For today’s Koreans, the history of Korea MUST be 5000 years of glory and Koreans believe Koreans are superior race.
Therefore, Koreans try to distort the history and force their own interpretation of history to other countries. They say “Korea was forced to become Japan” and “Japan enslaved Koreans”. “It’s all Japan’s fault. I was right, I was great. We fought against it…”
But, Koreans never admit it was Japan gave the independence. Koreans never admit many Koreans wanted the annexation. Koreans never admit they were saved by Japan. Koreans never admit Japan was praised by foreign countries at the time.
“So, South Korean anti-Japan sentiments will not disappear until we(the whole world) erase these history and create new “glorious 5000 years of Korean history™” or until Korea goes back to being a part of China like North Korea regime is today which is a traditionally “right” position and make Japan “inferior”.”
South Korean government itself was established being “We: the non-Japanese”. That’s their historical legitimacy over Korean peninsula. And it is the root of “Japanese scare” in South Korea. I guess it is kind of hard thing to grasp for the western people.
So, if Koreans tell you something about Korea or Japan, watch out.
A great deal of anti-Japanese propaganda today originates from Korean nationalists and concerns supposed horrendous crimes that the Japanese committed against Koreans during the 40 years when Korea was a Japanese colony. But most of this is no more than propaganda and exaggeration. Japan indeed colonized Korea and attempted to assimilate the Korean population, just as it had successfully done with the population of Okinawa. The original motive was to prevent Russia doing exactly the same thing; in fact Japan fought a war with Russia in 1904-05 precisely over this issue. The war, by the way, started with a sudden Japanese attack on the Russian navy at Port Arthur, ten days before was officially declared. The reaction of the British, who were Japan’s main ally at that time, was ecstatic, the London Times wrote “‘The Japanese Navy has opened the war by an act of daring which is destined to take a place of honour in naval annals.” The reaction of the American press was similar. Japan’s colonization of Korea was done with full support and advice from the British and with tacit approval of the United States. For many years afterwards, the Japanese rule was described in the West in glowing terms. It introduced general education, hugely improved health, reduced inequalities and so on. But it also inflicted a huge humiliation on Korean national pride, which had just been born, due to the Japanese attempt to assimilate the Koreans and make them abandon their own language and culture and become Japanese. (my notes: Japanese as well abandon their own old-culture and changed own language in order to modernize the country)
Such things had successfully been done for centuries, from the Romans in their entire empire to the English in Scotland and Ireland. After the partitions of Poland both Russia and Prussia attempted to assimilate the Polish population in the same way. In fact, the Japanese used very little violence in their rule over Korea. In terms of human lives, the total losses that Korea suffered during the 40 years of Japanese rule are smaller than in just one of the many Polish uprisings against Russian rule. Far more Koreans died fighting as volunteers in the Japanese Imperial Army (over 20,000 are enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine) then in all the acts of resistance against the Japanese rule. More than 800,000 Koreans volunteered to serve in the Japanese military as part of the Japanese volunteer soldier system for Koreans during the years 1938-43, of which the Japanese accepted just under 18,000. One of them was Park Chung-hee, later dictator and president of South Korea and the father of the current, extremely anti-Japanese, president Park Guen-hee.
Koreans also served as guards in Japanese prisoner of war camps. 23 Koreans were executed by the allies as war criminals in post-war trials, including general Hong Sa-ik, who was a camp commander. Most of them were later declared “victims of injustice and of Japanese imperialism” by a Korean government commission.
One of the most often repeated and most distorted myths concerning Japan’s supposed crimes against Korea, concerns the so called “comfort women”. This is too large a topic to discuss here but I refer anyone interested to my article (still incomplete and full of typos etc), which can be found here: https://www.mimuw.edu.pl/~akoz/History/SettledHistory.pdf
Finally about the claims that Germany has properly “atoned” for its crimes while Japan has not. Let me just consider only one aspect.
In 1965 the Korean government of Park Chung-hee signed a treaty with Japan, normalizing the relations between the two countries. Under the treaty South Korea received very large amounts of economic aid, grants, loans and, significantly, compensation for victims of Japanese rule. The Japanese government at that time offered to compensate individual victims, but the South Korean government refused the offer and insisted that it should receive all the money and itself compensate its citizens. Very little of this money was paid to individuals and instead was used for economic development of South Korea.
The Soviet Union, of course, did not have any legal prostitution. Instead, the Soviet troops raped an estimated over one million women in Germany and in the “liberated countries”, over 200,000 of whom died as a result. In fact, even women liberated from German camps were raped in large numbers. Of course not only has the Soviet Union or Russia never apologized for this but nobody has even even demanded such a thing, obviously because everyone knows very well what the response will be.
War Guilt – Japan vs Germany
(A comment posted in The Diplomat)
Mr. Andrzej Kozlowski
University of Warsaw
The most disgraceful thing that is sometimes attempted in this debate is comparisons to Holocaust Denial. These are less likely to be made in debates between professional historians, but can be found in comments sections of blogs and on social media, where the historians who reject the party line on the CW issue are sometimes compared to David Irving. Of course, the same kind of disgusting statements can be frequently in the hate-filled world of climate-alarmism.
To introduce a personal note here: it is exactly this sort of thing that induced me to reluctantly enter into both of these disputes. To compare the evidence for the party line on the comfort women issue or the evidence for the catastrophic view of global warming to the evidence for Holocaust in itself constitutes the most insidious form of Holocaust denial. My father was a Jew born in what before the Second World War used to be Polish Ukraine. With the exception of just two persons, all of his relatives were murdered soon after the German army entered Ukraine following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. I learnt about these events from my father and my uncle, but it is most certainly not because of what I heard from them that I am sure that the Holocaust took place. There is a vast amount of independent evidence, of the kind that does not exist to support the claims of the Bentley and Ziegler textbook. I myself have been to Ukraine, where my grandparents and almost all the Jewish inhabitants of the town where my father was born were executed by the SS. A few years ago there were still living Ukrainians who could point to the place where the executions took place and describe what happened. These were independent witnesses, who had no motive to lie or even to embellish their accounts.
It is of these, and an enormous number of other independent testimonies as well as material evidence, as well as numerous clear statements by Nazi leaders [AR] and the Nazi ideology, that the case for believing in the Holocaust rests on. Unless the Japanese are a truly demonic people, if the allegations made by Bentley and Ziegler were true, I have no doubt that there would be witnesses comparable in trustworthiness to von dem Bussche. Instead there is the self-confessed lier Yoshida. In addition, when crimes of the magnitude are committed, there is always an ideology that serves to justify them and to silence human consciences. But no ideology of this kind can be found in pre-war Japan, except in a grotesque demonisations in Chinese and Korean mass media.
University of Warsaw