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News A Japanese PM on his knees?

thomas

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A pair of new statues in the Korea Botanical Garden in Pyeongchang adds new fuel to the tensions surrounding the issue of comfort women. The sculptures depict a sitting girl symbolising the victims of sexual slavery by Japan’s wartime military and a man kneeling in front of her, obviously begging for forgiveness. The man appears to bear a striking resemblance to PM Abe, so much so that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga warned it would "decisively impact" ties between the countries.



Unfortunately, I couldn't find any close-ups of the male statue's face.

Kim Chang-ryeol, owner of a botanic garden in the mountain town of Pyeongchang, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he cancelled an unveiling ceremony for the bronze statues that was to take place on Aug. 10 because of what he described as unwanted controversy. “The man could be Abe and also couldn’t be Abe,” said Kim, who will continue to keep the statue at his garden. “The man represents anyone in a position of responsibility who could sincerely apologize to the victims of sexual slavery, now or in the future. It could even be the girl’s father. ... That’s why I named the statues ‘Eternal Atonement.’’’

korea-sexual-slavery01.jpg


korea-sexual-slavery02.jpg



To me, it's pretty obvious what many Koreans would like to see, even after all those decades: a symbolic act, such as this one:

warschauer-kniefall-1970.jpg
 

Lothor

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There were close-ups on NHK 7pm news so if you watch the 9pm news you will see them. I know that it's not very mature of the South Koreans to start a diplomatic row when the two countries should be cooperating more, but it's a quite wonderful bit of trolling!
 
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thomas

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Perhaps not very mature, but let's not forget that this was the stunt of a private person (the owner of that botanical garden) and not an official act of the Republic of Korea.
 

mdchachi

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Perhaps not very mature, but let's not forget that this was the stunt of a private person (the owner of that botanical garden) and not an official act of the Republic of Korea.
If so then why is Suga saying such b.s. about it affecting bilateral relations?
 

Lothor

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Perhaps not very mature, but let's not forget that this was the stunt of a private person (the owner of that botanical garden) and not an official act of the Republic of Korea.
I don't think your argument will cut much ice with the Japanese government, who often justify some abhorrent comment praising apartheid or whatever from one of their mates as the opinion of a private person!

PS Clever title to the thread but I was rather hoping for a career-ending political crisis when I read it!
 
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thomas

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PS Clever title to the thread but I was rather hoping for a career-ending political crisis when I read it!

I gave in to a bit of wishful thinking. I usually refrain from click-baiting. :)
 

misternada

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Pretty silly. Thanks God no Japan PM will ever do such foolish thing, that would just unleash even more craziness like the ones we see actually in the US.
 
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thomas

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It wasn’t such a foolish thing in the case of Germany where the past hasn’t been simply swept under the rug.
 

misternada

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It wasn’t such a foolish thing in the case of Germany where the past hasn’t been simply swept under the rug.

Can't stop Willy Brandt kneeling, like you can't stop Justin Trudeau from apologizing, those people only represent themselves and nobody else.
As for Willy Brandt he was the chancellor of only half a country btw,
 

thomas

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Can't stop Willy Brandt kneeling, like you can't stop Justin Trudeau from apologizing, those people only represent themselves and nobody else.
As for Willy Brandt, he was the chancellor of only half a country btw,

In the case of Brandt, something else was more important: his symbolic gesture hit the mark. He and other postwar politicians were able to change the image of Germany in the eyes of the Polish and the Israeli public by showing true remorse and atonement. That included confronting the past and teaching postwar generations the crimes and horrors of WWII, and not distorting history. I am uncertain whether such awareness is prevalent among Japan's political elite, in particular the current administration. Financial compensation, no matter how generous, can never make up for a lack of true repentance.
 

Buntaro

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I am uncertain whether such awareness is prevalent among Japan's political elite

I am reminded how, just after the war ended, Hirohito wanted to release an apology for the war. The Prime Minister at that time stopped Hirohito from doing so.
 

misternada

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He and other postwar politicians were able to change the image of Germany in the eyes of the Polish and the Israeli public by showing true remorse and atonement. That included confronting the past and teaching postwar generations the crimes and horrors of WWII, and not distorting history. I am uncertain whether such awareness is prevalent among Japan's political elite, in particular the current administration. Financial compensation, no matter how generous, can never make up for a lack of true repentance.

Don't quite agree with you, the "german=nazi" equation is still very present in the mind of a lot of people born after the war.
Here are some funny video to illustrate this point: :D :D :D


On the opposite side the Japanese did not apologize and are seen like victims for the West at least.
 

Amir77

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I also thought this was a scandal or controversy. Then, I realised I fell into something more dangerous and forcibly forgotten.
 

Buntaro

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the past hasn’t been simply swept under the rug.


This reminds me of present-day China. Today, Chinese school children are being taught that the Chinese army attacked and defeated Japan to end WWII.
 
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