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South Korean government has no sense of appropriateness

nahadef

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This week in France is the Angouleme comics festival, pretty much the best in the world. Not a showcase for Hollywood like in San Diego, but actually the home for respected comic work from around the world.

Art from around the world is showcased there, and this year, the South Korean government has seen to assemble a feature on comfort women.
Comfort women comic expo in France creates controversy : International : Home

At the 41st Angouleme International Comics Festival in France - the world’s largest event dedicated to comics - the truth about the horrors faced by the so-called comfort women (sex slaves for the Japanese military during World War II), was expressed and condemned in pieces by Korean comic artists. The exhibition, titled ツ“The Flower That Doesn’t Wilt: I’m the Evidence,ツ” successfully opened after encountering some trouble, with a preliminary press conference being canceled.

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The Japanese Foreign Ministry distributed a press release through its diplomatic mission in France expressing its deep concern that the object of the festival - seeking mutual understanding and promoting cordial relations - was being distorted by the comic exhibition about the comfort women promoted by the South Korean government. The cancellation of the press conference appears to be attributable to pressure from Japan and concerns on the part of the organizers that the press conference would look like a political event.

It's rare that I side with the Japanese government on any WWII issues, but in this case, I think the South Korean government is being disrespectful of the festival itself, and I think it's unfortunate that the show was accepted.

It's not that political content shouldn't be allowed, but political content organised by a government shouldn't be. If individual artists were simply to show their political views, I would have no issue with it (this is a very large festival, and Korean artists do not require government support to participate). This seems more like making a political statement at the Olympics, which is generally frowned upon.

South Korea has a right to keep this info known, but a festival representing international parties is hardly a fair way to do so.

I want to read more, to at least know that the art featured was made before government involvement. If the art was commissioned, I think that would be a shade worse. Unfortunately, it's hard to get info that isn't in either Korean or French.
 

thomas

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I agree with you, it's inappropriate. I am surprised to read that South Korea even sent a minister, Mrs Cho Yoon Sun, Minister for Family Affairs and Womens Rights, to inaugurate the Korean exhibition.

Here's a few French headlines I found online. I've removed the accents, as they would show as mojibake on the forum):

=> Un sujet brulant hote du Festival BD d'Angouleme ("A hot topic on the Comic Festival of Angouleme") with pics of the minister guiding visitors through the exhibition

=> Bullade a Angouleme: Scarlett, Mafalda et les captives sud-coreennes agitent le festival by Liberation, a leftist daily; they mention the protest of the Japanese ambassador to France as well as a petition of 12,000 Japanese nationalists protesting against turning the exhibition into a political battlefield

=> on the official website the topic doesn't even rank prominently: Exposition Coree: Fleurs qui ne se fanent pas

Le commissaire de l’exposition, Shin Myeonghwan, en a concu l’espace en trois sections distinctes : Passe, Present et Futur. < Passe > s’attache a retracer le contexte historique de l’Asie lors de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et l’ensemble des faits ayant mene la mise en place, par l’armee imperiale japonaise, du systeme d’esclavage sexuel des femmes dites < de reconfort >. La section < Present > revele en quoi consistait ce systeme et la vie de ses victimes, portant le regard du visiteur sur ce qui s’est reellement passe. Enfin, < Futur > evoque l’espoir d’aborder l’avenir avec une plus grande transparence, par la reconnaissance des faits historiques.

Basically, the Korean expo focuses on the past, the present and the future of comfort women, on how the system was put in place, on how the survivors live today and on the hope to "tackle the future in greater transparency" in order to acknowledge historic facts.

=> Vingt minutes: Festival d'Angouleme: Le Japon fustige une expo BD sur les <femmes de reconfort> coreennes, "Japan decrying comic expo on comfort women"

article_000_Par7779091.jpg

According to Vingt Minutes, the French hosts stated that the topic was chosen by the South Korean government, but that the artists had total freedom on how to present the issue. The article also mentions that Japan officially apologized to Korea in 1993, but that the South Korean government felt that those currently in power "are copping out" and "do not actually feel any regret over those past actions".

=> Angouleme : l'expo qui fache le Japon: "An exhibition infuriating Japan"

=> And Le Point, also a generally leftist newspaper: Exposition BD sud-coreenne a Angouleme: la France insultee par des Japonais faches, "France insulted by an angry Japan"

Interesting topic. Unfortunately, I don't have time to delve deeper, if you need more info on anything specifically, let me know.
 

nahadef

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thomas

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It's definitely of minor interest, even in France.

Despite the strongly-worded headline La Liberation failed to explain how France has been insulted by "Japan's protests".

However, they quoted Mitsuhiko Fujii of NextDoor, a small manga publisher, who was persuaded to close his stand as some of his art on the topic of Japanese history"might have been considered of too shocking a nature" for the French public. He complied, adding that South Korea and Japan should settle their differences between them and not "outside".
 

Mark of Zorro

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Since this year is the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Angouleme displayed quite a few comics dealing with condemnation of war and sexual violence suffered by women in wartime.


Well, the fact is that many displays concerning war were present and I bet the Germans had a hell of a lot more to complain about than the Japanese, and for TWO world wars no less.

Also, there does not seem to be a ban on governments or their agencies sponsoring or commissioning displays, although perhaps there should be.

What really gets me though is that when you have a comic book convention that is somewhat dedicated to war as this one was, I do not want the sex slave issue overlooked for what amounts to the nationalism of one side. I don't want the sex slaves overlooked anymore than I want the atomic bombings overlooked, or even those god damned baby killing Zeppelins of WWI.

For me, the whole issue of appropriateness rests on information we cannot possibly know. Did the Korean government agency do this to promote knowledge of the sex slave issue? Or did they do it to piss off and vilify the Japanese? Was it a bit of both? The only way I can deem it inappropriate is if the entire and only point was to piss off and vilify the Japanese. I kind of doubt it was in general, although some specific works of the display might have been, such as the one entitled: “Japan Playing Innocent”.

And of course, one also has to wonder if the Japanese government would still be complaining if the Korean government had no involvement whatsoever. Can't help but feel they would.

I guess I do agree with you def that government sponsored displays should not be allowed. But I think I would blame the festival organizers first and foremost because if this is inappropriate, its them that should have shut it down or had rules in place in the first place to prevent this from happening. I think its a bit much to chastise the Koreans for not keeping themselves in check over something that has only become a problem for Japan's repeated denials of established history. The Germans are not doing that, and as far as I know, did not make a stink about comics that surely presented them in an equally negative light. And that is why the Germans don't stink today like the Japanese do.

P.S. I am surprised there was no mention of a Japanese government sponsored atomic bomb display. I guess there wasn't one? They really missed the boat.
 

Mark of Zorro

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The Japanese Foreign Ministry distributed a press release through its diplomatic mission in France expressing its deep concern that the object of the festival - seeking mutual understanding and promoting cordial relations - was being distorted by the comic exhibition about the comfort women promoted by the South Korean government.

But what the hell else has not been tried to promote mutual understanding with Japan on this issue?? There comes a point where you just start slapping people across the face for continued denial of facts. It seems to me that Japan's cheeks are only going to get redder with hand shaped marks!

That said, I think we would be remiss to not recognize Japan's own culpability with regard to this flap.
 

caster55

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The Germans are not doing that, and as far as I know, did not make a stink about comics that surely presented them in an equally negative light. And that is why the Germans don't stink today like the Japanese do.

However German killed many innocent Jews as a truth.

anyway
It becomes true if it says same things 100
times without an evidence.
it needs fruitless argument not to be a fact although the Japanese didn't do it for consideration


 
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Mark of Zorro

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Well caster55 let me guess: you are attempting to deny the Imperial Japanese sexual slavery ever happened?

Believe me, there are more people denying the Holocaust than there are denying Japan's wartime sex slavery.

That said, I do not deny either, although I think there is a problem with the numbers. They seem a bit over-inflated in both cases to me. I chaulk that up to victor's justice. But trying to say they are complete lies is outrageous. Its tin-foil hat conspiracy loony bin outrageous.
 

caster55

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]Abstract

The clash between Japan and South Korea over redress for former ツ‘comfort women’ is a key element preventing stronger ties between the two neighbours. The issue has also diverted attention from the larger problem of human-trafficking that plagues both countries. In recent years understanding of the issue has been broadened by Asian scholars who have moved beyond the version that was dominant in the early 1990s. In the West however, perceptions remain as they were twenty years ago, repeating as fact elements that have been brought into question or utterly disproven. This inaccurate portrayal by Western media and governments has compromised resolution of the issue in Asia and failed to acknowledge widespread use of equivalent systems of prostitution by both South Korea and the USA. The reason Japan was so specifically targeted lies in a timely convergence of feminism, Korean nationalism and latent anti-Japanese racism. Acting to exaggerate the cruelty of Japan’s system while ignoring those of other nations, these factors prevented Japan and South Korea from developing a new perspective on the issue that would allow stronger ties between the two and refocus the campaign to end exploitation of Asian women.


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https://jref.com/forum/all-things-j...iews-ww2-today-50901/index4.html#.UvhFUPl_up0
 

caster55

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Well caster55 let me guess: you are attempting to deny the Imperial Japanese sexual slavery ever happened?

Believe me, there are more people denying the Holocaust than there are denying Japan's wartime sex slavery.

That said, I do not deny either, although I think there is a problem with the numbers. They seem a bit over-inflated in both cases to me. I chaulk that up to victor's justice. But trying to say they are complete lies is outrageous. Its tin-foil hat conspiracy loony bin outrageous.

of course. they were just prostitutes.
The diary about the comfort women of those days discovered recently is interesting.
http://translate.google.com/transla...asyura2.com/13/senkyo153/msg/568.html&act=url


as for German. why does a Japanese care about that?


 
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