Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The Japan Times
Ishihara unrepentant over slur
Koreans asked to be ruled by Japan, governor insists

An unrepentant Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara on Friday reiterated claims that Koreans had chosen Japanese rule rather than face Chinese or Russian governance when Japan annexed the Korean Peninsula in 1910.

Speaking at a regular news conference, Ishihara again claimed that political leaders on the Korean Peninsula had made the decision to accept Japanese rule, which lasted until Japan's defeat in World War II in 1945.

According to Ishihara, Japan ruled its colony in a better fashion than Western nations, such as France, the Netherlands and the United States.



yep ill agree with you there joi,


Point of fact: the highest Korean official in the colonial railway system was assistant station master.

Ishihara's comments are as disturbing as ever. His suggestion that Korea, "agreed on the annexation according to the unanimous will of the Koreans" is the standard line for the right wing, and growingly, many conservatives who believe they simply want to innocuously "restore pride in the nation". The suggestion can be found stated in the Yushukan museum next to Yasukuni, and stated more bluntly by O Seonwa in October's issue of Bungei Shunju (I wrote of the article at ) where she also loves to drag out the list of self-serving policies of modernization to defend Japan's image as a benevolent liberator. It ignores the whole coercive nature of the relationship with Japan at the time and in the preceding decades that we can learn so much from. There was no "invasion" in 1910, in the traditional sense, and it is difficult to condense the complex story of Korea's absorption into the empire with a few Ishihara-style media bytes, but a careful study of the mechanisms of power and coercion that mark the tale are well worth the time.

Frighteningly, Ishihara's suggestion that "Japanese people know historical facts deeper (than the media), so they are not clamoring against my remark," is true to the extent that many Japanese have come to remember a set of selective, totally uncontextualized facts (eg. a treaty was signed on so and so day by elements representing the government of Korea, agreeing to annexation) that completely conceal the essence of annexation. Historians who contest Ishihara cannot do so easily in the condensed world of the modern media, precisely because they would object to the reduction of the annexation to a legal document and a set of figures on literacy.

A question;
Japanese people are good people. Japanese people are bad people. Which would be correct?
It's like a story of blinders touching with an elephant.
They say the importance of transparency of leaders through a lot of global organizations. So does some politicians and historians.
It's very interesting people take different piece of understanding from the meaning of global leadership.

Ishihara also has informed and sensitive things to China's space program as well.

While I think there is respect for the truth in Japan, but I suspect it is lower in importance than pride.

Ishihara just claimed to the world that he's stupid as ever. How can an old man with his status make such a careless comment. Why infuriate a peaceful tiger.