Ampontan again hits out at the American media for being shallow and missing the point of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to America. A must read.
An editorial has appeared in the Choson Ilbo criticizing President Bush’s acceptance of the sincerity of Japanese apologies.
Abe, Bush in Apology Farce
At the U.S.-Japan summit in Washington D.C. on Friday, something absurd happened in the matter of women forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to U.S. President George W. Bush, saying “As an individual, and the prime minister, I sympathize from the bottom of my heart with the former comfort women who experienced this extreme hardship. I’m deeply sorry about the situation in which they were placed.” President Bush said, “I accept the prime minister’s apology.” Why did Abe apologize to Bush, as opposed to the elderly women who are still living with the nightmares of being forced into sexual slavery, and what authority does the U.S. president have to accept such an apology?
It’s not Bush, nor by extension the American public, but the 200,000 Asian women from Korea, China and other countries who were dragged off by the Japanese military to suffer rape, forced abortions and torture during World War II. When he was chief cabinet secretary, Abe said the issue of sex slaves was a “fabrication and concoction by the media.” When he became prime minister, Abe said “there is no evidence of forced mobilization of the comfort women.”
A man who used to distort and hide the truth, Abe started to get the jitters when the U.S. House of Representatives submitted a bill calling on Japan to apologize to the victims and the world. On April 3, he called Bush and told him he had been misquoted, and when he arrived in the U.S., he explained his position to Senate leaders before apologizing to Bush. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun in an editorial said the apology was “strange” and questioned Abe’s motive for apologizing so quickly to the U.S. while ignoring the actual victims.
Bush said he valued the “honesty” of Abe’s apology. In reality, Abe did not budge an inch from his position that there was no evidence of the Japanese government or military forcibly mobilizing the sex slaves. Even though he is willing to accept the Kono Statement, which acknowledges the role of the Japanese government and military, Abe is saying there is “no evidence of forced mobilization.” There is no change in Abe’s stance, even though Japan’s highest court on Friday acknowledged the Japanese military’s role in abduction, confinement and rape of sex slaves in China.
What Abe really wants to say is that the sex slaves voluntarily put themselves in such a position to make money. Ten years ago, when he was the head of a group of lawmakers seeking to revise history education in Japan, Abe said “Korea used to have many brothels.” There is no evidence showing that Abe’s true feelings have changed. If that’s the truth, then just what is the “honesty” that Bush saw?
The 200,000 victims of sexual slavery will be watching how the absurd apology and acknowledgment exchanged between the leaders of Japan and the United States will affect the resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives.
I see. So it is OK for Korean-Americans to involve the US congress by pushing for a resolution to demand that Japan apologise, but not OK for President Bush to accept that Prime Minister Abe is sincere? Koreans have been cheering the involvement of the US government in the comfort women controversy up until now. It looks like they cannot decide what they want.
The only reason Koreans want to change the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea is that they do not like the word Japan. The Chosun ilbo reports on South Korea’s latest activities to change the name.
South Korea and Japan will once again wrangle over the name for the body of water that divides them at an international conference. The venue will be the International Hydrographic Organization conference that opens in Monaco on May 7, five years after the last. Both countries have already started their diplomatic campaigns over the name of what Korea calls the “East Sea”, and Japan has nominated a maritime affairs specialist as its candidate for the IHO Board of Directors.
In the August 2002 IHO conference, Korea insisted on using both “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan”, based on a 1974 IHO resolution saying that if two countries share a sea, they can both use the name of their choice. The IHO reversed its previous position on using the single appellation “Sea of Japan.” In the fourth edition of “Limits of Oceans and Seas”, the IHO deleted “Sea of Japan” and put the matter up for a vote. But a month later, it suspended the vote without further explanation. South Korean government officials said this was because Japan used tremendous diplomatic pressure involving the entire Cabinet. Afterwards, the IHO asked South Korea and Japan to report a decision after bilateral consultations. The two countries predictably stuck to their guns: Seoul wants both names used and Tokyo only “Sea of Japan.”
◆ Tussles expected
The bone of contention at the upcoming IHO conference will again be the fourth revised edition of “Limits of Oceans and Seas.” Lee Ki-suk, a professor emeritus of geography at Seoul National University, who is going to attend the IHO conference, said, “In light of the sensitivity to everybody, the IHO Board of Directors is unlikely to decide on the issue and will probably let member countries make a decision at the conference.” The Korean government has dispatched officials to Monaco, where the IHO is headquartered, to woo support from member countries.
An official with Korea’s National Oceanographic Research Institute said, “We are engaged in a total war, because we will have to wait another five years if we lose this chance.” According to a South Korean government official, Japan also seems to be using all diplomatic means so that no final decision will be made on deleting the single appellation “Sea of Japan.”
Personally I do not care what the Koreans call the sea. However, I do not want them to tell English speakers what to call the sea.
The following is an 1873 Japanese Imperial Navy map of Korea.
The map shows Usando (亐山島 = 于山島) to the west of Ulleungdo (蔚島 = 鬱陵島), which was a mistake since Korean maps at the time were showing Usando as Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島). Jukdo is a small island 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore. That means that in 1873 the Japanese navy was using an outdated map of Korea.
Koreans claim that in the 1870s the Japanese knew “Usando” as Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) and called it “Matsushima” (松島), but Japanese maps of Ulleungdo in the 1870s showed “Usando” as a neighboring island of Ulleungdo, not as Liancourt Rocks. In fact, the above 1873 map showed Usando (亐山島 = 于山島) to the west of Ulleungdo, which means the Japanese navy would not have confused it for Liancourt Rocks since Liancourt Rocks are ninety-two kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo. Therefore, even if there were some Japanese calling Usando “Matsushima” in 1873, the above map shows that it was highly unlikely that they considered Usando to be Liancourt Rocks.
In 1882, Ulleungdo Inspector Lee Gyu-won found a Japanese marker on Ulleungdo dated 1869 that said Ulleungdo was Japanese territory and was called “Matsushima.” If the Japanese were, indeed, calling Usando “Matsushima” in the 1870s, and since the above 1873 map mistakenly showed Usando where Ulleungdo should be, that would seemingly explain why the Japanese in 1869 believed Ulleungdo to be “Matsushima.” That would also explain why Usando was drawn bigger than Ulleungdo on the 1873 map.
There were no Japanese or Korean maps that showed “Usando” as Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo). They all showed “Usando” as a neighboring island of Ulleungdo. In fact, Korean maps very clearly showed Usando as Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo, which is 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore.
Since the Japanese were also using the name, Matsushima,” to refer to Liancourt Rocks in the 1870s, Koreans point to Japanese maps and say, “See there is Matsushima, so that means Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) is Korean territory since the Japanese were using the name ‘Matsushima’ to refer to Usando.” That logic, however, is flawed since it focuses only on the name Matsushima and ignores the fact that both Korean and Japanese maps were showing “Usando” to be a neighboring island of Ulleungdo, not Liancourt Rocks. That means that the name “Matsushima” was being used to refer to two different islands in the 1870s. The “Matsushima” confusion prompted Japan to send a survey ship to the area in 1880. The survey determined that the Matsushima in question was, indeed, Ulleungdo, which means that the name “Matsushima” was being used to refer to both Ulleungdo and to Liancourt Rocks.
Here is the text that was written on the 1873 map.
Japanese Translation Provided by Kaneganese
「1870年代の日本人は于山島がLiancourt Rocksだと認識し、さらにその島を”松島”と呼んでいた」と韓国人は主張します。しかし1870年代に日本人によって作成された鬱陵島の地図は。”于山島”をLiancourt Rocksではなく鬱陵島の隣接島として描いています。実際、この1873年に作成された地図は于山島を鬱陵島の西側に描いており、帝国海軍がその島とLiancourt Rocksを混同してはいなかった事を意味しています。Liancourt Rocksは92ｋｍ東南沖にあるのですがら。つまり、たとえ于山島を松島と呼ぶ日本人が1873年にいたとしても、上記の地図で分かるように、于山島をLiancourt Rocksだとみなしていた可能性は殆どないのです。
1870年代、日本人がLiancourt Rocksを”松島”という同じ名称で呼んでいたことをとり上げて韓国人は、日本の地図を指して「ほらここに松島がある。その当時日本人は于山島を”松島”と呼んでいたから、つまり、独島(Liancourt Rocks)は韓国領だということになる」と言います。しかし、”松島”と言う名称にのみこだわって、日韓両国の地図が于山島を鬱陵島の隣接島として描いている事実を無視しており、非論理的です。つまり、”松島”とういう名称は1870年代には二つの異なる島を指していた事になるのです。この、”謎の松島”は明治政府が1880年に調査船を該当区域に派遣するきっかけとなりました。この調査において、問題の松島がやはり鬱陵島であることが確認されました。つまり、”松島”とういう名称が鬱陵島とLiancourt Rocksのどちらも指していた、と言う事になるのです。
Links to More Posts on Takeshima/Dokdo (With Japanese translations)
Here are a few Japanese music videos from youtube that I like.
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Yoshihisa Komori of Japan’s conservative Sankei Shinbun newspaper was interviewed on the comfort women issue for the PBS series Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria on March 29. Although Abe has since made additional statements of apology since that date, many continue to insist that the Prime Minister is denying history. In this interview, Yoshihisa Komori is pretty clear in giving more context to the viewpoint Abe has been expressing, so it’s definitely work watching if you’re interested in the comfort women debate.
Well worth watching.
The following 1711 Korean map shows a small island just off the east coast of Ulleungdo in a location that is very close to where Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo is today (See more of the map here.) On the island is written the following:
所謂 于山島 – 海長竹田 (소위 우산도 – 해장죽전)
“the so-called Usando – fields of haejangjuk”
Hanmaumy, who is an occasional commenter here at Occidentalism, translated 海長竹田 on his Web site here as follows:
“해장죽전(海長竹田)”이라는 말은 “해안을 따라 길 게 늘어선 대나무의 밭”이라는 뜻으로 ….
Haejangjukjeon (海長竹田) means “a field of bamboo that stretches along the coastline.”
I do not know if Hanmaumy mistranslated haejangjuk (海長竹) on purpose or out of ignorance, but the real meaning of haejangjuk, according to Korea’s “National Institute of Korean Language” dictionary is as following:
〔해장죽만[해ː-중-]〕「명」『식』 볏과의 상록성 식물. 줄기의 높이는 6~7미터이며, 마디의 사이가 길고, 잎은 좁은 피침 모양이다. 5월에 보라색의 잔꽃이 잎겨드랑이에 원추(圓錐) 꽃차례로 피고 열매는 긴 타원형의 영과(穎果)로 가을에 익는다. 줄기는 낚싯대, 지팡이로 쓰고 죽순은 식용한다. 일본이 원산지로 바닷가나 촌락 부근에서 자라는데 우리나라 남부 지방에 분포한다. ≒식대01. (Arundinaria simonii)
The above definition describes haejangjuk as a unique kind of bamboo (Arundinaria simonii) that can grow 6-7 meters tall. That distinguishes the bamboo on “Usando” because it was the only place on the 1711 map of Ulleungdo where “haejang bamboo” was written. By the way, in Korean historical documents, the 藏 in 海藏竹 was regularly replaced by the character 長, both of which have the same Korean pronunciation.
Hanmaumy was not the only one to made the translation error; Korea’s almighty “Northeast Asian History Foundation” (동북아역사재단) made a similar error. In fact, I think Hanmaumy may have gotten his translation from the foundation. Here is what Korea’s “Northeast Asian History Foundation” had to say about haejangjukjeon (See my post here):
“해장죽전(海長竹田) 소위 우산도”는 수토관이 구체적으로 조사하지 않고 해안을 따라 길게 대나무가 있는 죽도(대섬)와 당시 안용복의 활동을 통해 분명히 드러난 우산도(독도)를 그린 것으로 추정
Concerning “haejangjukjeon (海長竹田), the so-called Usando,” it is believed that the inspector did not conduct a “concrete” investigation, but just followed the coastline and drew Jukdo (Bamboo Island), with its tall bamboo, and Usando (Dokdo), which was determined clearly at about that time by the activities of An Yong-bok.
Notice that Korea’s almighty Northeast Asian History Foundation also mistranslated haejagjuk as “tall bamboo” along the coastline. Not only that, the foundation said that “Jukdo (Bamboo Island) and Usando (Dokdo)” were both drawn on the map, which was simply not true.
Are Korean historians intentionally distorting history, or are they really that ignorant? I think it is the former.
In a Korean propaganda video entitled, “Dokdo islet belongs to Korea, Part 1,” a beautiful map of Ulleungdo was shown in the Sanin History Museum (山陰歷史館) in Yonago City. I have never seen the map before, but it looks very, very interesting. Unfortunately, the video of the map conveniently stopped just before it showed Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo. Has anyone heard of this map or seen it?
I would love to see the map in person, but a picture would be nice, too. I know it is asking a lot, but I wonder if one of our Japanese commenters could call the museum and ask if they have a scanned photo of the map that we could link to from Occidentalism? If they do not have a scanned photo they will share with us, then maybe the museum could give us some information about the map, for example, the date of map, the names for Jukdo and Gwanemdo, etc.?
In the second video in the series, you can see a picture of the Ulleungdo map in the background to the right. It looks as if Jukdo might appear in the lower right corner of the map.
By the way, the part of the video that was getting ready to show that “Dokdo” could be seen from Ulleungdo was edited out for some reason. I can imagine the narrator saying the following:
“As you can see, Dokdo is clearly visi….Uh,…. Well, let’s skip this part.”
Here are links to the four videos in the Korean propaganda series:
Sheep are being sold as poodles in a scam to fleece Japanese buyers (excuse the pun and thanks to commenter smackout for the link).
Thousands of Japanese have been swindled in a scam in which they were sold Australian and British sheep and told they were poodles.
Flocks of sheep were imported to Japan and then sold by a company called Poodles as Pets, marketed as fashionable accessories, available at $1,600 each.
That is a snip compared to a real poodle which retails for twice that much in Japan.
The scam was uncovered when Japanese moviestar Maiko Kawamaki went on a talk-show and wondered why her new pet would not bark or eat dog food.
She was crestfallen when told it was a sheep.
Then hundreds of other women got in touch with police to say they feared their new “poodle” was also a sheep.
One couple said they became suspicious when they took their “dog” to have its claws trimmed and were told it had hooves.
Japanese police believe there could be 2,000 people affected by the scam, which operated in Sapporo and capitalised on the fact that sheep are rare in Japan, so many do not know what they look like.
Update: It is a hoax.