peace, I have different idea from you. and I am also wishing peace on Japan china, I don't want that awful WWII repeated again, I want Abe to make right choices for this.
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Peacetrain This might be off topic and I am not trying to criticize the US, or not trying to justify Japan, or trying to accuse you. But I have always been curious, what the US people are thinking about what they have done to the philippines when they colonized philippines.
Do you think it is as bad as what Japan did to Korea or was it better than what Japan did? Do you think it is necessary for the US to compensate and apologize to the philippinese? I might be ignorant and mistaken, I am sorry if I'm asking rude question, and maybe the US has already done something, but it seems kind of similar to korea japan issue so I wanted to ask.
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Mitch CohenMar. 05, 2014 - 08:21AM JST
I am thankful you are not being not too emotional and being objective about Japan and Korea relationship. I think that kind of attitude from both sides will help Korea and Japan reconcile.
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Right wingers tend to claim they have been forced pacifist constitution from the GHQ, and liberals tend to say it has not been forced, and we have to be proud of that constitution.
I am thinking it might have been forced but we should also be proud of that pacifist constitution. If you are talking about democratic ideas and human rights, I think you are right, GHQ has worked on Japan to make Japan more democratic, and Japan retained it after independence. And even though it is hard revise constitution, such a discussion almost never became a big issue until recently. And even though it is kind of vague, three principles on arms export is favorable. So, yes GHQ started pacifist Japan, but there is also part that Japan has retained pacifism for decades after independence. You are probably thinking I want Article 9 revised but I am against revising the article 9, but not because like many people here are thinking that Japan is going to be militaristic, but for other reasons.
"Ask your average older Japanese person about the war, believe me they do not support the actions of Japan at that time." I might be mistaken about your sentence but many Japanese people supported Imperial Japanese government going to war, including old person I know. But these people tend to be against revision of Article 9 today, which I agree with.
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I think it doesn't matter which side was aggressive in the past about this issue. I might be too naive on this, but my honest feeling is that the hate koreans have toward the rightist today, is nothing different from the hate the rightist have toward koreans. And they are doing no good to Japan korea relationship.
We can argue who is responsible for the hate first, but people will not be persuaded, just like argument never ends here. Koreans will blame rightist and rightist will blame koreans, I think they are both right to some extent but also wrong to some extent.
So even if it is a lament, provocative ones will not be meaningful just like provocative lament from rightist will not be meaningful. If provocative insult can solve problem, this problem would have been solved by now. You can say it but I am sure its not going to be any help. Even in lament, when provocative, it only makes right wingers fill up with anger But I understand there are lots of provocative things in the world that make us angry. I feel sympathy more toward generous liberals, rather than people who are full of hate against Japan, and same would be true with many Japanese or Japanese liberals.
If Japan was treated like Korea was by the Imperial Japan, Japan would have been much more militaristic than today, because Imperial Japan was militaristic. Things could have been worse. You say, it is better for Japan to be under administration of the US than going to the war, but I want you to understand that even though there was controversy in historical problem, Japan has been pacifist state for 70 years after the war, more than most of the developed nations, ex PM Murayama said similar thing to Koreans. I do have suspicious feeling toward Abe like you do but I don't want to make insulting and provocative sayings to right wingers or to Koreans.
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