Press reactions to Dokdo visit and more

So, just how is the local press taking President Lee’s visit to Dokdo?

Well, the Chosun Ilbo digs it. Sort of. They accuse Japan of responding to Korea’s quiet diplomacy by becoming a regional troublemaker over territorial issues—an unfair accusation, IMHO—and by growing even less reflective about its past. It also warned Japan to reflect on where its past adventurism got it. That said, it did express concern over whether President Lee made the kind of strategic considerations befitting a nation with actual control over the territory in question.

The Dong-A Ilbo was even less concerned:

President Lee’s visit to Dokdo is a warning to Japan’s attempts to invade Dokdo and twist history. This presidential visit was made under the recognition that a change in Japan’s attitude could no longer be expected. Japanese media have downplayed the meaning of his surprise visit to Dokdo as a political attempt to recover his popularity toward the end of his term. Yet Japan’s persistent provocations over Dokdo apparently played a greater role in prompting President Lee to visit Dokdo.

Certain experts warn that the president’s visit to Dokdo will bring greater losses than gains by inevitably putting more strain on relations between Korea and Japan. Tokyo filed a complaint with the Korean ambassador to Japan and recalled the country’s ambassador in Korea. Japanese Land and Transport Minister Hata Yuichi emotionally responded to President Lee’s visit to Dokdo and said he would personally pay a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which houses the remains of Class-A war criminals. Yet Korea should not be intimidated by these reactions from Japan.

Japan’s attempt to possess Korean territory instead of expressing sincere repentance over past wrongdoings makes Koreans wonder if Japan intends to build a partnership with Korea. Strained relations between both countries can be normalized only when Japan makes a sincere apology to Korea for past atrocities and retracts its obstinate claim to Dokdo.

Ditto the JoongAng Ilbo:

Lee may have taken the drastic and risky step to send a strong message to Japan over its recently renewed claim over Dokdo. Despite repeated protests, Japan has claimed ownership of Dokdo, called it Takeshima in Japanese, in school textbooks and a defense white paper. It instead protested to Seoul for stating sovereignty over the rocky volcanic islets in a government white paper on foreign affairs. The government has been reinforcing defense activities to reassert sovereignty in Dokdo while staying relatively tolerant on the diplomatic front. But Seoul decided on a bold diplomatic move in order to send a strong message.

Japan’s shock and exaggerated response to Lee’s visit is partly understandable. But Tokyo should realize how its deluded claim over its neighbor’s territory can damage relations. Korea-Japan relations cannot move beyond the bottleneck unless Japan sincerely apologizes for past atrocities and makes amends.

The Hankyoreh, on the other hand, wasn’t so impressed, expressing (surprising but not surprising, IMHO) concern about the motivations and the impact on Korea—Japan relations. As they conclude:

독도 문제를 비롯한 한-일 간 역사 문제는 매우 중요하지만 하루아침에 해결될 수도 없고 한-일 관계의 전부도 아니다. 이런 점에서 서로 절제와 냉정이 필요하다. 정부는 돌발적이거나 감정적인 행동이 아니라 장기적 관점에서 문제를 풀어가야 한다. 과거사가 해결되지 않으면 어떤 협력도 하지 못한다는 자세가 아니라면 인내와 끈기가 필요하다. 아무리 명분이 옳더라도 정책이 갑자기 왔다갔다하거나, 깜짝 정치쇼를 한다는 인상을 줘서는 문제 해결에 득이 될 게 없다. 일본도 이번 일의 근본 원인이 과거 잘못을 인정하지 않는 그들의 태도에 있고, 과거사 문제 해결 없인 한-일 간 전면 협력이 어렵다는 걸 깨달아야 한다.

The Kyunghyang wasn’t too keen on the visit, either. Japan hadn’t really done anything out of the ordinary that required a response like this, and at any rate, this could lead the international community to believe Dokdo is a disputed territory, which is exactly what Japan wants.

In the Christian Science Monitor, Yonsei prof Moon Chung-in offered some good comments, but I felt myself in almost complete agreement with Temple’s Robert Dujarric:

“This is clearly a Korean island, it has effective control. The Japanese government is very blind to the historical, psychological background to this,” he says. Korea has a small coast guard presence on the islands since 1954, but Lee is the first South Korean president to visit. In 2008 the then prime minister made a visit, which also sparked a diplomatic spat with Japan.

Dujarric adds that the impact of this latest incident will fade away in short time. But if Tokyo continues to cave into to Japan’s minority of far-right politicians, the dispute will continue to escalate.

“This nationalistic crowd has not had much to do since the end of the cold war. The leadership of both the LDP [Liberal Democratic Party] and the DPJ [Democratic Justice Party] have been too incompetent to put their foot down. The last thing Japan needs is worse relations with South Korea,” he says.

To be frank, I don’t think Lee’s visit even represents a break with “quiet diplomacy.” He didn’t declare “diplomatic war” on Japan or send the Korean Armada out to defend Dokdo against four Yakuza ASSHATS ™ in a six-ton boat. He got in his helicopter, went to the islets, looked around ajeossi-style, told the Coast Guard to guard the islets and preserve the environment, and left.

No big talk or heated rhetoric. Just a simple exercise of Korean sovereignty.

If that’s enough to set the Japanese off—which is shouldn’t, since everyone keeps telling me the Japanese don’t care about Dokdo—I don’t know what to tell them other than tough shit.

  • cm

    I think Lee himself didn’t expect such vehement opposition from Japan, was quite surprised by the reactions. Many Japan experts had told him for number of years that Japan doesn’t care about this islet, and that only immature Koreans were going berserk over it alone, so why the angry reactions from a mature nation of Japan all of a sudden, is what Lee is asking today.

  • kaizenmx

    Because they cared all along.

  • Long Johnston

    “No big talk or heated rhetoric. Just a simple exercise of Korean sovereignty.”

    Lee placed his hand on a rock carving that says “South Korean territory” (and) told police officers there that the islets are “worth sacrificing lives for,” according to his office.

  • Long Johnston

    Sorry that seems a bit like sabre-rattling (boudler-wobbling?) to me!

  • Josh

    I would like to see all the dokdo loving fanatics go and sacrifice their livesd there – then after that perhaps we could all live in peace.

  • HSchmidt

    Dokdo has always been Korean land.

    Those short, dark Japanese monkeys can claim it’s theirs.

  • Long Johnston


    Nice. You should have been 2MB’s speech writer.

  • Awarren

    I think this HSchmidt idiot has shown his true colors enough time. I hope after this last racist comment we never half to see his dribble again.

  • slim

    This was a tacky jumping of the shark, reversing years of maturation of ROK diplomacy, tanking LMB’s stock in Washington, possibly designed to get LMB’s corrupt brother out of the headlines. China wins this round.

    The excitement of people like HSchmidt and all the other brainless tardboys who somehow seeped over here from KoreanSentry should tell you all you need to know about what this represents.

  • Q

    As long as Japan carries the Asian version of Nazis as their political and cultural heritage, Japan would face all resistance to their inheritance of racist colonialism. Blind supporters of Japan, like slim, would keep ignoring the fact Japan has to clear up the legacy of racist colonialism to create partnership with neighbor countries.

    Let’s call German diplomacy mature and blame neighbor European nations too emotional, when German government allows pro-Nazis activity in their society.

  • jk6411

    This was a tacky jumping of the shark, reversing years of maturation of ROK diplomacy, tanking LMB’s stock in Washington, possibly designed to get LMB’s corrupt brother out of the headlines. China wins this round.

    Oh come on. It was the first visit to Dokdo by a Korean president. It had to happen sooner or later.
    The people of Ulleungdo was glad to see him too.
    (Lee was the first Korean leader to visit Ulleungdo since Park ChungHee in 1962.)

    I don’t know why Japanese are getting so worked up about Dokdo these days. If their economy was still strong, I think they wouldn’t give a hoot. But b/c they’re losing stature these days, they probably want to make themselves feel better by territorial expansion.

  • jk6411

    The people of Ulleungdo “were” glad to see him.

  • Bobby McGill
  • frogmouth

    I like the above article in principle. Korea and Japan should allow a mediator(s) to help resolve this border dispute. It should be regional nations though, not the U.S.

    Also, the Dokdo – Takeshima problem shoule be resolved on the modern principles of maritime law (UNCLOS) not the ancient rules of colonial territorial land claims. (terra nullius)

    Put simple, whoever mediates this problem should start with the undisputed fact that Korea’s Ulleungdo and Japan’s Oki Islands are the furthermost islands of their respective nations. From there, Korea and Japan should negotiate and divide the marine resources as equitably as possible.

    If Japan would agree to use Ulleungdo and Oki Islands as a basepoint from which to arrive at a Korea-Japan border, they’d probably realize Korea’s 12 mile limit is already fair enough.

  • Paulio

    I’ve lived in Korea and Japan.

    The only people I see ‘getting worked up about Dokdo’ are Korean nationalists.
    And as we can see from Q’s posts, they’re not the most rational of people.

    If this dispute ever makes it to the international reckoning Koreans demand, Korea is going to embarrass itself on a global scale.

  • alex

    Paulio, you may have lived in both countries, but your ability to observe what is right in front of you seem lacking. Did you read the post? Does the Japanese governments reaction strike you as ambivalent?

  • Paulio

    What struck me, was the Korean government’s hypocrisy: aggressively claiming land as their own, without any empirical third-party verified proof, whilst justifying this due to any countries similar actions.

    Take it to the Hague. Or is there something to hide?

  • Paulio

    Korea refuses to take this to the international court and once and for all get it resolved.

    If they really have as much self-evident proof as they claim, which would once and for all put this beyond dispute and embarrass the Japanese on a national scale, they only question left is – why don’t they?

  • Q

    While Gerry Bevers is out town for summer vacation, his colleagues seem taking his part time job at TMH.

  • alex

    Paulio, you seem to really care about this. Apparently more than the average Japanese folk, I presume.

  • hardyandtiny

    Fucking Korea..remain divided forever and blame the Japanese…idiots!

  • AED

    that Russian proverb rings so true!

    resolving the issue baesd on the principles u describe sounds only fair

    too easy for u to say that korea is shirking the truth. look at it another way: korea has no need to go to the courts since they already control dokdo. if the tables were turned, u can bet your bottom dollar that japan wouldn’t agree to ICJ arbitration either.

  • Q

    Tokyo is in great danger now. Professor Hiroaki Koide, Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute, during July 29, 2012 lecture at Doshisha University, said:

    “According to government’s research, Tokyo area turned out to be as contaminated as radiation controlled area like in Fukushima. Millions of people are living in radiation controlled area, where I work with a small nuclear reactor.”

    And “five quakes M4 and above hit Fukushima in last six days”. Japanese government seems taking hostage of innocent Japanese citizens for the control of economic crisis.

    H/T: Enenews

  • AED

    Seoul is in great danger too.. with mindless simpletons like u running amok

  • redwhitedude

    if you view dokdo as your territory why would you open it up to dispute. Isn’t that why they refuse what aggravates this is the country that Korea is having a dispute is Japan.

    before you dismiss Q like that maybe you need to look up what people like Michio Kaku are saying of this matter. The fukushima mess isn’t over until they put away all those fuel rods that are lying in cooling pools that are partially exposed. That won’t happen until 2013.

    Japanese haven’t been sincere to owned up to ANYTHING. They think comfort women are just lies or prostitutes. That’s like German saying that concentration camp immates are bunch of criminals. Then you got then saying Nanjing massacre is a lie, and unit 731 is a fabrication and so forth.

  • AED

    are you being serious? gee i dunno.. something about Q’s previous posts on the topic and it being brought up again in this context makes me doubt his intentions..

  • Q

    The radioactive crisis of Tokyo could help understand the context of Japanese government’s exaggerated irritable response to Korea. That’s I was intended to present.

  • jk6411

    Stop baiting the Japanese over Fukushima.
    It’s not nice.

    However, the “radioactive crisis of Tokyo” is worrisome..

  • Q

    That’s the big elephant in the room, when Japan reacts to Korea.

  • jk6411

    Shouldn’t all the K-pop idols be getting the hell outta Tokyo?

  • redwhitedude

    Yup, they are K-pop idols not J-pop idols. jk

  • Q

    I seriously believe so.

  • redwhitedude

    Fukushima is off-topic so let’s not dwell on that.
    I think in territorial disputes involving Korea the territory of Joseon needs to be looked at and see where the borders and which islands were part of it. Any ambiguity resulting from using this as the baseline needs to be arbitrated. Dokdo isn’t the only thing. It’s also Daemado(tsushima). President Rhee tried to get US to give Daemado but the US refused. This opens a whole can of worms because there is also issues with border with Manchuria. I guess Dokdo is a microcosm of all this issues.

  • Mal1

    Nothing, including Fukushima, is off topic. My question is, why do these Japanese keep overreacting over issues like Dokdo when all along 1) they’ve been pretending like they don’t care at all, and 2) most importantly, there are the issues like Fukushima (which is fair game) that are far more important?

  • HSchmidt

    66 years later, Japan dropped more than 168 Hiroshima atomic bombs on itself (Cs-137 base)

    According to the report of Japanese government in 2011, which is presumed to be the most moderate estimate, Fukushima reactor1 ~ 3 emit as 168 times much cesium-137 as Hiroshima atomic bomb by August of 2011.

    When it comes to Iodine-131, it was 63,000 tera-Bq in Hiroshima, where it was 160,000 tera-Bq in Fukushima. As to Strontium-90, it was 58 tera-Bq in Hiroshima, where it was 140 tera-Bq.

    t has been about 17 months since 311. It’s been like having a Hiroshima atomic bomb every 3 days since 311.

    It can be more than that in reality because radiation still keeps leaking.


  • hoihoi

    South Korea should go to international court and claim it there
    Japan will accept the Judgment ..

  • redwhitedude

    If you guys are interested in radiation in Japan go read it in the Fukushima Diaries. It’s a blog that keeps track of the going ons including stuff that the media doesn’t really bring up.

  • Gerry Bevers

    According to the New York Times, South Korea soccer player Park Jong-soo was barred from receiving his bronze medal at the London Olympics because he held up a Korean sign that read “Dokdo Is Our Land” (독도는 우리 땅) after Korea’s soccer victory over Japan. Park was not allowed to join his teammates on the podium to receive their bronze medals.

    According to the article, both the International Olympic Committee and FIFA strictly enforce rules forbidding athletes from making political statements on the field.

    Link to Photo

  • Q

    Good teamwork, I mean, with your colleagues, Gerry.

  • redwhitedude

    This is a post about dokdo.

    I doubt the Japanese would accept the judgement if it went against it. Especially given the contentious nature of the relationship with Korea.

  • Q

    Asian Nazis imperial Japan flag always appear whenever having a match with Korea. IOC should ban the flag displayed in public place:


  • landry

    that flag didn’t seem to help them win.

  • hoihoi

    #40 I doubt the Japanese would accept the judgement if it went against it. Especially given the contentious nature of the relationship with Korea.

    anyway why does not south korea claim it in court..
    Don’t refuse to go there…

  • pawikirogii

    This is funny –

    Korea is both smallest and biggest !

  • Arghaeri

    If they really have as much self-evident proof as they claim, which would once and for all put this beyond dispute and embarrass the Japanese on a national scale, they only question left is – why don’t they?

    Because under the age old principle of finders keepers they don’t need to.

    They gave defacto possession they don’t have to do anything but maintain it.

  • Sperwer

    They gave defacto possession they don’t have to do anything but maintain it.

    Given the agita of the Koreans about the issue, this evidently is false. Possession obviously is not enough. They need to have it acknowledged, especially by Japan (for reasons that go beyond the rather simple role that acknowledgment places in legitimation). Indeed, given Japan’s repeated contestation of the the Korean claim, Korea can’t even obtain the rather dodgy legitimation of unchallenged adverse possession. And that brings the whole business back to the problem of Korea’s reluctance to submit the matter to international adjudication in accordance with the applicable established rules (i.e., not the one of Frogmouth’s wet dream.)

  • Arghaeri

    Noted and agreed Sperwer but I was referencing the need to go to adjudication, i.e why take the risk that the timekeeper doesn’t fix that last second on the clock, which I agrre is at odds with their palpable desire to have ownership recognised.

  • Q

    Hey, see who the president of judge of International Court of Justice is:

  • Q

    Why not Japan bring the Senkaku island dispute vs. China to the ICJ, if Japan truly believe Senkaku is Japanese territory?

  • Q

    It would be never late for Korea first to see judges Xue Hanqin and Hisashi Owada at the ICJ make fair and unbiased decision on the disputed island claimed by their motherlands.

  • frogmouth

    Sperwer, whose “applicable established rules..” ?

    You mean the “applicable established rules” codified in the 19th Century. The same “applicable established rules” that the French used to strip Africa away from the natives? The same “applicable established rules” the Brits used to seize Australia from the aborigines? These rules are great if you happen to be in “the club” (Japan included)

    The Berlin Conference is over, the codifications they used to carve up Africa (the world) are outdated. It’s time to use modern principles to deal with these issues.

    Law is fluid. Using centuries old colonial law to deal with modern maritime border disputes is a B.S. way to equitably solve territorial issues. This is especially true when historical records are sketchy or open to subjective interpretation. Both Korean and Japanese experts can’t agree on many of Dokdo Takeshima related documents.

    The Dokdo (Takeshima) Island problem is more than an island. Dokdo will be used as a basepoint for Japan and Korea to draw their territorial limits. When Japan seized the islands in 1905 they had pretty much already seized Korea itself. As a result, when Japan annexed Dokdo (Takeshima), no Japan Korea was created. Thus, Japan is demanding to redraw a border that never existed.

    As I’ve said, start from the known, historical limits of Japan and Korea (Ullengdo and Oki) evenly divide the marine resources from there. It’s not my “wet dream” This idea was has been proposed by Harvard Law Professor Jon M Van Dyke. If the Japanese Government can’t wrap their head around the concept of half for me, half for you, then screw ’em.

  • slim

    The term “Korean nationalists” covers 80-90 percent of the population — a number that approaches 100 percent on matters like Dokdo. The term “Japanese nationalists” covers about 15 percent of the population. This is what Paulio and others who know what they are talking about are getting at.

    Grasp these facts and you will appreciate that there is a lot of misrepresentation of this issue in the Korean media and a lot of confusion about it here. Nearly EVERY Korean is getting excited about an issue that RATHER FEW Japanese think about — notwithstanding Tokyo’s official position on the matter

    If the status of possession and control of the islets was the opposite, and Japan held them, Korean agitation would be understandable, but still unhelpful when both countries have bigger fish to fry. But now it’s simply asinine and highly unhelpful.

  • Q

    Isn’t it just flabbergasting Japan let Asian Nazis imperialists grow to 15% of total Japanese population? And many of them are leading politicians. Blame neighbor nations when 15% of German population were Nazis racists.

  • hoihoi

    Japan will cancel a swap of currency
    The quick short-term fund will escapes from the South Korean market.
    The South Korean national bond which the Japanese government holds is sold off.
    Interest rates go up.
    Financing as the South Korean government becomes difficult.
    anyway, south korea made kindness japan got angry at last

  • Q

    Economy is important, but what on earth you avail when you lose your lives? Whilst government of Japan takes hostage of innocent Japanese citizens, their health would be severely damaged. Japan Times reported (Aug. 12, 2012):

    “We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima (No. 1) nuclear power plant caused physiological and genetic damage” to pale grass blue butterflies, a common species in Japan, a recent article in Scientific Reports, one of on-line journals of the Nature Publishing Group, said.

    I’m most concerned about children whose cells make rapid growth.

  • AED

    Q, you should be more concerned about the toxic Coca Cola made in Korea.

  • Q

    If you do not drink Coke, that’s it, but radiation exposure…

  • AED

    Think of the children, Q. Coke may be the tip of the iceberg. the entire korean food supply may be tainted! the children Q! the children!

  • Q

    Radioactive cesium reported in Kellogg’s cereal from Japan. (H/T: Enenews) That would be the tip of the iceberg. Contaminated Japanese cars were rejected by Russian custom office. (H/T: FD)

  • AED

    How petty of you to play this game Q.. especially when the children’s lives are at stake!

  • Gerry Bevers

    Mal1 wrote (#34):

    My question is, why do these Japanese keep overreacting over issues like Dokdo when all along 1) they’ve been pretending like they don’t care at all, and 2) most importantly, there are the issues like Fukushima (which is fair game) that are far more important?

    You seem to be confusing the Japanese with the Koreans. It is the Koreans who overreact, not the Japanese.

    Both Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks, which means it is obviously a territorial dispute, despite silly Korean government denials, but Japan does not consider it a big issue or use the dispute as an excuse for not cooperating with Korea on other matters the way Korea does. The “tension” between Korea and Japan over the dispute, which is often mentioned in news reports, is really just Korea picking up the Dokdo dispute rope and pulling on it.

    Unlike Korea, Japan does not feign outrage and summon the Korean ambassador to Japan’s Foreign Ministry to be chastised every time the Korean government mentions its claim to Dokdo. Likewise, Japan does not insist that Korea first renounce its claim to Dokdo before it agrees to cooperate with Korea militarily and on other matters. Koreans are the ones who do that kind of stuff.

    One of the reasons Japan occassionally mentions its claim to Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima) is that it was advised to do so by William J. Sebald in 1954, after South Korea refused to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). When the Japanese asked US officials for advice on how to get South Korea to agree to take the dispute to the ICJ, the US officials essentially said there was little they could do, but Mr. Sebald, who was US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Far Eastern Affairs at the time, told the Japanese that it was important that they make “periodic formal statements” reasserting its claim to Liancourt Court Rocks “to keep its claim alive and not premit its rights to be prejudiced by default.”

    The dispute over Liancourt Rocks was on the back burner and had been forgotten by most Japanese until Korean President Roh Moo-hyun came to power and put a spotlight on it. That was when many Japanese started looking at the history again and realizing that Korea’s historical claims to Dokdo were lies.

    The following is a link to Korean President Roh Moo-hyun’s 2006 “Dokdo” speech, which helped make the Dokdo dispute international news.

    Link To President Roh’s Dokdo Speech

  • Q

    Yes, AED, innocent children’s lives. Radioactive baby food of Japan. (H/T: Enenews). Japan Physicians demand answers: 90% of urine samples contaminated with cesium in city 200km from Fukushima. (H/T: Enenews).

  • Paulio

    What you fail to realise, Q, is that to most free-thinking people who will naturally read up on a national dispute (a trait wholly uncommon in Korea and and to a lesser extent in Japan, given their education systems seem to discourage inquiry and debate) Korea will come out of this looking far worse than even you can on this blog.

    The majority of people outside of Korea do not respect nationalism; the majority of people outside of Korea do not appreciate being told what to think; the majority of people outside of Korea do not like being demanded to accept one party’s version of events; the majority of people outside of Korea do not like being lied to to support nationalism (see above). These are anathema to Korea’s campaign over Takeshima-Dokdo.

    Korea’s attempts to globalise this issue will do nothing but damage the countries reputation. Afterall, the majority of the world are not Korean nationalists.

  • Q

    The majority of people in this world would not accept even minor numbers of Nazis racists, and they would/should not tolerate Asian Nazis imperialists, either.

  • Paulio

    Quite right, Q, which is why I have every confidence they won’t be listening to the likes of you.

  • Q

    Asian Nazis imperialists, even leading politicians, are permitted to do their activities in Japan. They should be legally banned. United Nation might take actions on this issue.

  • alex

    Paulio, I wish you would stop talking for the majority of people outside of Korea. Who are these people? I know I was told that nationalism was bad in HS; that it was one of the causes for the wars but come on. Nationalism isn’t some sort of disease exclusive to Koreans.
    In fact as an American, I would say nationalism is alive and healthy here in the USA. I think Americans have always been proud of being American. A recent NPR article noted that seeing the American flag hanging on a front lawn is far more common in the US than seeing the UK flag hanging in the front lawn in the UK.

  • RolyPoly

    Korea, China, Japan.

    Which of two fools will go to war first? The one who does not get involved in the war will be the winner.

    Fools die. Then, the remaining population goes dirt poor. Hungry and sick. Orphans going through the garbage and dying hungry.

    Are those rocks worth this man-made tragedy? You judge.

  • RolyPoly

    Korea should act clear-headed.

    There are also islands between Chinks and Monkeys. Let them fight first! Let them kill each other off!

    Korea should stay neutral and reap the benefit of these fools’ action.

    Korea stay calm. And, be the winner!

  • redwhitedude

    I agree with RolyPoly.
    Let’s not blow this dispute up to the point that it steals the limelight from the other dispute that the Japanese and Chinese are having. In fact also let the rest of the world focus on the South China seas dispute.

    on principle I agree with you but could you stop going off about Japanese imperialists. It gets tiring after a while sounding like a broken record.

  • Seth Gecko

    RolyPoly said:
    “fools die”

    Hmmm. Now where have I seen that before?

  • kaizenmx

    Korea has always been a neutral country for centuries. The agressors has always been either the japs or Chinese dynasty.

    But in modern ages, Korea should act like Switzerland and stay neutral and reap the benefit.

  • jk6411

    I think President Lee acted rashly this time.
    I heard that his visit to Dokdo was all his idea.
    The best strategy for Korea is to quietly maintain possession of Dokdo.

  • alex

    Jk6411, according to all the anti dokdo is Korea / Japanese government oh sorry Japanese people experts, the people of japan do not care about Dokdo. Then no harm no foul. Koreans can wax poetic all they want. LMB’s visit only helps to inspire Korean national pride. No medals should be taken away and everyone should be happy

  • Cloud

    @52 How can you possibly know this even if you were fluent in Japanese and Korean which I doubt you are?

  • KW

    To Paulio, who said:

    The majority of people outside of Korea do not respect nationalism; the majority of people outside of Korea do not appreciate being told what to think; the majority of people outside of Korea do not like being demanded to accept one party’s version of events; the majority of people outside of Korea do not like being lied to to support nationalism (see above). These are anathema to Korea’s campaign over Takeshima-Dokdo.

    Majority of people outside of Korea don’t have clean water; the majority of people outside Korea don’t have internet; the majority of people outside Korea can’t read; the majority of people outside of Korea are in poverty.

    By this great logic, having clean water, fast internet, being able to read, and not being in poverty is anathema to majority of people outside Korea — just like its nationalism. Great “free-thinking” logic.

    Look, I know this Dokdo-Takeshima issue is gotten a bit out of hand and does make Korea look somewhat bad; however, to go and haughtily give yourself (and your so imagined phantom like-minded associates) “free-thinking” is downright laughable. The fact that you can group “Korean nationalists” versus “majority of people outside of Korea” shows your own group-thinking that you yourself supposedly disavow. Don’t turn this issue into a “us vs. them” situation, or if you do, at least recognize it without grandstanding your supposedly moral “free-thinking” high ground.

  • redwhitedude

    even if the people in Japan don’t really care its the Japanese government who has been making noise on this matter on the japanese side.

  • redwhitedude

    you would be touchier too if you had a history of being abused by somebody else. If anything the Japanese have more pressing matters than Dokdo.

  • Asia Pundits

    A story I wrote on Lee’s wag the dog trip to Dokdo –

  • jk6411

    even if the people in Japan don’t really care its the Japanese government who has been making noise on this matter on the japanese side.

    Yes, the Japanese govt seems to care deeply about the Dokdo issue.
    And Japanese school textbooks are increasingly saying that Dokdo is a Japanese island that Korea is occupying illegally.
    (Though last year, Tokyo Teachers Union complained about this. Upright Japanese know that Japan has no historical claim to Dokdo.)
    So, I’m afraid that more and more young Japanese will come to believe Dokdo is Japanese.

    I think some Japanese these days get sensitive when K-pop idols are even suspected of singing the Dokdo song. They see the song as “anti-Japanese” and offensive.

    So I don’t know for sure the Japanese public’s current level of awareness of the Dokdo issue.
    But if the Japanese govt keeps insisting Dokdo is Japanese, then that will inevitably lead to increased awareness of the issue among Japanese.

    (BTW, is the Japanese govt controlled by right-wing nationalists?)

  • frogmouth

    No wonder Japan is trying to press the Dokdo Issue.

    They just got their asses kicked by China in the Okinotorishimas.

    Ouch! This could cause the Japanese a lot of real estate! It could also affect the Dokdo Takeshima Dispute.

  • slim

    Frogmouth should be as wary of swallowing Chinese propaganda as he is purported Japanese propaganda.

  • jk6411

    “In fact, the Japanese government has spent over $600 million fortifying the [Okinotorishima] reefs to prevent them from being completely washed away.”

    Wow, that’s a lot of money flushed “down the atoll”.

    But honestly, I don’t know what to think of this.
    One part of me says that there’s no way Okinotorishima could have been classified an island, and that Japan already possesses vast territorial waters as it is, so why on earth does it want more.
    But another part of me doesn’t want China to gain territory and eventually take over the West Pacific.
    I’m torn on this.

  • jk6411

    This is silly.
    Japan’s territorial disputes with China are much more important (and have much farther-reaching consequences) than its dispute with Korea over Dokdo.
    Japan should just acknowledge Korea’s ownership of Dokdo and concentrate its efforts on its disputes with China.
    (Hell, they could even gain South Korea as a valuable ally in this respect.)
    That’s what I would do if I were Japan.

  • jk6411

    Hmm, things are getting more complicated for Japan.

    Hong Kong group departs for Senkaku Islands on a fishing boat.

    Prior to departure from Hong Kong, a member of the Hong Kong Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands said, “The South Korean president (Lee Myung-bak) landed on the Dokdo islands (called Takeshima in Japan). China should take similar action (toward Diaoyu).”

    H.K. protesters set sail for disputed Senkaku isles.

    Chan Miu-tak, chairman of an activist group called Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, said the “protect Diaoyu” boat will be joined at sea on Tuesday by two other vessels, one from Xiamen in southern China and another from Taiwan, in a coordinated attempt to sail to the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China, and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan.

    The coordinated moves come amid a diplomatic rift between Tokyo and Seoul over South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s unprecedented visit Friday to South Korean-controlled islets claimed by Tokyo.

    “Japanese lawmakers are planning to land on the islands on Aug. 19; we want to reach there before they do,” Chan said.

    “The Diaoyu islands are Chinese territory. We will fight for the sovereignty of the Chinese nation,” he said.

    So… I take it that the PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are all united against Japan on the Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute?

  • slim

    If you think Japan is unreasonable on territorial issues, wait until China gives you a taste of that Han quest for aquatic Lebensraum. Or ask the widows of a few ROK coast guard officers what they think.

  • jk6411

    Yes, the Chinese are the most likely to resort to military force in order to assert their territorial claims.
    I take it that it’s only a matter of time before China claims the entirety of West Sea (Yellow Sea) as its own?
    (Their claim to Socotra Rock is probably a prelude to this.)
    But their ambitions will certainly extend much beyond that.

    Korea and Japan should hurry up and mend their differences and prepare for the inevitable.
    I don’t know if it will be possible, but they should at least try.
    For starters, Japan should give up on Dokdo already.

  • Q

    Let China and Japan fight to extinction. Otherwise, Japan would perish in 30 years due to the radioactive contamination; corrupt PRC would fall into fission like USSR. And Korea has her future in permanent neutrality.

  • jk6411

    Let China and Japan fight to extinction.

    Won’t the U.S. intervene? And then wouldn’t Korea eventually get pulled into a regional conflict?
    Isn’t the best course of action to prevent such a conflict?

    corrupt PRC would fall into fission like USSR

    What if if it breaks into one large piece, and many smaller pieces (like the USSR did)? Wouldn’t that large piece still pose a significant threat?

    In any case, I would advise Japan to make peace with Korea as soon as possible.

  • Q

    Let Japan-US and China fight the silly fights. S. Korea could have best interest in neutrality. No more “고래싸움에 새우등 터진다”.

  • slim

    “Let Japan-US and China fight the silly fights”

    Dokdo IS THE SILLY FIGHT, you dickbag. Open your fucking eyes!

    I can’t believe The Marmot didn’t pull the plug on Q the first time he started taunting and gloating over Fukushima radiation victims more than a year ago.

  • Q

    Dear Gerry attracted me here and only found out slim discriminatorily bash Korea and praise his wife’s motherland. If you truly love Japan, inform more people about what is really going on in Fukushima Japan that they could avoid fatal danger.

    Listen to Mitt Romney:

    “I know when things are tough as they have been for the last three-and-a-half, four years people begin to think it’s always … We are not Japan. We are not going to be a nation that suffers in decline and distress for a decade or a century. We’re on the cusp of a very different economic future than the one people have seen over the past three years.” (POLITICO)

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  • Q

    Kanto is so much contaminated with radiation (土壌測定結果一覧), that Japanese government is troubling again with territory. Based on the treaty between Korea and Japan in 1965, Japan is unable to bring Dokdo issue. Professor Hosoka explained:

    호사카 유지(47·保坂祐二·독도종합연구소 소장) 세종대 교수는 13일 일본 외무성으로부터 입수한 ‘분쟁 해결을 위한 교환공문’을 공개하고 일본의 ICJ 제소에 대한 기본적 제약 조건을 이같이 밝혔다. 교환공문이란 수교나 평화조약을 서명하면서 영토문제 등 장차 갈등이 발생할 상황에 대비해 양국이 내용 해석 문제를 규정한 외교문서다. 이 교환공문엔 “양국 정부는 별도로 규정이 있는 경우를 제외하고 양국 간의 분쟁이면서 외교상의 경로를 통해 해결할 수 없는 문제는 양국 정부가 합의하는 제3국에 의한 조정에 의해 그 해결을 도모한다”고 규정돼 있다. 호사카 교수는 “독도가 분쟁지역이라는 일본의 주장이 교환공문에서 삭제돼 한국은 독도를 분쟁지역으로 인정하지 않았고 따라서 교환공문의 분쟁 해결 방식도 독도엔 적용되지 않는다”고 말했다. 그는 또 “ICJ에 의한 해결방식은 교환공문에서 제외됐기 때문에 한·일 분쟁은 ICJ로 회부되지 않는다”고 덧붙였다. (중앙일보)

  • Q

    Japan is unable to bring Dokdo issue to ICJ.

  • Paulio

    KW #76

    So, you really think that most people outside of Korea will view this exactly the same as Korean nationalists do?

    You seem like someone who’s capable of some considered thinking. How do you think the ‘Dokdo is ours because we say it is’ argument will float?

  • slim

    Paulio’s search for one logical Korean continues…..

  • pawikirogii

    ‘How do you think the ‘Dokdo is ours because we say it is’ argument will float?’

    who cares? it doesn’t matter what outsiders think. japan has a problem. the colony it brutalized is wealthy. we ain’t shutting up about their lack of contrition and remorse until they change their tune. ain’t nothing you can do about it as westerner. nothing whatsoever. as for the embarrassment you promise the world will give to korea: yeah, right!

    ps how do you feel about the us going after that 92 year old nazi?

  • CactusMcHarris


    You’re missing a fundamental point – it’s not about the embarrassment the (Western) world will give Korea, it’s the embarrassment Korea is giving itself.

  • pawikirogi

    funny but i dont feel at all embarrassed. the japanese have a serious problem. its up to them. they cant have good relations w korea until they dhow contrition. how? remove class a war criminals from yasukuni. compensate comfort women. teach the truth about their behavior to their children. have japanese king go to korea and apologize. western creeps cant help japan. people like this paulio got no say here.

  • Robert Koehler

    Q—One more off-topic mention of the Japanese nuclear incident, and you’re banned.

  • John

    All of you Pro-Japanese bloggers are giving me a great show.

    Cut off economic ties with Korea! Yeah, that’s a smart move in favor for the Koreans actually since the debt bubble in Japan is about to explode. Less exposure to the yen, I suppose. It would hurt Japan a lot more than it would hurt Korea if trade was put on a hiatus. While Japan’s economy is still recovering from the recession and natural disasters, Korea’s is still growing and actually stable.

    So, yes Japanese, please keep on preaching.

    Me – Korean-American staying in Seoul for the summer. I have met many Japanese and I do believe they are genuinely nice people. And when I ask them why they came to Korea, they tell me they are here to study Korean and work. Most of the females are here looking for Korean men to date/marry (apparently Japanese men don’t treat their women well!)

  • John

    Food for thought:

    Would the Japanese take Diaoyu/Senkaku islands to the IOC for a ruling?

    Yeah, thought so.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “but Japan does not consider it a big issue or use the dispute as an excuse for not cooperating with Korea on other matters the way Korea does”

    Apparently big enough to pull its ambassador, though.

  • CactusMcHarris


    I’m not talking about individual people – I’m talking about Minjok, Inc.

    I could mention that some of the shit you smear with should be embarrassing to you (and I’ve made some ill-thought-out comments, too), but I’m guessing you already know that. My comment wasn’t directed at you. Writing as a noted Western creep (you might listen to Lou Donaldson’s ‘Midnight Creeper’ and mellow a little), I’d expect you to dislike my mix of liking both countries in more ways than ones in which I dislike them.

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