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S K president turns up Japan heat: Emperor must apologize
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ajosshi



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: ajosshi.com

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: S K president turns up Japan heat: Emperor must apologize Reply with quote

South Korean president turns up Japan heat: Emperor must apologize

SEOUL--Amid a flare-up in nationalistic anti-Japan rhetoric, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has fueled it further with a demand for an apology by Emperor Akihito.

Lee said Akihito would be unwelcome in South Korea without a direct acknowledgment of guilt for Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. Akihito acceded to the throne in 1989.

"Although (the emperor) wants to visit South Korea, I have told Japan he can only do so if he visits (the graves of) those who died in independence movements (against Japan) and apologizes to them from his heart," Lee said Aug. 14, addressing a seminar for teachers in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong province.

It was the first time an incumbent South Korean president had publicly demanded such an apology.

Last week, Lee became the first serving head of state to set foot on the disputed Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan, which are called Dokdo in South Korea and are claimed by both nations.

Tokyo was quick to express its outrage.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said Aug. 15 that the government lodged a strong protest the day before.

"The demand is extremely regrettable," Genba told reporters. "The Japanese government has never sounded out the South Korean government about a visit by the emperor to South Korea. We cannot understand why President Lee made such a remark."

According to South Korea's presidential office, Lee talked about an apology when he was asked to comment on his Aug. 10 visit to Takeshima.

It said Lee seized on remarks by Emperor Akihito during a visit to Japan by South Korea's President Roh Tae-woo in 1990.

At that time, Akihito said: "I think of the sufferings your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by my country, and cannot but feel the deepest regret."

Lee said: "He need not come (to South Korea) if he (only) brings words of 'deepest regret.'"

He said landing on Takeshima and ratcheting up anti-Japanese rhetoric were justified because "Japan does not understand the difference between offenders and victims," he said. "I am doing this so it can."

He added that he had first considered visiting Takeshima two or three years ago.

"It was not an impromptu decision," he said. "I had mulled it carefully, including its ramifications."

That comment is seen as underscoring Lee's readiness to let relations with Japan slide.

Japan clearly hopes that things won't come to that.

"As Japan and South Korea have never held talks on a possible visit by the emperor, I find Lee's remarks abrupt," said an aide to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. "I do not want a situation in which criticism becomes a tit-for-tat volley."

A senior Foreign Ministry official said: "I think that President Lee has expressed personal thoughts."

The official said he feared Lee's provocative remark will strain relations already damaged when Lee visited Takeshima.

In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: "(Lee's) remarks are unbecoming for a national leader. I have always considered President Lee to be pro-Japan, so I wonder what happened to him."

Of all South Korea's presidents, Lee now stands out as the sharpest critic of Japan.

His words are undoubtedly based on his own frustration with dealing with Japan on issues that Koreans feel deeply about. However, they were expressed so strongly that they might damage his dignity as a national leader.

Lee's stance is all the more striking because it contrasts with preparations, earlier in his five-year presidency, for a possible visit by Akihito. That visit was to mark a new era in Japan-South Korea relations.

Seoul's invitation dates back to 1984, when then-President Chun Doo-hwan visited Japan. Lee wanted to become the leader who saw it through. He wanted the visit to take place in 2010, the centenary of Japan's annexation of the Korean Peninsula in 1910.

However, Japan felt it would be inappropriate because of lingering anti-Japanese sentiment among the South Korean public.

In the past few days, Lee has repeatedly alleged that Japan fails to recognize its record as an offender. That, he said, justifies his actions. It does not, however, explain his about-face.

On Aug. 15, South Korea marked Gwangbokjeol (Restoration of Light Day), which celebrates liberation from Japanese rule in 1945.

But South Koreans may not rally round behind Lee. Not accurate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_joiZTnvmc&feature=player_embedded

Democracy is now entrenched in South Korea. Values have diversified. The "anti-Japan card" no long plays like it once did.Not accurate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_joiZTnvmc&feature=player_embedded


http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/korean_peninsula/AJ201208150066

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update (Aug. 23): South Korea Returns Letter From Japanese Leader

Quote:
The letter from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was delivered to the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo on Aug. 17, and the Japanese government published its contents online soon afterward. In the letter, Mr. Noda protested President Lee Myung-bak’s visit on Aug. 10 to the islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, which lie midway between the two countries and are claimed by both. Mr. Noda also objected to Mr. Lee’s subsequent remark that Emperor Akihito of Japan “does not need to come” to South Korea on a planned visit unless he unequivocally apologizes for his country’s past colonial rule of Korea.

South Korea, which chafed at Japan’s having made the letter public before Mr. Lee could read it, decided to return the letter. “It included contents that we cannot tolerate at all,” Cho Tai-young, a spokesman for the South Korean Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday. “It’s only natural to send such a letter back.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/24/world/asia/south-korea-returns-letter-from-japanese-leader-or-tries-to.html


Last edited by ajosshi on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER WILL YOU PLEASE GIVE THIS CRAP A REST ALREADY?!!!!

Wow, I almost lost it just reading about this.

(breathe....breathe..)

You know, I live in Boston but I have a rented-out condo in Seoul and unfortunately what the K-gov't does may actually have an impact on my family. I would appreciate it if they (the Japanese and Korean gov'ts) stopped acting like children.

Move on already.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no issue with requesting an apology for past wrongs. What bothers me is when they let the past override the future.
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maximmm



Joined: 01 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone knows that Japan has apologized and continues to do so once a year or so. The problem is not that they have not apologized but that every Korean prime minister wants to hear a new apology in person - dismissing every other apology made in the past.

If this is so, I wonder what happens when you take a loan from a Korean...
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Everyone knows that Japan has apologized and continues to do so once a year or so. The problem is not that they have not apologized but that every Korean prime minister wants to hear a new apology in person - dismissing every other apology made in the past


Actually they haven't. They issue "Statements of Regret" which, diplomatically, are not the same things as formal apologies. Think the legalistic apologies you get from corporations that don't admit formal wrongdoing.

That being said, I can't blame the Japanese for only issuing those statements. Doing so could open themselves up to all kinds of legal and diplomatic hassles.

Most importantly, what in the world does the current Emperor have to do with the past? Unless the precocious youth was giving orders to IJA soldiers at the time, even then he'd still be a juvenile. It's one thing to seek compensation for victim's of crimes, its another to demand full formal apologies from someone who had nothing to do with the situation at hand and wasn't even an adult at the time.

This is a rather bellicose statement from President Lee. I can't see the Japanese people taking it too well. Put it this way- It's one thing to demand an apology from Gordon Brown or David Cameron, it's quite another to demand that Queen Elizabeth II apologize. Monarchs tend to be a more sensitive issue for nations. He's overplaying his hand.
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maximmm



Joined: 01 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a reason behind all this - supposedly the election year.

I've posted this before - formal apologies have been made by PMs not in form of statements, but in form of press conferences.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

Of course, the whole issue of apology is an interesting one and there have been numerous studies on the subject of Asian countries still seeking a 'sincere' apology.

The studies have stated that every time Japanese prime minister has formally apologized, other members of the cabinet rebuked that apology - which led Asian nations to conclude that the apology was in fact rather insincere.

This also implies that even if the emperor were to bow and apologize now, if in ten years time a Japanese government official were to state that Japanese soldiers were innocent of all crimes during WW2, Korea could start demanding a new apology.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:

Most importantly, what in the world does the current Emperor have to do with the past?


The entire point of a hereditary emperor is continuity with the past. I have no opinion on whether the Japanese should apologize regarding this incident, but if Japan were to issue an apology, it coming from the emperor would make perfect sense, because he represents the nation in a way that even the elected administration arguably does not. He certainly has more to do with "the past" than the elected government does.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should go without saying that LMB is just a slimeball politician who would say anything to score some cheap points; he probably doesn't mean a word of it. And I think it's safe to say that none of these government officials on either side actually give a damn about comfort women or any of that (the notion that they might sincerely care about the suffering of civilians during war is pretty much laughable)...

So all the feigned indignation aside, it really it just boils down to realpolitik. Who needs whom more, and who stands to lose more? If I were the Japanese government I would just tell LMB to stick it where the sun don't shine, and let the chips fall where they may. If the Korean nationalists want to go ballistic and chop off some dogs' heads, then fine. If anything, Korea stands to lose more from a confrontation with Japan than vice versa. I can think of no reason why Japan - the bigger, wealthier and more influential country - should have to appease the Korean government.
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recessiontime



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Location: Got avatar privileges nyahahaha

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of what the outcome is, LMB wins. Royalty is not going to apologise.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take is that LMB is desperate to somehow get something in the history books that Koreans will approve of. He's had a remarkably un-memorable administration. He can't figure out a way to score points against the Norks, so he's resorting to the next best target, the Japanese.

My (formerly (very) high-ranking student says LMB is just saying, "Here I am! Here I am!"

I cannot disagree.

It is highly irresponsible. Everyone I talk to says China is the present threat.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe that Noh tried something grand at the end of his term as well.

Lame ducks trying not to seem so lame - no real surprise.
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
He's overplaying his hand.


I know. He needs to bring more emotion (and maybe a little more cowbell).
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's asinine to demand an apology from the emperor as that man is even less than a figurehead. He has absolutely no role whatsoever in the Japanese government.
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happiness



Joined: 04 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't matter if everyone in japan apologizes everyday it will never be enough the reason is that korea has always been the victim and never the aggressor so they will never be satisfied with anything that comes from japan even though korea is a modern mirror of japan in outward appeaeances...well maybe japan 20 years ago but anyway

The Emperor has never stated he wanted to visit Korea that's very common here it is kind of what is it called? Sloganeering. I hear all the time k pop is big int the west..but it doesnt mean anything unless someone NOT Korean says it. Otherwise, it's just slogans and rhetoric... Remember that most people here do not speak about fact but theyre taught how to speak from feeling, so they can exaggerate and such and thats okay because they are speaking for their country, so to say

Personally I learned very early that in korea when I get told something that, even if its about korea, that I have to ask another person and sometimes even another that if its true and sometimes I have to check the internet after that, that's just par for the course in this country.

The facing saving thing here is quite ridiculous, because it makes people look more ignorant. As a foreigner living here for as long as I have, its made me react the opposite, I try to be more humble and I say I dont know often. No shame in learning....


Last edited by happiness on Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Personally I learned very early sat in korea when I get back I have to double or triple texas even about korea I have to ask of the carribean that's true


I know those words but that sentence doesn't make any sense.
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