stabbing

Yahoo News reports
that a Korean man has stabbed himself in protest at a Japanese marine survey of the dispute area of Takeshima/Dokdo.

An anti-Japan protester, Yang Bong-ho, stabs himself in the stomach with a kinfe to commite suicide demanding Japan abandon a plan to conduct a maritime survey near disputed islets, at a park in Seoul, Wednesday, April 19, 2006. Yang’s condition was unknown after being taken to hospital.


So far it looks like neither goverment is backing down
, although they are said to be negotiating.

UPDATE: The Japanese government has postponed the maritime survey, putting the dispute on the back burner for now.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, finger chopping wacky. Date: April 19, 2006, 9:42 pm | 11 Comments »

For the back story to this, read South Park takes on the Mohammed cartoons.

Comedy Central has refused to broadcast cartoon images of Mohammed out of fear for “public safety“, which means that the network bosses are afraid that terrorist followers of the ‘Religion of Peace‘ will kill them. We know this is true because Mohammed has actually already appeared in South Park, in a 2001 episode called ‘Super Best Friends‘. This is before the violence and protest about Mohammed cartoons that followed them being published in a European newspaper.

In the show, Kyle persuades the FOX network to run an uncensored episode of The Family Guy, with Mohammed in it. They then proceed to show us Mohammed… but instead we get a message saying that Comedy Central has refused to show an image of Mohammed.

South Park

After that it shows Jesus and President Bush defacating on an American flag, proving that it is purely terrorist pressure dictating that Islam is taboo subject for US television networks and newspapers.

I have taken the liberty of posting a couple of minutes from this episode of South Park. Watch it. I am sure you will be as sad as I am that superstitious savages are the ones to decide what we are allowed to watch.

We owe Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, a debt of gratitude for so vividly demonstrating the cowardice of the Main Stream Media.

Update: See the missing footage here.

Posted by Matt, filed under War on Terror. Date: April 14, 2006, 4:51 am | 5 Comments »

fighting 44s racist
The fighting 44s‘ – A purveyor of racist garbage, exposed by Jodi on Asiapages

Here is a must read Asiapages post showing a negative racial undercurrent in at least one Asian American issues forum.

Lately I’ve been a little disappointed in my Asian (American?) brothers and sisters here in cyber space. For I’m seeing a lot of racist garbage coming from them, especially on one Asian American-related bulletin board called “The Fighting 44s” where I am a lurker, not an active participant (for obvious reasons as I’ll soon demonstrate.)

There is one particular thread on this site that I found to be very disturbing and outright racist toward non-Asian participants or those suspected of being “white boys.”

Read it! After you have read it, let the fighting 44s know what you think of their racism!

Posted by Matt, filed under Anti-Americanism, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 13, 2006, 11:32 pm | 10 Comments »

gangsters
Gangsters – usually not funny

Last night I went out for dinner with a group of Korean and Australian friends. We went to a popular Korean restaurant in Sydney, and ate Korean BBQ, along with drinking copious amounts of soju. Drinking together is one of the few things to cross all cultural divides – wait, I take that back – dont offer Saudi Arabians or other muslims a drink.

After we were well and truly tanked I went outside the restaurant with my 형 (Korean older brother) so he could smoke (no smoking in all restaurants in Sydney). While outside we noticed that there was some sort of dispute between Korean men that had spilled outside from the restaurant, involving a woman. The men and the woman were in their early 40s. There were other men there too, trying to break up the coming fight. Sure enough, one of the men attacked and there was punching and kicking. My Korean friend and I approached closer so we could here what was being said.

Basically what happened was that one of the fighters was the womans husband (he attacked first), and she had an affair with the other man, who is a gangster. The husband was of course very angry, because while they were all drinking together, he was able to correctly percieve his wife and the gangster were having an affair. They brawled a couple of times while other friends of the two brawlers tried to keep them apart.

After they were separated (but still in the same vicinity), the gangster was using his mobile phone to call his followers. He told them to bring men and knives. He said that he wanted to beat the womans husband for opposing him. After that, my Korean friend and I crossed the street because we could see it could get very bad.

I commented to that even though that guy is a gangster, he should reflect on his own bad actions (나쁜 행위에 대해서 반성해야지), not try to take ‘revenge’ on the husband for objecting to the break up of his family. My Korean friend was surprised by my comment, saying that my idea is typical of Korean thinking.

I think it is one thing for a gangster to engage in criminal behavior, and another to be so intolerably arrogant that he thinks he can resent and try to stab a husband for reacting in a way that is completely natural and understandable. This gangster is totally devoid of any human feelings (인정 人情) at all.

At the end, the husband was led away by his friends, and the woman stayed with the gangster. Go figure.

Posted by Matt, filed under finger chopping wacky. Date: April 13, 2006, 9:27 pm | 29 Comments »

Kenkanryu

Wikipedia had an excellent article on Kenkanryu, painstakingly written and compiled by Wikipedia contributor of Manga articles, Ryosuke. The Main Issues section of the article has been hijacked and vandalized by an anonymous anti Japanese user (unfortunately probably Korean). This is how the Main Issues article looked before it was vandalized.

The book covers a variety of Korean-Japanese disputes, including the Liancourt Rocks territorial dispute, Japan’s annexation of Korea, and the Japanese history textbook controversies, with a viewpoint mainly criticizing South Korea and its anti-Japanese attitude. As this book was written in the manga format, seen by many as being friendly and easy to sympathize with, many people who previously had no interest in Korea took the author’s “correct understanding of Korea” on board, so much so that its contents are seen as “truth” rather than opinion to readers with previous anti-Korean sentiments. The book has been widely promoted on anti-Korean websites and on message boards such as 2channel where right-wing opinions are dominant. For example, the website The Other Side of South Korean Soccer They Didn’t Want You To Know (知らされなかった韓国サッカーの“裏側”, Shirasarenakatta Kankoku Sakkā no “Uragawa”), contents from the book (explanations of actual photographs imitated in the manga) are provided as evidence of alleged misjudgment of the South Korean team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as a result of bribery. In contrast to the Japanese internet, the Japanese media does not have as much of a right-wing presence; the book had been refused publication for two years, and some Japanese newspapers refused to advertise the book. Excerpts from the book have been adopted by famous conservative newspaper columnnists, however, including Kanji Nishio, Kōyū Nishimura, Takahiro Ōtsuki and Masao Shimojō. The book also shows marked influence from the “liberal historical viewpoint” held by the Japanese Society For History Textbook Reform, and the book holds a historical viewpoint common to that of Yoshinori Kobayashi’s Gōmanism series. There have been no attempts yet to debunk the book using written and physical evidence, but a supplementary volume has recently been released entitled The Truth of “Manga – The Hate Korea Wave”! (マンガ嫌韓流の真実!, Manga Kenkanryū no Shinjitsu, ISBN 4796649735, published by Takarajima-sha and released 2005-10-21), using evidence to support its claims that the arguments presented in The Hate Korea Wave are based in fact.

That article is neutral. Compare that to the way it was changed.

“The Hate Korea Wave” portrays Koreans and Chinese as base peoples, advocating confrontation with them. The book says South Korea owes its current success to Japanese colonialism and describes China as the “world’s prostitution superpower”. It reveals some of the sentiments underlying Japan’s current worsening relations with the rest of Asia (see Yasukuni Shrine) as well as the country’s longstanding unease with its own sense of identity. Much of Japan’s history in the last century and a half has been guided by the goal of becoming more like the West and less like Asia and the book, perhaps inadvertently, betrays Japan’s conflicted identity: longstanding feelings of inferiority toward the West and superiority toward the rest of Asia. For example, the Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair, and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features. China and South Korea’s rise to challenge Japan’s position as Asia’s economic, diplomatic and cultural leader has been inspiring renewed xenophobia against them, especially amongst the rising class of unemployed young Japanese. The reality that South Korea had especially emerged as a rival hit many Japanese with full force in 2002, when the countries were co-hosts of soccer’s World Cup and South Korea advanced further than Japan. Television broadcasts from South Korea during the tournament showed that the country had surpassed Japan in some aspects of technology such as mobile phones and high-speed Internet. At the same time, the so-called Korean Wave (television dramas, movies and music from South Korea) swept Japan and the rest of Asia, often displacing Japanese pop cultural exports.

The book covers a variety of Korean-Japanese disputes, including the Liancourt Rocks territorial dispute, Japan’s annexation of Korea, and the Japanese history textbook controversies, with a viewpoint mainly criticizing the Republic of Korea and its perceived anti-Japanese attitude. Through using the manga format, seen by many as being friendly and easy to sympathize with, it was made with the intention to spread widely the author’s “detestable reality of South Korea” to people who had no previous interest in Korea or were unfamiliar with its recent history, with the idea that by doing so would “make as much of a hit as Gōmanism Manifesto did” (said by the author himself). Readers with previous anti-Korean sentiments have taken the author’s “correct understanding of South Korea” on board, so much so that its contents are seen as “truth” rather than opinion to its supporters. The book has been widely promoted on anti-Korean websites, blogs and message boards such as 2channel where right-wing opinions are dominant. The contents come mainly from facts/opinions claimed by critics of South Korea, and there are even cases of inserting content directly from the book by websites criticizing South Korea (many reproducing photographs directly from where they are presented in the book) in the form of supplementing the book’s contents, and also in the form of introducing information raised on the 2channel Hangul Board. For example, the website The Other Side of South Korean Soccer They Didn’t Want You To Know (知らされなかった韓国サッカーの“裏側”, Shirasarenakatta Kankoku Sakkā no “Uragawa”), contents from the book (explanations of actual photographs imitated in the manga) are provided as evidence of alleged misjudgment of the South Korean team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as a result of bribery.

In contrast to the Japanese internet, the Japanese media does not have as much of a right-wing presence; the book had been refused publication for two years, and some Japanese newspapers refused to advertise the book. Well-known revisionist writers have contributed four written articles to the book, however: Kanji Nishio on the Korean people, Kohyu Nishimura on the South Korean media, Takahiro Ōtsuki on the “Hate Korea Kitchens” (嫌韓厨; Kenkanchū), and Masao Shimojō on the Liancourt Rocks dispute. The book also shows marked influence from the “liberal historical viewpoint” held by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, and the book holds a historical viewpoint common to that of Yoshinori Kobayashi’s Gōmanism Manifesto series (the mentioning of Yoshinori Kobayashi’s name in the article on the ongoing debate over comfort women is also seen as a sign of his influence). There have been no attempts yet to debunk the book using written and physical evidence, but a supplementary volume has recently been released entitled The Truth of “Manga – The Hate Korea Wave”! (マンガ嫌韓流の真実!, Manga Kenkanryū no Shinjitsu, ISBN 4796649735, published by Takarajima-sha and released 2005-10-21), using evidence to support its claims that the arguments presented in The Hate Korea Wave are based in fact.

Let me quickly analyse what is written here. I am not going to analysis too much, because I intend to have the article changed back, but lets set the record straight.

The book says South Korea owes its current success to Japanese colonialism and describes China as the “world’s prostitution superpower.

It mentions that Korea could not have reached its current level of development without the public goods left behind when Japan lost WW2. As for calling China the “world’s prostitution superpower”, it does not. No such sentence exists in The Hate Korea Wave. China and Chinese people are not even a subject in this comic, for that matter.

It reveals some of the sentiments underlying Japan’s current worsening relations with the rest of Asia (see Yasukuni Shrine) as well as the country’s longstanding unease with its own sense of identity.

Uh, it does? No it doesnt.

Much of Japan’s history in the last century and a half has been guided by the goal of becoming more like the West and less like Asia and the book, perhaps inadvertently, betrays Japan’s conflicted identity: longstanding feelings of inferiority toward the West and superiority toward the rest of Asia. For example, the Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair, and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features.

Not true. This is a black and white comic. No character in this comic has blond hair – all characters have either black hair or slightly dyed brown hair, as is popular in Japan. Differences in hair color are designed to assist in telling the characters apart.

China and South Korea’s rise to challenge Japan’s position as Asia’s economic, diplomatic and cultural leader has been inspiring renewed xenophobia against them, especially amongst the rising class of unemployed young Japanese.

More China? The comic has nothing to do with China. As for “renewed xenophobia” being inspired among “unemployed young Japanese”, how about some proof?

The reality that South Korea had especially emerged as a rival hit many Japanese with full force in 2002, when the countries were co-hosts of soccer’s World Cup and South Korea advanced further than Japan. Television broadcasts from South Korea during the tournament showed that the country had surpassed Japan in some aspects of technology such as mobile phones and high-speed Internet. At the same time, the so-called Korean Wave (television dramas, movies and music from South Korea) swept Japan and the rest of Asia, often displacing Japanese pop cultural exports.

Besides being nonsense, why is this in an encyclopedia article about Kenkanryu?

The rest I do not agree with either, because it is more of the same, and I think I made my point above.

While I was writing this, someone else changed (vandalized) Wikipedia’s Kenkanryu article again, possibly in response to my complaint in the talk section of Wikipedia. I am not going to go into the changes because I intend to have it changed back, but go and take a look if you wish.

I think it is 99% likely that a Korean has vandalized this article (who else would care enough?). What I want to say to Koreans that are concerned about issues like this, the East Sea, Dokdo, and other issues is that they should not campaign in a way that disturbs other people. Sending spam emails to foreigners is not the way to convince foreigners that the Dokdo is Korean land, and spamming message boards and Wikipedia changing the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea will only annoy foreigners who frankly dont like it that Koreans think they have the right to decide what the Sea of Japan is called in English. I know that Koreans want foreigners to believe their point of view but really, Koreans are their own worst enemy. Korean strategies for convincing foreigners usually annoy and upset them. Imagine a student doing a geography report checking Wikipedia and finding that the Sea of Japan is listed as the ‘East Sea’, and submitting a report about the ‘East Sea’ to the teacher. The student will fail. This is not the way for Koreans to convince foreigners.

I understand that Koreans feel strongly about certain issues, but when it comes to the English language, the English version of Wikipedia and anything else in our language, please, leave us alone. Write whatever you want in the Korean version of Wikipedia. We want accurate information that isnt influenced by Korean nationalism, irredentism, or other Korean issues.

Some foreigners will probably be fooled by the false information contained within the Main Issues section of the Wikipedia article, but the joke will be on the Koreans that changed it because foreigners will become angry when they realise that they have been decieved. Koreans trying to be patriotic usually make people anti Korean, not pro Korean.

My advice to Koreans wanting to convince foreigners is to calm down and relax.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, finger chopping wacky, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 13, 2006, 12:29 am | 14 Comments »

tokyo is our land
G-Masta (지-마스터), the one behind the new anti Japanese rap song, ‘Tokyo is Our Land’

G-Masta has taken up the mantle in Korea as the No. 1 anti Japanese rapper (formerly held by rapper DJ Doc) with the new song ‘Tokyo is Our Land’ (도쿄는 우리땅) in the album, ’1.ST memory of G’.

I am not going to take the time to translate this one (if someone will do it for me, I would be greatful!) but I have included the Korean lyrics below. Use your imagination anyway – it basically says “Dokdo belongs to Japan, and Tokyo belongs to us”, followed by numerous well known Korean racial slurs directed at Japanese people.

1. A-Yo 반미감정에 이어 바톤터치 반일감정 종군위안부 할머니들에 영혼을
위로해주진 못할망정 마치 발정난 암 고양이처럼 시도 때도 없이 침략을 꾀하는 쪽바리 근성! 역시 세월이 흘러도 하나 변한게 없어 외로운 섬 독도 그래 따먹어라 대한민국은 도쿄를 접수할 테니 빨리 토껴! 내 원자폭탄 Rap의 폭격으로 인해 쑥대밭이 되버린 요코하마 더도말고 딱 하나 만 요구하마 일본은 한반도에서 일어난 지진으로 떨어진 땅이니 어서 빨리 속히 반환하라! 이런 말도 안되는 뭐 같은 요구사항 들으면 가치도 없다고 상대도 안하겠지 알겠 니? 그 마음이 지금 우리 국민들 마음과 너무 똑같지 이래도 못 알아듣겠지? 이래서 쪽바리는 너무 *같지

Hook – (독도는 일본 땅 도쿄는 우리 땅) 차라리 맞바꾸자 빌어먹을 쪽발아~
(독도는 일본 땅 도쿄는 우리 땅) 겁내지 말고 받아들여 나의 도전장!

2. 반세기에 걸쳐 끝없는 시행착오를 거치고 거쳐 다시 탄생한 Enzo(차 명)
거북선의 Culture(문화) 낼름 거져 독도를 삼키려는 사무라이 당장 꺼져! 1000 마력 Engine(장치) 강력한 Turbine(원동기) K-9 함포와 발칸포 그리고 핵탄두 를 장착한 Enzo 거북선을 타고 일본에게 선전포고! 나라 없는 떠돌이 국민이 될 바에 나 하나 없는 나라를 택하겠다 x2

Hook – 저 푸른 초원위에 (너와나) 그림 같은 집을 짓고 (너무나)
사랑하는 우리 님과 한평생 살고 싶다면

G-Masta is interviewed here, and justifies his anti Japanese racism by saying that Japanese did wrong by Koreans at some point in the past.

The song can be heard here. The production values are a lot, lot better than the DJ Doc song, and that makes it a lot more insidious.

Posted by Matt, filed under Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 12, 2006, 5:11 am | 112 Comments »

The long planned Korean language tests for foreign guest-workers that went into effect on August 17, 2005 has verifiably taken place in Vietnam, according to The Saigon Times.

Language test for Korea-bound guest-workers
Some 7,000 Vietnamese laborers in Hanoi, HCMC and Vinh City have taken part in a test of Korean in Vietnam, Sai Gon Giai Phong reports. Laborers who pass the test will be granted a certificate and guided how to register as guest-workers in South Korea under a new license-granting program.

The language tests are designed to reduce cultural friction, and Koreans concerned with the labor rights of foreign workers hope that a certain level of Korean ability will help foreign laborers understand and protect their rights as employees. Naturally this is a good idea, However, Koreans may find that workers that are able to speak Korean will soon change their motivation from being a guest-worker to being a fully fledged citizen of Korea. Guest-workers that know the language will be able to work the system, and also lay down roots in Korea, possibly marrying Korean citizens. Since this is obviously not the intention of the tests, Koreans may not like the result.

That may be better than the alternative, though. For some reason, when it comes to the treatment of foreign laborers, Korea ranks right up there with countries in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia. It is claimed to be so bad that foreign workers returning to their home countries start to actively campaign against Korea. The most well known case of this is an organisation in Thailand called the ‘Anti Korean Interests Agency’ (AIKA) that threatened terrorist attacks against Korean targets, including Korean citizens in SE Asia, and Korean Air. I read somewhere that these former foreign laborers are angry at the treatment they recieved in Korea, including being ripped off, and beaten. Of course, employers (and immigration police) have a reputation for beating up foreign workers for a reason, as images like these ones from a show on SBS reveal.

beat up worker

beat up worker
The foreign worker says, “I dont know why they beat me up”

If the situation is bad enough that former foreign workers are threatening terrorism, then the language tests are probably a good thing. Still, just speaking the language may not be enough. Several years down the track, the Korean left may find itself with new ‘allies’ in immigrants, illegal immigrants, and migrant workers that support the class struggle but frame it through a lens of racial grievance. It will be interesting to see how Korea deals with this.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 11, 2006, 6:01 am | 18 Comments »

head in the sand
A professor from the university tells the citizens of South Park of a detailed plan to bury their heads in the sand to avoid offending muslims

South Park is proving again that it is willing to attack superstitious taboos when the American mass media is either unwilling, or too cowardly, to do it. This time South Park has taken on the issue of self censorship over the Mohammed cartoons. The name of the latest episode of South Park is ‘Cartoon Wars’, and it is the first part of a two episode story.

In the story, the people of South Park go hysterical with fear as muslim terrorists threaten death and destruction if the muslim Prophet Mohammed is depicted on an episode of The Family Guy (they are using The Family Guy to represent South Park, actually). The people of South Park go as far as to bury their heads in holes filled with sand to prove to muslims that they are not involved in the portrayal of Mohammed, and thus spare themselves from violent death.

In a town meeting Butters’ father makes a South Park style speech in which people normally repent their mistakes and see the light.

Freedom of speech is at stake here, don’t you all see? If anything, we should all make cartoons of Mohammed and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want. Look people, it’s been really easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades, we haven’t had to risk anything to defend it. One of those times is right now. And if we aren’t willing to risk what we have now, then we just believe in free speech, but won’t defend it“.

But the people of South Park decide that burying their heads in the sand is a better idea.

Fortunately for the fearful citizens of South Park, the episode of family guy that the Prophet Mohammed was supposed to appear in was censored by the network so that Mohammed could not be seen. However, it is announced that Mohammed would be seen in the following episode. Cartman then convinces Kyle that the next episode of The Family Guy has to be pulled off the air because it is offensive to muslims (that is as far as I will go to avoid spoilers).

This episode is almost certainly related to the South Park episode about Scientology that was pulled off the air by Comedy Central, under pressure from Scientologists (view it here). Indeed, although Scientology is not mentioned in the episode, it is hinted at when Cartman says “Dont you see? If they censor a show about islam, then next time the show has something about catholics, then the catholics will want the show pulled. And then the Jews. Eventually Family Guy will get pulled off the air completely“. At the end of the Cartoon Wars episode, the voice over issues a challenge to Comedy Central to pull the following episode that will depict Mohammed, saying “Will the people of America be safe? Will Fox let the Family Guy air? Will they show Mohammed Uncensored? Find out next week to see if Comedy Central pusses out“.

The Political Pittbull has put up a taster of the show featuring the town meeting in which the citizens of South Park decide to bury their head in the sand. I have the entire episode but obviously I cannot post it as it is the property of the creators, and they deserve the income they are making from their show.

South Park is making an important statement about the media in America, as none of the major media organs would show the Mohammed cartoons, even when they were reporting about the violence and riots that were the muslim response to it. Will Comedy Central chicken out, proving that special interests, pressure groups, and threats of violence can effectively put an end to free speech in the land of the free? Lets see what happens next week.

Posted by Matt, filed under finger chopping wacky, War on Terror. Date: April 10, 2006, 5:52 pm | 2 Comments »

Matt from Gusts Of Popular Feeling has found a Korean translation of the first Kenkanryu. Although I disagree with his analysis of Kenkanryu (he has not read it yet), kudos to him for finding something that I had been unable to find.

Since the author had declared in Kenkanryu 2 that a Korean version of Kenkanryu would probably be illegal in Korea based on legal advice given to publishers, I am going to take the liberty here of posting the Korean version of Kenkanryu. I do not believe this will result in a loss of revenue to the author, Sharin Yamamoto.

I post this with a caveat that I have no idea how accurate a translation this is to the original Japanese text, as I have not yet read it. This translation is a ‘fan translation’, not a professional one, so keep this in mind when you are reading it. On the other hand, these ‘fans’ seem to have put in a lot of effort to make the comic as visually close to the original as possible.

Right click and save to download a zip file of the fan translated Kenkanryu. Below is a few relevant pages from the translated Kenkanryu, which I think is pretty typical of the whole comic.

kenkanryu

kenkanryu

kenkanryu

kenkanryu

kenkanryu

Update: I have checked parts of the translation, and it seems to be pretty good. I would like to hear what Korean readers think of it, after they have actually read it all, that is.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, Verus Historia. Date: April 8, 2006, 4:02 am | 33 Comments »

Shimane
A random pic of Shimane from the Prefectural website

The article says it all.

MATSUE, Shimane Pref. (Kyodo) Shimane Prefecture’s teacher exchange program with a South Korean provincial government resumed Tuesday, a year after North Gyeongsang dropped out over a territorial dispute between the two nations.

Exchanges between Shimane and North Gyeongsang were halted after the prefecture in March 2005 designated Feb. 22 as “Takeshima Day” to mark its claim to islets in the Sea of Japan that are controlled by South Korea, which calls them Dokdo.

On Tuesday, South Korean teacher Ko Min Chong, 32, from a girls high school in Kwimi, North Gyeongsang, began her exchange at the high school education division of Shimane’s board of education.

The Japanese-speaking teacher will be assigned to a local high school later this month, the board said.

“We are happy (the exchange has resumed) because it offers good opportunities to learn about (each other’s) language and culture,” a board official said.

The Shimane school board began the exchanges with North Gyeongsang’s education agency in 1997. Teachers are posted in the neighboring country for one to two years to give lessons in their language and culture.

North Gyeongsang stopped sending teachers in March 2005 after Shimane created its “Takeshima Day.”

The Shimane board of education approached its South Korean counterpart in November to resume the exchanges.

This is funny, really. Shimane Prefecture still claims Takeshima/Dokdo Island, and nothing has substantially changed since Takeshima Day was declared. Does not the Korean side realise that by restoring exchanges with Shimane Prefecture, Koreans are again made to seem like they are impulsive, acting on uncontrollable emotion rather than calm logic? Because really, nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed except that Koreans have finally cooled down on the issue.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 5, 2006, 12:42 am | 10 Comments »

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