“The co-ordinated move by China and South Korea based on a one-sided view [of history] is not conducive to building peace and stability,” Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, you’ll recall, is the gentleman who had previously referred to Ahn as a “criminal.”
Some might see this as an insult. I see it as an opportunity. A Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson needs to go out there immediately and ask Suga, “OK, what’s the other side then?”
I’m serious. Where historical issues are concerned, Japan is its own worst enemy. As we’ve seen in the New York Times, with the New York State Senate and, heck, even my humble comment section, Japanese right-wing nationalists absolutely love to talk, and the more they do, the worse they look. And the best part is, they’re completely oblivious to how nauseatingly bad they look, so they just keep going and going.
So just get Suga talking—he’ll do more to promote the Korean side than 100 angry condemnations from the Korean Foreign Ministry.
Trust me, Foreign Ministry guys. You’ll thank me later.
Anyway, one of the side benefits of the Ahn Jung-geun memorial has been the spectacle of Japanese editorial writers rending their garments in grief and outrage. See, for instance, the Yomiuri Shimbun, which in an editorial entitled “South Korea’s anti-Japan diplomatic maneuvering goes too far” (stop laughing now, dammit!) complains:
Yet we feel the memorial hall—built with no regard for Japan’s position or its national sentiments—is absolutely unacceptable.
I’ll let you meditate on the irony of a Japanese paper whinging about hurt feelings. And ponder this warning for a moment:
China is a multiethnic nation, and praising Ahn risks stirring up ethnic consciousness among the ethnic Koreans living within its borders.
And Japan would know, seeing how it spent most of the 1930s and 1940s trying to dismember China.
Finally, more whining about “Korea making us look bad with its one-sided views of history”:
Meanwhile, apart from the issues surrounding the Ahn memorial, South Korea has intensified its one-sided assertions regarding its historical perceptions. We cannot overlook the fact that such assertions undermine Japan’s position in international institutions and in the eyes of other countries.
As I said above, nothing—and I do mean nothing—”undermines Japan’s position in international institutions and in the eyes of other countries” than when Japanese themselves try to counter Korea’s “one-sided assertions.” It’s not Korea that makes Japan look like a nation of unrepentant assholes. It’s Japan that makes Japan look like a nation of unrepentant assholes.
Anyway, here’s a suggestion to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga—wanna see a memorial to real criminals? Hop on a subway and visit Yasukuni.