I just arrived in Seoul for the World Editors Forum. I'm on a panel tomorrow to talk about blogging.
This is my first time in Seoul. It's amazing to me that I've never been here before. Korea is very close to Japan. I have had a great deal of interaction with Koreans and feel a fairly strong bond with Korea. The Akasaka district where my office is is primarily Korean getting much more excited about Korean Soccer victories than Japanese. My aunt is Korean and I believe that we have Korean ancestors on my mother's side of the family. For some reason, I grew up generally believing that Japan and Korea were quite friendly. I do know that there is some bad history and the extremists on both sides are unreasonable.
As recently as March, Korean protesters chopped off their fingers in a rally protesting Japanese claims over some disputed islands. Clearly this represents some strong anti-Japanese feelings. I have recently been interacting with my Chinese friends about their anti-Japan protests and am in the process of trying to develop some projects together with them to try to address some of the issues. I am eager to talk to my Korean friends to find out how strong the anti-Japanese sentiments are and what might be done to address them as well.
I've heard a lot about the highly connected, high tech Korea and have participated in a number of Japanese corporate meetings where executives were being briefed on how Korea is leading in so many ways these days. I have also heard that blogging is quite active, but in a very different style than the US and Japan. Heewon is organizing a bloggers dinner and I look forward to finding out more about the scene here.
Unfortunately, my GSM phones don't work here so I don't think I'll be able to moblog.