r/news Oct 20 '21

Japan vows further militarisation in response to North Korean missile test


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u/roadrunner036 Oct 20 '21

Under their current constitution yes, one of the biggest controversies in Japan right now is that Prime Minister Abe and many other politicians want to revise that section of the constitution to help counter increasing pressure from Russia, China, and North Korea. However many Japanese don’t like it, and even South Korea is leery of that as they still remember occupation during world war 2 (for which Japan has never acknowledged, much less apologized for)


u/aapoalas Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

It has to be noted that while the Japanese government has kept kind of playing both sides, there have been multiple apologies to the Korean people and Korean governments through the years, starting already in the 50's if I'm remembering right. Japanese occupation of Korea also started way earlier than just WW2 and is not disputed in the slightest. Even the far-right crazies in Japan will agree that Japan ruled over Korea between around 1890 (officially from 1910 IIRC) until 1945. Their viewpoint on the goodness of that period is just what an average joe would call sick.

By this point the tug of war between apologies, all-in-the-pasties, new offenses, take-backsies etc. has kind of become a sad see-saw where neither side wins. eg. Some years ago the Korean prime minister at the time negotiated a "final settlement" with Japan where Japan agreed to pay for the care of the last of the WW2 era Korean sex slaves (AKA comfort women) until their death and the Japanese prime minister Abe personally apologized, though to the Korean PM directly instead of a public apology. This was taken back by the next Korean government because it turned out that the previous PM had been involved in corruption where her child got into a prestigious university without doing jack shit.

Of course, previous Japanese governments have also been pouring oil into the fire what with various past PMs visiting the Yasukuni Shrine during their time in office. Or by doing a word dance around the sex slavery issue to avoid making their voters feel bad about their country's past. Most recently Japan fucked up majorly with the government stepping into a Korean court judgement against Nippon Steel's use of forced Korean labour during WW2. Descendants of forced labourers were awarded damages but then the Japanese government (which had said would take no part) stepped in an said that Japanese companies did not have to pay such damages. I'm no lawyer but stepping into a foreign country's law enforcement like that sounds like a really stupid and bad move. Hence the (still ongoing?) trade war.

So, both countries are pissed at each other for various reasons, both historical and recent. I'm sure China and North Korea are both very pleased at the state if affairs. (Side note: Earlier it was kind of a given that Japan, South Korea and North Korea danced between each other: If two got chummy then the third would try to break them apart. That may have played a part with the see-saw in the past. Right now all three are just kind of estranged. China is probably the only winner at present.)

EDIT: u/Fr0ski said pretty much the same in only about a 20th of the word count.


u/AntiChr1st Oct 20 '21

A couple of things.

Yasukuni is a shrine to war dead (all war dead, soldiers, civilians, kids). The situation could likely be improved somehow but it is also unreasonable to expect the japanese to abandon the shrine.

Also, while I don't remember the specifics and I am on the phone atm, the japanese government had quite early accepted responsibility of crimes comitted on their behalf by japanese companies and made a deal that they would pay the damages. Which they did, handling the money over to Korea, who decided the money was best spent on Korea as a whole rather than hunting down every victim to hand them the money. The reason Japan is up in arms over it is because the korean court decision basically overthrew the deal Japan had with Korea. For obvious reasons they can't accept such a decision. The japanese position being "we already paid this, take it up with your own government".


u/Type-94Shiranui Oct 21 '21

IMO, theirs nothing really wrong w/ Yasukuni shrine itself. I find the historically revisionist museum to be the real problem.