Japanese holiday ‘celebrating’ disputed islands sparks backlash in South Korea

South Korean national police guard the Takeshima islands in pairs positioned at various lookout points. (Chico Harlan/The Washington Post)

Web users in both Japan and South Korea are up in arms over Japanese celebrations on Friday of Takeshima Day — a quasi-official holiday designed, appropriately, to mark an old territorial spat between Japan and South Korea.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/23/japanese-holiday-celebrating-disputed-islands-sparks-backlash-in-south-korea/

New U.S. law authorizes strike on China

January 14, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Criminals, Nukes, U.S. Policy, War Crimes 

Published on Jan 14, 2013

The right to a preemptive nuclear strike against China is now part of US law – thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act. The Pentagon’s also ordered a thorough review of when, and how, America could strike at the network of tunnels believed to hold Beijing’s atomic arsenals.

Editor of a Japan-based news website James Corbett suggests ulterior motives in this decision of US government.

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Abe to turn the screws on N. Korea over abductions

January 13, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Criminals, Culture, Espionage, History, Info, Kidnapping, North Korea, Slave Labor, War Crimes 

Japan plans to expand travel restrictions on resident North Koreans and increase scrutiny on remittances to the country as part of independent sanctions over Pyongyang’s recent launch of a long-range ballistic missile, sources said.

Japan prohibits top executives of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) from re-entering Japan if they travel to North Korea.

The government is considering expanding the scope of senior Chongryon officials subject to the ban, the sources said.

It is also considering lowering the remittance to North Korea for which reports are required, which is currently more than 3 million yen ($33,600), the sources said.

The government will also set up a new headquarters comprising all Cabinet ministers in late January to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

Read more: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/korean_peninsula/AJ201301140007

Japan sends envoy to South Korea in bid to dial down tensions

In the wake of elections that put hawkish leaders in power, Japan has reached out to South Korea in a bid to dial down tensions. Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister of Japan, sent an envoy to South Korea to meet Friday with Park Geun-hye, who was recently elected president.

“I’d like to act as a bridge to make this year a good one for both of our countries,” Japanese envoy Fukushiro Nukaga said, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

Park said she too wanted to rebuild ties, but urged Japan to “squarely face” its history. The closely watched meeting comes as the two countries spar over disputed islands and the sensitive history of South Koreans serving as “comfort women” for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-japan-envoy-south-korea-20130104,0,3383711.story

S. Korea renames peaks of Dokdo to symbolize sovereignty

October 28, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Dokdo, Education, History, Info, Soft Power, U.S. Policy, War Crimes 

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Sunday that it has selected new official names for peaks on Dokdo, a group of its easternmost islets in the East Sea, in an apparent bid to better symbolize its sovereignty over the territory frequently claimed by its neighbor Japan.

Dokdo, which lies closer to South Korea in the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, has long been a thorn in relations between the two countries. South Korea keeps a small police detachment on the islets — consisting mainly of Dongdo and Seodo — effectively controlling them.

According to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, the government has decided to rename Dongdo “Usanbong” and Seodo “Daehanbong,” and use the new names starting Monday in the country’s official maps, textbooks and Internet portals.

Read more: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/10/28/91/0301000000AEN20121028000700320F.HTML

Korea Asks Google to Correct Dokdo Blunder

October 28, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Dokdo, History, Info, U.S. Policy, War Crimes 

The Foreign Ministry on Thursday asked web search giant Google to restore the Korean name and address of the Dokdo islets on its map service. They were apparently deleted and replaced with an old nautical name.

“We made it clear that we can’t accept Google’s new policy because Dokdo is clearly Korean territory,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tae-young told reporters. Seoul told Google that the change is “unacceptable and requested that it show the name of Dokdo on Google Maps,” he added.

Read more: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/10/26/2012102601282.html

South Korea parliamentarians visit islands claimed by Japan

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean members of parliament visited a set of remote islands also claimed by Japan on Tuesday, a move likely to further fray ties between two of the most important U.S. allies in Asia.

The tour followed a visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in August, the first by a Korean leader, which prompted Japan to recall its ambassador to Seoul. The row was then overshadowed by a far more acute dispute between Tokyo and Beijing over another island group.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-korea-japanbre89m0ev-20121023,0,4297739.story

Anger of wartime sex slaves haunts Japan and South Korea

Women forced into working in frontline military brothels keep up pressure on Japan for direct compensation for war ordeal

Kang Il-chul was 16 when Japanese military police arrived at her home in South Korea and told her she was being conscripted. The year was 1943, and her country was just two years away from liberation after 35 years of brutal Japanese colonial rule.

Kang spent the remainder of the war in occupied China, as one of tens of thousands of Asian women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers in frontline, makeshift brothels. “I was put in a tiny room and made to sleep with about 10 to 20 soldiers a day,” says Kang, pausing to display the scars on her head – the result of frequent beatings by the military police. “I was punched and beaten so much that my body was covered in bruises. I still get headaches.”

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/18/forced-prostitution-wartime-japan-korea?newsfeed=true

S. Korea presses Japan on wartime sexual slavery at U.N.

September 30, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Comfort Women, Dokdo, Prison Camp, Sexual Slavery, War Crimes 

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) — In a thinly-veiled swipe at Japan, South Korea’s top diplomat urged the world to make utmost efforts to end “wartime sexual violence” and exhorted any offender to face “the dark side of its history and rectify past wrongdoings.”

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan also implicitly criticized Japan for continuing to claim the South Korean islets of Dokdo, saying “no country should abuse” the rule of law to infringe upon another’s territorial integrity.

Although Kim did not mention Japan by name or directly refer to historical issues raising tensions with Tokyo in his speech, such as so-called “comfort women” and Dokdo, it was the first time South Korea has raised such issues at the U.N. assembly.

 ”Wartime sexual violence is a fundamental infringement of human rights, and is in fact an affront to human dignity and integrity,” Kim said.

Kim urged the world to “make utmost efforts to put an end to such atrocities, not only taking all measures to protect women and girls in armed conflicts, but also providing effective remedies and reparations for victims.”

“It requires a sound historical consciousness and heartfelt soul-searching on any past wrongdoings in order for solid peace and stability to be established between nations,” Kim said.

Read more:http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/09/29/82/0301000000AEN20120929001400315F.HTML

SKorea: Japan must educate its people about WWII

September 27, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Comfort Women, War Crimes 

NEW YORK — South Korea’s foreign minister said Thursday that Japan’s wartime past will overshadow relations between the two staunch U.S. allies until Japan educates its people about crimes committed during colonial rule.

In an interview with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said: “We are victims of Japanese colonial rule.”

Kim, who will meet with Japan’s foreign minister later Thursday, also said South Korea would not compromise in its dispute over the tiny Dokdo islands, called Takeshima by Japan, which has further strained ties.

“When the Japanese government claims Dokdo is their territory, Korean people (take) it as another attempt to invade our country,” Kim said. “So that’s the Korean sentiment and I hope that Japanese government understands this.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120927/un-un-skorea-japan/

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