Seoul unmoved as Japan hails bridge-building summit

Picture expired. South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrive for a trilateral meeting with Barack Obama at the US ambassador's residence in The Hague on March 25, 2014 AFP

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  • 10

    Tamarama

    Like naughty school kids being forced to try to reconcile by the Headmaster.

    If you believe the reporting here, seems she acted like one as well.

  • -10

    mammola

    While the face of Abe.... is reassuring right?

  • 5

    titaniumdioxide

    Stoned-faced? Constipated or just intimidated ? She got no guts to talk about her whingings in front of Abe. She's a loser!

    Don't worry Mr. Abe, even if she's annoyed at you talking in korean for now, she'll soon start learning japanese when they are in North Korea's inferno, begging for help.

  • 3

    Tom Webb

    God, what a cockup this meeting was. Whose bright idea was it? Oh, 'tis Obama trying to act as a Big Brother!!

  • -7

    some14some

    Suga side-stepped a question about Park’s apparently bloodless response, saying he did not know how she reacted immediately

    Good, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga didn't know how she reacted, it was quite embarrassing (for Japan) whoever saw her in the tv news !

  • -15

    Triplex

    Japanese PM spoke on Korean language and "stone-faced" Korean PM haven't replied. Why Sinzo Abe humiliated himself to such an extent?

  • 9

    oldman_13

    Embarrassing.

    What did he expect though from a 'leader' that is hell bent on demonizing all things Japan at every chance.

  • 11

    mjh875k

    Did she try addressing him in Japanese? If Abe addressed her in Korean I think it shows an attempt for gaining respect. It's something

  • -8

    flowers

    The last paragraph says it all, “But most fundamentally, the Park administration takes security strategy of strengthening ties with the United States and China, paying less attention to relations with Japan,” Japan is becoming isolated and irrelevant. All because of a bunch of grownup Japanese politicians playing childish political game without considering the impact on Japan’s image, this is pathetic.

  • 11

    Debucho

    let me re-write: "Relations between Tokyo and Seoul are at their worst in years, mired in... Korea's incessant and petulant clinging to irrelevant past issues and an Asian inferiority complex that won't allow Koreans to focus on what is important in the modern era, namely the economy and China's growing military presence."

  • 12

    MGigante

    Sad, because it really seemed like Abe was trying to be conciliatory by speaking in Korea.

    It would be unfortunate if Park was not open to creating friendlier ties after a consideration like that.

  • 18

    paulinusa

    Heaven forbid she would make any friendly overtures. Have to think her demeanor was purely a political calculation for the domestic audience.

  • 2

    maxjapank

    "President Park. I know that we haven't always seen eye to eye on things, but it's finally nice to meet you in person." would have been a much better approach by Abe. Sure would be nice to see this two locked in a room with a counselor, though.

  • -14

    alladin

    Question:

    How can Mr. Abe expect anything good to come out of this meeting when he is as stubborn as a dead dieng cow!

    Here we have Abe trying to speak in Korean to Korean President Park Geun-Hye to impress her when he is unwilling to work with her in any way or form. Doesn't he understand that no matter what he does to try to impress Korean President Park Geun-Hye will not work at all in any way or form? In my opinion, no matter what you say, will not mean anything at all unless you back it up with a positive action. As of Abe, seems like he is a man of a lot of talking with very little of positive action.

    I would be very surprised if anything good comes out of this meeting at all!!!

  • 7

    Alejandro S. Arashi

    The most important part of the reporting is that, as far as South Korea is concerned, its security is based on triangulating between China and the US. The rest are noise.

  • 8

    Hokkaidoboy

    As a Japanese I feel frustrated at S. Korean refusal to build a common-shared front against the dangerous communist North Korea. It's time for Japan and the South to set differences aside and face together the Northern threat.

  • -10

    toshiko

    Maybe Abe has to learn American culture to ease her mind? Not kissing but hugging to show Japan want to be compassionate toward S. Korea.

  • -10

    tokyodoumo

    i't'snot like ABE apologized for his belligerent policies or changed his indifferent ways with Korea... all he did was cancel his stupid investigation against Comfort Women to avoid further criticism. His views haven't changed at all nor is willing to mend the difference with Korea regarding what Japan's past aggression against Koreans. He is still the conservative Nationalist who do not have an ounce of remorse toward the victims. So how can any leader be serious with ignorant man.

  • 13

    oedo1

    @ some14some - Actually it depends on your point of view and your bias. Personnally, not being from any of the countries represented, it think Park's reaction should be most embarrasing to the South Koreans! But I guess she has to over react to distance herself from her father's past...

  • 10

    SamuraiBlue

    If anything, one thing is for sure, she would be horrible on the poker table and not really that good as a polititian either being able to tell simply through facial expressions.

  • 7

    Mr Japan

    South Korea see japan a threat than NK. SK and NK are same people.

  • -15

    gaihonjin

    The US needs its allies in East Asia to be a united front against NK and Chinese aggression. SK and Japan understand the need to confront aggressive challenges together, thus Abe backed down on retracting any apology for forcing women to live as sex slaves during the war and Park backed down on refusing to meet with Abe.

    Abe's little stunt got the recognition it deserves. Anybody can memorize a greeting in a foreign language. It's what you've said before and after that that will dictate the response. Sadly, Abe is a failure in diplomacy. Thank goodness the USA is here to muscle SK and Japan together.

  • 7

    kickboard

    park's strained smile looks just like my middle school yearbook photo!

  • 8

    CrazyJoe

    South Korea is waging unjust condemnation of Japan based on fabrication all over the world. It's called tattletale diplomacy.

  • 9

    SecularBeast

    @oedo1 - Park would have wet herself if Abe had said how much Japan honoured and respected her family for her father's services and friendship to Japan both before and after 1945: For not only serving as an officer in the IJA, but also for signing off on the Japan-ROK reparations agreement in 1965 that absolved Japan from any legal responsibility to pay compensation to individuals.

    Park's squawking at the Japanese over past wrongs, is similar to the self-righteousness guilt-ridden rantings of a reformed smoker over the evils of tobacco. She only holds office by virtue of who her father was.

  • 12

    Mike Will

    Ms Park demonstrated that she has no liking for the Japanese and that her dislike is neither political nor philosophical but emotional. Not the sort of quality you want in a leader of a nation on the edge of a tense situation. Abe at least, made the attempt.

  • 13

    oedo1

    Mike Will - "Abe at least, made the attempt." Agreed, and I suspect most of the democraticworld will view it this way as well. Abe 1 Park 0 for this round!

  • 16

    OssanAmerica

    I saw the video. Abe made a gesture of friendship by addressing Park in Korean. Her stone cold response was outright rude. It was an insult to not just Abe but to Obama who put this together. But I disagree that it made Abe look bad. I think Park made herself look bad. If Abe wanted to drop to her level he could have whipped out this photo in front of the cameras. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Park_Japan.JPG

    "“But most fundamentally, the Park administration takes security strategy of strengthening ties with the United States and China, paying less attention to relations with Japan"

    If this is correct then it is pretty foolish since our ability to protect South Korea and to confront China relies considerably on our assets in Japan. If anyone bothers to read the US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty it's not as one sided as some think., Japan can easily terminate it. Or perhaps restrict US military action in support of South Korea. South Korea made the biggest mistake in it's short history by voting in a President who is the daughter of a former IJA officer and needs to constantly show her "hatred of Japan" to keep her South Korean political opponents at bay. It has reached the point of obstructing US strategic regional policy.

  • 4

    Alejandro S. Arashi

    I think gentle but regular American threats to leave South Korea should concentrate minds there. South Korea thinks it should triangulate between China and the US for its security. But it's ultimate enemy is North Korea and the main country that will oppose unification would be China. South Korea is just too emotional to face up to its real geopolitical situation.

    Not that Japan is any better: If Japan were really coldly rational Japan would do everything it could to cultivate South Korea and detach it from the Chinese common front.

    China is really the master of common front tactics to be able to do maximum damage through minimal effort in North Asia. But China's strategy relies on every other democracy being too emotional and distracted to think straight, Eventually, the democracies should figure this out.

  • -11

    heynong

    It seemed that Park did not have a good impression of the prime minister, so I think she was able to get a glimpse of his real personality

    In the reality, Abe was performing as actor during the meeting. However he needs to improve his acting skills more. His smiles were insincere. His talks have no real substances. He is an untrustworthy person not only for Park and ROK but also for Russia, DPRK and PRC.

    Abe is recycled PM of Japan with same old ideology. He will change his tone for changing audience.

  • 15

    rickyvee

    as much as a i destest abe, i have to give him a big thumbs up for trying to break the ice with some korean. her response just goes to show how immature the korean mindset is. they are not ready for any type of diplomacy and would rather try to score brownie points in korea. my 2-year old daughter is more mature than that.

  • 9

    nigelboy

    Ms Park demonstrated that she has no liking for the Japanese and that her dislike is neither political nor philosophical but emotional. Not the sort of quality you want in a leader of a nation on the edge of a tense situation. Abe at least, made the attempt.

    So true. Last ditch effort by Obama "you know when $hit hits the fan (Kim goes postal), we (U.S) can't assist you (Pak) unless we get a firm support from the gentleman(Abe) sitting across you"

    Pak "But Dear Leader Xi said not to worry"

    It appears Abe and Obama met privately for 10 minutes after the joint meeting.

  • 9

    JoeBigs

    South Korean media said Park appeared unimpressed by Abe’s attempts to speak Korean during a photo opportunity before the meeting, reporting that her reply was to stare ahead, “stony-faced”.

    As I said before, she didn't want to be there, she had to be there. President Park was out played by Abe recently and he forced her hand.

    President Park has no intention of ever sitting down with Prime Minister Abe as long as he isn't willing to do the following.

    Agree to give-up Japan rightful claim to Takashima Island and agree to pay the compensation that her Government is suppose to pay. But even after all that she will still make more demands.

    Japan and the US need to accept the fact that South Korea is no longer in their camp. South Korea for all intense and purpose is now an ally of Communist China.

    It is time for Japan to stop trying to be friends with South Korea because it will never happen no matter whoever is Prime Minister. Japan has a better chance of being diplomatic with North Korea than it will ever again with the South.

    As for the US, it best start looking for a new home for the troops that are stationed in South Korea.

    If the US is serious about keeping Korea in it's camp, it best start playing hardball with it. Threats will go a whole lot further than roses.

    “Cooperation is possible between Seoul and Tokyo on North Korea, but there will be no breakthrough in their strained relations without a dramatic change in Abe’s attitude,” he said. “There is a long way to go before we see a bilateral summit between Park and Abe”

    Prime Minister Abe could cave into each and every demand that President Park has and it would still not be enough.

    If every single person, cat, dog, rabbit, mouse, rat, insect in Japan were to kowtow and beg for forgiveness to Korea it would still not be enough.

    There is no satisfying the extremist in South Korea because their hate runs too deep.

    As I said about, it is time for Japan to rethink it's strategy and alliances in the region.

    South Korea is no longer and ally, it is a tributary state of Communist China.

  • -16

    Disillusioned

    So, the Japanese bully ganged up with his bugger bully mate to further intimidate the bullied. I can't blame Park for her reaction at all. What was Abe expecting? A warm kiss? Abe needs to take total control of this debacle and do whatever it takes to smooth the waters between Japan and Korea and, getting big brother to play moderator is definitely not the way to go.

  • -4

    EthanWilber

    While we should give Abe’s some credit for making an earnest effort at the trilateral summit, we shouldn’t be so cynical and critical on Ms. Park. Please don’t forget the ties between Japan and S.K were already severely strained long before this first summit took place. It would be unrealistic to expect one greeting or one summit would restart everything anew.

    Like any damaged relationships in the world, to re-build mutual trust between two parties certainly takes time, skills and endurance.

    The world ought to be supportive on a good step towards a constructive environment even it's a small one at this time.

  • -1

    Gengar

    This is why Abe act the fool and visit controversial shrines. Every time he plays nice they slap him in the face, and that's what this really was, a slap in the face.

  • 0

    toshiko

    She probably attended as a duty. But above pic, she looks like she was grinning. (smiling Oriental female way?) We still don;t know what they talked yet.

  • 3

    Strangerland

    It's very possible that nothing Japan does could satisfy S. Korea. But at least with Abe taking the high road, it's clear with whom the fault for strained relations lies. Let's hope he keeps up this path and doesn't switch back to being Mr. Nationalist. This new Abe is much better.

  • 0

    nigelboy

    It's very possible that nothing Japan does could satisfy S. Korea. But at least with Abe taking the high road, it's clear with whom the fault for strained relations lies. Let's hope he keeps up this path and doesn't switch back to being Mr. Nationalist. This new Abe is much better.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?list=PLz2FHGxPcAlj1jbspo3hfWIUDlKj1wEIn&v=D3R0rRv6v7E

  • -8

    Strangerland

    I never watch YouTube videos as a response unless the response contains a written summary of what is being said, as well as a time stamp pointing at the relevant point being made.

  • 10

    CH3CHO

    She is busy eroding any goodwill left in Japan. She may not get some help when she really needs one.

    Speaking of help, let us not forget what she did when Japanese peace keeping army in South Sudan gave ammunition to South Korean peace keepers. She did not say, "Thank you." but blamed Japan for using the difficult situation of Koreans for its political gain. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/11/world/south-korea-returns-ammunition-issued-by-japanese-military-in-south-sudan/

    Goodwill will not last forever, if you play selfishly.

  • -13

    Triplex

    In the reality, Abe was performing as actor during the meeting.

    Next time he may continue his performance asking Putin in Russian language to return Northern Territories. Instead of good diplomacy we see a summit of clowns. Park and Abe deserve each other.

  • 9

    nigelboy

    I never watch YouTube videos as a response unless the response contains a written summary of what is being said, as well as a time stamp pointing at the relevant point being made.

    Fine. In summary, Japan and Korea normalized the relation in 1965 where both parties agreed that any claims relating prior to 1945 is settled finally. The amount given by Japan is 1.6 times the national budget at that time. Further funding was also provided to Korea in a form of technological assistance as well as billions given to Korea during the 1997 currency crisis. Despite the fact that 1965 agreement called for absolute final settlement, the government established a AWF to assist the surviving women financially as well as a personal apology letter from the PM to each women. In addition, with these efforts former President Kim Dae Jung stated "The Government of Republic of Korea will not raise any more problems from history". Call it Kim Dae Jung Statement if you will. How long did that last?

    It ends with Japanese government position that "The door for dialogue us always open"

    Let's review.

    It's very possible that nothing Japan does could satisfy S. Korea.

    "possible"? No. Definitely, yes.

    But at least with Abe taking the high road,

    Always had. The door to dialogue is always open.

    it's clear with whom the fault for strained relations lies.

    Yep. Takeshima landing by 2MB, insulting the emperor, returning a personalized letter from the Prime Minister.

    Let's hope he keeps up this path and doesn't switch back to being Mr. Nationalist. This new Abe is much better.

    He hasn't changed. Many had discussed this already.

  • 12

    itsonlyrocknroll

    Abe’s attempts to speak Korean are respectful and conciliatory, a touching gesture.

  • 10

    CH3CHO

    I am wondering when the Western Media will realize Pak Geun Hye is an ultra nationalist, if ever. I would bet they never will. They will not realize it unless some interested party tells them she is, and Japan does not do such kind of speak-ill-of-someone-behind-his-back thing.

    with the election of the hawkish Abe later that year.

    It seems Abe is demoted from an ultra nationalist to a mere hawkish.

  • -1

    UR22335

    Ethan Wilber

    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.

  • 3

    itsonlyrocknroll

    Hi CH3CHO, I can only comment on media reporting in UK , an example below with associated comments.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/10424217/Korean-president-says-talks-with-Japan-would-serve-no-purpose.html

    From a personal perspective I am Hafu Father English, Mother Japanese, both families were aggrieved and dismayed when they fell in love and subsequently married, primarily amongst the older generations and their associated histories.

    However time has healed the tensions and both families have common family bonds bringing a much more reflective closeness. At present I am visiting my family in Kochi who bear no ill will to SK.

  • -9

    MASSWIPE

    "insulting the emperor"

    Uh, the year is 2014 not 1914. Koreans living in Korea can't be accused of committing lese-majeste against the Emperor of Japan. But Japanese people living in Japan, of course, must still be careful when commenting on the figurehead monarch. Which country again has a more mature democracy? Neither, maybe. We're talking about two deeply flawed democratic systems of government here.

    All you Korea-haters should realize that many Koreans despise Park as well. She was elected in 2012 with about 51% of the popular vote. So assuming all Koreans are behind her 100% is like assuming that all Americans are behind Barack Obama 100%.

  • 7

    CH3CHO

    MASSWIPEMar. 27, 2014 - 01:21PM JST

    Koreans living in Korea can't be accused of committing lese-majeste against the Emperor of Japan.

    Needless to say, if a president of a country insults a figure head monarch of a foreign country, it may not be a crime, but it is against diplomatic protocol.

  • 10

    nigelboy

    Uh, the year is 2014 not 1914. Koreans living in Korea can't be accused of committing lese-majeste against the Emperor of Japan. But Japanese people living in Japan, of course, must still be careful when commenting on the figurehead monarch. Which country again has a more mature democracy? Neither, maybe. We're talking about two deeply flawed democratic systems of government here.

    Yes MASSWIPE. But we are talking about an elected President of a nation who made those remarks. Also note that he was born In Japan, his parents resided there for 14 years before returning to Korea. There are anti Imperial Family in Japan and they are few but if you want a take a glimpse them, they are there marching just close to Yasukuni with police protection every August 15th. "Careful'? Hardly.

    There is a big reason why the public opinion among Japanese population changed in regards their feelings towards Korea.

    Survey taken in October of 2012. Record breaking % increase/decrease in Japan's view towards Korea.

    http://www8.cao.go.jp/survey/h24/h24-gaiko/zh/z16.html

    http://www8.cao.go.jp/survey/h24/h24-gaiko/zh/z14.html

    It doesn't take a genius to figure this out,

    To sum it up, Korea overlevereged their history rhetoric. Korea managed to alienate the sympathetic population in Japan.

  • -7

    Jimizo

    No big deal. Park is playing to the nationalists at home and even if she wants to talk to Japan seriously, which is debatable, she can wait until Abe rejoins the swelling ranks of failed Japanese Prime Ministers in a year or so. Abe has little sympathy and even less respect outside the Japanese nationalists. She has nothing to gain from doing business with a man who was, and is again, basically a temp and more reviled in South Korea than that blubbery crackpot up North.

  • -8

    SumoBob

    Abe: "President Park, it's nice to meet you." *

    Park: ....

    Abe: I thought I'd try speaking in Korean, since you're probably too young to have learned Japanese in School.*

  • 9

    CGB Spender

    Park has no guts. She's are puppet driven by the nationalist Korean populace. She thinks she must act huffy and unforgiving to prove she's a though leader for The anti-Japanese nutjobs in Korea.

  • -4

    BNlightened

    "But Japanese people living in Japan, of course, must still be careful when commenting on the figurehead monarch..."

    "Careful'? Hardly."

    Really? So you think people in Japan can do as they wish regarding the Emperor and they don't have to be "careful?" Perhaps you should tell Taro Yamamoto, then, that there's no need for him to be "careful," since the bullet he received in the mail after trying to plead to the Emperor against nuclear power came from...his "supporters," I suppose?

    Maybe the commenter simply confused emperor-revering rightists in Japan with those who feel that in a country where freedom of speech is constitutionally guaranteed while lese-majeste laws have been abolished, they should actually be free to say what they wish and not fear intimidation for doing so. If such is the source of this confusion, then you'd actually be right! Rightists in this country "hardly" need to be careful about what they say or do! As for the rest of us...well...

  • 2

    tyvtgo1US

    It seems to me South Korea has been hanging out with China a little too much recently! South Korea is picking up China's bad habits! I assume that South Korea puts economic relations on an upper level with China than it sees its relationship with another democratic country like Japan. Very typical these days as I myself look at us here in the US.. at least when looking at our politicians in Washington... China is the greatest threat to peace today but we are all supporting them eagerly! Try and figure that one out!!!! Corporate and political greed!

  • -10

    highball7

    I don't know what the big fuss is about. This wasn't a meeting between Japan and Korea. This was a sit down orchestrated by US with Japan and Korea on nuclear issues. Other than the obvious North Korea nuclear problem, which is a common ground for all 3 parties involved, there isn't much else to say.

    And its a bit tacky for Abe to greet Park in Korean, as if BO is transparent. The proper greeting should be done in the universal language of English because this was an international meeting, not a bi-lateral meeting.

    This is a continuous problem with Japanese leaders, they just can't seem to understand their place in the international arena and forget why they're there. There are more important issues than Japan's own domestic problem and its urges on wanting everyone to like Japan. China, North Korea and South Korea don't like Japan. Just move on already and stop embarrassing yourself in front of everyone.

    You still got US backing you. And the EU seems to be ambivalent towards this whole beef. You're safe. The Koreans and Chinese still trade with you regardless of their hatred towards you. Just get on with your own business and understand the reality that this is how its going to be socially and politically. Which really shouldn't matter much to Japan since you're not a global political power. And the things you get hammer on are human rights and historical issues that no one gives a damn outside of East Asia. So long as you are on OUR side, you're ok. And South Korea's problem with North Korea isn't really of your concern. Its US, South Korea, Russia and China's concern. Your petty abductee issues if your domestic problem, don't bring it up on a nuclear forum. Its neither the right place or time.

    And in reality, both China and South Korea are competitors against Japan in most of Japan's bread and butter industries. So with all the animosity, you're still getting fed. So chill out and focus on the real economic and aging issues that's going to haunt Japan for the next several decades. Clearly Abenomic is a failure. Its a short-term patch job that's going to cause even more unemployment issue and move companies and capitals oversea. I dunno know how you guys are going to dig out of this hole. Worry about that.

  • -1

    avigator

    He was not romantic enough.

  • -10

    Pukey2

    In other words, Park can see right through that tatemae BS. Simply smiling isn't going to cut it when you stab people behind their backs.

  • 6

    presto345

    Stony-faced Park. Pathetic. Thumbs up for Abe for trying the 'a little language goes a long way'.

  • -5

    jerseyboy

    South Korean media said Park appeared unimpressed by Abe’s attempts to speak Korean during a photo opportunity before the meeting, reporting that her reply was to stare ahead, “stony-faced”.

    Exactly. Park is smart enough to know that Japan is a master of the grand, but meaningless, gesture, like Pukey2 says.

  • 3

    gelendestrasse

    Abe did his best under the circumstances. Park, on the other hand, needs a long time out to learn how to try to play nice.

  • -8

    slowguy2

    Knowing how the Japanese tend to screw up when trying to speak Korean for the first time, I think it's more than likely that Ms. Park simply did not understand Mr. Abe's 'Korean' greeting and thought he was insulting her in Japanese. That's why she didn't respond.

  • 2

    toshiko

    She probably could not understand what Abe was talking. Her ears were opened to hear English? Then her mind which was ready to translate her thught into English and her mouth ready to speak in English did not work like bilingual people usually do. So she did best she could do. Not yelling "Tell something in English".

  • -2

    jerseyboy

    It is time for Japan to stop trying to be friends with South Korea because it will never happen no matter whoever is Prime Minister.

    JoeBigs -- agreed. So long as Japan has PM's who open the door to "revisiting" the wartime apologies and the issue of comfort women, 70 years after the fact, no country, let alone SK, that was a victim of Japanese atrocities, should work too hard to be friends with Japan, unless they have to, like the U.S. does. Afterall, what kind of "friend" continually brings up past mistakes it made simply in order to try to paint a better picture, so it can feel good about itself?

  • 2

    nigelboy

    Afterall, what kind of "friend" continually brings up past mistakes it made simply in order to try to paint a better picture, so it can feel good about itself?

    This is Korea, you're talking about, correct?

  • 1

    JoeBigs

    jerseyboyMar. 28, 2014 - 03:34AM JST JoeBigs -- agreed. So long as Japan has PM's who open the door to "revisiting" the wartime apologies and the issue of comfort women

    And let us not forget that Prime Minister Abe closed it right afterwards putting President Park in the awkward position of having to go to this last meeting. Her face, attitude and behavior at this meeting told the real story. She has hate in her heart and soul.

    A friend would at least sit down with an open mind, an enemy will not.

    jerseyboyMar. 28, 2014 - 03:34AM JST 70 years after the fact, no country, let alone SK, that was a victim of Japanese atrocities, should work too hard to be friends with Japan, unless they have to, like the U.S. does.

    Normally when people agree to work together as Japan and South Korea did in 1965 they try too. Well, they do until money gets in the way. Money always breaks friendships up.

    jerseyboyMar. 28, 2014 - 03:34AM JST Afterall, what kind of "friend" continually brings up past mistakes it made simply in order to try to paint a better picture, so it can feel good about itself?

    And what friend keeps bringing up your past mistakes and continually tells you that the only way to heal your relationship is to give them more money?

    The US and Japan need to realize that South Korea is no longer a friend and no longer willing to try to be a friend, the decline began after 1993, ever since then it's been a downhill relationship.

    If the US doesn't start playing hardball with South Korea it is only a matter of time before this relationship gets even worse. Time to either play hardball or just sever all ties and let the chips fall where they will.

    In the long run South Korea needs to see what friendship really means. Communist China is not a real friend. Friends want to be mutual partners and to work together. Communist China is a narcissistic state, it wants nations to bend a knee and pay tribute to them.

    Absence will make South Korea's heart grow fonder, after a few years of dealing with Communist China and their ways South Korea will rethink who and what is a real friend.

    So it's time to let them sail away and go down that giant waterfall.

  • 2

    sfjp330

    JoeBigs Mar. 28, 2014 - 06:23AM JST The US and Japan need to realize that South Korea is no longer a friend and no longer willing to try to be a friend, the decline began after 1993, ever since then it's been a downhill relationship.

    In the last two-three decades, the new generations, who did not personally experience events in the past, became the center of society instead of the old generations, and began “rediscovering history.” As a consequence, the issues concerning “historical perceptions,” which the old generations avoided challenging, came to draw people’s attention in both Japan and South Korea, and the number of disputes between the two countries over the issues rose.

  • 0

    YuriOtani

    Think it is time for Japan to downgrade relations with South Korea and upgrade them with North Korea.

  • -2

    EthanWilber

    Frankly speaking, I am stunned by the amount and the degree of anti-S.K sentiments vented in this forum by the usual nationalistic crowds.

    Even Abe who is an ardent nationalist knows that stopping trying to make efforts to win S.K back would figuratively and literally push S.K further into China’s arms. (The Chinese regime would love to see that to happen because it would succeed in driving a wedge into our allies.) On top of that, further deterioration of relationship between Japan and S.K may soon place Japan in a very hostile environment surrounded by its entire neighbors (Russia, China, S.K and N.K). Get this straight, when push comes to shove, Japan could be in hot water given the hands of the US are tied now.

    Seriously, does Japan really want to be in that position resutked from fragile ego and obstructed shortsightedness?

  • 3

    nigelboy

    EthanWilbner,

    The tie up between SK and China against Japan, is nothing new. In fact, it's the only issue that they seem to agree on by conducting these childish antics as if the rest of the world is backing them up. Back to reality, please. NK wants the entire peninsula all to herself so if SK has a dream of unification under their control, they are in for a rude awakening. Pipe dream. Appeasing them only gives them hope that they'll get more. This has been proven by history. For every one positive gain, it results in a hundred negative.

    If SK wants to get back to the vassal state days, they are more than welcome to do so. Too much lives (U.S.) have been lost to protect these ungrateful people. This is why U.S. Is more than willing to let go after December of 2015.

  • 0

    EthanWilber

    nigelboy,

    "This is why U.S. Is more than willing to let go after December of 2015." Nice try though, but the answer to your presumption and notion is negative, The US will support S.K as an important ally the simllar way that it does to Japan in years to come. You may mark my words for that if you want to.

    BTW, now I know that you are the guy who constantly gives me hands down gesture. :)

  • 1

    nigelboy

    "This is why U.S. Is more than willing to let go after December of 2015." Nice try though, but the answer to your presumption and notion is negative, The US will support S.K as an important ally the simllar way that it does to Japan in years to come. You may mark my words for that if you want to.

    Not when Pak is playing this balancer game. South Korea doesn't have the characteristic, class, prestige, maturity, and strength. She proudly displayed it yesterday.

    BTW, now I know that you are the guy who constantly gives me hands down gesture. :)

    Paranoia.

  • 3

    SamuraiBlue

    EthanWilber

    After 2015 when US transfer the chain of commands to ROK, US Military's priorities will invevitably switch from defending territory to protect evacuees if and when the North starts advancing beyond the 38 parallel since the US military personnel have no wish nor desire to place their lives into Korean Military's hands since that is what is required to be done to maintain military command structure.

    Basically Korean nationlist politicians handed their own ar$e on a silver plate to the North when they demanded the transfer.

    Now Fat boy Kim is thumping his chest stating pay back time is coming next year and preparing his army for that occation.

  • -1

    CH3CHO

    EthanWilberMar. 28, 2014 - 09:08AM JST

    You should know the Yangtari (양다리, two-leg) policy of South Korea you can see everywhere in Korean news lately. One of her legs is on US and the other leg is on China. Yangtari means to have affairs with two guys, and to get the best of them by making them compete for her. By having special relationship with both the US and China, South Korea can get the best of the two world. Japanese see Yangtari unethical, but that kind of criticism is undue because different societies have different ethical values. Koreans see young girls playing Yangtari with two guys as smart and clever and as a proof of her attractiveness.

  • -1

    jpn_guy

    @CH3CHO Nice try at saying "criticism is undue" while criticizing Korea in the most backhanded of ways. Your post is clearly a swipe at what you think see as the poor ethics of Koreans in general.

    People's ethics are not determined by their nationality.

    There is a disturbing trend for many recent online articles in Japan about Korea to be followed by comments, like yours, with mass generalizations about Korean people. How would you feel if some idiot commented on an article about Samuragochi, Obokata, or Watanabe of Your Party by saying all Japanese people like to lie? Why, when the topic is Korea, are people so keen to start making sweeping statements. It's unbecoming.

    As other posters in this thread have noted, people in Japan are increasingly happy make borderline racist remarks about Koreans and Chinese in allegedly polite company. I had someone I used to respect tell me straight out the other day that he "hated Koreans". This is a professional guy who runs his own company.

    People in Japan regularly talk about "following global standards". How about following the global standard on not tarring all people from the same country with the same brush?

  • 2

    bruinfan

    Maybe they really were going to construct bridges...bridges to nowhere with more taxpayer money...

  • 2

    CH3CHO

    jpn_guyMar. 28, 2014 - 03:56PM JST

    People's ethics are not determined by their nationality.

    It seems you really do not respect "diversity". Different societies have different ethical values.

    For argument sake, what do you think of a society where bigamy is legal? Is the society backward, primitive, barbaric, less intelligent and immoral? Is the Western ethics the one and only true universal ethics that everyone in the world must obey? If so, we live in a uniform world and we should forget about diversity.

    I respect diversity and I respect a society where bigamy is legal, just as I respect a society where bridging yangtari is perfectly OK.

  • -1

    jpn_guy

    @CH3CHO - I appreciate your newly found commitment to diversity, which readers should probably interpret in the light of your consistent anti-Korean comments all over this website for the past few weeks.

    You write that "Different societies have different ethical values" but obviously individuals within those societies will think differently about the same issue. Because Koreans are individuals too, a concept you seen to struggle with mightily. "Koreans see this, Koreans think that", its just low-grade, boorish stereotyping.

    Returning to your crusade in defense of diversity, rather than irrelevant comments about bigamy, perhaps you would like to show your respect for diversity in Japan with an example closer to home: would you care to condemn the hate marches through the international neighborhood of Shin-Okubo which have been driving customers away from local businesses, damaging the diversity of the area?

    People who do not respect diversity deserve condemnation, don't you agree?

  • 1

    CH3CHO

    jpn_guyMar. 28, 2014 - 06:16PM JST

    Does it make any difference in the real world if I condemn the demonstration in Shin Okubo here? Definitely not. But I think the discussion with you here makes difference in you and me. Some people use the word diversity only with respect to skin color, nationality, sex and sexual orientation. They fail to see the diversity in ethics, values or justice. I think people should put the latter type of diversity into awareness.

    in the light of your consistent anti-Korean comments

    Which of my comments qualify all the way as "anti-Korean"? I think being critical to Korea is not same as anti-Korean.

    You write that "Different societies have different ethical values" but obviously individuals within those societies will think differently about the same issue.

    I think saying the former does not deny or contradict the latter.

    People who do not respect diversity deserve condemnation, don't you agree?

    I respect diversity. But that does not mean everyone must respect diversity, for diversity toward diversity should also be respected, though I like people who respect diversity. So, I do not go so far as to "condemn" people who do not respect diversity. And who knows, they may change their mind.

    Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. (Luke 6:37)

  • -2

    jpn_guy

    @ CH3 - I noted that you cannot bring yourself do not condemn the racists in Shinokubo. Thanks for confirming what I thought.

    [You write "Different societies have different ethical values" but obviously individuals within those societies will think differently about the same issue. I think saying the former does not deny or contradict the latter.]

    Well, now you are contradicting yourself, since a couple of posts ago you were expressly suggesting all Koreans think in the same way.

    Overall,you are not making a great deal of sense (or a very good impression) with your criticizing Korea while "respecting diversity" and referencing tangential biblical quotes.

    I have been interested to read some of your past posts. I would recommend others do so too to see where you are coming from. I see about half a dozen posts denying Japan's culpability over the comfort women on the basis of inconsistencies in the testimony of a single individual.

    Anyway, from your contributions to this board it sadly seems you have a problem seeing anything positive in your neighboring country. How sad.

  • -1

    EthanWilber

    CH3CHO,

    "“You should know the Yangtari (양다리, two-leg) policy of South Korea you can see everywhere in Korean news lately.”

    Honestly, even though I am an American, not a Korean; I still found your way to draw an analogy (parallel unfaithful woman/ gold digger to S.K) is troubling if not offensive.

    Like nigelboy, your statements seem extrapolating from very narrow personal political perspectives based on a shaky ground.

    Here is the fact: To US, S.K is an essential geopolitical and strategic node in Northeast Asia, which is equally important as the role of Japan plays. Put this in other way, if the US gives up S.K, then Japan will be the next to fall. Now you know why Obama’s upcoming visit to Asia must include Japan and S.K on the same leg. (the results concluded from Whitehouse national security team)

    BTW, Please don't waste your time to respond, I am not intersted in this kindi of back-forth bickering game. You certainly are entitled for your personal opinion, but at the same time, it's unrealistic to ask others to endorse yours.

  • 0

    Loki Herring

    >

    >

    @ CH3 - I noted that you cannot bring yourself do not condemn the racists in Shinokubo. Thanks for confirming what I thought.

    [You write "Different societies have different ethical values" but obviously individuals within those societies will think differently about the same issue. I think saying the former does not deny or contradict the latter.]

    Well, now you are contradicting yourself, since a couple of posts ago you were expressly suggesting all Koreans think in the same way.

    I am also lead to the same conclusion

  • -4

    hidingout

    It was an insult to not just Abe but to Obama who put this together.

    The government of ROK doesn't care who it insults so long as it is never seen to "lose face". Never losing face is the most important thing to a Korean.

    I am wondering when the Western Media will realize Pak Geun Hye is an ultra nationalist, if ever. I would bet they never will. They will not realize it unless some interested party tells them she is, and Japan does not do such kind of speak-ill-of-someone-behind-his-back thing.

    You raise an excellent point. The Japanese are altogether too polite for their own good. ROK on the other hand wrote the manual on back-stabbing their neighbors. I think Japan really needs to learn how to fight dirty like the PRC and ROK do. If they don't, they run the risk of having the (false) ROK/PRC version of history and current events broadcast unopposed around the world.

    Afterall, what kind of "friend" continually brings up past mistakes it made simply in order to try to paint a better picture, so it can feel good about itself?

    Surely you are talking about the ROK here, right?

    Frankly speaking, I am stunned by the amount and the degree of anti-S.K sentiments vented in this forum by the usual nationalistic crowds.

    Frankly speaking, I'm stunned that there isn't more disgust toward ROK. Look at the way the leader of the country conducts herself. Her most important ally asks her to meet with Japan and make an effort to mend ties. She reacts like a five year old child asked to eat a whole plate of brussel sprouts. Just imagine if the leader of the country acts like that (when certainly she is constrained to some small extent by diplomatic protocols) how deplorable the manners of the rest of the population must be.

    How would you feel **if **some idiot commented on an article about Samuragochi, Obokata, or Watanabe of Your Party by saying all Japanese people like to lie?

    If? You're kidding, right? We don't have to "imagine"n such a scenario. We can read such comments every single day here on JT. Some posters have made a career out of posting comments just like that.

  • -5

    smithinjapan

    titaniumdioxide: "Stoned-faced? Constipated or just intimidated ? She got no guts to talk about her whingings in front of Abe. She's a loser!"

    First, Abe's the one with the intestinal disorders, and the SEG in the photo op. Second, she's not the 'loser' in this meeting as well, since she has stuck to her guns since the beginning while Abe has on various occasions had to reverse intentions and retract statements (his own or from his cabinet), and at the behest of the US no less.

    Hokkaidoguy: The frustration is understood, but try to imagine the frustration of cultures told continuously to forget the past while you try to change it, and don't honestly own up to it -- or worse yet, revise or delete it completely. So, instead of talking about SK or others 'moving on', how about you put a foot forward in helping everyone do so by insisting the government honestly own up to the past and not elect fools who claim massacres never happened or that no sex-slaves were co-erced, etc.? How about Abe go and visit the former sex-slaves in person and say how 'pained' he is about what they suffered? and vow not to visit Yasukuni again out of spite because China won't come to the negotiations table? If Japan is HONESTLY taking the high-road here while Kim is just being selfish, or whatever the right-wing insult of the day is, he would do it. Now, he never, ever would, but IF in some alternate universe he did, you would see change. Until then, why should Seoul change its position on the matter(s)?

  • 4

    nigelboy

    Here is the fact: To US, S.K is an essential geopolitical and strategic node in Northeast Asia, which is equally important as the role of Japan plays. Put this in other way, if the US gives up S.K, then Japan will be the next to fall. Now you know why Obama’s upcoming visit to Asia must include Japan and S.K on the same leg. (the results concluded from Whitehouse national security team)

    Actually, Obama's initial schedule didn't include Korea but the Korean government all of the sudden "feared" that her position would be weakened.

    <http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/news/140207/kor14020709260000-n1.htm >

    This is how petty they are. And let's not forget that Secretary of Defense Hagel will skip Korea in his upcoming trip.

  • -2

    tokyodoumo

    No clue why ABE wants to have a summit with Korea when he is going to turn right around be stupid again.

  • -7

    Triplex

    She reacts like a five year old child asked to eat the whole plate of brussel sprouts.

    Abe wasn't better, trying to speak Korean and humiliating himself.

  • 0

    hidingout

    Abe wasn't better, trying to speak Korean and humiliating himself.

    Disagree. I think he was "better" because he actually tried.

    I do agree that Mr Abe shouldn't have bothered trying the greeting in Kprean. Japanese are notoriously inept at communicating in any foreign language and Mr Abe should have stuck to English, particularly since Obama was the nominal host of the meeting.

    Still, if you know anything about Japan, you would know that Mr Abe had good intentions when he tried to greet Park in her native language. You may call it bad judgement, and I wouldn't disagree, but the point is he made an effort. Park just seemed like a withered prune dipped in acid. I'm sure Obama was really impressed with her attitude.

  • 2

    nigelboy

    Like clockwork, Pak was in Germany criticizing Japan but Merkel was in no mood to cater her wishes. Can you blame her? As most leaders that met Pak (except for Xi, of course) and now Merkel, their immediate reaction was "Why don't you just tell him directly when you were face to face?". Like many others have alluded to, schoolgirl stuff.

    Xi is next to visit to do the same ol same ol but please bear in mind that the German government had already refused his desire to visit the Holocaust museum. Message here is, don't bring your garbage here.

  • -3

    highball7

    Actually, Merkel provided several underhanded criticism against Japan. You people are just not paying attention or lost in translation. Ever since the beginning of 2014, Merkel, spokesperson of Merkel and Germany had been demanding Japan to be honest about its past. This has gone on for many months. Maybe you people have selective hearing or reading problem.

    When did German gov't refused Xi's desire to visit the Holocaust museum? He can visit anytime on his own. Merkel didn't want Glauk to visit WITH Xi as an official itinerary because no one wants to be the third wheel that gets stuck between China and US. Shroedder on the other hand volunteered to go but he's no longer in office and he's very anti-US. This is about US not wanting Germany to side with China. Its a poor diplomatic choice for Germany for getting involve, there is nothing to be gained there.

    Again, this isn't really about Japan. No one really cares about Japan. Its about what US wants. US doesn't want its main ally in Europe to side with China politically when Germany is basically buddy-buddy with China on everything else.

    See the big picture here?

  • 2

    SamuraiBlue

    US doesn't want its main ally in Europe to side with China

    In case you didn't know US's main ally in Europe is Britain not Germany. Germany's relationship with PRC is economical not political and Germany is much more mature then both ROK and PRC combined in terms of international diplomacy.

  • -1

    hidingout

    Ever since the beginning of 2014, Merkel, spokesperson of Merkel and Germany had been demanding Japan to be honest about its past. This has gone on for many months. Maybe you people have selective hearing or reading problem.

    So like three months. Wow, I wonder how "us people" missed that. A google search turns up one article on the subject, not surprisingly published by our very own JT. That article contains a few quotes that fall well short of "demanding" anything, and the topic only came up because some commie was in Germany shooting his mouth off to the extent that a response was required.

    Anyway, you are off topic. I think the Germans have enough problems of their own without babysitting the PRC and the ROK through their latest tantrum. Truthfully I think the world is sick and tired of hearing about the topic. I know I sure am.

  • -2

    highball7

    Samurai,

    In case you didn't know, US still holds the biggest military presence in Germany.

    US's relationship with UK is beyond alliance. We're symbiotic. Where we go, the Brits go.

    Germany is our biggest ally in Europe. And it is the most important ally we have in Europe due to its strategic location and economic prowess.

    It is quite clear Merkel is not a political "friend" of China due to her personal actions as to sympathetic to the Great Dalai Lama. However, ever since that meeting and the subsequent reaction by China towards Germany, there is no question Germany realize that social politics absolutely affects economics and diplomatic relations. Something Japan was able to get away with for a very long time. Thereafter, you won't even hear or see a blip of such actions taken by Germany and all the human rights criticism, fair or not, has been muted since then.

    Whether that can be taken as Germany's stance or China's influence, the fact is the two has grew into a strategic partnership much like the French and the Chinese. So out of 2 of the 3 most powerful EU nations, China has a stranglehold on both where its influence directly affected the social and political policy of the 2 nations.

    That to me is the ultimate political play. 300billion in bi-lateral trade among the 2 nations with China buys a lot of political influence.

    Japan is really lucky up to this point. I still think there are high ranking guys within China have some strong affinity with Japan simply because you guys are both east asians. Otherwise, everything Japan does can be replaced by the French and Germans with ease and better quality.

  • 3

    SamuraiBlue

    highball7

    Sorry but it's game over for PRC since they are going to have a massive riot on their hands with people hording the banks with the shadow banks collapsing.

    We already receive first news that people are starting to line up to pull out their money.

    As it spreads it is going to be chaos.

  • 2

    CH3CHO

    EthanWilberMar. 28, 2014 - 08:20PM JST

    CH3CHO,

    You should know the Yangtari (양다리, two-leg) policy of South Korea you can see everywhere in Korean news lately.

    Honestly, even though I am an American, not a Korean; I still found your way to draw an analogy (parallel unfaithful woman/ gold digger to S.K) is troubling if not offensive.

    Two leg policy is the official government policy of Her Excellency Korean President Pak Geun Hye. Just search 양다리 박근혜 (Two-leg, Pak Geun Hye) and you will get more than 1,000,000 hits. If you are a Korean or can read Korean, it is by no means offensive.

  • 0

    kcjapan

    "Japanese politicians express exasperation at the repeated requests for contrition" - amen to that.

    Japan has paid a mighty price for the savagery of it's past. At this point some improvement in certain specific areas would be best for all concerned. However, the constant raking of the fire some three generations after those horrors seems opportunistic harping.

    Germany has moved beyond its war crimes in its relations with the world. Many have forgiven the people of Germany and more still would not instigate tension with today's German over the madness of the Nazi. Why is it Japan still faces the harangue nearly seventy years in duration?

  • -1

    bamboo pink

    Our neighbours will never stop blaming. What they want is not sincere apology but money and supporting. That's all.

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