Discretion is the better part of censorship
Posted by ampontan on Friday, September 7, 2012
In South Korea today, the people who are anti-Japanese and anti-American are on the left. Anti-Japanese and anti-American sentiment is linked to patriotism, so in South Korea, the left is nationalistic. The (previous) Roh Moo-hyun administration, and its predecessor, the Kim Dae-jung administration, were left-wing nationalists. I want to emphasize this so it is not misunderstood.
THIS might come as a surprise to American readers, but people in East Asia still read the local editions of Newsweek magazine. Ikeda Nobuo, who is sometimes referenced on this site, writes for the Japanese edition. The Yonhap news agency of South Korea explains why the 10 September Asian edition had to be specially edited for that country.
The American magazine Newsweek has created a controversy with the latest issue of its Asian edition, which includes an article about Dokdo (Takeshima) that tilts toward Japan.
Yokota Takashi, the editor of the Japanese edition, said the article, titled “Why are Japan and South Korea Fighting over Rocks?”, “shows the irrationality of the South Korean attitude”. This is a one-sided presentation of the claims of the Japanese right wing. Such extreme phrases as “an out-of-control South Korea” and “a difficult-to-understand thought pattern” are used, and it is critical of South Korea throughout.
Mr. Yokota includes statements critical of South Korea by Thomas Schieffer, the former ambassador to Japan, such as “the irrational behavior of South Korea”. The article starts by saying the current Dokdo controversy was touched off by the sudden visit of Osaka-born Lee Myung-bak to show that he was not pro-Japanese. The article presents the view that the discord deepened with the “Dokdo Performance” by the South Korean footballer at the London Olympics, and President Lee’s demand that the Emperor apologize.
Further, it repeats the Japanese government’s claim that the islets have been Japanese territory since 1905, five years before the merger with Korea, that President Lee Sung-man (Syngman Rhee) unilaterally established the Lee Sung-man line in 1952, and that the South Korean occupation of Dokdo is illegal.
In consideration of the one-sided argument presented in the Asian edition, Newsweek Korea revealed that article was not in the Korean edition.
* Has Newsweek ever been accused of tilting to the right before? There you are. Pigs will fly.
* If this is how the country’s premier news agency deals with the facts, you can imagine what the country’s newspapers are like.
* “Irrational attitude…out of control…difficult-to-understand thought pattern…” When did Newsweek start practicing objective journalism? More pigs will fly.
* While it is regrettable that the people who most need to read the article won’t be able to, the decision to substitute some space filler in the Korean edition is understandable. The bottom line is more important than The Courageous Quest for Truth and Justice in journalism. The company is in enough financial trouble as it is without stimulating the Korean imagination to devise unusual ways of mutilating the magazine in public. That’s a shame, considering the entertainment value of Korean street demonstrations.
* Left-wing nationalists, eh? Let’s just say national socialists and be done with it. Statolatrists all. By the way, some of those Koreans who claim Tsushima is really their land too like to use as evidence shared blood characteristics. Isn’t that another one we’ve heard somewhere before?
* Reader Nigelboy yesterday sent in some links reporting that the Japanese Foreign Ministry was quietly presenting their side of the story to foreign embassies. Perhaps they applied their persuasiveness to Newsweek as well.
Considering the facts at issue, they shouldn’t have many difficulties making the case.
Miki Mie plays Rameau’s L’Egyptienne on the accordion. Borderless!