Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Thank you! We Remember!

November 11, 2010

Today is Remembrance Day. Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the world’s freedom and peace. Especially all 516 of Canadians who lost their lives in Korean War service or subsequent Korean peacekeeping service.

Total of 26,791 Canadians served during the Korean War that raged between 1950 and 1953. We thank and remember! 감사합니다.

Pictures are from here


So long DJ!

August 23, 2009

Tens of thousands of mourners gathered Sunday for the funeral of the late former President Kim Dae-jung (1924-2009) to pay a final tribute to the iconic statesman…The former president pioneered the South’s “Sunshine Policy” of engagement with the North and he spent his life pursuing democracy and reunification. (Read rest of article here)

His life was a series of improbable escapes from assassination attempts, a death sentence, and long periods in prison and in exile, before he was recognised as one of Asia’s all-time champions of democracy.

For sure, Kim Dae-Jung was a great statesmen and a leader for Korean.  My sincere respect for not giving up his conviction for freedom and contribute on progress of inter-Korean cooperation.  However, his Sunshine policy did not help any human right issues in N. Korea at all.  And despite billions of dollars of aid and goodwill gestures, N. Korean leader Kim Jong-Il never gave up his nuclear ambition.

My condolences to all of DJ’s family and his followers.  Farewell and RIP, DJ!

June 1987

June 1, 2007

It was 20 years ago, the Korean people finally removed their dictator follow by nation-wide demonstrations.


The Korean people had been suffered from military oriented dictatorship in a long period from Park to Chun (and Rho Tae-woo). During the age of the dictatorship, the demonstrators and the riot police had exchanged tons of tear gas, petrol bombs, stones at days and nights in the streets of Seoul and other cities in Korea.  Police had made thousand of arrests and they had faced country’s biggest demonstrations for six years in 1987 follow by the death in custody of Park Chong-Chul.

21 Years old at that time, a linguistics student at Seoul National University suffocated during police interrogation for alleged pro-communist activities on 14 January.  

It was this photo, A wounded YonSei Univ. student – Lee Han Yeol by a directly angled shot of tear gas on June 9th and died 5th day of July, moved everyone to the streets.

The photo flamed the whole nation and the pro-democracy rallies definitely includes the student, civic, church groups and ordinary citizens as well.  Rallies continued across the country to commemorate the death of Lee  HanYeol.

After further civil demonstrations Dictator Chun was forced out of the office and replaced by Roh Tae-woo with unconditional surrender on June 29th 1987.

It was the year of the transition in Korea .

 (Moments rip off from here, here and here)

Anti-Japan sentiments

April 11, 2007

It’s a week old article which caught my eye on Japan Today.  It’s a Japanese article about Son-Ha Yoon , one of Gaikokujin Tarento(外国人タレント)  just like BoA in Japan.  According to the article she was bashing Japan and reflects her double stands attitudes. 

Here’s part of article,  

“I was a fan because I liked how she worked hard, but I was shocked when I learned what she thought of Japan,” said one fan. “I even started taking Korean lessons because of her. I feel betrayed.” Another fan said: “Her remarks in South Korea completely differed from what she said on Japanese TV and magazine interviews.”

These fans are talking about popular South Korean TV personality Yoon Son-ha. Yoon, 30, first came to Japan in 2000 and debuted on Japanese TV the following year as the heroine in the NHK drama “Moichido Kiss.” Her cute smile and comical character gained her a massive following making her a popular TV personality and leading to countless appearances on various TV programs.
But Yoon’s star has dimmed in Japan since she relocated back to South Korea after getting married to a South Korean businessman last year. It all started on March 20 when South Korean daily Dong-a Ilbo posted an article on its website with the headline “Distress over Japan’s distorted education on history.” According to Dong-a Ilbo, Yoon was quoted as saying: “My young Japanese friends do not know much about the brutal acts committed during the imperial Japan era that we learned when we were little in South Korea.” She made the remarks at a press conference she attended for the South Korean Drama “Koibito Yo.” “We grew up listening to our grandmothers telling us painful stories about sex slaves, but there were many of my Japanese friends the same age as me who were not aware of the fact.” 
She pointed out the different historical perception between the two countries. The most frequently asked question, she said, when she lived in Japan, was: “Why do South Koreans get so heated when it comes to playing against Japan in sports?” “If they had a better understanding of the history, then they would know the answer. I suffered a lot when one person suggested that it was due to an inferiority complex with Japan. That person knew nothing about history.”
In the past, Yoon has said otherwise. In an interview with a Japanese women’s magazine in 2003, she said: “I was a little fearful when I first came to Japan as my grandma used to tell me about Japan. But upon coming to Japan, I learned that there wasn’t any particular feeling among our generation. I learned that there are many people in Japan who are keen on South Korea. I realized the past is just the past.”… 

According to the daily Chosun Ilbo, Yoon was quoted as saying on a South Korean TV show: “I got really furious once while shooting a TV show in Japan. One person kept referring to my country as poor. He said it was a joke, but I was angry.” 

Although the relationship between Japan and South Korea has vastly improved due to the “Hanryu Boom” in recent years, it seems there still is a deep division between the two countries. (Translated by Toshiya Fujii) April 4, 2007

Has  she really revealed her anti-Japan sentiment with her statements? I don’t see much anti-Japanese sentiment from her comments.   Is she a right-wing nationalist? I don’t think so.  Again she is just a Gaikokujin Tarento in Japan.  Nationalism does exist in every country on planet Eearth.  It’s just lead to wrong direction when flamed by stupid politicians and media.  In fact, both countries share more in common than any other country and could move on to the future if politicians and media do not play nationalism cards.  Of course I wouldn’t give much credit to this article as it was featured on the Shukan post. And ironically, the author of article criticizing Yoon Son-ha with articles from biased right-wing Korean newspapers (Chosun, JoonAng, Dong A).

Read rest of Article and debate goes on here.


WTF! Japan’s PM says No Military Sex Slaves in WWII

March 1, 2007

According to articles, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that there is NO evidence Japan forced Asian women into working as military sex slaves, Comfort Women, during the WWII, backtracking from a landmark 1993 statement acknowledging that tens of thousands of women were forced into prostitution for the military.

   “The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion,” Abe said. “We have to BRAINWASH and REVISE  the History take it from there.”

 Abe’s comments to reporters came as a group of right wing ruling party legislators urged the government to revise the so-called Kono Statement acknowledging that Japan’s wartime military sometimes used coercion to recruit women to work in the brothels. 


The Kono Statement was issued in 1993 by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono after incriminating defense documents were discovered showing the military had worked with independent contractors during the war to procure women for the brothels.

Historians say that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, were forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers in brothels run by the military government as so-called “comfort women” during the war.

Japanese leaders have repeatedly apologized, including former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who said in 2001 that he felt sincere remorse over the comfort women’s “immeasurable and painful experiences.” Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone (in)famously stated in his memoir that he set up a comfort house for his troops of about 3,000 when he was a navy lieutenant in charge of accounting.

Continue to read or here

Japan’s prime minister stands guard in front of a brothel operated by the Japanese military during World War II. “There was no coercion in the recruitment of ‘comfort women,’ ” he says. “Really? I had no idea,” says the soldier inside. (Hankyoreh Geurimpan, 5 March 2007)

In 2001, Japanese historian Hirofumi Hayashi of Kanto-Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan, said;

“The establishment and development of the military ‘comfort women’ system…was not only carried out by the total involvement of every section of the military but also by administrative machinery at every level of the Japanese state…In addition, we should not overlook that Japanese companies were their accomplices.”

And here are some links to “Comfort Women” issue,

And Official Japanese government response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 on comfort women, their background, and recruitment.

<update> Debates goes on the Marmot’s  and NYT criticized Mr. Abe.

<update 2> According to Guardian, Hiroshige Seko, an aide to Mr Abe, had said on TV on Mar.4th: “Though there are many definitions of coercion, prime minister Abe has said … that he will stand by the Kono statement. He has not denied the statement.” yea..right…Mr. Abe

<update 3> L.A. Times criticized Mr. Abe.

The problem that Japan — and its neighbors — have today stems from the lack of an equivalent of the Nuremberg trials to establish a complete and irrefutable record of the war crimes in Asia. Moreover, the Japanese government burned many of its own records, and others fell into private hands. This historical vacuum provides the opening for statements like Abe’s that there is “no proof” that women were coerced into sexual bondage. Those who oppose the International Criminal Court should be mindful of this pitfall. Meanwhile, Japan owes far more than an apology to the comfort women. Redress is legally and morally required.

And Economist criticizing that Mr Abe’s true colours revealed by his statement  as as a conservative (Right Wing) politician who has long taken a revisionist  view of Japan’s 20th-century history.

People across Aisa speaks

Why Japanese Politicians have so much trouble moving beyond its past?