Saturday, February 03, 2007

Interesting Columns on Korea-Japan

I would like to share two newspaper columns that might interest you.

Can ‘Sea of Peace’ Mend S. Korea-Japan Fences? from the Korea Times
We are going to cover this issue (and I'm the designated presenter!) in class soon. The article points out that the issue is about politics over hisotry. ("While the name of the sea is a symbolic matter between Japan and South Korea, there are some more tricky problems between the two countries: the Dokdo islets (claimed by Japan), distortion of Japan’s militaristic past wrongdoings and visits by the prime minister to the Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japan’s war dead and contains the remains of war criminals.") Personally I do not really care about what the sea is called, but the politics and emotions surrounding the issue are very interesting.

Another column in Hankyoreh
The mirrored societies of Korea and Japan
I am usually very skeptical about any efforts to stereotype national characteristics, and I have a mixed feeling about this piece. But I have to admit that the author is very cautious and sensible in comparing two societies. I want to hear what others think about his analysis.

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