S Korea protests Japan's revised teacher manuals

SEOUL —

South Korea called in the Japanese ambassador to Seoul on Tuesday to lodge a formal protest over school teaching manual revisions bolstering Tokyo’s claim to a set of disputed tiny islets.

In a separate statement, the foreign ministry threatened unspecified “reciprocal countermeasures” if the revisions are not withdrawn immediately.

The Dokdo islands, known as Takeshima in Japan, are controlled by South Korea but claimed by both countries.

The Japanese education ministry has instructed teachers in junior and senior high schools to use amended manuals stating that the islands belong unequivocally to Japan.

The revisions apply both to the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute and to another set of islands whose sovereignty Japan disputes with China.

“We called in the ambassador to lodge a strong protest ... after the Japanese education ministry maliciously included groundless allegations in textbook teaching manuals,” South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-Hyun told reporters invited to witness the convocation of Ambassador Koro Bessho.

The separate foreign ministry statement accused Japan of “holding on to its past bad habit of distorting history and nostalgia over past imperialism.”

Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula remains a hugely emotive issue in South Korea, which feels successive Japanese governments have failed to properly apologize or atone for abuses committed during the period.

The island dispute is seen by most South Koreans as evidence of Japan’s continuing bad faith and held up as an argument against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s desire to revise his country’s pacifist constitution.

“We cannot but ask Japan how it could contribute to international peace and stability ... and play a greater role in the international society while it keeps creating conflicts with its neighbors and threatening regional peace and stability,” the foreign ministry said.

Relations hit a new low in December when Abe made his first visit since taking office to a controversial war shrine which commemorates around 2.5 million Japanese war dead including several high-level war criminals.

South Korea and China said the visit was a symbol of Japan’s failure to repent its 20th century warmongering.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has refused to meet with Abe since she took office nearly a year ago.

(c) 2014 AFP

  • -5

    YuriOtani

    Blah blah and more blah! The Republic of Korea and the Peoples Republic of China are like peas in a pod. All they want to do is spread their hatred of all things Japanese or perceived Japanese. President Park won her election due to her hostility towards Japan. If it is not schoolbooks it is shrines or teaching manuals. Then again President Park would not meet with PM Abe when he took office. Maybe the ROK should become friends with the PRC and become foes with Japan and the USA.

  • 9

    CrazyJoe

    It is important to understand the mistakes of the past so it is not repeated. Japan should acknowledge the wrongs of its bloody conquests. The teaching manuals (textbooks) should not be distorted by a government's political outlook.

  • -4

    hatsoff

    Maybe if Park had not shown such hostility towards Japan right from the get-go, there wouldn't be any talk of revising the books now

  • 10

    OssanAmerica

    South Korea would gain far more materially and global respect by accepting Japan's suggestion to settle the matter at the International Court of Justice and winning a ruling in it's favor than by whining like a two year old about what Japan's education system when it does the very same and worse in it's own. South Korea could prove to the world that is an advanced democracy which values the rule of law. But they seem to prefer to act like children and thieves.

  • -4

    Strangerland

    Maybe if Park had not shown such hostility towards Japan right from the get-go, there wouldn't be any talk of revising the books now

    Although I feel that Japan brings a lot of its problems upon itself through it's politicians lack of remorse, and lack of finesse, S. Korea would be whining no matter what Japan did. Hatred of Japan is institutionalized there.

  • 1

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    As a rule, the extent of one's territory is NOT something to be treated as debatable in ones textbooks.

  • -4

    Schopenhauer

    What are the school text books of theirs which imbue students with hatred to Japan?

  • -1

    virgo98

    @OssanAmerica

    I totally agree with you.

    The people of ROK are obsessivly devoted only to disgracing Japan and Japanese people now, without realizing it is already harming their OWN national interest.

    I feel some kind of strategy with the anti-Japan activites of China, but nothing with that of ROK. The small number of rational Korean people are being criticized and socially eliminated. It seems to be becoming something like a cult.

    @CrazyJoe

    I recommend telling the same to South Korea and China, whose history textbooks are given lower evaluations than Japanese ones.

  • 2

    JoeBigs

    Prime Minister Abe sneezes, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Prime Minister Abe reads a newspaper, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Prime Minister Abe asks for a meeting with President Park., South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Prime Minister Abe asks to take the issue before the ICJ, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    It really doesn't matter what Japan or Prime Minister Abe does, Communist China's tributary state will always lodge a strong protest.

    ICJ would settle this quickly, but Korea knows it doesn't have a legal leg to stand on, so that will never happen.

  • -7

    smithinjapan

    YuriOtani: "Blah blah and more blah! The Republic of Korea and the Peoples Republic of China are like peas in a pod. All they want to do is spread their hatred of all things Japanese or perceived Japanese."

    As do you when it comes to base issues, but side with the nation when it suits your mood. So, you make three peas in a pod, I guess.

    Anyway, they are South Korean islands, plain and simple. There is no dispute. They are lived on, administered, and controlled by SK. Japan has absolutely no claim to the islands and this is simply the usual inferiority complex Japan needs to spread to try and feel good about itself. Don't get me wrong, SK is no more mature by any means. But with Dokdo it is quite clear to whom sovereignty belongs, and that is SK.

  • -2

    Tamarama

    I'm curious to know how South Korean textbooks treat the same issue? Does anybody know?

    Do they also claim the islands as Korean territory? Because, if they do, that makes them look very, very hypocritical indeed.

    Go and settle it like adults people, please. Ossan is right on the money.

  • -7

    gelendestrasse

    Both SK and Japan are busy wasting time "saving face" while the Chinese are picking off new bits of territory one slice at a time.

  • 0

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    Doesn't South Korea have more important things to worry about? Like the expansionist desires of their power hungry neighbour China? Japan claims islands in school textbooks, SK lodges a formal protest. China unilaterally declares an ADIZ overlapping SK airspace, and what? South Korea seem to have lost interest in the matter already.

  • -10

    JohnY921

    Thank God that the US won the war and is still the superpower. If not, they will be saying that the attack on Pearl Harbor was in self-defense after the US first attacked Japan.

  • -6

    nadki8

    My view is Japan shouldnt distort history. Also Japan should start pondering why they have no real friends? Japan only friend is USA. USA interest is selling Japan weapon and contain japanese militarism, at the sametime USA offerring protection to JAPANESE. MY SECOND POINT A WEAK ASIAN NOT UNITED ASIAN WE WILL ALWAYS BE WEAK IN THE EYES OF WESTERNER. WHETHER IT IS KOREA JAPAN OR CHINESE FAULTS. LEARN FROM GERMANY AND MOVE ON NOW GERMANY IS A FRIEBD WITH FRANCE N ENGLAND.

  • 0

    slumdog

    My view is Japan shouldnt distort history.

    This is not about history. Agree or disagree, it is about geography. Just because Japan has a geographical dispute does not mean it is 'distorting' history.

    Also Japan should start pondering why they have no real friends?

    Japan has a lot of friends and they are real.

    I agree with Ossan, South Korea should take it up with the international court and have done with it already.

  • 4

    SamuraiBlue

    smithinjapan

    Funny since I do not recall any nation agreeing nor acknowledging the Syngman Rhee Line.

    1954 In the Report of Van Fleet Mission to Far East written by US special mission ambassador James Van Fleet, counseled Korea that the Syngman Rhee line was illegal

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    I think you can say that Japan's foreign policy has become more assertive. You remember when former Prime Minister Obuchi refused to give in to Chinese pressure to make a new apology for Japan's role in World War II? Hope the day comes when we can all be "Yoki Rinjin" to our neighbors.

  • 2

    marcelito

    ossan - "South Korea would gain far more materially and global respect by accepting Japan's suggestion to settle the matter at the International Court of Justice and winning a ruling in it's favor "

    For once I agree with ossan , it would be mature for Japan to settle the Dokdo issue with SK, Senkakus with PRC and Kurils with Russia at ICJ but since SK effectively controls Dokdo , Japan the Senkakus and Russia the Kurils none of the "owners " seem to be much interested in bothering to accept the "claimants" requests so the political circus keeps rolling on.

  • -3

    smithinjapan

    Tamarama: "Do they also claim the islands as Korean territory? Because, if they do, that makes them look very, very hypocritical indeed."

    The key difference being if they belong to any nation they belong to SK. I mean, if you want to talk hypocrisy, how about the Senkakus and Japan's reason as administering the islands as proof they own them?

  • 1

    rickyvee

    this is simply the usual inferiority complex Japan needs to spread to try and feel good about itself.

    you should replace japan with SK and then you would be correct. SK is the canada of asia, and that is why they will always complain about japan.

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    marcelitoJan. 29, 2014 - 12:36PM JST ossan - "South Korea would gain far more materially and global respect by accepting Japan's suggestion to settle the matter at the International Court of Justice and winning a ruling in it's favor "

    For once I agree with ossan , it would be mature for Japan to settle the Dokdo issue with SK,

    Japan has asked South Korea THREE times to settle at the ICJ and South Korea has refused all three times.

    Senkakus with PRC

    It is up to China to bring a claim to the ICJ but they seem to prefer the harassment and intimidation approach instead.

    and Kurils with Russia at ICJ

    No need as they are in talks.

    but since SK effectively controls Dokdo Japan the Senkakus and Russia the Kurils none of the "owners " seem to be >much interested in bothering to accept the "claimants" requests so the political circus keeps rolling on.

    There will most likely be a breakthrough in the Southern Kuriles through negotiation eventually. Takeshima will be resolved when South Korea eventually sees the advantage in letting the ICJ adjudicate. And Senkakus will be resolved when China eventually gives up or lowers the priority on them in favor of some other different territorial issue.

  • 3

    hatsoff

    aussie-musashi

    Maybe if Abe hadn`t stupidly insisted on visiting Yasukuni, Park would be sitting down with him right now

    Sorry pal, your timeline's way out. The hostility started way before any visit to the shrine. But maybe that wouldn't have happened either if Park hadn't been so hostile right from the start.

  • 4

    marcelito

    ossan -"There will most likely be a breakthrough in the Southern Kuriles through negotiation eventually. Takeshima will be resolved when South Korea eventually sees the advantage in letting the ICJ adjudicate. And Senkakus will be resolved when China eventually gives up or lowers the priority on them in favor of some other different territorial issue".

    Agree on the S Kuriles - with Putin on his way to Japan this year , no doubt negotiations to come to some sort of a settlement that could be announced by Putin / Abe during the visit are accelerating. Dokdo and Senkakus disputes will no doubt drag on much longer - can,t see any advantage for SK or PRC to soften their stance anytime soon.

  • 0

    CGB Spender

    You'd wish Park would be as wise as she is stylish!

  • 4

    Tamarama

    Smith

    The key difference being if they belong to any nation they belong to SK. I mean, if you want to talk hypocrisy, how about the Senkakus and Japan's reason as administering the islands as proof they own them?

    This isn't about the Senkakus, Smith. You base you assessment that they belong to SK on what?

  • 0

    Strangerland

    If the Japanese claim they own the Senkakus because they control them, then applying that argument to Dokdo would mean that the Koreans own it.

  • -6

    Mitch Cohen

    Prime Minister Abe sneezes, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Prime Minister Abe reads a newspaper, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Prime Minister Abe asks for a meeting with President Park., South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Prime Minister Abe asks to take the issue before the ICJ, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest!

    Of course it doesn't matter that none of the above happened.

    You base you assessment that they belong to SK on what?

    @ Tamarama - Dokdo is visible from Ulleungdo, an undisputed Korean territory. Japan tries to argue Koreans didn't know about Dokdo, but a picture tells a thousand words.

    http://en.dokdo.go.kr/eng/img/introduction/korea_dokdo_dokdo_seen_from_ulleungdo.jpg

  • -7

    gsgsgs

    > 0 Good Bad YuriOtaniJAN. 29, 2014 - 07:22AM JST Blah blah and more blah! The Republic of Korea and the Peoples Republic of China are like peas in a pod. All they want to do is spread their hatred of all things Japanese or perceived Japanese. President Park won her election due to her hostility towards Japan. If it is not schoolbooks it is shrines or teaching manuals. Then again President Park would not meet with PM Abe when he took office. Maybe the ROK should become friends with the PRC and become foes with Japan and the USA > Your Obviously a foreigner with your "Blah Blah Blah" and are either totally ignorant of history and an ignoramus but i would say both. No compassion or feeling when someone talks this way like the dribble that has come off your hands. You Buddy are not going to change History or RUB OUT the Atrocities committed by the Japanese against the Chinese and Koreans. They were crimes of the worst order. Only equal to the atrocities that the German Nazis and the Turks committed. You must be one of those loser foreigners walking around in Japan who can get his self esteem boosted there as there is a language barrier and they can't see through your Bull.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Google earth has them under both names with a disputed territorial line. The Dokto islands do belong to Japan. They were part of the treaty agreement at the end of WW2

  • 1

    Novenachama

    What goes around comes back. The truth is dark secrets exist in the history books of China and Korea. The real history and or missing parts of the history can be researched and you can find out that both countries are not completely honest and innocent. They need to take responsibility and revise their own modern history textbooks as well.

  • -2

    Octagon

    Maybe the ROK should become friends with the PRC and become foes with Japan and the USA.

    It is hard to interpret the definition of friend. As a market PRC 1.3 billion market is more attractive for ROK instead of 127 millions consumers of Japan. Japan is nothing important for ROK except for Pokemon and AKB48. Selling Koran made one car or TV or Gangnam style song in Japanese market is harder than selling Ice cream to Eskimos. Therefore ROK government do not care what Japanese consumers think about them.

    President Park is fluent in Mandarin and she will be well received by Beijing as one of their relative in coming APEC meeting. One thing is definitely sure that Abe will be nobody at APEC and he will feel isolated. He can not complain for nobody wanted to talk with him. He has no class as PM. It is not civic duty for host and Park have to entertain him.

    Go and settle it like adults people, please.

    ROK has already said that no more compromise for that issue. Period! There is the evidence of their territory as flying their flag over there. If Japan wanted to fly rising Sun flag, they have to use force. Period! For Diaoyu or Senkaku, PRC ships have come and go as they please for many decades. Japan is landlord in name only who can not get the rent from uncaring tenant. If Japan want them not to come anymore, Japan should capture the crew and sink the ships. Period.

    Forums and school text books will not change the reality of Geo-political climate. Japan is the land of setting Sun enjoying the last minute of Sun ray before the complete darkness.

  • -2

    Mitch Cohen

    In related news, Taiwan has lodged protest at Japan's newly revised texbooks that claim Senkaku is unequivocally Japanese territory. I wonder why this isn't being reported. Sometimes I think certain articles are fodder for bigoted comments.

    http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201401280032.aspx

  • 0

    Zenpun

    One thing is missing out in School text book is Kurill Islands of northern territory. It is not dispute anymore. It has belong to Japan. Not Russia. Russia will be more likely agree with Abe. Abe has discriminated ROK instead of Russia for not saying Kurill as Japan in the text books.

  • 4

    CH3CHO

    Mitch CohenJan. 29, 2014 - 02:27PM JST

    Yes, Taheshima can be seen from the top of the 984m mountain in Ulleung Do, Korea. However, Takeshima cannot be seen from the shores of Ulleung Do, and there are Korean newspaper articles in 19th century that Korean ships from Ulleung Do searching for Takeshima could not find Takeshima. There is no record that Koreans actually reached Takeshima during Li dynasty Korea. In addition, Korea had "empty island policy" of Ulleung Do, by which no Korean was allowed to live in Ulleung Do. So, there is no chance that some curious fisherman from Ulleung Do saw Takeshima from the top of the mountain and went to Takeshima. How can you prove Korea established effective control of Takeshima before 1905?

    Korean government argues that "Usan Do" is another name of Takeshima and old korean document says Korea occupied Usan Do. But the same old Korean document says "Usan Do" is another name of "Ulleung Do". Korean prof is just a set of contradiction.

    The critical legal question is the Korean edict of 1900, which says Uldo county is consisted of "Ulleung Do", "Juk Do" and "Seok Do". Where about of Ulleung Do and Juk Do are well known. If Korea can prove that Seok Do is Dog Do, then it belongs to Korea. But if they cannot, Takeshima does not belong to Korea. I believe Seok Do is Gwangeum Do and not Dog Do/ Takeshima.

  • 5

    SamuraiBlue

    Takeshima being able to been seen from Ulleung Do is a farce. Yes physically possible but humanly improbable with the naked eye since even now you need a super large telescopic lens to see a speck of dust just above the horizon on a clear day on the very top of the mountain and the person would need to know exactly which way to look and know what they were looking at.

    The Koreans never administered the island before the early 1950's when they unlawfully occupied it by force is clearly similar to that of the northern territories occupied by the then Soviets but the situation has no resemblance whatsoever on how Japan obtained Senkaku so you can see why SK is desperate on trying to clump all three incidents in a single file especially when Russia had started negotiation with Japan in returning the northern territories.

  • 3

    CH3CHO

    aussie-musashiJan. 29, 2014 - 03:08PM JST

    Japan claims them on the basis of its long period of administrative control, thus making it hypocritical to expect South Korea and Russia to negotiate

    It is not a matter of hypocrisy.

    Japan sees the issues as legal matters under international law. Whoever proves the sovereignty should have the islands.

    China sees the issues as military power projection.

    Korea sees the issues as political sob story.

  • 0

    JanesBlonde

    ROK complaining about Japan again. Wow thats a surprise. South Koreans will never ever get over their Japanese inferiority complex. Unless there is a national mind shift, they will still be like this another 100 years from now.

    Funny thing is most Japanese don't care about it .... but for Korean's it is like this inbreed hatred which is constantly eating away at them.

    As the most Christian of all nations in Asia, Korea and Koreans really should just learn to forgive and move on. Despite their recent economic success, they simply continue to come across as petty and childish.

  • -2

    Mitch Cohen

    Takeshima being able to been seen from Ulleung Do is a farce. Yes physically possible but humanly improbable with the naked eye since even now you need a super large telescopic lens to see a speck of dust just above the horizon on a clear day on the very top of the mountain and the person would need to know exactly which way to look and know what they were looking at.

    Nope. Take a look here, it's just a normal photograph, without a "super telescopic lens" as you claim:

    (1) http://en.dokdo.go.kr/eng/img/introduction/korea_dokdo_dokdo_seen_from_ulleungdo.jpg

    (2) http://www.dokdo-takeshima.com/wordpress/wp-content/images/dokdo-from-ulleungdo3.jpg

    When a telescopic lens is used, this is the view:

    http://www.dokdo-takeshima.com/wordpress/wp-content/images/ulleungdo-from-dokdo2.jpg

  • 2

    SamuraiBlue

    Mitch Cohen

    Those aren't Takeshima.

    First the picture is not taken from atop of a 1000 meter peak the only place you can see Takeshima due to the earth's curvature, second Takeshima is not that large.

  • -1

    Mitch Cohen

    The first two pictures are Dokdo. Third I linked the wrong pic.. it is Ulleungdo seen from Dokdo.

    Point is Dokdo is clearly visible from Ulleungdo without a 'super telescopic lens' as it has been claimed. You're right in saying it is taken from a peak in Ulleungdo, but considering Ulleungdo was inhabited for at least 1500 years, how legitimate is Japan's claim Koreans didn't know about Dokdo?

  • 0

    hatsoff

    Octagon

    As a market PRC 1.3 billion market is more attractive for ROK instead of 127 millions consumers of Japan. Japan is nothing important for ROK except for Pokemon and AKB48.

    There's no point spouting the population of China as if every single inhabitant was a potential consumer - they're not. Chinese consumers of most foreign companies' products are the relatively wealthy middle class. Most of China's population does not fit into this category - check China's GDP PER CAPITA to see a real reflection of wealth. (Look around the 80 to 100 mark) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    As for Japan being "nothing important for ROK", erm, Samsung will have a very different view of how important Japan is to them.

  • -1

    Thunderbird2

    Why is it when there is a topic of this nature the SK and Chinese supporters respond with so much aggression and bile? I'm of the opinion (like some others above) that if Abe blows his nose SK and China start spitting fire and demand an apology for war crimes, if he farts in bed they'd do the same. Japan will unfortunately never win. Abe could get on his knees and bow, taking the Emperor with him and neither SK or China would be satisfied. They NEED Japan as a whipping boy - it suits them to have someone to divert attention towards.

  • -2

    Strangerland

    Hatsoff - I agree with most of your post. China may have a slightly higher GDP, but it has 10x as many people as Japan, meaning the per-capita income is only going to be ~1/10 of Japan. Of course, that's still not not a great descriptor, as a significant portion of the country lives on something like $1/day.

    But, I kind of disagree with this:

    As for Japan being "nothing important for ROK", erm, Samsung will have a very different view of how important Japan is to them.

    Samsung doesn't really seem to have much of a presence in Japan at all. I would image it's not one of their stronger markets, though I'm purely speculating.

  • 0

    hatsoff

    Strangerland - fair comment, but Samsung alone is responsible for around 20% of South Korea's economy. So although Samsung is stronger in other countries, every market is important to it. If Samsung falters the whole country's economy falters.

    Incidentally, I believe it still counts Sony as its number one purchaser of DRAM, NAND flash, LCD panels.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/whoa-samsung-is-responsible-for-20-of-south-koreas-economy/260552/

  • -3

    Mitch Cohen

    Why is it when there is a topic of this nature the SK and Chinese supporters respond with so much aggression and bile? I'm of the opinion (like some others above) that if Abe blows his nose SK and China start spitting fire and demand an apology for war crimes, if he farts in bed they'd do the same.

    @Thunderbird2 - Does the ridiculous hyperbole serve any purpose?

    Your post is ironic, because your posts as well as those of 'JoeBigs' and 'virgo98' are typical Korea-bashing posts with the most aggression and bile.

    Abe could get on his knees and bow, taking the Emperor with him and neither SK or China would be satisfied.

    You don't know that. What makes you think Abe, with his revisionist view of history, could ever get on his knees to apologise?

    They NEED Japan as a whipping boy - it suits them to have someone to divert attention towards.

    And Japan needs China and SK as a diversion tactic for its domestic issues. If you can't see that, you're biased.

  • -1

    JoeBigs

    Mitch CohenJan. 29, 2014 - 01:57PM JST Prime Minister Abe asks to take the issue before the ICJ, South Korea takes great offense and lodge a strong protest! Of course it doesn't matter that none of the above happened.

    But Japan has proposed to settle the issue before the ICJ in 1954, 1962 and lastly in 2012. All three requests were rejected by the Korean government because they knew they would lose.

    BTW give Abe a bit of credit at least, he knows that Korea wouldn't even speak to him if he tried. So, why would he waste his time.

    When the North invades with the help and approval of Communist China (yes, they will invade) and the Korea's ask for help, who do you will they ask for help right away? One, the US, two ( ) fill in the blank.

    Let's see if you live in the real world....

    aussie-musashiJan. 29, 2014 - 05:34PM JST By that reasoning, Japan would see the issues as an excuse to amend article 9, and have a full fledged military. After all, if there is no "threat", then why change?

    But here is where your skewed view is blinded by propaganda, there is a threat and those threats are real. BTW When Article 9 gets that last nail I will pop a bottle of champagne and thank Korea and Communist China.

  • 2

    hatsoff

    aussie-musashiJan. 29, 2014 - 05:34PM JST By that reasoning, Japan would see the issues as an excuse to amend article 9, and have a full fledged military. After all, if there is no "threat", then why change?

    Oh but hang on...you blast Japan for being a USA lapdog and at the same time whine about Japan being more independent with its own military. Can't have it both ways if you want to be taken seriously.

  • -3

    slowguy2

    YuriOtani said: "Blah blah and more blah! The Republic of Korea and the Peoples Republic of China are like peas in a pod. All they want to do is spread their hatred of all things Japanese or perceived Japanese... Maybe the ROK should become friends with the PRC and become foes with Japan and the USA."

    It would be vastly more constructive -- not to mention grounded in reality -- for Japan to reflect on just why it is that their country is so hated by so many people, and not just in Korea and China -- despite the concerted attempts by certain Japan-apologists to make it seem that way. Unfortunately, self-reflection is obviously a rare trait among members of the Japanese government and right wing. And why drag in the US? Trying to pretend that the US is so tight with Japan that the two nations can be treated as a unit in this matter -- that's almost funny, almost.

  • 1

    Tokiyo

    You cannot atone to those who have already decided they are deaf. It goes both ways slowguy2

  • -4

    slowguy2

    JoeBigs said:* "...But Japan has proposed to settle the issue before the ICJ in 1954, 1962 and lastly in 2012. All three requests were rejected by the Korean government because they knew they would lose."*

    Get real. Any reasonable person can see Korea would be crazy to treat these absurd attempts at shoring up an untenable claim with anything but indifference. Why would Korea respond to them and give them a false appearance of validity? Does Japan think it worthwhile to go to the ICJ over the Diaoyus? To paraphrase what Japanese politicians are always telling China about those islands, Korea possesses full claim to and complete control over Dokdo, and sees no cause for conflict with Japan.

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    ****Any reasonable person can see that South Korea does not have the confidence to win a ruling in it's favor at the ICJ.****

    ****Yes Japan would go to he ICJ over the Senkakus but China being the claimant is the only one tat can do so and they too are afraid of doing so****

  • 3

    CH3CHO

    slowguy2Jan. 30, 2014 - 08:30AM JST

    It would be vastly more constructive -- not to mention grounded in reality -- for Japan to reflect on just why it is that their country is so hated by so many people,

    The answer is nation-run propaganda. Do I need to give you examples in Germany, Soviet Union, and China?

    and not just in Korea and China

    Oh, really. BBC runs national image poll every year. Japan ranks consistently high in the poll. http://www.globescan.com/news-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2013/277-views-of-china-and-india-slide-while-uks-ratings-climb.html

  • 5

    kickboard

    South korean textbooks were revised just last year and show an alarming "rightist" bias. Among the changes, all textbooks have deleted any mention of the Geochang massacre.

  • 4

    slump

    @slowguy2

    Now, now... stop comparing apples to oranges and "distorting" (as you like to put it) the situation. How shall I put it? ...Let me summarize it all in layman's terms for you.

    If a neighbor claims part of your land should be theirs, and you have documents supporting it is part of the title you have from when you bought it, then as civilized citizens, your neighbor brings the case to court. You both present your cases, and the third party court weighs the evidence and settles the matter. Done.

    Japan's territorial disputes:

    a. Kurils - Russia holds ~ acknowledges Japan's pre-war ownership, but claims them as spoils of war

    b. Senkakus - Japan holds (occupied peacefully), China claims ~ China does not want to bring the issue to ICJ, so to Japan, there is no dispute

    c. Takeshima - Korea holds (occupied violently), Japan claims ~ Japan offers to bring the issue to the ICJ; Korea refuses

    They are not the same:

    a. negotiations on-going

    b. China claims land held by Japan. Instead of taking it to court, they scream, yell, throw things, etc. Japan has signed an agreement saying any case brought against them to the ICJ-- they will go to court and abide by any final decision. China still avoids going to court. (If a neighbor keeps complaining part of my land is theirs, I cannot take them court. They would take me to court. Simple logic in any country.)

    c. Japan repeatedly offers to settle the matter at the ICJ. Korea refuses saying their is no dispute. Then starts shouting Japan is distorting history by continuing to assert claims. Then, again refuses to go the ICJ-- I guess as a friendly gesture to Japan for not making a mockery of them and tearing their argument to shreds??? (If I think my land's title lays claim to a parcel of my neighbor's lot, I would take them to court, and, in a civilized society, my neighbor who thinks otherwise will oblige, ...and the matter will be resolved.)

  • -3

    heynong

    hatsoff

    Chinese consumers of most foreign companies' products are the relatively wealthy middle class. Most of China's population does not fit into this category - check China's GDP PER CAPITA to see a real reflection of wealth

    PRC is state controlled economy unlike West. Overall PRC high volume imports are controlled by state. Not the private citizens. It is the largest market for ROK export.

    In term of per capita and purchasing power for individual, PRC is lower than Japan.Not GDP of Gross national domestic product. Samsung is not only making smart phones and TVs for export. Most of the PRC orders from Samsung are ships and heavy machinery. Private citizen consumption of PRC is more energized than Japan too.

    Octagon is correct to say that there is no other market like PRC for ROK at the moment. Imagine just 9% of PRC total population is big spenders. It is still the entire population of Japan. Besides that J consumers have no confidence like good old days of 1980s. PRC is gradully transforming backward rural regions for becoming unbanization. It will take many decades and growth is promisng and taking the momentum.

    Japan and ROK are more overlapped for export. As a competior, ROK may struggle to sell their goods in Japan market.

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2011/01/06/13/0301000000AEN20110106000100320F.HTML

    http://www.economist.com/node/17363625

  • 0

    JoeBigs

    slowguy2Jan. 30, 2014 - 08:42AM JST Get real. Any reasonable person can see Korea would be crazy to treat these absurd attempts at shoring up an untenable claim with anything but indifference.

    Any reasonable person who had a solid case that they could win would bring their case to court. But, those that know that they would lose just make things up to avoid going to court and act unreasonable.

    Korea is being just that, unreasonable because they need the natural resources.

    slowguy2Jan. 30, 2014 - 08:42AM JST Why would Korea respond to them and give them a false appearance of validity? Does Japan think it worthwhile to go to the ICJ over the Diaoyus? To paraphrase what Japanese politicians are always telling China about those islands, Korea possesses full claim to and complete control over Dokdo, and sees no cause for conflict with Japan.

    The big difference here my unreasonable antagonist is that no one knew that there were vast natural resources under Senkaku until 1969. Two years later Communist China decided that they needed those resources, so it draped a Communist flag over it and claimed it.

    While in the case of Takashima Korea took it by force in 1952 and has held since. After the San Francisco treaty meeting it was decided that Takashima was in fact sovereign Japan territory. So a childish Korea dictator took it by force and has held it illegally since.

    The reasons Korea will not take this to the ICJ is simple, they know they would lose and then will be shamed as a nation. That is why no Korean government will dare take it to court.

    Imagine what would happen in Korea, most likely Korea would be in flames from the infighting. The islands are not about who really owns them, the islands for Korea is about silly pride.

    So your argument about being a reasonable person just doesn't fly, no one can be reasonable when silly unfounded PRIDE is all they have as proof.

  • 2

    hatsoff

    heynong - I don't disagree with you that China is a massive market for ROK, and you make a good point regarding heavy machinery and ships. But I still don't think Octagon had it right:

    Japan is nothing important for ROK except for Pokemon and AKB48.

    That's hyperbole. As for Chinese private consumers (not government), companies like Samsung might be a leader in flat screen TVs, but the fact is that Octagon quoting population figures of 1.3 billion as if they are all potential consumers of Korean imports is a bit of a nonsense.

    Anyway, thanks for the hyperbole-free post.

  • 0

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    I agree with JoeBigs. I would also like to add (and you might want to pay attention here slowguy2) that Japan has already offered to take the Senkaku claim up with ICJ, but China refuses. Japan has signed a statement saying that they will abide by ICJ's decision should the Senkaku debate be taken up with them, but China refuses. If the Senkaku islands were really Chinese, then China wouldn't hesitate to take it up with ICJ. But they don't, because they know they'd lose. It's the same with South Korea and Takeshima. SK occupied it forcefully, illegally, and because of that, they won't take it up with ICJ because they would definitely lose the case. Neither the Senkaku islands nor Takeshima belong to China or South Korea respectively. The refusal of these two countries proves that. They will continue to drag out this debate, whilst trying to formulate ways to pilfer the resources. South Korea can take it's protests and shove them where the sun doesn't shine. It's not like their textbooks are any better. As I understand it, they omit any mention of the Geochang massacre. The pot, as far as I'm concerned, calls the kettle black.

  • -2

    heynong

    hatsoff

    but the fact is that Octagon quoting population figures of 1.3 billion as if they are all potential consumers of Korean imports is a bit of a nonsense

    It is the reasonable debate. I have been to southern province of PRC of Yunang and Guangxi which are some poorest regions of PRC. In rural area, farmers have been surviving with less than 1 dollar a day. One thing is different from the west is they are self sufficient for food. They live in old fashioned hut not require for electricity and modern entities. Therefore they can save one dollar for almost everyday. Imagine they save for a year, it will become 365 dollars.

    They are the market for Samsung and LG. PRC development model likes a Japan postwar urbanization. Consumers from PRC big cities have already owned washing machines, TVs and rice cookers like Japanese consumers. Therefore Samsung and LG have less market share in cities. New and growing market will come from under developed area.

    Back in early 1980s, less than 3 % of PRC population can afford to buy cars. Now PRC is second larges car market in the world. Every two minutes in somewhere of PRC consumer is buying the car. Not all 1.3 billions will become the potential consumers overnight. Octagon said 1.3 billion PRC market is more attractive for ROK. They are not ready at the moment, it is still potential for growth. He did not say the market is ready. However the government need to boost for their consumption.

    When PRC government wants to stimulate the economy, they encouraged that poor rural people with subsidy for buying those stuff including generator which will supply electricity. PRC growth is driven by governmental intervention. .

    .

  • 1

    hatsoff

    heynong - thanks, that's interesting reading. It's a long game in China, that's for sure, and regardless of whether the foreign company is Korean, japanese, American or European. I think I read a while back that it's things like soap powders and toiletries that are big in the relatively low-income sector (e.g. companies like Unilever ). As you say, electronics will take time to roll out. Good man.

  • 0

    Suin Kim

    SchopenhauerJan. 29, 2014 - 09:32AM JST

    What are the school text books of theirs which imbue students with hatred to Japan?

    Do you have evidence **Korean school text books ** are imbued with hatred to Japan?

  • 0

    Yoshi Abume

    The study of historical memory ,Japan,Korea,U.S http://aparc.stanford.edu/research/dividedmemoriesand_reconciliation/

  • 0

    Suin Kim

    JoeBigsJan. 30, 2014 - 10:53AM JST

    After the San Francisco treaty meeting it was decided that Takashima was in fact sovereign Japan territory.

    Please show any evidence showing Takeshima became Japanese territory in SF Treaty. Japanese government misleads that U.S. support for Japanese claim over Dokdo /Takeshima is the final decision of the Allied Powers in SF Treaty. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said in 1953 that U.S. view on Dokdo/Takeshima was simply that of one of many signatories to treaty.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TR9lDoSWylMFhfDpgcbmp7uxJGjWLe5aa0Cn45_9dU8/edit

    John Foster Dulles also said gave an answer to "What is the territory of Japanese sovereignty?" He said as follows:

    "The Potsdam Surrender Terms constitute the only definition of peace terms to which, and by which, Japan and the Allied Powers as a whole are bound."

    <www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JPUS/19510905.S1E.html>

    Most Japanese don't know the Allied Powers of SF Treaty agreed to return Dokdo to Korea during drafting process of SF Treaty.

    “The Allied and Associated Powers agree that there shall be transferred in full sovereignty to the Republic of Korea all rights and titles to the Korean Mainland territory and all offshore Korean islands, including ..... Liancourt Rocks(Takeshima)....”

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UTHnxaMLM-w/UoTGsZSRfSI/AAAAAAAAE2M/I4yeDqBU0bw/s1600/%EC%97%B0%ED%95%A9%EA%B5%AD%ED%95%A9%EC%9D%98%EC%84%9C(7%EC%B0%A8%EC%B4%88%EC%95%881949+12+19)1.jpg

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