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    South Korea is considering–it’s not clear how seriously–recalling its ambassador to Japan. The points of contention include a disputed island (called Takeshima in Japanese, called Tokto in Korean). Shimane Prefecture claims it and is poised to celebrate “[We Own] Takeshima [So Leave It the Hell Alone] Day.” Korea takes this as a diplomatic affront. The other major issue is that perennial favorite, Japan’s history textbooks, which the ROK understandably believes demonstrate that Japan has not fully owned its actions of the early 20th century.

    Added on 15 March: China sees Korea’s bitterly-disputed island and will raise it one renegade-province-type island:

    [PRC Premier Jiabao] Wen proposed that three conditions be met in order to resume the top leaders’ visits. The conditions involve looking at the future while reflecting upon past history, supporting a “one-China” policy apparently aimed at reuniting Taiwan, and stepped up cooperation between Beijing and Tokyo.

    Wen also insisted that the issue of Taiwan was China’s issue, asking both the United States and Japan to stay out of the matter. The premier explained that he was concerned about references to Taiwan by U.S. and Japanese officials in a recent meeting.

    China’s National People’s Congress on Monday enacted a law designed to block Taiwan’s declaration of independence. [More at Reuters on that–SRK]

    “Looking at the future while reflecting on past history” refers to visits by federal politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine. At least, that’s what’s mentioned in the Mainichi article. China is no more fond of Japan’s history textbooks than Korea is, however, and I imagine that figures in, too.

    4 Responses to “日韓友情”

    1. Michael says:

      First of all, up front, I know nothing about this issue.
      But doesn’t it seem counterproductive for Japan to do anything to piss off South Korea at the current time?

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Japan’s existence pisses off South Korea. Not that Japan couldn’t, right now, do some things that would help–for pity’s sake, no one is seriously demanding you pay monetary reparations, but can’t the mayor of some major city manage to choke out the line, “We are sorry for what we did to the comfort women, and it will not happen again” once, in public? If, as I assume you are, you’re referring to the DPRK and the PRC…well, I think Japan and the ROK recognize that going berserk on each other would be a dangerous diversion of attention and resources.
      I doubt that everyone went through all the links here, though, so I might point out for those who like their humor very droll: the Japanese site has a link that states that international law recognizes Japan’s sovereignty over Takeshima. All the text at the link actually explains, though, is that Japan went along with existing international law in awarding fishing and hunting rights. It also states that Japanese ownership should be recognized because it controlled the island up to the end of World War II! That’s an argument the Koreans are sure to be sympathetic to.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      Oh, and BTW, man, speaking of encroachments on one’s territory: sorry to read about your recent theft. I mean, the recent theft perpetrated on you. Hope everything works out and the security fence does the trick.

    4. Simon World says:

      Asia by Blog

      Asia by Blog is a regular feature providing links to Asian blogs and their views on the news in this fascinating region. Previous editions can be found here. **Notes: 1. The new Daily Linklets posts will also contain links to interesting China, Asia an…