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Chosun Ilbo sorta blames US for Abe’s asshattery

Nobody will accuse the Chosun Ilbo of being instinctively anti-American, but in this morning’s editorial they call on the United States to do something about Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Interestingly enough, the editorial begins by citing a recent NYT and WaPo editorials criticizing Abe’s visit to Yasukuni (Marmot’s Note: I get the feeling the Chosun didn’t read the entire NYT editorial).

Then, however, the Chosun says Abe is behaving like he is because he thinks he’s got the United States behind him. The United States wants to use Japan to fill in the gap resulting from lower US defense expenditures. Abe knows this, and is spouting off with little concern about pissing off Washington. US criticism of Abe’s provocations have been little or none, while Washington has shown active support for Abe’s push to remilitarize Japan under the name of collective defense. This American attitude, says the Chosun, has brought about Abe’s miscalculations.

The Chosun wonders why the United States treats Abe’s historical distortions—and his denial of Japan’s wars as wars of aggression in particular—as somebody’s else’s problem when its an attack on the legitimacy of the sacrifices made by Americans killed in the Pacific War (note to Chosun Ilbo: in our defense, we did nuke two Japanese cities, which tends to release a great deal of han). If Washington had issued a strong warning to Abe, he would never have engaged in behavior that has essentially wiped out the historical reflection Japan had made so far. Meanwhile, Washington is telling Korea that it must deal with security issues and historical issues separately.

The Chosun Ilbo quotes the New York Times: “Japan’s military adventures are only possible with American support; the United States needs to make it clear that Mr. Abe’s agenda is not in the region’s interest. Surely what is needed in Asia is trust among states, and his actions undermine that trust” (Marmot’s Note: I think they skipped over the entire middle part criticizing President Park Geun-hye’s refusal to meet Abe as giving him the freedom to visit Yasukuni). Anyway, the Chosun warns that unless the United States gets Abe to apologize for the shrine visit and promise not to do it again, cracks will emerge in US strategy in Asia. Japanese money won’t be able to mend the harm done to the United States in the region by the wounds left in Korean hearts.

The Chosun notes that US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement on Dec 28 welcoming the decision by Okinawa Prefecture to accept the Futenma relocation plan, saying the continuous partnership between the United States and Japan would strengthen. This came just a day after a State Department spokesperson issued a statement of regret over the Yasukuni visit. The Chosun thinks maybe Abe though he could pacify American protests to the shrine visit with this “gift,” and that we’ll soon learn whether he was right.

The Chosun concludes by warning US President Barack Obama, who’s visiting Japan in April, that without a fundamental shift in Japan’s attitude, the United States will find it difficult to get its new Asia strategy off the ground.

Marmot’s Note: Look, I think I’ve made it pretty clear I think Shinzo Abe’s a jerk. And yeah, I think there needs to be diplomatic consequences to some of his antics, including the recent visit to Yasukuni. As a friend, the United States needs to sit Abe down and explain to him in no uncertain terms that being a dick won’t help him achieve the goals that both he and the Americans want.

That said, it’s probably in everybody’s best interest—the Americans, the Koreans and the Japanese—to compartmentalize a bit here. Countries do this all the time. Turkey enjoys security cooperation with a large number of countries—including Korea, BTW—despite Turkey being pretty unapologetic about the Armenian genocide. As far as I know, America’s Middle Eastern allies don’t make security cooperation contingent on accepting the Arab view of the Crusades (Marmot’s Note: which, as everyone knows, were a defensive war).

For what it’s worth, I thought the US State Department statement was rather strong. Still, there’s only so loud the United States can get here. Japan’s an important US ally, and as I said in the previous paragraph, it’s hardly the only US ally with a questionable interpretation of history. Japan’s World War II history gives the United States a bit more latitude to speak, but even that has limits—interpreting one’s history is, after all, largely an internal matter. Mind you, I’m inclined to agree that Japan’s historical distortions are an insult to American veterans of World War II, but Japan is not the only country to insult US veterans of the Pacific War with bullshit interpretations of wartime atrocities (see also here).

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • SeoulGoodman

    Beware not to state the obvious, which is that he wants to piss off China as a result of their ridiculous behavior of late. It might harm the chaebols’ interests in China.

  • Heffalump

    It’s amusing that nothing that happens in East Asia is the result of a nation’s own motivations but rather another nation’s forcing them to respond totally out of measure with the reality of the situation. “Abe visited a shrine with some names etched on marble! It’s his fault we’re throwing tantrums and pissing out pants shamelessly! We are not responsible for how we react to situations!” A nation of crybabies used to getting what they want by stamping their feet until their elder brother of the week gives them something to shut them up.

  • brier

    Somebody at the Chosun Ilbo is smoking at the 사대주의 pipe.

  • seoulite

    The tail complains that it is unable to wag the dog, unaware of the dynamics of dependency between itself and the rest of the dog.

  • seoulite

    The fact that Abe is prick is a prick is all too apparent, but Robert makes a good point about the whole notion of history and redress in this part of the world – there are far too many unacknowledged skeletons in unclaimed closets between all of the nations involved for this kind of endless tit-for-tat name calling.

    If America should play any sort of role, it should be in chairing some kind of summit of its allies in which it politely tells Abe and PGH to stop acting like children and strenghthen their mutual interests – diminishing the influence of China.

  • seouldout

    More on the Turks. They loathe the Greeks. And the Greeks reciprocate the sentiment. Yet both are NATO allies. The Turks opted out of Gulf War II which pissed off Washington. Much to Turk horror the US established a Kurd quasi-state in northern Iraq. And on occasion the Turks, much to US chagrin, sent the troops across the order to spank the Kurds. Yet the alliance endures. The Turks, wisely I feel, know who the big bad wolf is: Russia. Korea still has trouble figuring out who the present and future big bad wolf is.

    For more juggling look at how the US handled the widely divergent interests of Isreal, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi, and the Gulf states.

    .

  • Juniper

    Can someone explain what sort of boost Abe gets from the Japanese public from these visits? I never see any article explaining this. Isn’t there only a relatively small percentage of them that would prefer a Yasukuni visit to a defense partnership with Korea against China?

    Other than really believing the revisionist line, what makes him go?

  • ChuckRamone

    You’re right. Outsiders should be dictating how people of a nation respond. In this case, South Korea should heed the US and Japan and just keep its mouth shut and repress any reactions.

  • Heffalump

    Koreans are worthless and need to bow down to Japan. Long live the emperor!

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I don’t know, but I think that the Japanese don’t view this as Abe and the other politicians venerating 14 Class A war criminals; rather the Japanese whom he is playing to view this as a look back to the future of glorious Japan and those who sacrificed for Japan.

    I think that he appeals to those Japanese who romanticized Japan’s romanticized past. In some ways he reminds me of Mussolini appealing to Italians’ notion of back to the future of the Roman Empire.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    You know that no Japanese emperor has visited the Yasukuni for a while, for the same reason :)

    (from wiki)

    This issue first surfaced when Emperor Hirohito refused to visit the shrine from 1978 until his death in 1989.According to a memorandum released in 2006 kept by Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward
    Tomohiko Tomita, Hirohito stated that the reason he stopped visiting
    the shrine was because of the decision to enshrine Class-A war criminals
    such as Yosuke Matsuoka and Toshio Shiratori.
    Since his 1978 decision, no Japanese emperor has visited the Yasukuni
    Shrine. Japanese imperial emissaries have visited annually.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    It is a really hard life for the very normal and reasonable Japanese (not the internet crazies) It’s a delicate balancing act of “but we do feel sorry about what we had done but the Koreans and the Chinese just keep wanting us to do more and more” and “f*** it! Here’s a finger – the middle one”..
    Abe’s act appeals to those in the latter mood, but then now they are only embarrassed not because of the same expected reaction from the Chinese and the Koreans, but from the Western press. It’s really embarrassing to be an Asian, that does not have its own judgment values.

  • fe526252

    die painfully you fucking shithead.

  • few562625252

    I’d gladly rip your stomach wide open with a chainsaw, and let you die screaming in agony. bitch

  • chuka

    Many in Japan believe that PM Abe is a Korean descent. So is our symbol -emperor. Where are your ancestors from? Jomon indigenous people?

  • pawikirogii

    when will you be getting over korea? thats what i thought! stfu!

  • pawikirogii

    people like seoldout and anon jo tell us we need to get over it while they come here on a daily basis to nurse their self inflicted wounds regarding korea. how come they dont get over it? answer: cuz it involves them, thats why. both need to stfu.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’m not sure I’d go that far regarding the “tit-for-tat name calling.” I don’t think there’s an equivalency between Japan distorting its imperial past and Korea distorting its past. Japan does have a greater international responsibility to redress its past, much like Germany does. It’s just that there’s only so much the United States can do to “force” Japan to accept more actively that responsibility.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Right… because God knows, nobody would say anything if the German chancellor paid a visit to a shrine—let alone a shrine that also ran a museum that recounted World War II from the German perspective—where Nazi war criminals were enshrined.

  • seouldout

    If true, and I don’t rule out the possibility, then perhaps Japan’s annexation was a reunification of a sort..

  • seouldout

    Shucks! no buzzsaw and gut ripping??? I surmise the docs have found a dossage that works for you.

  • seouldout

    How odd. When I posted the previous comment it was a reply to a comment by that crazed fe______ serial killer. The screen name of the commenter has now changed to pawi.

  • Heffalump

    For the record, someone logged in as a guest with the same name as me and posted this. It’s gobbledygook and nothing like what I said previously in this post. Though while I’m replying I should clarify that my point before was that Koreans, and all nations, are responsible for the way they respond to diplomatic provocations, and Korea has not been winning anyone over lately.

  • chuka

    Japan’s emperor firmly stated that one of his recorded ancestor was from a Korean immigrant family and would visit Korea if asked by PM to promote peace and friendship with Korea . We are happy to see him go home at last and never to see him again.
    .

  • pawikirogii

    get over korea. follow your own advice. aint korea’s fault you didnt get any. lots of ugly white guys out there but you already know about that. wont you publish a pic? get over korea.

  • pawikirogii

    koreans need to get over themselves and stop crying about japan all the time. worry about yourselves. you’re like little children that can’t control yourselves and you claim confucius is korean. sony > samsung. toyota > hyundai. sushi > kimbap. too many korean prostitutes in australia.

  • Juniper

    Thanks 4 comment.

  • Juniper

    Thanks for the comment.

  • JJ

    No, what Chosun Ilbo had reported is totally relevant and is of great concerns, not to all Koreans but to all the people in the world. If Koreans themselves don’t initialize to publicize the insulting antics of Ape Government, who else would; Americans, Brits, Aussies or the Nobel pissing Norwegians. All these countries are nothing more than another bunch of blood thirsty warmongers like the fascist Japan.
    Brier is probably on the payroll of the Ape Government.

  • JJ

    No, what Chosun Ilbo had reported is totally relevant and is of great concerns, not to all Koreans but to all the people in the world. If Koreans themselves don’t initialize to publicize the insulting antics of Ape Government, who else would; Americans, Brits, Aussies or the Nobel pissing Norwegians. All these countries are nothing more than another bunch of blood thirsty warmongers like the fascist Japan.
    Brier is probably on the payroll of the Ape Government.

  • JJ

    Frankly the Japanese Emperor should be dethroned and all the females in the Japanese royal families should suffer the same fate of being raped and killed in the same manner as the Korean Empress had experienced. Only then will the Japanese understand what is heinous crimes after they suffered the same fate.

  • provIdence

    I wonder how Koreans are sure that spirits or souls of your ancestors are at their tablets you have at your houses. Your method might help identify sprits and souls which are supposed to be at Yasukuni.

  • gobbledygook

    sure….

  • Sumo294

    The PM of Japan does not have strong executive powers that an American president has. What allows the Japanese PM to exert influence is his ability to dictate how PAC money is allocated in his own party. Visiting the shrine gives him control over certain funds that allow him to influence committees that shield him from scandals and political back stabs. Right now, the single most reliable source of political funds is from the pro war party in Japan. Abe is not inherently pro war–but he is pro PAC money–and like any politician–he is somewhat practical about getting what he needs to survive.
    Hope this answers your question.

  • JJ

    The blood of his savage grandfather run in the same veins as Abe himself and you are still trying to paint him as nothing but a good man. Don’t be so cocky naïve, troll.

  • JJ

    Many in Japan also looked down on the Korean descent as second class or no class. Many even wanted to kill all the Koreans in Japan. So what the f*k does it matter whether Abe is an ape or human.

  • JJ

    Romanticize Japan’s past is akin to the celebration of the Japanese brutal and heinous crimes committed against the millions of Asians, Brits, Aussies and Americans. Just to remind that Japan has no glorious past except for the dark ages it perpetrated before and during WW2. For many centuries, the Japanese were sub-human pirates that sailed around the coastal region of Korea and China, waiting In the dark for the opportunity to attack, plunder and kidnap of the Korean and Chinese women in their dirty lust for blood and death.

  • JJ

    Turkey like Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, India are nothing more than a doormat that suit the Americans to step on it as it deemed fit. Turkey is welcome to play the role of being the border guard to safeguard Europe belly against the Muslims in the south but it doesn’t qualify to sit and dine together with its NATO allies as EU partner. At least Turkey may have finally awaken with its latest action to defiance against NATO by working with China on building up its air defense.

  • Sumo294

    Don’t get me wrong . . . the PM of Japan be definition is a ruthless guy–you don’t get to be PM without that quality–however, the PM also has to have some practical flex to his mindset or he just cannot become the Guy.
    Most Japanese I have met have a weird way of thinking–they are community thinkers when they feel they are on low end of the totem pole–its only when they rise in their own esteem that they develop a sense of uniqueness.
    It was easy for the Japanese to accept second place to America–they reasoned the country that beat them should be number one. They are definitely not happy being ranked after China.
    As a nation–if Korea should ever overtake them– they would have to admit that all is not well in Japan Inc. The fact that the Korean wave has affected their citizens, that companies like Samsung make better products and Korean movies intrigue foreigners are driving many of the cultural elite in Japan insanely jealous.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    …which is the reason that I wrote, “I think that he appeals to those Japanese who romanticize Japan’s romanticized past.”

  • setnaffa

    Maybe they misinterpreted someone using the phrase “Honest Abe”?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Most Japanese people (especially abroad) are very nonchalant and play down on the connection they have with the “Chinese and the Koreans (and grouping them together while doing so, insulting them in the same way that they don’t want to be insulted” They stress they are

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Well I’m sorry to disappoint you but having done science, (and even if I hadn’t) I am not sure I believe of any spirits souls ancestors crap, and call me crazy, if I thought that maybe my tradition of bowing to some figure or plaque of grave made somebody angry/sad/upset, I wouldn’t think twice about not doing, like your emperor himself. As you know I have a very strong view against those things which people like to label as “culture” or “tradition” falsely to continue to perpetuate their purpose while not fitting in today’s society and upsetting many of modern day(e.g. dogeating, wifebeating etc. )

    Another thing is, a lot of Japanese friends I have who go to Yasukuni have never even been to the museum inside. I hear from non-japanese friends that it’s pretty bad in there in terms of ridiculous nationalistic crap, and the Japanese friends are surprised to find out that such museum exists. The Japanese are equally dumb at lapping up what their government or media feed them and not really knowing *why* it is that Koreans or the Chinese object to such things.

  • setnaffa

    The same type as the Norks tried in 1950…

  • chuka

    I don’t know if I understand you correctly. As you know most Japanese, abroad or not, are extremely xenophobic.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Yes, which is why I am surprised when you said that many in Japan believe that the emperor and Abe are from Korea.
    I know that they say Ozawa has Chinese or Korean connection (again not even bothering to distinguish) and also to some extent Naoto Kan (i.e. the left and the inefficient politicians they like to blame for providing the reason for the rise of the right) but Abe? Sounds like what the Japanese would accuse the Koreans of doing.
    I reckon when Abe really falls from the grace, i.e. really messes it up for the Japanese, then maybe the Korean connection would take off more..

  • chuka

    You make Japan’s Netouyo very happy. Your statements are
    the correct answer to Japan’s hatemongers. You should know they want to start a war against Korea by making people on both side angry on the slightest provocation.

  • redwhitedude

    Stop feeding trolls and let them air their stuff out. It is perfectly within their right to post something that later on looks silly.

  • djson1

    I know this will upset a lot of Koreans (I’m ethnic Korean myself), but I think it’s gotten to the point where the Japanese PM (particularly Abe) visiting this shrine of hell we call Yasukuni should not be blown up to such a big issue.

    Japan is very clear on the world’s (especially Korea’s and China’s) stance on him visiting the shrine. They know we don’t approve of it and they know it’s pissing us off. However, all this shouting never gets anywhere as Abe and even Koizumi were so adamant that they have the right to do so. We talk about “feeding the trolls online” all the time, but the Japanese PM visiting the shrine despite global disapproval is like feeding the troll PM’s need for nationalistic attention. As somebody noted on here, it’s also a great way for him to secure and lock-in his nationalists’ support base. If you remember, Fukuda didn’t visit the shrine during his term and he got a lot of crap for it in his country.

    I say, we take note of it and continue to get what we need to get done that’s more important. If Japan wants to be a big ass, let them as it will only hurt them later on, but don’t let it hurt us.

  • pawikirogii

    just pointing out their hypocrisy, that’s all. seoulout tells koreans to stop living in the past while he lives in the past. he’s not in korea anymore so why doesn’t he just get over it? it’s easy to give advice when it ain’t about you. i wonder if he catches his own contradictions.

  • pawikirogii

    btw, the japanese could cut the legs off of chinese and korean complaints by doing one simple thing: remove the war criminals from yasukuni. could the japanese be so bold?

  • que337

    Abe Shinzo finalized the year 2013 by watching “The Eternal Zero”, a movie glorifying and romanticizing kamikaze pilots who suicidally destroyed the U.S. battle ships and carriers. Classy end of the year for Mr. Abe.

    http://youtu.be/gmMlWI5Z66I

  • redwhitedude

    Simple task that for whatever reason the Japanese are having difficulty doing.

  • redwhitedude

    The problem is that with the exception of a few countries in the far east and possibly SE asia the rest of the world doesn’t give a dam about the Yasukuni visit. China and especially Korea could do a better job trying the sell to the world why it is bad. China has pretty much shot itself on the foot given its reputation.

  • provIdence

    Chinese and (strangely) Koreans appear to be angry at Japanese PM visiting Yasukuni because of simple misunderstanding of the institution. Yasukuni, at least in my notion, is very much different from the Korean counterpart of Seoul National Cemetery where they are honored to be there.

    The religious concept of Yasukuni is similar to that of Kitano Tenman-gu in Kyoto enshrining Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and politician mostly in the 9th century:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugawara_no_Michizane

    (Quote from wiki)
    In 901, through the political maneuverings of his rival, Fujiwara no Tokihira, Michizane was demoted from his aristocratic rank of junior second to a minor official post at Dazaifu, in Kyūshū’s Chikuzen Province. After his lonely death, plague and drought spread and sons of Emperor Daigo died in succession. The Imperial Palace’s Great Audience Hall (shishinden) was struck repeatedly by lightning, and the city experienced weeks of rainstorms and floods. Attributing this to the angry spirit of the exiled Sugawara, the imperial court built a Shinto shrine called Kitano Tenman-gū in Kyoto, and dedicated it to him. They posthumously restored his title and office, and struck from the record any mention of his exile. Even this was not enough, and 70 years later Sugawara was deified as Tenjin-sama, orkami of scholarship. Today many Shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to him.

    (End of Quote)

    Yasukuni is a shrine which is to appease the angry spirits of those soldiers and others who died in wars, for preventing calamities in the world. All souls are treated equally there without any discrimination by their ranks, race or achievements.

    The Japanese visiting Yasukuni are, as I believe, praying for soothing the souls there wishing world peace and for getting part of their might for happiness of their own and others.

    I personally don’t understand why Chinese and even Koreans get angry with the visit of Yasukuni especially of the PM.

    As for Emperor (Hirohito), he is an entity who is not supposed to be involved with political issues. He must have sensed, reading Japanese newspapers or else, that his visit might make it a political issue.

    Happy New Year, belatedly!

  • RElgin

    Why is it then that the Japanese Government can not seem to manage better PR for this place and its meaning?

  • Sumo294

    Japan’s economy will not improve but worsen. Legally, their tax burden on working souls exceeds 80 percent. The enormous government sanctioned unions and the loss of productivity in feeding that beast will take generations to undo even if they start now.
    What is amazing is the unholy cost of transportation within Japan. Try to drive from Tokyo to Osaka and calculate the tolls, gas and incidental costs–you will begin to understand why its better not to risk trying to be an entrepreneur in Japan Inc.
    The average Japanese lives in a tiny box–has one set of nice socially acceptable clothes to wear–has some electronic toys to keep insanity at bay, and eats very little–and seldom travels. Before this slow hell of a life–they studied from dawn to dusk in hopes of a better life.
    Behind their mask of manners–are bitter and angry persons. When the Japanese felt rich they were more nice. But now they think they are poor and feel entitled to express their anger.

  • provIdence

    I would think that the Japanese government and PMs themselves explained many times to China and Korea, but they pretend not to understand the Japanese way of thinking. You must by now know that these countries cannot survive without inciting anti-Japan sentiments in their peoples.

    But, it went too far, and they and Korea especially have been getting backlash of their own policies.

  • RElgin

    No, the Japanese Government and PMs have not done this or certainly not in the best manner possible.

    The Japanese PM needs to take this explanation directly to the people and actively engage the public on a PR junket. If the PRC Government spreads misinformation – which they are famous for doing – then it needs to be directly confronted and addressed in a congenial manner that is not condescending for any party. If I had to personally travel to another country and plant carnations for hours upon the graves of the dead, I would do this. If I had to sit with old women and talk to them for hours, I would do this. I would be so understanding and nice that people would wonder.

    I might also dedicate a part of Yakasuni to the souls of those non-Japanese that died. This would send a message but . . .

  • provIdence

    Japan follows the principle of separation of government and religion, and the PMs cannot get too much into this discussion because Yasukuni is a religious institution. As I think, the Korean government is knowingly making fuss about Yasukuni to fool the fools to turn their Jon (情) toward Japan. As a matter of fact, Koreans were sitting with Japanese without exception on seats of defendants at all military tribunals where applicable.

    As for China, it can be a sign of imminent revolution if Chinese are not making fuss against Japan.

    As for your wish to pray for world peace at Yasukuni, I just found a pertinent article by Prof. Kevin Doak of Georgetown University. His article appears to be in Japanese, and I am out of town now. I just give its URL here, and some translation or explanation when I get to Tokyo.

    http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/politics/news/20131228/plt1312281441001-n1.htm

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I don’t get angry personally as it has nothing to do with me. My grandfather is supposed to have escaped being force drafted to become a Kamikaze himself, but it doesn’t bother me how much of a fool Abe wants to make of himself.
    But it is funny that you try to explain at great lengths how non-political this shrine is, and then in the next bit Hirohito is an entity who is not supposed to be involved with political issues and therefore is avoiding it. It is exactly the same as the case as a prime minister Abe is using it as a political tool himself, and using exactly the same kind of excuse which is very lame, saying it’s non-political.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Seriously, who cares? This is why Korean media is accused of being over sensitive. The film, from what I know, is based on a book how they were not all that glorious men ready to die for the country but young kids they duped into killing themselves for an ineffective desperate operation who were so pathetic and sad..but anyway, why care so much? Abe is a guy who likes to live based on fantasies and nostalgia about Japan in the war and also using it as an excuse to arm up.

    Another point that things are not so black and white concerns of the Korean soldiers who were drafted to fight for Japan at the time..
    Can you imagine how these completely discriminated people of Japanese empire felt at the time? Suddenly feeling like they could belong, by giving up their lives for people who were treating them like shit?

    It makes me tear up to hear about that Kamikaze pilot who asked the permission and sang Arirang in the presence of his Japanese landlady, the night before he went to die as a Kamikaze pilot, therefore coming out with his Korean ancestry.

    (from http://blog.naver.com/PostView.nhn?blogId=nicklim&logNo=50113391550)

    저는 일정(日政) 때 조선인 징병 1기 해당자로 금년에 86세가 됩니다. 우리 세대의 해는 이미 저물었습니다. 살아있는 사람은 그리 많지 않을 겁니다. 그나마 앞으로 얼마 안 있어 모두 사라질 겁니다. 그렇게 되면 우리들의 세대는 영원히 침묵하게 될 것입니다. 그래서 꼭 해두고 싶은 말을 지금부터 하겠습니다.

    일본 자살 특공대 가미카제(神風) 대원이었던 경남 사천시 출신 탁경현씨가 1945년 5월 11일 비행기를 몰고 오키나와 섬에 정박 중이던 미군 함대를 향해 돌진, 자폭하여 생을 마감했던 바로 그날, 저는 당시 대전에 있었던 일본군 제224부대 병영 안에서 징집된 육군 일등병으로 폭약상자를 등에 메고 적군의 전차 밑으로 뛰어들어 자폭하는 훈련을 열심히 하고 있었습니다. 그때 만일 전쟁이 몇달만 더 끌었더라면 저는 아마 어느 전선엔가 보내져서 훈련받은 그대로 인간 지뢰가 되어 적군의 전차 밑으로 뛰어들어 죽었을 것입니다.

    탁경현씨와 저는 나이도 그 당시 20대 전반으로 같은 세대였습니다. 저희들 세대는 태어나면서부터 일본 국민이었습니다. 그것도 무기력하게 나라를 잃은 선대들의 원죄를 물려받아 병역의무가 없는 대신 참정권이 없어 일본인들로부터 온갖 차별을 받는 열등한 2등 국민이었습니다.그 서러움은 젖먹이 나이 때부터 일본에서 자라난 저에게는 더욱 직접적으로 피부에 와 닿았습니다.

    같은 동족 어른들 사이에서 ‘조선 독립’이라는 속삭임이 간혹 어렴풋이 들리긴 했지만, 그것은 시궁창에서 살고 있는 소녀가 꿈속에서 신데렐라를 보는 것만큼이나 현실성이 없었습니다. 그러한 가운데 태평양 전쟁이 시작되었고, 이어서 조선인에게도 병역의무가 주어져 저 자신이 징집 1기에 해당되게 되었습니다. 사실이지 두려웠습니다. 죽는 게 무서웠습니다.

    그런데 그 무렵부터 저희들을 대하는 일본인들의 태도에 변화가 보이기 시작했습니다. 전에는 바로 대놓고 ‘조센진(朝鮮人)’ 하고 민족을 비하(卑下)하여 부르던 그들이 그 말을 쓰는 것을 스스로 금기시하게 되고, 대신 지역을 말하는 ‘한토진(半島人)’이라고 부르기 시작했습니다. 저에게 “너희들에게도 곧 참정권이 주어져서 우리들과 같은 권리행사를 하게 될 것”이라고 말하는 일본인 친구가 늘어났습니다.

    저는 저희들에게 주어진 병역 의무를 긍정적으로 생각하게 되었습니다. 즉 우리들이 전쟁터에 나가서 죽는 대가로 뒤에 남은 동족들의 지위가 크게 향상되리라는 것을 믿게 된 것입니다. 저에게는 징집 영장이 바로 오지 않고 본적지 면사무소에 와서 영장을 받아 입대하라는 면장으로부터의 전보가 전달되었습니다. 그래서 저는 난생처음 보는 고향 면을 찾아가 하룻밤을 자고 이튿날 국민학교 교정에서 열린 환송행사에 다른 입대 장정들과 함께 참석하였습니다. 많은 고향 어른들이 저희들의 장도를 격려해주셨고, 고향 후배인 학생들이 손에 손에 깃발을 들고 흔들면서 환송을 해주었습니다. 저희들은 자랑스러운 마음으로 당당하게 입대하였습니다. 기왕에 죽을 바엔 일본인 병사들보다 더 용감하게 죽어서 조선 젊은이의 기개를 보여주려고 하였습니다. 어리석었을지는 몰라도 사악하지는 않았습니다. 이상이 반민족행위자인 저의 변명의 전부입니다.”

  • Abe Maria

    How will the United States react when Abe brings his Axis victimization tour to Guam?
    http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=2982858

    (And Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea)

  • que337

    The film was produced based on a best-selling novel written by Naoki Hyakuta. As Asahi Shimbun reported, it is a kind of “right wing entertainment”.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201307040005

    Naoki Hyakuta is a man who had encouraged Abe Shinzo to visit yasukuni shrine, “using the argument that there is nothing wrong with the leader of a country appeasing the souls of those who gave up their lives for the nation.”

    http://www.asianewsnet.net/Abes-war-shrine-visit-confirms-shift-to-right-55585.html

    I do not criticize young men who were forced to join in Japanese military. The blame should go to the top war criminals and politicians like Abe who likes to advocate the war criminals.

  • chuka

    Rumor circulating around is that Mr. Ozawa’s biological mother is a Korean.
    This is not surprising. So many famous Japanese are now listed as a ” Korean in closet” thanks to Netouyo. Many agree that this is ridiculous.

    If you are living in Japan for a long time or you know about Japan a lot, you notice that Japan’s Korean connection is now a Japanese subculture.
    Korean boom has begun during the late 70s’. Look at Mrs. Abe. She loves Korean drama and it made her husband’s supporters very angry but she said she would not change. It is said that PM Abe is very much fond of Korea because of his family connection. Even PM Abe and President Pak were good friends once.

    Then why the current conflict between Korea and Japan?
    It is because of Constitutional Reform in which Abe and his supporters want to re-establish Constitutional Monarchy. This is the reason why they justify Korean Occupation and Pacific war which were done under the name of Japanese emperor.

  • provIdence

    I just wanted to know, regarding the Korean tablets, whether Koreans can put the souls of the dead into them or remove souls from them at will, so that it might be helpful in removing the souls of the so-called A-class war criminals from Yasukuni when needed.

    As I think, Yasukuni becomes a political issue only when or because Chinese or Korean government reacts to the visit of Yasukuni by a Japanese PM as expected by Japanese newspapers.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Tablets? What do you mean exactly? Do you have a Japanese or Korean word for it? Something akin tombstone?

    Recently there was a construction work in the middle of a large road into town in the German city I am residing at the moment. There had been these tombstones (maybe from 1800′s or before) just right in the middle of a very busy ring road,(part of a cemetery) but in the works, they just dug up these old tombstones put them without covering or anything to the side behind some wire fences and moved them somewhere, and just put a large pedestrian road/bike path over where the graves had been. I was wondering what would happen to these tombstones and if the families would not complain, but some Germans told me, it’s probably old enough nobody cared.

    Korea has a strong association with family grave/plots – but I know a lot are opting for cremation, (for example my grandma refused to be buried in the family plot and as far as I know went into a small urn which is in some weird glass case locker in a 납골당..so the tradition/preferences are changing all the time…These are for the civilians and of course there is the National cemetery where the soldiers are buried, and many kind of memorial places for the victims of other incidents like the Kwangju massacre, but I don’t know if I can help solve your particular problem Providence because our national cemetery does not have anybody classed as top war criminal with the others..

    I knew you would say that it “only becomes a political issue” but as you know I linked to the wiki and it does say

    According to a memorandum released in 2006 kept by Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward
    Tomohiko Tomita, Hirohito stated that the reason he stopped visiting
    the shrine was because of the decision to enshrine Class-A war criminals
    such as Yosuke Matsuoka and Toshio Shiratori.

    and you already embarrassed yourself by saying that the emperor must not be visiting it because he is reading Japanese newspaper of predicted Korean/Chinese reaction rather than taking the statement at its face value and that the emperor is capable of his own judgment of values. Everybody is, and should be capable of his/her own personal judgment of values. Japan likes to say that “it’s due to Korea. or China” that Japan is acting that way, indeed to arm itself again, like they like to say “it was due to US’s pressure” that they bombed the Pearl Harbour and to “liberate the Asian nations from the West one by one” as is written in the museum inside the Yasukuni.
    That sort of “it’s your fault” chicken and egg thinking is precisely what the problem is with Asian thinking (I am not excusing Korea and China either) and is the worst kind of crappy excuse that can become dangerous if used by people like Abe.

  • provIdence

    Yasukuni has another shrine, ChinReiSha, within its premises. ChinReiSha, built in 1965, accommodates and reposes other souls of all war dead since 1853 than those at Yasukuni. PM Abe also visited this ChinReiSha in addition to Yasukuni this time.

    Regarding PM Abe’s this visit of Yasukuni, Prof. Doak said in the interview that it is not at all understandable to see China and South Korea make a protest at PM Abe on the visit because it is completely an internal issue of Japan.

    He said in addition that PM Abe’s visit of ChinReiSha this time is a clear manifestation of his will for world peace.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I agree with you absolutely Chuka.

    I saw that Abe’s government was doing something sneaky w.r.t. changing something in the constitution or some fundamental law, but I saw it disappear from the Japanese news. If that had been in Korea, and the government tried to steamroll such an important bill through the opposition party would have brought out the fire hose out and blocked the entrance..

    I know that despite the discrimination the 인식 or 認識 of Korea precisely due to the zainichis and also of the modern culture is perhaps stronger in Japan of the Korea than in Korea of the Japanese (due to the policies of trying to keep out the much superior modern culture)

    However, do you know that the most loved celebrity in Korea at the moment is this baby girl 사랑 sarang? who is the daughter of the zainichi K1 boxer? Yoshihiro Akiyama (Korean name 추성훈 whom I know is not that popular in Japan)and the Japanese model Shiho due to a TV reality show “Superman returned?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKTB4DQFs3Q

    明けましておめでとうございます!

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I, also don’t care for the same reason as I’ve said before. I am actually one step further and welcome it in twisted morbid way, because apart from to people like you, it makes to the rest of the world very apparent what Japan is really about.

    National Live Televised broadcast in Japan of the whole thing? Him in his morning suit! What a great circus!!!
    Wow we can really pray for peace watching that live broadcast!?!?
    What duplicity!

    Like the Japanese press said, it was a sort of an own goal. Zannendesita.

  • provIdence

    Keep your cool please. Your sentences above are like those written with a ball-point pen with no ink in it for me. It’s getting too difficult to understand. I always had something to learn from you, and I have always been thankful to you for your patience which I could feel in your writing.

    My previous comment “Yasukuni has another shrine, ChinReiSha, …” has been given as a simple explanation of Prof. Doak’s interview article (referenced right above it) because it is written in Japanese.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    なら、いいけど。。。

    Here’s hoping you don’t turn “something to learn from you” into “something to use against you”, as it is a very sneaky trait!!

    あけましておめでとうございます!

  • provIdence

    새해 복 많이 받으세요. 올해도 잘 부탁드립니다. (Translated by google)

    So, you are nothing but a good and typical Korean, which is good to know.

  • fe6256299

    fuck off cunt, before you get murdered.

  • fe56252

    fuck off cunt, before you get murdered..

  • few6529529

    I’d gladly fucking split your fucking head open with a baseball bat, and feed your brains to lions

  • fewa520529

    I’d gladly fucking split your fucking head open with a baseball bat, and feed your brains to lions..

  • fawe529fw9ea

    I’d gladly fucking split your fucking head open with a baseball bat, and feed your brains to lions…

  • provIdence

    Tablets: I learned it while reading “Korea and Her Neighbours” by Isabella Bird Bishop available at Sogan Univ. on the net. She said in the book, to the effect, that each Korean has three souls, one for his tomb, second for his underworld, and third for his tablet. So, it can be 位牌 (ihai) in Japanese.

    Kamikaze: Congratulations for your grandfather’s escape from force drafted Kamikaze flight, although I think that was a mission which could not be carried out by force drafted pilots. As you might know, PCH wrote his mere application to military school with his blood.

    Tomita memo: The meme does not specifically say why Hirohito stopped visiting Yasukuni after enshrinement of the so-called war criminals. In addition, Yosuke Matsuoka is not a war criminal of any kind because he died before judgment.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Tablets: wipae 위패, it’s not a common occurrence in Korea nowadays if it’s going by the feel of the modern usage of the word, it refers usually a commemorative plaque, especially useful for memorial without the actual body being there, so not so uniquely Korean thing. If you think somehow Koreans have these in their houses, you’re very mistaken. Better off having some friends, than to read a non-Korean woman’s turn of the century, David Attenbourgh account of things (when already turbulence started to reign between the foreign powers and the dynasty). Of course, I am sure there are some tradition-strong historical households around the country which do everything properly which might have a different use for that sort of thing..

    Another discrepancy between Japan and Korea is that most don’t have any specific family altar or altar of any sort like in the Japanese households(or in Hong Kong where they also have similar things in houses and shops) A lot of effort was made to get rid of what was classified as “미신” “meishin” especially by the evangelical Christians, this includes bowing to the ancestors with the Pig’s head on the table etc. although some of this is coming back.

    So your “what would Koreans do” as you try to reason and excuse what Abe did with some fudged up tradition/spiritual mumbo jumbo crap excuse, again, I just cannot help you with that. I think you would be better asking the African voodoo culture, if you actually were serious about it.

    Kamikaze:

    It was only a recent revelation by my father and not straight from my grandfather’s mouth, who’s had a stroke and cannot speak. I could ask again, but maybe it was not even the Kamikaze “flight” but the suicide pack carriers/human bomb, as it seems like some use the word to apply it not specifically to the flight attack.

    If you are being smarmy about “Park signing in blood” to join the army, that is precisely why many people in South Korea were/are also against the Koreans who fought in the war for Japan. Maybe you could use google translate to read what I’d written to Q below, about a Korean grandpa’s account of what led him to join the Japanese war, as a Korean, what was going through his head, as well as the more famous Kamikaze pilot Tak Jaehoon’s account. I just fail to understand the mindset of the people like you to somehow twist the situation of these sad plight of second class citizens joining the war for Japan against the Koreans themselves to say, you did it too,

    Tomita memo:
    It’s your word against NYTimes and wiki.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/26/world/asia/26iht-japan.1.5447598.html?_r=0

    from which

    Matsudaira had a strong wish for peace, but the child didn’t know the parent’s heart,” Tomita quoted the emperor as saying, the Nikkei reported. “That’s why I have not visited the shrine since. This is my heart.”

    Do you know the emperor’s heart? Providence?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    This is probably the best and clearest in-depth account of what I have found on this issue:

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Takahashi-Tetsuya/2401

  • wangkon936

    Doctrinally impossible. Once a Shinto god, always a Shinto god… and God is not wrong, right?

  • wangkon936

    “Entertainment?” That is is too kind. Masterbation” is more accurate.

  • wangkon936

    “… the night before he went to die as a Kamikaze pilot, therefore coming out with his Korean ancestry.”

    Yes, that would be Tak Kyung-hyun. I blogged about this fellow awhile ago:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2008/05/09/controversy-over-proposed-memorial-for-korean-kamikaze-pilots/

    It would appear that Tak became a Kamikaze pilot out of some sense of misguided Korean patriotism. I guess one of the issues is that the average Korean or Japanese didn’t have access to a free (or at least somewhat free) press to know just how the war was going. There were some Koreans like Tak (and maybe even Park Chung-hee, a.k.a. Takagi Masao), who believed that serving Japan as a Korean would lead to better treatment of Korea and Koreans by the Japanese.

  • chuka

    謹賀新年
    I have read the article above.
    Our concern is that Abe and his supporters is planning to rewrite the constitution in which they can force Japanese students to worship poor dead souls as our gods. Their reasoning is that it is a Japanese custom. We visited the famous shrines and temples during my school years,but never forced to worship there . Yasukuni is not my religion. This is going too far.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Wangkon, I think you should also read what I wrote to Q and the blog I linked to, or use google-translate if you need to. It helps shed some light on the mindset of those who “volunteered” for conscription. It also makes me understand the not so black and white issues relating to the colony and the war and somehow understand the Japanese point of view .Reading your comments on that blogpost, I don’t think that Tak was a particularly a stupid or a bad guy, but a very sad one. I also think it is a very nice thing – the Japanese actress/landlady’s effort

    The problem with Korea is that in doing its best to keep Japan as the enemy it has painted itself to a corner w.r.t. a large proportion of the rich and powerful in Korean society, and the role of “the Japanese collaborators” who make up a significant proportion of Korean old-money today..they probably don’t want to be judged as such and are keeping as much distance as possible from the Japanese connection, which I think is part of Park’s problem in her sub-psyche, but I know I should refrain from knowing her 마음 / こころ, lest I become like another commenter on this..

    All this was followed by the turbulence of the Korean War, where all of these landowners were meant to have taken out by the villagers and peasants under communist duress.
    ..

  • wangkon936

    “Yasukuni, at least in my notion, is very much different from the Korean counterpart of Seoul National Cemetery…”

    Total and complete bull shit. I’ve seen Yasukuni apologists use the analogy of Arlington National Cemetery as well, which is the same beast in different clothing.

    First of all, both Seoul and Arlington National Cemeteries are non-denominational and government supported. To the contrary Yasukuni is private and purely Shinto. Shinto was the official state religion of Japan from God knows when to 1945. The same religion that was used as an excuse/rationale and instrument of blessing to instigate the wars of the Showa era.

    If Park or Obama wanted to show respect to their war dead then going to Seoul or Arlington National Cemeteries would be the appropriate thing to do as both are maintained by there respective governments and are not supported by any organized religious bodies. If Park or Obama went to a respective Buddhist or Baptist sponsored cemetery for a state ritual of observance then there would clearly be separation of church and state issues. The Japanese constitution also has similar separation of church and state clauses as well, set up by the Occupation government of 1946 specifically to prevent any incorporation of Shintoism into Japanese government.

    A true parallel would be if Japan had their own national cemetery that was maintained with state funds that was completely non-denominational, multi-faith based and/or secular without the involvement of Shinto priests and/or rectors.

    Joe Biden, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel made it a point of visiting Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery earlier this year to respect Japanese war dead to send a subtle message to Abe.

  • seouldout

    What happened to your buzzsaw? Jammed with body parts? Can’t afford petrol?

  • provIdence

    Tablets:
    According to the book, Mrs. Bishop was often provided with rooms for ancestors at lodges during her tours. So, I thought every Korean family had something like tablet for remembering their ancestors because Koreans are especially known for respecting their ancestors.

    A tablet or head of pig is good enough because what I wanted to know is Koreans’ religious mind in its primitive form. Without notion of spirits and souls, you will never understand Yasukuni where only souls are supposed to be present contrary to the SNC where bodies of the dead count.

    Kamikaze:
    Conscription in Korea came into effect in September 1944, and actual reporting of Koreans to camps began in January 1945. Training of ordinary soldiers required more than 6 months, and that for Kamikaze or any other pilots required much longer. As the war ended on August 15, 1945, it is generally understood that no conscripted Korean soldiers went to war to fight the allied forces.

    I would recommend you to confirm with your grandfather as soon as possible while you can make some kind of communication with him.

    Tomita memo:
    Hirohito would have been feeling that he was also responsible if some of his subjects were responsible for the war. If we take his words literally, it sounds like saying that his subjects were wrong while he was not, which would be incorrect.