Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When Is A Score Settled?

The IHT is reporting that the U.S. Congress was posied and ready to vote on a resolution to rebuke Japan for WWII.

After four years of writing to lawmakers and trooping up to Capitol Hill, the Korean-American community, two million strong, was preparing to declare victory.

Congress was on the verge of approving a groundbreaking resolution urging Japan to acknowledge formally its responsibility for the enslavement of more than 200,000 Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian and other women and girls in the 1930s and 1940s to provide sex for imperial Japanese soldiers.


Sixty plus years after the fact, it's difficult to understand why the Koreans are trying to pick scabs on the wounds, instead of letting them heal. Many of those responsible for the atrocities committed by the Japanese are either dead or so old, they probably do not know what day it is.

Let's look at some things that Japan has done to atone for those acts, in the years that followed the war.

After checking out that link, take a look at the aid Japan has provided to its neighbors.

What many are failing to realize here is, Japan is a totally different country led by a totally different group of people, and yielding a very different culture from the one that took part in WWII, with the Axis Forces. They are a model of capitalism and representative democracy. Part of the reason China overhauled their economic system was due to the success of the post-war Japanese economic system.

How much longer must the Japanese be penalized for the sins of their fathers? Why must we keep bringing up old wounds? Old wounds sometimes lead back to war, if left unresolved. Not only that, it would seem to me that Koreans would be better served by concerning themselves with the ones that can cause fresh wounds, today. The North Koreans are looking to be more of a threat to the South, than what the Japanese were.

To ignore them, while holding a grudge against those that would be valuable allies against those that wish to wound today, is both counter-productive and ridiculously stupid. Both stand to be threatened by NK, both should use this as an opportunity to build an important bridge to close gaps. And the U.S. Congress has no business in catalyzing this further.

4 comments:

ms. miami said...

lasunsett- we are a culture heavily focused on the present and the future and we're pretty unique in the world.

the rhetoric surround the balkan wars in the 90s had a lot to do with centuries-old grudges. the northern irish tend not to forget the battle of the boyne.

asian cultures, layered in centuries of ancestor worship, are not as eager to just 'let bygones be bygones'...

(i'm not arguing that this is the most helpful mentality, just that it's not likely to disappear)

Mark said...

silly silly silly.

Japan is our best friend in the east. We will need them when China starts making noise about taking over the world in a few years. Although Japan will get swallowed pretty quickly if they go on the warpath...

Me, I'm taking a class in Mandarin fatalism.

LASunsett said...

Ms. Miami,

//the rhetoric surround the balkan wars in the 90s had a lot to do with centuries-old grudges. the northern irish tend not to forget the battle of the boyne.

asian cultures, layered in centuries of ancestor worship, are not as eager to just 'let bygones be bygones'...//


I understand what you are saying. It's just that I see western Europe (and believe me the history of grudges on that part of the continent is quite deep and extensive) getting along very well despite all of the wars, conflicts, and territories that have changed hands over the centuries; and I think that if they can put aside their differences for the sake of peace, so can Asians, so can the Northern Irish, and so can those in the Balkans.

South Korea and Japan both have vibrant societies they produce well, and they have a good standard of living. Korea still has a little further to go to be as prosperous as Japan, but they are doing better, as time goes on. Neither countries need each other in an economic sense, but both have more to gain than they have to lose.

Standing firm against a common threat is the only sure way to solve this NK situation peacefully. By standing together it puts pressure on China to do the right thing. China does not want to blow their road to economic dominance in Asia, and a falling out with both countries would likely force China's hand to get with the program here.

LASunsett said...

Mark,

//I'm taking a class in Mandarin fatalism.//

Quick, get over to Super Frenchies' site now. They'll love that stuff there. ;)