AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Ichigen koji (165)

Posted by ampontan on Saturday, September 8, 2012

一言居士
– A person who has something to say about everything

Since the (recent) expansion of the Dokdo (Takeshima) issue, Japan has taken measures of self-restraint in regard to the territorial dispute with China over the Senkakus. The prime minister sent a letter to the Chinese, and showed courtesy in every regard. Ishihara Shintaro, the ultra-rightist governor of the Tokyo Metro District, has wanted his local government to purchase the islets. The national government hurriedly intervened, fearing a collision with China. There was briefly some tension when the Russian president visited the Northern Territories (Southern Kuriles), but at present the Japanese show no signs of making this an issue. Now these people, from the prime minister to all the Cabinet ministers, are making up fictional stories about Dokdo. How long will South Korea and the South Korean people put up with this? It is a test of our capacity to endure.

– From a Chosun Ilbo editorial on 5 September, in Japanese

They seem to have forgotten what happened when the Japanese prime minister sent a polite letter to the South Korean president last month.

2 Responses to “Ichigen koji (165)”

  1. Robert said

    If, as I understand it, Korea has occupied Dokto/Takeshima since 1954, one has to ask: why has no effective action been taken by Japanese governments during the 58 years involved? At the very least, the history of Japanese responses over this period would make for interesting reading.

    My sense is that Korea and the Koreans have definitely passed some milestone in this issue in the last few months, marked most especially by LMB’s visit to the islands; Korea’s sovereignty over Dokto is now regarded as inalienable and unquestionable, whereas before, they were busy (I think) convincing themselves that this was so. There has been a shift in their thinking, and they now “know” for sure.

    I would also be interested to read just what options Japan can actually exercise to regain control of the situation – if any?

    Another interesting thread is precisely what has motivated the successive Korean governments’ perpetuation of aggrievement with and accusations against Japan over the 58 years? It appears so clearly to play into Chinese interests, and in my opinion, to damage (sabotage) SK’s long-term opportunities for development and strategic strength, and independence from Chinese domination. But this is from the government(s)!

    Not wishing to be provocative.

    ——
    R: Thanks for this one, too. I’ve been writing about this extensively over the past month. What was a constitutionally pacifist Japan supposed to do when the Koreans seized it — in violation of the peace treaty? They asked the ICJ to mediate twice, at the suggestion of the US, who also thought it was Japanese territory (which I’ve shown here). The Koreans continue to refuse, and it is becoming clear to me that the reason is that they think they’d lose. They know better than anyone that most of their documentation is codswallop. The idea that the Koreans are now convinced (if they weren’t before) that Dokdo is their land is an exercise in national Kool-Aid drinking. Do they carry banners at the Olympics saying “Seoul is our land”?

    Rather than have me rehash this yet again in the comment section, try the two articles on the masthead, and those under the South Korean category and Takeshima tag for the past month.

    As for milestones being passed, the big one is in Japan. They had been vague and dilatory about Takeshima. No more. Also completely gone is any sense of goodwill or patience toward the Korean government.

    As for the Koreans thinking it is inalienable, that’s been my sense for some years. What’s changed is now they think it’s holy.

    Yoroshiku!

    -A.

  2. Robert said

    Thanks for your response.

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