Saturday, November 19, 2005

Roh and Koizumi fail to see eye to eye

Shall we dance? East Asia's two metrosexual heads-of-state (one who spends too much time with his foofy hair and the other who spends too much time at the plastic surgeon) get ready to hit the dance floor.

Japan's Asahi Shimbun is reporting that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and South Korean President Roh Moohyun have "failed to overcome the differences in their perceptions of history" during a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC conference going on right now in Pusan.

The Asahi Shimbun is saying that Roh will now likely not visit Japan in December, as he had planned at one time, though no final decision has been made. The Asahi Shimbun says that Koizumi spent so much of the thirty-minute visit explaining his Yasukuni visit that he didn't have time to persuade Roh to visit Japan in December.

Roh criticized Koizumi's October 17 visit to Yasukuni in strong terms, calling it a "a provocation toward South Korea." Koizumi in turn called this a misunderstanding, saying the visits were not meant to justify war but were, according to the Asahi Shimbun, "a pledge to never take Japan to war again."

It is difficult to swallow the idea that a controversial shrine operated by an organization that is bent on re-educating the public about what they call the "real history" of the war, a history that excuses Japan's aggression as liberation of Asia and the war itself as the fault of the Chinese and the Americans who pushed Japan into fighting, is a suitable place for visits meant to make the case that Japan should never go to war again.

Roh told Koizumi that such explanations were unacceptable to his people. He also told Koizumi that South Koreans could also not accept the Japanese government's approval of history textbooks that offer what is widely regarded in Korea as a distorted view of past events as well as of the territorial dispute over the Tokto islets (known in Japan as Takeshima) in the East Sea, comonly referred to as the Sea of Japan.

At least the two agreed to pledge to cooperate, along with the United States, in "presenting a united front on North Korea's nuclear weapons development issue."

While googling "foofy hair" (to make sure it was a real phrase), I ran across this interesting link.

1 comment:

  1. The reason the shrine commemorates the PM in WWII is to calm the wrath of those people. Generally those who died in an unhappy way is said to turn to daemons and curse people. I've studied Japanese history, and I can find many shrines built for various figures for this reason.

    Plus, Koizumi's visit is according to his will, So Japanese people in general regard it as his freedom of religion.

    I know that the shrine insists on something justifying the history, but it's also about the shrine's freedom of speech. They are many opposite opinions in Japan, so what we can do is just let them discuss what to do.

    If American natives claim to American government not to commemorate historical American presidents because they are the symbol of killing natives, then what would they do?

    If Japanese immigrants to America before 1945 demand that presidents don't commemorate Arlington because Roosevelt is there, what would be a typical American answer? This is my honest question, not insulting you. I'd be very happy if you could tell me the logic.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.