This week, representatives from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Bali for the 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forums. Every year, APEC gives leaders of a wide range of countries the opportunity to participate in discussions about international economic issues and work together to encourage trade and competitiveness among nations.
However, this year’s APEC hasn’t been all work and no play. On October 7, the Indonesian President serenaded Vladimir Putin in honor of the Russian President’s 61st birthday. And yesterday, when Abe Shinzo divulged some details of his friendly social interaction with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the forums, Japanese reporters positively ate it up.
With political tension between Korea and Japan as high as ever, the netouyo were unsurprisingly enraged at Abe Shinzo’s modesty and friendliness. Do you think the conversation was basic diplomacy, or are there more meaningful political undertones to Abe’s small talk? Do you care what Abe Shinzo’s been eating?
From Yahoo! Japan:
”I’ve been eating Korean food”: Abe Shinzo Dishes on Conversations with President Park
”I often eat Korean food.” On October 9, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo informed the press that he made that statement to Korean President Park Geun-hye when she sat next to him at the leaders’ dinner at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Bali, Indonesia.
He said that the two leaders shook hands and exchanged “social conversation” at the dinner gathering on the 7th. The prime minister brought up such topics as his wife Akie’s participation in the “Japanese-Korean Exchange Festival” held in Tokyo in September, and his own active attendance at events to introduce Korean culture that occur every November in his hometown of Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi prefecture.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
The specialty of the Koreans is taking advantage of you when you act modestly.
I’m anxious to hear how Park responded to that.
I also like kimchi, but I hate Korea. Don’t you think Mr. Abe’s also thinking of food and national character separately?
I don’t think I want to eat crap like Korean food.
She’s making the Japanese Prime Minister fuss over her, huh? Incompetent woman.
Mr. Abe, you don’t have to lie like that.
Of course, Japan-hating Koreans don’t eat any Japanese food, right? But Korean people deliberately open Japanese restaurants overseas and make a living that way? They’ll tell any kind of lie if it’s for money.
It’s a totally meaningless conversation.
He can only have this sort of conversation, and he’s bragging? Shameful.
Diplomatic speech to the very end. Not a problem. But anything more would be no good. If the Koreans don’t do it completely completely then it’s no good.
He showed his huge generosity in that conversation. The Koreans still haven’t noticed at all, especially Park.
Don’t flatter those who repeatedly insult Japan, both domestically and abroad.
As I unfortuantely thought, when we pity them, they take advantage of us. That’s Koreans. The best policy is to not have anything to do with them. There’s no harm in ignoring them.
Abe, don’t say unnecessary things. Just greet them and leave it at that.
Korea’s building up to anti-Japanese behavior. Screwed-up country. We should distance ourselves and stop having a relationship with them.
Hahahaha! What a funny joke! There’s no Korean cuisine in the first place!
Mom, for lunch, I ate X. Kindergarten level conversation.
I hate Korean food.