Takeshima, or is it Dokdo?

Silly Japanese and silly Koreans are still quarrelling over an island (which is basically a rock in the sea) located between their respective lands… This isn’t new news, but it would seem that the problem keeps escalating.

Japan have actually put quite a few people’s noses out recently – not just [South] Korea but China as well, both in their treatment and account of WWII history and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s penchant for controversially (and unconstitutionally, according to some) visiting war memorial shrines.

In the first linked article, Satoshi Amako, an Asian Studies professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University states, “Since Koizumi came to power, Japan’s relations with East Asia have reached their worst point” – surely not good for their long term economic rebuilding, especially given the progress made recently with pushing through contested reforms.

Perhaps more disconcerting is this article, which features results of a survey conducted (in South Korea) by Super-J Channel of Japan:

Answers to the question “what would you do if America attacked North Korea without the Permission of the South Korean government?”

31.2% – Support America

47.6% – Help North Korea

21.2% – Attack Japan

If you check the links in the bottom of that article about the anti-Japanese media or the anti-Japanese education system though, I guess it’s not THAT surprising.

I’m pretty appalled that history is distorted in such a way as to inspire racial hatred between the two nations – not just in Korea but in China too. I wonder if in Germany they’re given a detailed account of atrocities commited by the Nazis during the holocaust, or if it’s glossed over as in the Japanese accounts of the massacres in China… Perhaps it’s time they get over it, don’t you think?

One thought on “Takeshima, or is it Dokdo?

  1. panasianbiz

    I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some online research. As someone who had the privilege of living in Japan for a number of years prior to returning to the United States, I am, as always, dismayed to hear of the continued tension between these countries. We like to think we’ve overcome prejudice, but clearly we haven’t.

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