Japan from the inside out

The voice of Japan

Posted by ampontan on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

THE Tokai Shimpo is a local newspaper serving three small cities on the Pacific Coast of Iwate. They do not offer national or international news on their simple website. It is so simple that their editorial section is labeled “Columns”, and the columns are not given individual links. Readers just scroll from one to the next.

On Friday 25 August they published a column on the current problems with South Korea. By Monday people were discussing it on large national news websites. For a short piece in an obscure publication to have attracted such attention so rapidly suggests that many people have recognized that somebody has said what they would like to say themselves. In that sense, it is the voice of Japan.

Here it is in English.


The Japanese dislike debate, and negotiation is not our forte, so we tend to resolve problems that arise unexpectedly with soothing, vague words. But we have a history, both as a nation and as individuals, of others repeatedly perceiving that as weakness and taking advantage of us. The overbearing attitude of our neighbor, South Korea, is an extension of that.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was thought to have a friendly attitude toward Japan, if only because he had lived here. But recently, he has ostentatiously visited Takeshima and sought an apology from the Emperor. This abrupt change has surprised Japan.

While these acts are said to be a means to recover his fading popularity, it is clear, both from an international perspective and the perspective of common sense, that this behavior lacks thoughtfulness and foresight. Japan’s stance for both Takeshima and the comfort woman issue has been to ask them to present the basis for their claims. But failing to respond and demanding that we do as they say without discussion is not persuasive.

By any reckoning, returning Prime Minister Noda’s letter unread, and then antagonistically sending it by mail when Japan refused to accept its return, is not the response of an adult. This behavior in full view of everyone is likely to diminish their presence. Why do they not devote serious reflection to the negative consequences that will result from the locking of horns of close neighbors?

It is advisable to refrain from a high-handed attitude when one perceives the other party as weak. Though some might say Japan has become enervated, they will have to deal with the consequences that result from behaving so intemperately.

Some in the media are repeating the clichéd advice that we should behave calmly, but they might give some thought to that. The one we want to behave calmly is our neighbor.

4 Responses to “The voice of Japan”

  1. Ken said

    A local newspaper? Korea has such as well. Here it is in Japanese as many illogical words cannot be translated into English.


    ‘キャルサン’のキャルは女を意味する’かける'(girl)の日本式発音である’粉'(ギャル)で取ってきたことで、 激しい目化粧とスモーキーメーキャップなどが特徴だ。

    中国と領有権争いが広がる‘釣魚島(釣魚島・日本名尖閣列島)’は私の土地としそこに上陸した香港デモ隊を抑留しながらも、 独島まで自分の土地だと言い張るのを見れば、より一層そうである。


    大東亜共栄の美名の下に大韓民国と中国、東南アジア国家に及ぼした蛮行を悔いるどころか、 依然として領土拡張の亡霊に捕われて独島に対する紛争を絶えず引き起こす日本が 千島列島と尖閣諸島を囲んでロシア、中国とも外交的な摩擦を起こすのを見れば自ずと吐き気が出る。


    日帝治下36年の間独島を占領したというとんでもない妄想に捕われてうわごとを言ってみても、 島国日本は21世紀最も未開な癌のような存在という事実を自認するだけだ。



    “チョッパリよ! どうか妄想から目覚めろ。 ‘日本沈没(Sinking of Japan)’が現実になる前に。 エイ ペッペッ。”

  2. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Ken: 「大いなる幸甚とし慰めたい心が少しもないということは‘大東亜共栄と独島野心’を捨てることができない彼らの自業自得だ。
    災難が近づいてあらゆる危険が垂らす映画‘日本沈没’が既定事実化されることを願うのも彼らの悪い侵奪野心に対する報復だ。 」

    Although I do not understand everything, no need to worry, we have the same thing written all over Yahoo Japan (especially Jiji Tsuushin articles), confirming some people never change and frequently they earn small money for that perhaps (or not). Such miserable thing to see.
    But there is at least one line which is coming back to some people (on the both side of water):


    A really good one.
    2: Your last line is the key, and also explains why this situation is not going to change soon. I’ve got a post coming on that soon.


  3. Ken said

    >Although I do not understand everything, no need to worry, we have the same thing written all over Yahoo Japan

    Neither do I and I am not worrying at all but just laughing. I am not a Korea-hater but a Korea-laugher.
    What Koreans utter are far more funnier than everyday’s variety shows by non-gifted comedians.
    Btw, Yahoo Japan is rather cute.
    Lately, major Korean newspapers are stalking 2-channel and pick up outstanding opinion as Japanese public one.
    Termination of currency swap agreement was originated from 2-channel and they seem on the alert.

  4. Lakeisha said

    Asking questions are really pleasant thing if you are
    not understanding anything fully, but this
    paragraph gives fastidious understanding even.

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