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May 01, 2006

Comments

Chuckles

Very sensible views; and likely a testament to generational shifts in Korean worldview (the born again fervor of certain "More Corean than thou" Korean Americans notwithstanding).
I had the pleasure of chaperoning some Korean and Japanese ladies over the past week - and as has happened in the past, they displayed very sensible views about the whole fiasco: throwing up their hands at the mess while delicately sipping their cappucinos (yay Globalization!). I have also noticed that Korean friends of mine who date Japanese ladies do not hesitate to bring up the Dokdo issue: They argue about it for a bit, with many times, the Japanese conceding to many Korean claims. (The only extreme episode of confrontation I witnessed was when a Korean friend of mine pointedly asked a Japanese lady why Japan invaded his country and she replied "To spread Freedom" upon which he shouted "You see!" "You see!". Most other cases involved the Japanese suggesting that Japan win over Korean hearts and minds through dialogue and friendship.)
American led globalization can be a powerful force for good in the world in its potential ability to soothe tensions by providing common cultural grounds for all the world's peoples, excepting the French. ;). If Manga and Anime unify, we call to mind Osamu Tezuka and Disney's influence on him. If Asian pop provides a unifying influence, we recollect the American scene: Not to mention various sports, entertainment values, etc.

PS: Are there any recent polls accounting for Korean attitudes on this spectrum of issues?

Abiola

"The only extreme episode of confrontation I witnessed was when a Korean friend of mine pointedly asked a Japanese lady why Japan invaded his country and she replied "To spread Freedom" upon which he shouted "You see!" "You see!""

What the hell kind of answer did this fool expect to such a question, as if the woman he was speaking with was personally responsible for what happened more than 100 years ago? Then again, that's nothing but the Korean government's attitude in miniature form, demanding the grandsons repent for the sins of their grandparents.

"PS: Are there any recent polls accounting for Korean attitudes on this spectrum of issues?"

The only polls I'm aware of are the ones discussed on the following pages:

http://japanfocus.org/article.asp?id=305

["Between early- and mid-May, 1,880 Japanese and 1,000 South Koreans--both randomly selected and aged 20 and over--participated in the face-to-face interview survey.

Regarding the current state of bilateral relations, 60 percent of Japanese respondents gave positive answers, up 13 percentage points from the previous survey in 2002. But only 11 percent of South Korean pollees gave such answers, down 21 percentage points from the previous poll. The number of South Koreans who perceived bilateral ties negatively grew 22 percentage points to 89 percent--the worst figure over the past four surveys conducted jointly by the newspapers since 1995.

Asked about the factors contributing to deterioration in bilateral ties, the largest number of respondents--in both Japan and South Korea--who viewed ties negatively cited the Takeshima issue at 65 percent and 94 percent, respectively.

Fifty-nine percent of Japanese pollees said they trusted South Korea, up four percentage points from the previous poll while trust of Japan by South Korean pollees fell from 24 percent to 9 percent. Ninety percent of South Koreans said they did not trust Japan, 15 percentage points higher than in the previous survey."]

and the one in the link below:

http://www.cominganarchy.com/archives/2005/04/24/asian-opinion-polls-on-japan

Pretty much what you'd expect, i.e.

(i) Everyone else in Asia has gotten over the war except China (whose people can partly be excused due to the "patriotic education" they're spoonfed) and especially Korea (which was in fact a fellow *aggressor* in said war).

(ii) The intense hatred Koreans feel towards Japan is for the most part not reciprocated, though the positive attitudes Japanese people have towards Korea are fading as they become more aware of how fanatically Koreans hate them, surprisingly enough ...

moorethanthis

"A sane South Korean foreign policy would ... strive instead for the sort of close relations which now exist between one-time enemies like Britain and America or France and Germany"

I think the better analogy is Germany and Poland - right now the two nations have very good relations (Germany helped Poland's efforts to accede to the EU) despite Germany's brutal invasion and occupation of Poland. Brandt's Ostpolitik does not seem to fit today's situation, however. Expedient nationalism on all sides gets in the way of real progress.

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