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“Friendliness Between Japan and Korea Withering”

May 17th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

A Chosun Ilbo article, “Friendliness Between Japan and Korea Withering,” says that a Gallup Korea survey found that 20 percent of Koreans have friendly feelings toward Japan while 36 percent of Japanese feel the same toward Korea. In 2002, the percentages were 35 percent and 69 percent, which means there have been dramatic drops, especially on the Japanese side.

The Koreans blame the drop on their side mainly on the territorial dispute over Dokdo while the Japanese blame their drop on the anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea.

What that really means is that Korea’s lies and half-truths about “Dokdo” have stirred up so much anti-Japanese feelings in Korea that it has caused the Japanese to start disliking Koreans.

What has Korea gained from her stupid anti-Japanese and anti-American policies? Not a damn thing, except a bunch of fake smiles and empty promises from the goofballs in the north. On the contrary, South Korea has lost a great deal of goodwill and respect. What a stupid waste!


26 Responses to ““Friendliness Between Japan and Korea Withering””

  1. comment number 1 by: pacifist

    Gerry,
    .
    That’s true, many Japanese who bacame to favour Korea turned out to dislike her. It happened in one night, it’s because many Japanese people couldn’t understand the anti-Japan demonstration that happened after Shimane prefecture made the day of Takeshima.
    .
    People who are still occupying the island are demonstrating! (It was Japanese side who had to demonstrate!) And they are unbelievably enthusiastic and hysteric…many Japanese felt that they couldn’t be friends with such crazy (sorry!) people. They felt that Koreans are non-logical people with whom we couldn’t talk equally. So they began to take a distance.
    .
    I don’t believe that all the Koreans are enthusiastically furious as seen in tv news, but the power of tv news is enormous. Only a 5-minute footage can make almost all of Japanese dislike Korea.
    (BTW, I was curious why these people were doing such things.. and I became interested in education in Korea but this is another story…)
    .
    And then Korean president claimed Japan after one another, especially the claim about Japanese textbooks was ridiculous (they should check their own textbooks, not others’), so people who dislike Korea increased more.
    .
    In my opinion, it was a chance for Korea to take a historic change of Korean policy when Japanese people began to have a familiar feeling towards Korea (it was initiated with Korean tv drama booming, such as “Sonate of Winter (Kyouru Yonga)”) …
    if the Korean president declared that Korea would stop anti-Japan policy and would go forward with Japan, the relationship would be a completely different one. Both countries would go forward together as brothers…
    ….but the president chose NK’s Kim, not Japan.
    .
    In a historic view, South Korea has been unpopular for Japanese people since the 1950’s. It’s because 李承晩’s military government who unreasonably made a line and killed Japanese fishermen who engaged in fishing beyond the line and captured many Japanese fishboats. The image of South Korea to Japanese people has been a “fearful”, “dark”, “brutal” country just like communist countries in those days.
    Even after the 1950’s, there were also fearful events such as kidnapping of a president candidate by KCIA, asassination of a president…etc, so after SK became a democratic country (or half-democratic country?) Japanese people felt safe at last, but it took time for Japanese people to change their feeling toward Korea…
    And after all, the time Japanese people favour her was coming! Through these tv dramas, Japanese people were noticing that “Korean people are not so different from us”. But in one night it was crashed…. It’s a pity.

  2. comment number 2 by: Kaneganese

    30% in 5 years… That is a huge drop. And to be honest, I fall into that 30%. Before I started to learn about Takeshima issue a year ago, I actually thought we share a lot in common. But now, I realised the more I learn about Korea, the more I feel how completely different we are in very crucial aspect which form who we are. I don’t think we can be “a best friends” at all anymore but I believe we should act as adults and at least try to be “a good neighbors” to each other. 2 neighbours from hell is enough. As long as Korean never stop regarding Japan as hypothetical enemy, it is impossible to be allied with such a country. It is a waste of time and tax payers’ money.
    I just hope next Korean president would agree to bring Takeshima/Dokdo issue to ICJ and avoid any more unnecessary conflict.

  3. comment number 3 by: kjeff

    It’s our fault. We ‘love’ extremities too much. We love to read, watch, listen, and talk about them. We don’t want to listen a man who never really give much thought to the Dokdo issue(because it just not damn important in his life). We want to watch a man who thinks about it 24/7, and is willing to cut off his fingers to show it. It’s entertaining…and we are but nothing if we do not want to be entertained.
    .
    I can’t wait for GarlicBreath’s comment…and the cycle goes on…

  4. comment number 4 by: jion999

    It is 自業自得(자업자득).

  5. comment number 5 by: manfordr

    This comes as no surprise to me at all. How can one expect the average japanese person to extend an overall sense of goodwill to their korean neighbour when time after time the korean government does nothing but bark at japan for transgressions as petty as farting in their general direction.

    The situation is so bleak that your typical japanese citizen doesn’t even bother batting an eyelash when Pres. Roh throws his weekly tantrum at japan. Its really a pity for korea, actually. The ‘korean Wave,’ in Japan is deader then dead (which has put a major hurt on korean film and tv productions) as well as tourists visiting from japan reaching an all time low.

  6. comment number 6 by: Brian

    Many Japanese don’t know that Korea is just collecting “wild cards” to get leverage over Japan. It’s unfortunate that Korea’s politcal activities has had such an effect on the Japanese perspective. On the other hand, I always thought that on a people-to-people basis, Koreans and Japanese got along quite well.

  7. comment number 7 by: ponta

    Brian
    There are many ethnic Koreans living in Japan.
    There are ethnic Korean livings in my neighborhood.
    There is no problem, we are getting along.
    I think Japanese people are mostly against North Korean agents living in Japan and some of ethnic Koreans in Japan who have “skewed view” on Dokdo and history. But as far as I am concerned, just “skewed view” is all right, as far as there is atmosphere in which we can talk, we can exchange ideas.
    I think many Japanese realise that Korea is collecting “wild cards” to get leverage over Japan, but I am afraid many Koreans do not realize that ,when they are not based on the facts, that will have negative effects against Korea.

  8. comment number 8 by: General Tiger

    What has Korea gained from her stupid anti-Japanese and anti-American policies? Not a damn thing, except a bunch of fake smiles and empty promises from the goofballs in the north. On the contrary, South Korea has lost a great deal of goodwill and respect. What a stupid waste!

    I blame that on the “liberals” that are in power. Until Roh is gone and a level-headed person becomes president….

  9. comment number 9 by: General Tiger

    Note: I think Dokdo isn’t much of an issue here. Also:

    I just hope next Korean president would agree to bring Takeshima/Dokdo issue to ICJ and avoid any more unnecessary conflict.

    That’s never going to happen. No Korean leader would think of doing a gamble that might have no benefit at all.

  10. comment number 10 by: Gerry-Bevers

    General Tiger,

    Korea would benefit if she took the Dokdo/Takeshima issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and won. I am sure that Japan would respect the decision of the court, which would mean that the conflict over the islets would end and Korea would be free to take full advantage of the surrounding waters. However, Korea almost certainly knows that the ICJ would rule against her, which is the real reason she is not taking the issue to the ICJ.

    However, win or lose, I think Korea would be better off by letting the ICJ decide the Dokdo/Takeshima issue. The benefits of friendly relations with Japan are far greater than any that can be gained by possessing Dokdo. Moreover, any benefits of stubbornly holding on to Dokdo will decrease even further when the truth of Korea’s illegal occupation is finally exposed to the world.

  11. comment number 11 by: Gerry-Bevers

    General Tiger,

    By the way, I agree that Korea’s so-called “liberals” are the cause for much of the recent problems between Korea and Japan. If Korea will not give up “Dokdo,” then she should, at least, stop using the issue to fuel anti-Japanese feelings among Koreans.

    Korea needs Japan, and Japan needs Korea for East Asia to really blossom and for holding China in check. However, if you want to be really honest, Korea needs Japan more than Japan needs Korea. China will not take over Japan, but there is a good chance she will take over North Korea, which will essentially make South Korea a hostage to the whims of China. I know that South Koreans do not want that.

  12. comment number 12 by: General Tiger

    Gerry:

    If Korea will not give up “Dokdo,” then she should, at least, stop using the issue to fuel anti-Japanese feelings among Koreans.

    My thoughts. I always felt that both sides should stop the Dokdo issue, and work on getting Japan its right in the Senkaku Islands and the Northern Territories(Southern Chishima).

  13. comment number 13 by: pacifist

    General Tiger,
    .

    both sides should stop the Dokdo issue

    To stop the issue completely, going to ICJ is the best thing. It would be good if both countries could swear that “Each of us would admit the judgement whatever it would be, and each would not resute after the judgement”.

  14. comment number 14 by: pacifist

    correction: resute SHOULD BE refute
    sorry

  15. comment number 15 by: kjeff

    Gerry,

    However, Korea almost certainly knows that the ICJ would rule against her, which is the real reason she is not taking the issue to the ICJ.

    Agreed…agreed…however any court of law has its own arbitrary rules and procedurals, and some will benefit an argument more than the others, no?

    However, win or lose, I think Korea would be better off by letting the ICJ decide the Dokdo/Takeshima issue. The benefits of friendly relations with Japan are far greater than any that can be gained by possessing Dokdo.

    If only everything can be neatly put into a cost/benefit ledger…

    Moreover, any benefits of stubbornly holding on to Dokdo will decrease even further when the truth of Korea’s illegal occupation is finally exposed to the world.

    Possession…possession…possession… Between that and WWII’s past agressions, do you think Japan would be better off by letting the “world decide the Dokdo/Takeshima issue?” Now, the ‘world’ is a less ‘exact’ place than the ICJ, don’t you think?

    However, if you want to be really honest, Korea needs Japan more than Japan needs Korea. China will not take over Japan, but there is a good chance she will take over North Korea, which will essentially make South Korea a hostage to the whims of China. I know that South Koreans do not want that.

    A century has passed, but not much has changed in that line of thoughts, hasn’t it? Fortunately, the world is much larger place than it was before. A little further south, there’s ASEAN, and there’s always a billion people or so in India… Ahh, forgot that would-be-ex(a big question mark) lone superpower across the pond. And, in a few years, N.K will become dead weight to China’s ascension. I doubt that “she will take over North Korea.”(Actually, I see her building wall…an actual wall on their border)

    If Korea will not give up “Dokdo,” then she should, at least, stop using the issue to fuel anti-Japanese feelings among Koreans.

    Your thought is my thought.(Translated from Korean) Goes both ways though…

  16. comment number 16 by: pacifist

    kjeff,
    .

    Fortunately, the world is much larger place than it was before.

    Do you think that Korean car manufacturers and electronics manufacturers developed by themselves?
    They learned from Japanese companies and still they are supplied various parts and maybe some technical information from Japan.
    In turn, Japan receives various electric parts for general electronics from Korea.
    .
    If all of the trade between Japan and Korea were shut down, Korea would be more in agony. Japan can buy electric parts from other Asian countries at reasonable prices.
    .
    In addition, as Gerry already pointed out, it is important for both country to build a tight relationship because China thinks Korean penninsula as their original territory, like Tibet, Taiwan, Ryukyu (Okinawa) and Vietnam. She is aiming at these areas (not countries for China) to recover the Great China Empire. It seems unreasonable but they think so – Sinicentrism is alove today. She already has some rights of mines in North Korea.
    .
    China won’t throw out the rights in North Korea, if NK became destructive she will soon occupy the “area” to protect their rights. And she wouldn’t give it to South Korea because the “area” is important to their security, as Japan had thought the peninsula was important for Japan’s security in the Meiji era.

  17. comment number 17 by: pacifist

    correction:

    Sinicentrism is alove today.

    sinicentrism SHOULD BE sonocentrism
    .
    alove SHOULD BE alive
    .
    Sorry, maybe it’s due to my fingers.

  18. comment number 18 by: ponta

    General Tiger

    If Korea will not give up “Dokdo,” then she should, at least, stop using the issue to fuel anti-Japanese feelings among Koreans.

    My thoughts. I always felt that both sides should stop the Dokdo issue, and work on getting Japan its right in the Senkaku Islands and the Northern Territories(Southern Chishima).

    I think your observation miss the reality of Japan on this issue.
    Japanese people are not excited about this issue like Korean people.
    Japanese government does not want to spend money on this issue, and in fact she is spending little money on it —so little that I say it is pathetic level.
    If Japanese government were really into this issue, she would employ Gerry and set up Takeshima museum and so on.
    But Japan is not doing anything on this issue
    so little that there is little to be “stopped”

  19. comment number 19 by: GarlicBreath

    I can’t wait for GarlicBreath’s comment…and the cycle goes on…

    Baiting.. It sounds like you don’t care about the issue.

  20. comment number 20 by: jion999

    It is an inevitable result of Koreans’ anti-Japan sentiment.

    If you hate someone, you must be hated by him/her.

    Koreans believe Dokdo was stolen by Japan during the colonial period.
    And Koreans imagine Dokdo controversy is the kind of Japan’s second invasion of Korea.
    Koreans acted hysterically about this controversy as if trying to compensate their miserable memory not to resist Japan when Korea was colonized 100 years ago.

    But if Koreans hate Japanese because of Japan’s colonization of Korea, they should have fought against Japanese during the colonial period, not now.

    I think Koreans’ anti-Japan sentiment or demonstration now is the excuses of them not to have resisted Japan in colonization and not to have fought for independence by themselves.
    And Koreans hate Americans because Americans deprived Koreans of their chance to get independence by themselves and behave like knight on white horse, which is maddening for Koreans.

    In short, anti-Japan and anti-US movement of Korea is a kind of playacting of their own independence war because of their complex in its history.

    After friendliness between Japan and Korea or US and Korea being withered, North Korea has a gloat over SK’s foolishness.

  21. comment number 21 by: General Tiger

    jion999:
    *Smirk*
    Flaming as usual, aren’t you?

  22. comment number 22 by: jion999

    General Tiger
    If the pride of Koreans is flamed by my comment, it must be their fault.
    The superior/inferior complex of Koreans is inflammable material.

  23. comment number 23 by: hls

    Anyone knows if this poll for 2002 was taken before or after the World Cup soccer games? I am also curious if the same poll was conducted between Korea and other countries. I observed then that the friendly feelings towards Korea among the Europeans had drastically declined after the games.

  24. comment number 24 by: madboots

    The reason for the rapid drop in distrust on Japanese side is easy to account for;
    The Japanese know even more today about the Koreans than before. Only now Japanese people are getting aware of Korean nature and mind.

  25. comment number 25 by: madboots

    Oh.
    correction:’drop’
    it should be ‘increase.’

  26. comment number 26 by: Ken

    I appreciate above Gerry’s constructive advice.
    But the Japanese tend to avoid stimulative expression so you had better think the real sentiment is beyond above stats deep in mind.
    So in a sence, current Korean behavior is making every person concerned head for desirable direction as copying from JAPANPROBE as follows.
    “Takeshima/Dokuto issue let Japan know how Koreans hate Japan.
    It is making Japanese people avoid anything related to Korea.
    Japanese biz is escaping from Korea as well as American funds.
    The Japanese stopped using high interest consumer finance and pachinko.
    These are run by Koreans, money sources of gangsters and moving to Korea.
    Hyper-inflation from money shortage is starting in South Korea and 100 times larger bill is issued in North Korea too.
    South Korea lost the value of military strategy and the US army is withdrawing from burdensome Korea.
    Instead, China is gaining mining rights in North Korea and Russia is gaining non-freezed port.
    South Korea is following China along their obeying-to-the-powerful principle with imagining China becomes the strongest nation.
    Korea is bankrupting but the refugees do not go to Japan as educated to hate Japan.
    Wow! Anti-Japan sentiment of Korea settles everything amicably.”