US Academic Talks About ‘True Story’ between Japan and Korea

<p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span title="ヴァンダービルト大学 日米研究協力センター所長"> James E Auer, Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies.</p>

James E Auer, Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies.

In this article, which was recently feature on MSN Sankei news, U.S. academic James E. Auer, Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, writes about his take on the historical relationship between Japan and Korea.

Touching on contentious issues such as the comfort women and the Takeshima/Dokdo dispute, Auer’s own appraisal of the Japanese Korean relations went down well with Japanese netizens, who agreed with him on every point.

But is Auer’s article an independent view of the situation? Or is it an ode to the current Japanese leadership?

From MSN Sankei News:

Interview With James E Auer – Let’s talk about the “True Story” between Japan and Korea

Last month, I visited Seoul for 3 days with an invitation from an elder statesman, who is a strong supporter of President Park Geun-hye.I asked to meet Korean politicians, government officials and businessmen, and was also invited to visit the Korean naval base on the north west coast. Unfortunately, most Koreans I met had negative opinions about Japan.

Comfort Women not unique to Korea

I asked why opinions have obviously changed since the agreement in 1998 between Japanese prime minister Obuchi Keizo and Korean president Kim Dae-jung, when they agreed to put an end to past problems and released a joint statement saying they will look towards the future instead.

Most Koreans I met said that their stance had not changed since 1998. Instead, they said that their current attitude is a reflection of the inconsiderate Japanese who continued to raise problems about the comfort women issue, the visiting of the Yasukuni shrine by Abe’s government officials, and the Japanese position regarding Takeshima/Dokdo.

I said that none of the current Japanese, Korean, nor American leaders have forgiven the prostitution that happened in China until the end of the war in 1945.

Although we do not have the exact numbers, it is possible that the number of Korean women that provided sexual service to Japanese soldiers who were sold off by their poor farmer parents or were recruited by other means, were a lot more than from other countries, including Japan and China.

However, it was not a campaign that targeted Koreans in particular, and there is no doubt that Japan sincerely regrets the true pain suffered by women of all nationalities that were part of this enterprise during the war.

At the time in Japan, prostitution was legal, and sexual services were provided towards the US armed forces during the American occupation.This is not to say that what happened was right but to show that the standards back then was very different from what it is now.

I said that the reason why Japanese leaders go to Yasukuni shrine is not to praise class A war criminals. Neither do they go there to praise the fact that Japan has apologized to other countries. I said that for a country that hates to be criticized over trivial internal matters as done by the Chinese government, it is hypocritical to criticize Japanese politicians for visiting a shrine that pays respect to the Japanese soldiers that died for their country.

Yasukuni and Arlington Are The Same

Many foreign leaders including Japanese and Korean leaders, as well as the president of the United States visit the Arlington national cemetery in Virginia, U.S. That is despite the fact that within the soldiers that rest there, there are some that fought for the South that supported slavery. Today, most developed countries do not permit slavery. However, there is no one asking to remove the soldiers of the South that supported it from the cemetery.

The most problematic issue when talking to Koreans was Takeshima/Dokdo. Stating that I do not think it is likely that the Japanese will change their stance regarding Takeshima/Dokdo as they have the advantageous legal foundation, I asked why the Koreans are so worried about the issue even though it is very unlikely that Japan should send their Self Defence Force to the island to expel the Korean soldiers. The only answer that came back, was that the Koreans think that the Japanese should agree that Takeshima/Dokdo invariably belongs to Korea.

I met just one group of people who did not complain about the Japanese. It was when I visited the Korean naval base. I saw the corvette ROKS Cheonan (patrol combatant craft) that was sunk by a North Korean torpedo. Though the South Korean Naval officers never talked politics, they spoke realistically of the necessity to cooperate with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force and the American Navy against the North Koreans, who are acting dangerously and unpredictably.

The Contribution Of The Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War To South Korea

What can be done to improve the stance of Koreans? One of my students who was born and lives in Seoul since graduating from Vanderbilt University over 20 years ago, said that the Japanese will have to be patient until the Koreans grow out of feeling inferior. Unfortunately that may be true, but I expect that president Park will be able to be on good terms with prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Although the Japanese never say this, I think that for South Koreans it is worth thinking of the fact that Japan won against Manchurian China in 1895 and again won against Russia in 1905 for the same reason. Although Japan was not against Korea, they were scared that Korea would be occupied by Manchurian China or Russia.

If Manchurian China had won the war, Korea may have been a Chinese colony now, or if Russia had won, a Russian colony.In the end, the Japanese victory led South Korea to the position it enjoys today, a free market economy and a democracy.

Comments from Twitter:


The Korean government officials must voice the “Korean government’s official views” at least on the surface so even if they like Japan they can’t say it out loud. I often see these officials visiting Tokyo as a tourist with their families.


This is the normal way to understand things. Even if it was similar Hashimoto’s was half baked, as well as the timing and who he said it to was terrible, only giving Koreans a reason to bash Japan.

Japan conservatism:

I would like all nationalists to read this article and recognize that Japan isn’t wrong. It’s all due to the Koreans having inferiority complex (almost an illness, personality disorder).


I laughed because it was so right, I don’t think anything of Korea but if I look at them as Koreans, the nationals are all ridiculous.


The Sino-Japanese war and the Russo-Japanese war was meaningful in that it prevented Russia’s campaign to expand southward. If the Russians who wanted an ice-free port had come south, it was obvious that it would have been a footstep toward Japan.


Korea should be thankful to Japan for helping them out of being colonized by the Manchurian Chinese or the Russians.


I want as many Japanese people to read this article. I think that there is very little Americans who understand the core of the problem so accurately. I want Mr.Auer to lecture the next American Ambassador to Japan, Ms. Kennedy.


Without taking sides, this is the normal way to see things…they should review the way they are trying to forcibly make us recognize twisted historical understanding.


I think they will go mad at us over this w


With the standards of 60 years ago, the private sector businesses offered prostitution, being paid what was above the norm. It’s true that no Japanese are asking the Americans to apologize for the prostitution that took place under the American occupation.


The historical reason why Korea has been able to enjoy its current position.


Is there going to be a day when the Koreans will look at reality?


This is a fair argument. Though I doubt that the Koreans will be able to come over their inferiority complex…


Hmmm, it’s one way of looking at it.
There is no way that Koreans will accept this though.
The only way is to find a way together while there are different opinions…


The biggest problem is that the Koreans cannot say such a fair argument in Korea //


An interesting opinion by an American against the Koreans. The reality must be what the Korean naval officers said towards the end. The Japanese must keep this in mind. Not all Koreans are anti-Japanese.


…it’s nice that he is speaking in favour of us, but if the Koreans would accept this, there wouldn’t be such a big problem(hah!)。>


Both China and Korea, having educated its citizens badly with the aim of steering internal discontent outwards, they are both struggling in their diplomatic relations, having chained themselves down in shackles!

blockquote>It is a wonderful, logical argument. Japanese politicians must learn from him.


Their anti-Japan campaigns are all to release internal discontent…

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  • RothschildIsMoney

    If Korean have inferiority complex then what is Japanese? Island mentality?
    James E Auer obviously have no idea what he talking about other than following American agenda of congagement policy toward China. And that is include changing Korean public opinion about Japanese WW2 crimes.

    You know what is funny?

    The US military commits war crimes too, but does not prosecute the war criminals, and instead suppresses the truth tellers who report and prove the crimes exist.
    *cough.. Julian assange.. *cough.. Bradley manning..
    Ah love the similarity~

    • namepen

      Neither does Korea. Chun Doo-Hwan is walking around free as a bird, at least for the moment.

      Also there were some serious cover ups regarding the Bodo League Massacres and Jeju uprising.

      In any case you are right that Korea doesn’t have an inferiority complex. They do though have a problem in separating the Japan of 1941 with that of modern Japan.

      • RothschildIsMoney

        That is justified then?
        Red herring doesn’t help you out but instead mislead from the main point.
        That “modern Japan” is gone beyond just denying crimes, but saying that ‘Those crimes are all right!’.

        • namepen

          No dear, not justifying merely pointing out that Korea also has a penchant for cover ups and pardoning tyrants.

          Far more seriously though are you trying to downplay the horror and the scale of the butchery that occurred during the bodo league massacre and jeju uprising.

          Bodo and Jeju were war crimes every bit as serious as anything that went on during the Japanese occupation.

          • Juanita lee

            Inferiority complex haha fucking japs! Abe visiting the shrines and shit, yeah he was honoring soldiers defending his country and that’s coo. But japs were allies with hitler. So it’s like merkel visiting old nazi shrines with gestapos etc… Buried underground. West would find that scandalous.
            So japs were “defending”, yeah the US and its allies went over to fuck the japs in the ass because of all th shi they done during ww2 to china,Korea, Phillipines et fucking c…….. Seems like japs avoid those parts during convos! Inferiority complex? Koreans don’t give a rats ass about Japs but when the jap government or its stupid netizens say or do stupid shit it pisses them off. Japs are seemingly the noobs that seem to have an inferiority complex that’s why they gotta come online and try to justify or prove themselves jajajaja !
            I as a korean Mexican don’t look at what they did to Koreans. I look at what the japs have done to everyone during ww2 era and shit. Chinese massacre, korean occupation, invasion of the Phillipines and some other se nations, and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
            I can cuss and say stupid shit like the japs are fags but I rest my case. Cause the japs got what they deserved with the two bombing. Horrible but not as bad as what they’ve done to all other nations. So Koreans or Chinese don’t give a rats ass about japs. We know japan will drown, keep talking like that and you won’t get visas when your island country becomes the next Atlantis jaja! Hope y’all build high tech city boats !
            I have an inferiority complex to your mothers japanese pussy that’s about it though!

          • chucky3176

            Cool. I didn’t know there were such a thing as a Korean Mexican until now. Do you live in Mexico? Are there many Korean Mexicans there? Very interesting.

          • takasar1


          • Eudaimonia

            Hahaha, you must be a terribly confused individual that has no idea about what happened in history AT ALL.

            First of all merkel is doing way more than visiting temples honoring soldiers etc, Merkel is currently trying to do with economic means what Hitler tried to do with military means!!!!! Just google “Hitler merkel” and see how many people agree. So, your comparisons are utter failures. Other than that, Yasukuni isn’t about ww2, it’s about ALL of the war dead.

            “yeah the US and its allies went over to fuck the japs in the ass because of all th shi they done during ww2 to china,Korea, Phillipines et fucking c”

            That’s the most childish explanation that i’ve ever heard. The bad guys and the good guys, nothing else. Really funny stuff.

            Maybe you don’t have an inferiority complex, but Korea surely does simply because Japan is (and was) ahead.

          • Jackson 5

            I do agree with Juanita on many points even if his style of writing is half ghetto half net troll. By the way, comparing merkel and hitler is absurd. It’s as if I’m comparing Francois Hollande and Louis XIV.
            I do agree that Japan was and is ahead of Korea in many aspects but with that being said, korea is catching up and who knows what sort of advancements they’ll come up with in the future, especially if Korea becomes one, one day.
            I taught in Korea for two years and many Koreans I talked to admitted Japan was a much stronger, united, nation before. Koreans I spoke with also admitted korea was a weak country but they didn’t want foreign interventions or anything foreign. They just wanted to be left alone it seems like. Many Koreans find Japanese food, culture, people beautiful but when I spoke about the historical conflicts with Japan, they tend to get slightly sensitive.
            In my opinion if it matters at all, I’d say inferiority complex is not the right word. Plus, it’s also offensive. If people kept saying Americans have an inferiority complex to Canada I’d get quite offended myself hah.

          • Eudaimonia

            Maybe comparing Merkel to Hitler is a bit of a hyperbole, still Merkel has done A LOT of bad things to Europe so far and hyperbole is very useful to highlight those bad things before it’s too late for some countries (her polciies destroys them while Germany milks the capital from them etc).

            Anyway, the gist of my post remains objectively true, Germany has returned to its… Germany ruler of Europe days – while Japan hasn’t done the same with Asia. That’s what many people in here fail to understand. Even if the Japanese prime minister was kissing the graves of war criminals ALL DAY LONG and if he wore a “i love Hideki Tojo” t-shirt, and took back all apologies ever made, revoked article 9, started making nukes etc etc he wouldn’t be even remotely as bad as Germany is right now.

            Maybe you’re right about Korea, i won’t act like i’m an expert on it. China… now that’s another matter, in China they have taken anti-Japanese ultra-nationalism to the next level.

          • Alice S

            JAP (Jumping angry pig!)

    • Eudaimonia

      When did the Japanese try to change Korean public opinion about Japanese ww2 crimes?

      It’s funny and sad at the same time to even remotely compare Assange and Manning to something that exists only in your twitsted imagination.

      • RothschildIsMoney

        I’m referring to James E Auer to what he called “True Story”.

        You seem have hard time in comprehension.

        • Eudaimonia

          You’re right, i was way too quick to reply.

    • Alice S

      Koreans soooooo do not have inferiority complex.

  • namepen

    I think even Russian colonialism would have been better than the Japanese version. Also Korean economic success was not advanced by the Japanese.

    That being said he is right to liken the Yasukuni shrine with that of Arlington. There are quite a few soldiers fighting for American colonial expansion buried at Arlington.

    • Brett

      Let me preface with this: I love Korea and Korean people.

      Now, let me slap you back to reality. Just ask any non-white Russian how much they enjoy their existence compared to their white counterparts, or any non-Han how they are treated in China. Japanese were able to be defeated in the end, so actually, Korea is lucky Japan took control of the peninsula over China or Russia.

      You’d be a fool if you didn’t give any credit to the Japanese loans which aided Korea’s economic growth. Sure, the Americans gave money, too. Sure, the Koreans were in charge of making sure they used the money on sound investments, like solid infrastructure, but to propose that the Japanese help didn’t have any affect on what Korea is today is just absurd.

      I also want to say that I’m surprised that japanCRUSH is still filled with so many pro-Korean/anti-Japanese. I think I’m biased and I support Korea over Japan for personal reasons, but this is getting to be ridiculous. Way more pro-Korean on japanCRUSH than pro-Japanese on koreaBANG. Let it go. It’s getting to be a bit embarrassing.

      • terriblemovie

        Is was the US that helped South Korea grow into what it is today. Japan didn’t help. They invaded Korea out of greed. Korea was well on its way to modernizing without Japanese help.

        • Brett

          You are blind. Japan brought huge leaps in both educational and social reform. They also loaned a lot of money.

        • chris

          “During the early period of Japanese rule, the Japanese government attempted to completely integrate the Korean economy with Japan, and thus introduced many modern economic and social institutions and invested heavily in infrastructure, including schools, railroads and utilities. Most of these physical facilities remained in Korea after the Liberation. The Japanese government played an even more active role in developing Korea than it had played in developing the Japanese economy in the late nineteenth century. Many programs drafted in Korea in the 1920s and 1930s originated in policies drafted in Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912). The Japanese government helped to mobilize resources for development and provided entrepreneurial leadership for these new enterprises. Colonial economic growth was initiated through powerful government efforts to expand the economic infrastructure, to increase investment in human capital through health and education and to raise productivity.” – Savada, Andrea Matles, and Shaw, William (1990)

          • chucky3176

            it figures you would peddle that Japanese rule was good beneovlent rule for Korea. I’ve stayed silent to see where you would go with this, and it’s clear where you stand. Why do you think Japan built those infrastructure, railroads and schools? Give me the real reasons, not some bull shit Japanese co-prosperity empire of Japan 101. Because they were kind and they wanted to help the poor Koreans so that they can benefit from them? hahahahaha…… yeah…. man..
            Are you even aware that most of that what was built were built in North Korea (with good reasons), and what little was built in South Korea were destroyed in the Korean War? And how much longer is Japan going to use the 1965 $800 million grants and loans treaty to suck up? $300 million were grants, the rest were loans. Do you know what a loan is? They have interest that helps Japanese banks.

          • chucky3176

            Now that you brought up how much Japan “helped” Korea, why not bring up
            how much Japan took from Korea during the colonial days? I’m talking
            about in the forms of taking rice harvests from southern provinces, coal
            production from northern Korea, gold, tungsten, minerals, laborers,
            even girls, on and on.. all that were dug out, sold, used, and
            transported with their spanking new railroads, to fund the Japanese
            Imperialism in Asia. As for schools, in 1945, after the liberation, South Korea’s literacy rate was only 22%. It is utter fallacy that Japan educated Koreans. They educated the elite who were willing to sell out to do Japan’s bidding, they had to learn Japanese history and Japanese language. The vast majority were uneducated. Why nobody talk about what Japan took from Korea,
            but only like to talk about what Japan supposedly gave to Korea out of
            their pure goodness of their heart?

          • chuckybla

            then why dont you tell all your korean brothers and sisters to get the hell out of japan?! why dont you go to koreabang instead and comment we are so right! we are the victims! let’s sulk forever and put on make-up and eat kimchi and have plastic surgeries! why dont you go comment on your beloved korean brothers that urinated on someone else’s face or the one that dismembered another girl. GO! off with you japan hater!

          • Eudaimonia

            Noone (N-O-O-N-E) is arguing that Japan didn’t do bad things to Korea, what we’re arguing that some good was done too. Do you get it? I doubt it.

          • dusjanbe

            Korea would be cheap labor human resources and a rice basket for Japan during her expansion into China in reality

            all those “progress” would have been lost because of “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” project and Korea would back at square one.

            The fact is the Japanese would fight war they could not possible win and even ruin them self in the process. They needed foreign trade for imports of essential commodities but they tried created their own trade bloc and block everyone out

            Colonization of Korea in real terms “how to facilitates further Japanese presence” just like all other colonial powers

          • Butsu

            Guys I don’t think they’re arguing that the colonization in itself was a good thing. More of a, what good came from all that bad. Catch my drift? I can be wrong though.

      • cookiemonster

        “Way more pro-Korean on japanCRUSH than pro-Japanese on koreaBANG”

        That’s because JapanCrush always have something to do with Korea, with Japanese citizens talking about Koreans with nationalistic topics.

        But KoreaBang doesn’t have as much Japan centric topics, as JapanCrush has about Korea.

        • hello

          coz “pro-koreans” or should i say koreans are so obsessed with the japanese. these pro-koreans love to comment on anything japanese that has something to do with them. just like a child seeking for attention. well to be fair not all koreans. just the ones who love going here and automatically ctrl+f the word korea. If you all hate japan and love korea so much, why do come here and read the news and then comment oh japan is like this and that. why not go and read koreabang news instead. it’s like u have a crush on japan but dont want to admit it. just like a stalker. tsk tsk tsk

      • namepen

        I agree with you that there does seem to be an in-balance, but unless more English speaking Japanese join in, what can you do.

        I didn’t say that the Japanese had no effect rather that Korean economic success was not advanced by the Japanese. Sure the loans helped, but it would be absurd to say that the Korean economic success was down to Japan.

      • AnthonyLudovici

        Incorrect. We have a case study, in Primorsk, of how Russians treated Koreans under them, from Isabella Bird (hardly a pro-Russian source):

        “In Korea I had learned to think of Koreans as the dregs of a race, and to regard their condition as hopeless, but in Primorsk I saw reason for considerably modifying my opinion. It must be borne in mind that these people, who have raised themselves into a prosperous farming class, and who get an excellent character for industry and good conduct alike from Russian police officials, Russian settlers, and military officers, were not exceptionally industrious and thrifty men. They were mostly starving folk who fled from famine, and their prosperity and general demeanor give me the hope that their countrymen in Korea, if they ever have an honest administration and protection for their earnings, may slowly develop into men.” (p. 236)

        I understand the Japanese get tired of being demonized, same with the Germans, but this doesn’t give them the right to turn around and use European colonialism as some kind of convenient “foil” to their own supposedly more humanitarian colonialism.

        • Brett

          It’s clear that today, in present Russia, non-white Russians face hardships similar to American minorities prior to desegregation. Koreans would not be happy campers if Russia ruled them today (not that they are entirely happy to begin with).

          • AnthonyLudovici

            Minorities in Russia in the near and far abroad mostly run their own affairs and have high level autonomy. Do you not understand how the Russian Federation works?

            Caucuses people, like Chechens, are human garbage and deserve everything they get however. The people who have suffered the most in that region are ethnic slavs, look at how many have been driven out of the Caucuses by Islam, look at the censuses.

          • Brett

            There are tons of YouTube videos of minorities being terrorized by skinheads and the like in Moscow. What are you getting at? Russia just isn’t a good place for ethnic Russians. It’s kinda like how the Han Chinese treat Uighurs or Tibetans.

          • dusjanbe

            Russia is almost twice the size of the U.S with less then half of is populations, most minorities live in their respective regions.

            The reason for life standard deterioration have nothing to do with race or ethnicity but years of Communism and the catastrophic economic liberalization policy during the 90″s

            As for migrant workers from Central Asia, Russia have plenty of those just like Mexicans in the U.S

            As for Korea would be ruled by Russia today, why would Russia rule Korea when they left Mongolia on is own back in 1992 and all the other Soviet Republic, Eastern Europe.

          • Brett

            So you mean if Russia controlled Korea until 1992, Korea would have a similar economy to Mongolia? Previously USSR controlled states haven’t really hit any economic success. Again, Korea is better off now, than if it were colonized by either Russia or China. Not because what Japan did was good, but because it just worked out that way.

            I think the South Koreans are pretty content with their quality of life, considering the alternatives.

          • dusjanbe

            Economically South Korea only resemble an industrialized nation somewhere in the 1980″s.

            Current economic status would by set back by 10-15 years at best.

            The fact is until the 1980’s North Korea was economically stronger or equal of the South’s. During the 60’s and 70’s beside Japan, North Korea would be a decent place to live in Asia (life standard wise minus the Stalinist totalitarianism). The role reversed drastically after the 90’s famine.

            The notion that no communist bloc country or ex-Soviet republic succeeded after 1991 is simply false, Baltic countries, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia is almost at Western Europe standard.

            Korea under Soviet would look like East Germany/ Baltic states or Yugoslavia economically, which mean an industrial base and plenty of educated professionals

            Mongolia fell under the same category as Tadzhikistan and Kirghistan i.e a backwater used for military exercise and performing weapons test.

            Even during the Cold War, North Korea was not at a comparable level with Mongolia or China.

            By the 1960’s which Japan post-war recovery was completed everyone an Asia was dirt poor even all those future “economic tigers”.

            Ironically the Japanese didn’t needed those colonies to become “prosperous” nor did the “Asians” wanted to be colonized to becoming “prosperous” under “guidance”. All which was fundamental for the J-militarist when they reasoning the justification for WWII.

            As for for the Kim’s dynasty, only reason to keep them to prevent further U.S military presence at the border of China/Russia, other then that they would have getting rid of like Hafizullah Amin, Erich Honecker or Nicolae Ceausescu

          • chucky3176

            Brett, before the 1990 Soviet collapse, the ethnic Korean minorities of the Soviet Union (central Asia) were one of the most economically successful and educated ethnic classes. Same thing in China. It’s only the Japanese who keeps peddling the ideal that Koreans were too dumb and racially inferior to make it on their own. And Westerners who were impressed with Japan’s development, often bought into that ideal. We still see that, even today.

          • Brett

            But I’m talking about if Russia had taken over the peninsula. You think Russia would just let go of the southernmost port (as another poster mentioned) they could have access to, just to be nice?

            Koreans wouldn’t be making the money you claim if there were 70 million living in Russia.

            Why won’t anyone admit that Japanese occupation, as much as it sucked, worked out well for Korea in the end.

            I still think Japan has to do something about the class A war criminals they honor. I still think Korea and Japan need to undergo a lot of conflict resolution. But I also think Korea and Koreans need to do a little letting go. It was over 3 generations ago.

            I guess I’m just saying that forgiving and forgetting is easier in the long run.

          • To Brett

            Pure speculation – means absolutely nothing, Japanese nationalist.

          • Brett

            Good news is, on your trolling report card, you get an “E” for “effort”.

        • Eudaimonia

          The Germans deserve what they get, especially with their recent attitudes in Europe (acting as the boss), their propaganda etc.

          The fourth “economic” reich should be stopped.

      • nitrostat

        HA… its true that the Japanese loaned the Koreans… BUT and this is a huge one… do you know helped Korea the most? the US… and do you know who loaned the Japanese to get their economy back on their feet? without the US.. Japan would be living in the stone ages. don’t make it sound as if, they got up on their own two feet. After WW2, both Germany and Japan got so much support from the US… either way i cut it, without the US… Japan wouldn’t be what u see today.

        • Brett

          The fact that America helped doesn’t take away from the fact that Japan did too. Get it through your thick skull. It’d be nice if we all give credit where credit is due.

          • To Brett

            Get it through your Japanese nationalist thick skull that only looking at Japan’s “accomplishments/gifts for South Korea” and pretending like there were no downsides or negatives to what they “contributed” is pure drivel. South Koreans and other colonized Asian countries owe the Japanese NOTHING – even if they got financial money (loans), they still were colonized AGAINST their will.

          • Brett

            Japanese nationalist? The only things I know about Japan are 1. sushi is great 2. anime is weird and 3. Korea and China both hate the place.

            I am a Korean sympathizer, but only when it makes sense.

            I never justified Japanese colonization and definitely never said there were no downsides… What the heck were you reading?

            It’s just funny how dwelling on the bad can make us neglect to admit that some good was done too.

          • Eudaimonia

            The “Japan loaned Korea money” etc stuff are to show that Japan has been very good with Korea and China after world war2 (for the last ~70 years). So, Japan doesn’t deserve to be demonized. Japan doesn’t deserve for example ~10% of Chinese tv channels showing Japanese devils all day long. Do you get it now? OR do you require further explanation?

        • linette lee

          AT the end Japan and Korea are both USA bxtches. Relying on USA for trades and military protection.

        • snooki

          you seem so proud of your beloved usa but you do have that jersey shore show haha

      • linette lee

        They don’t call this place japanCRUSH for nothing you know. Look how they SMACK china. CRUSH and SMACK is a lot worst than bang.

        But CRUSH is just like………… die….dead…no more….sayonara..very extreme…kill Japan.

        SMACK…it’s like… hurt.

        Bang…..I don’t know…..some people like it. Sounds exciting.

        • besudesu

          Linette, that’s completely untrue. The CRUSH of japanCRUSH has absolutely nothing to do with “crushing” Japan. How could it? It’s more to do with the crush of the Tokyo rush hour, or having a crush on someone. And our ethos is just the same as the other sites. We report whatever news is trending. So stop trying to create negativity where none exists.

          • linette lee

            oh…really….? The controversial topics posted here sure had me fooled. You mean they were meant to give the readers a “crushing” feeling toward Japan. Like having a crush on someone. hahaha…lol What kind of “crush” is that? Very rough.

          • besudesu

            Interpret it however you want, Linette. It’s just a cute name that fits in with the other sister sites. And we don’t make the news, we just translate it.

          • christoph M

            actually the bang of koreabang could be interpreted as an ethnic slur. Arent korean called 棒子(bangzi)?so, 韩国棒?come on, i dont believe that Fauna being chinese herself didnt know it…

          • besudesu

            Well, you know as well as I do that Fauna had nothing to do with naming koreaBANG. And that koreaBANG was set up by people who love Korea and have a deep interest in its internet culture — go read their About page. So you’re just trolling now.

          • That’s absolutely ridiculous. Bang (방) is a popular Korean term for the concept of a room. Surely you’re aware of that.

  • chris

    quick! someone get Chucky to spew his anti-Japanese rant!!!!

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Chucky’s not anti-Japanese. He’s anti-everything.

      • linette lee

        He wasn’t loved as a child that is why he is a hater now. He was screwed bad. He needs help.

  • Zappa Frank

    he keep on talking about prostitutes instead of sex slaves, i have lot of doubt about it. Japs went so far that in Indonesia they forced in prostitution even some olands women, does he think they have been sold by poor parents too?

    no coment about his fantapolitic view.. what if..

  • terriblemovie

    “”””However, it was not a campaign that targeted Koreans in particular, and there is no doubt that Japan sincerely regrets the true pain suffered by women of all nationalities that were part of this enterprise during the war.””””

    Him being the Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute and reporting for Sankei News(Japanese equivalent of Fox News) makes him totally unbiased (sarcasm if you haven’t noticed).

    His arguments make no sense:

    1. Other countries used prostitution, therefore what Japan did was OK.

    2. Compares Arlington to Yasukuni. Arlington contains actual bodies. Yasukuni contains spirits(names of combatants only). Arlington does not contain genocidal war criminals who were tried and executed at a world court. It would take the people at Yasukuni a grand total of 2 minutes to scribble out the 14 class A war criminals at the monkey shrine.

    3. Claims that Japanese victory led to South Koreas free market economy and democracy. Is he on crack or heroine? Korea had no such freedoms until the US occupation. Japanese was the polar opposite of beneficial. Even then, only the southern half enjoys freedom.

    • Brett

      The guy was writing for his audience. Now he gets free visits to any massage parlor in the country.

      • To Brett

        “Academic” doesn’t mean s-, this “James Auer,” writer for a *Japanese news site* and director of a center for US-*Japan* studies, has been trained well by the Japanese nationalists. He sounds EXACTLY like them, word for word. Brainwashed and all. He already seemed to have made up his biased mind, why even go for 3 days to South Korea for “research”? It reminds me of one black woman on this site who said that she visited South Korea for two weeks, and stated that everything people said negatively about South Korea was absolutely true. She couldn’t stand the country and went back to her “beloved Japan.” When I asked her to elaborate on what was so bad there, she didn’t answer the question but resorted to personal attacks. Point is, if you’ve made up your mind, why even bother? Just write your B.S. for your intended audience and stay in your beloved country instead of stabbing your hosts in the back with these types of comments after you’ve been there.

    • Eudaimonia

      1. What he’s saying is that things should be in their proper context and perspective. for example: Saying that Japanese cave-men raped their women is bad is true BUT if all (or most) cavemen raped their women the “OMG look at what the Japanese cavemen did” part goes away.

      2. The Japanese war criminals have payed with their lives, and with discrace, there’s absolutely no reason to pay by not being included in the cemetary where all the war dead are mentioned. Other than that according to shinto you can’t delete names, the religion isn’t going to change in order to make some Korean and Chinese crazy ultranationalists shut up.

      As for the American war criminals if you had ANY idea of proper history, history which wasn’t just your local version of American propaganda then you wouldn’t have said a thing on this subject, because if Yasukuni contains war criminals then arlington is the World’s center for war criminals.

      3. Not saying very much are you? 🙂 Anyway, what he’s saying is that China is a country that whatever she grabs she keeps (inner mongolia, Tibet, East Turkestan). Truth be told to ponder on what might have been is pointless, though making your case for you (who’s not saying very much) is pointless for me.

      Bye bye!

      • HateHypocrisy

        1. Japan and Germany were in a league of their own in terms of war crimes, that’s undisputed. There hasn’t been any other country known to systematically conduct genocide, human experiments, etc. on the victims of their vicious invasions. So no, Japanese and Nazi German cavemen weren’t like other cavemen, that is the gist of the problem.

        2. Let’s hear what you have to say if the Germans were to enshrine the remains of Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, etc. into the Koln Cathedral, ok?

        3. Pot, meet Kettle. Let’s talk about Hawaii, New Mexico, Alaska, in fact, the ENTIRE North American continent, shall we? After all, these land were “grabbed and kept” centuries after ancient China “grabbed and kept” Tibet and Xinjiang. While we’re at it, let’s talk about Hokkaido, Ryukyus, ok?


        • Rutim

          lol, you’re one funny Chinese 😉

        • Eudaimonia

          1. I’d happily reply to this but your reply is irrelevant to the subject.

          2. Considering what Germany is doing now with Europe. The transfer of capital from the p.i.i.g.s. to Germany and friends, the despicable propaganda, and Germany acting as the leader of a supposedly equal union etc…. Their current attitudes can’t even remotely be compared to anything that Japan is accused off.

          3. I’m not American. Hokkaido is Japanese, Ryukus (Okinawa) could be disputed but polls show that the people living there (Okinawan’s) want to be Japanese. Do the Tibetans want to be Chinese, or do they burn themselves alive to make their just cause visible in worldwide media? 🙂

          • Zappa Frank

            3 yeah, it’s a shame china did not killed almost all natives and put the rest in a reserve like americans did.

          • Eudaimonia

            Frank Zappa i allready said i’m not American. Why do you think that American crimes delete Chinese crimes? FFS.

  • dusjanbe

    No contemporary historical records show that Russia was ever interesting in annexing Korean peninsula.

    This guys talk things out of his ass, just like the British convinced themselves that Imperial Russia would run over Afghanistan and Persia during the 19th century and colonized it all the way to the Indian subcontinent

    The fact is without foreign aid during 1905 war Japan would have probably loss, mainly without credit from American banker and British naval expertise, heck those artillery shells was bough with foreign money from foreign countries.

    “Now, let me slap you back to reality. Just ask any non-white Russian how
    much they enjoy their existence compared to their white counterparts”

    Yes supposedly the Japanese treated any of their Asiatic untermensch brothers any better. What did the Japanese do that their European counterpart haven’t done already ?

    FYI “white russian” is a political affiliation of mainly tzarist loyalist or referring to a person from Belarus.

    In context Japanese paranoia made them to colonized Korea just as The British invaded Afghanistan in 19th century.

    For example the Republic of Turkey was in a more dire situation after WWI then Japan ever was in geopolitical term, at least they were smart enough to keep it at home i.e no stupid neo-colonial project and chest thumbing war to boost national prestige

    • Brett

      Not how the Japanese treated them then, but if they were a colony of Russia or a province in China, now, compared to how life in Korea is, now. You are arguing a completely different point.

    • Brett

      Had China or Russia colonized South Korea, than South Korea, today, would be no more. It would be part of Russia or China. The Japanese did terrible things, then. But I’d like to think Koreans prefer their lives in the present.

      • nitrostat

        If America didn’t step in and if the axis had won that war… Korea would be under Japanese rule… part of China would be now called Japan.. and so will many other Asian countries.. how is that any different from being under China or Russia? you forget that Japan during the WWII era was a monarchy, and even closer to a fascist society like Germany = i.e Hitler…. either way you slice the cake it would have been bad for Korea. I think they got the best outcome when America took over.

        • Brett

          I don’t disagree. You aren’t arguing my point, even though you are trying to. You are just adding your two cents.

  • Vladimir Prostran

    I do not think that South Korea became democratic and prosperous because it was colonized by Japan. There is nothing to substantiate that claim. South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world after the Korean War ended. South Korea is successful because of hard working and productive Koreans and certainly not because of Japanese colonization. What’s next? Koreans should thank Japanese for being colonized? Nonsense.

    • terriblemovie

      “””What’s next? Koreans should thank Japanese for being colonized? Nonsense.”””

      Many Japanese politicians, historians and high ranking officials have been stating this for a long long time now. They state that Korea should be thankful that Japan “modernized” Korea. What a load of shit.

      The claim is astoundingly idiotic because Japan merely westernized(plagiarized Europe and America) and then used modern technology to invade its neighbors while espousing idiotic claims about how they were superior.

      Kinda like a retard plagiarizing Einsteins work and then proclaiming himself a genius to his neighbors.

  • Isaac

    Because of Japanese occupation, the legacy still lives today: the divison of Korea.

    Japan profited heavily during the Korean War and under the US dollar. While South Korea was left in the dust and had to start over again.

  • Panda.EXE

    Hopefully, with time, the youth of Japan will eventually seek disillusionment from the stretched truth, historical fabrications and shameless, ignorant pride of their forefathers. I think it’s important to understand that it’s mainly the old men and current leaders of Japan who feel they’ve done nothing wrong. Saburo Ienaga’s books were written for the sole purpose of telling his own country the truth of what they’ve done in WWII. Children shouldn’t have to suffer from what their grandfathers have done. Ignorance is our enemy. Not our neighbors.

    • y.m.

      You dont know much about the Japanese public do you? its mostly the younger generations today thats finally realizing how fabricated the japanese history is because of the GHQ. Mostly elders in japan including ww2 veterans are very left wing nowadays and are quite pacifist. If you wanna complain about disillusionment about history, blame the u.s. for playing around with japanese nationalism during the cold war. If you’re criticizing japanese people for having pride for their own country, its you thats trying to brainwash the japanese youth.

      • Panda.EXE

        “You dont know much about the Japanese public do you?”

        -As a citizen of a COMPLETELY different country, I won’t sit here and say I do entirely. I can only gather so much information on it in hopes of it being credible.

        “Mostly elders in japan including ww2 veterans are very left wing nowadays and are quite pacifist.”

        -From the info I’ve gathered thus far, there doesn’t seem to be one set affinity in between both young and old. Survey data or statistics of some sort may be more reinforcing of your claim.

        “its mostly the younger generations today thats finally realizing how fabricated the japanese history is because of the GHQ.”

        -Hopefully that’s true and it’ll show in the future generation of their leaders, but from what I’ve discovered, the Japanese history books have been revised to make it look differently and it doesn’t often show that they can tell.

        “If you wanna complain about disillusionment about history, blame the u.s. for playing around with japanese nationalism during the cold war. If you’re criticizing japanese people for having pride for their own country, its you thats trying to brainwash the japanese youth.”

        -I don’t know what I said that could be indicative of criticizing people for having national pride (although, I do find pride often silly). Also, you’re doing exactly what I was talking about: blaming me (or my generation) for something you should be accusing the forefathers of my country for doing.

        That all aside, if you are a Japanese citizen yourself, then I couldn’t argue since you have the advantage of actual experience.

        • chucky3176

          Panda, y.m. is right about the Japanese youth.

          • Panda.EXE

            Okay. Thanks for the clarification, Chucky.

  • Vladimir Prostran

    One more thing: after Japanese occupation, Americans and Russians generously treated each other with a half of Korean peninsula. They made the arrangement without asking Korean people what they wanted.
    Claim of some Japanese politicians that Koreans should be grateful for colonization is despicable. Japanese exploited and humiliated Koreans in their own country, saw them as lower race and it is insane to claim that Japan saved Korea from “evil” Chinese or Russians, since neither of these countries tried to assimilate or force Korea into becoming a part of their countries.
    However, I strongly believe USA and Russia are responsible for the division on Korean peninsula and I don’t see why these two countries would expect any kind of gratitude from Koreans.

  • john freyan

    An academic (in the field of international relations) speaks on the subject of the history of Japanese Occupation in Korea (which he has no expertise in, since his field of study is international relations) and concludes that it wasn’t so bad: Japanese netizens agree wholeheartedly.

    An academic (in the field of material science) speaks on the subject of the Theory of Evolution (which he has no expertise in, since his fiend of study is material science) and concludes that Intelligent Design is the more reasonable theory: Right-Wing Christian nutjobs agree wholeheartedly.

    An academic (in the field of… well, real estate salesmanship) speaks on the subject of whether Barack Obama was born in Kenya or not (which she has no expertise in, since she’s a freaking real estate agent) and concludes that Obama is indeed Kenyan: desperate Birthers agree wholeheartedly.

    I’m hoping that a clear pattern emerges from here.

  • gia

    koreans love the bad side and the japanese look at the bright side of the story. korea… never ready to move on

  • truth

    when at war, expect to be killed, raped, tortured, and everything taken away from you. the only thing you can and must do is be smart and strong so you can protect yourself and live longer which obviously koreans failed to do. the last thing you can expect for is an apology. silly koreans dont get the concept of war. They blame their weakness on the strength of the japanese. you are responsible for your own well being at war.

  • takasar1

    “Both China and Korea, having educated its citizens
    badly with the aim of steering internal discontent outwards, they are
    both struggling in their diplomatic relations, having chained themselves
    down in shackles!”. imbeciles reserve the right to remain silent.

    a lot of what he says is superstition, but still, the guy will probably have his ‘opinions’/’version’ bashed by random armchair historians or nationalists who probably dont know what he is saying. his argument has some merit, tbh, some points definitely force the intelligent reader to stop and ponder the import of his words but the other half is just drivel. how you can create history out of thin air and predict the future based on certain events is shocking.

    he is right though, the koreans do have an inferiority complex. but then again, so do the japanese

    • john freyan

      The man has no academic background in Northeast Asian history, let alone 20th century Japan-Korea history. So I’d say Dr. Auer is a random armchair historian.

  • Alice S

    This man is racist towards Koreans!

  • com-chan

    ITT: people think they are smarter, informed, and know more about Asian than U.S. Academic who has been to those countries, talked to those people, and read more about Asian.

  • guest

    this is a disney approach to mass violence. forget what koreans and chinese say about statistics. JAPAN admitted to killing millions…millions… of asian civilians (NOT including soldiers). and their own military was so highly organized and efficient they documented the twisted ways much of that was done (it was NOT collateral damage during war battles). thousands of japanese soldiers killed themselves rather than participate in slaughter of other fellow asians. thousands more wrote diaries to home or secretly how horrible fellow asians were being treated by fellow asians. japan has apologized many times for ww2. why? because they know they were horrible human beings during it. they weren’t just soldiers fighting battles and unfortunately civilians get caught up in it. and japan’s feudal society, like many asians, did have an attitude that soldiers needed sex to keep order. they routintely captured japanese girls in history and forced them into it and japan’s army documentation shows they were either directly involved in prostitution or they worked closely with korean pimps. they did steal girls from their home when there weren’t enough pro prostitutions available. japan does not argue about why they need to apologize, they argue they’ve done it enough. nazis get all the bad press because jewish people used american media to tell their story (rightfully). but imperial japan was filled with twisted mother f’ers who did human experiments on other races and killed in ways nazis would have been jealous of. japan started weapons of mass destruction carpet bombing in china and other areas. the americans actually studied japan’s carpet bombing over time and then dropped a big lesson back on japan. when they have hiroshima and nagasaki memorials they should invite a large group of chinese to represent their cities too. you can youtube some of the earliest war flight video because japanese, like nazis, loved to document everything they did. you can watch early bi-planes fly close over crowded cities and drop chemical warfare bombs as chinese flee in all directions trying to avoid it.

    japan liberated nobody. and so what if china or russian had taken south korea? koreans wouldn’t have been treated the way japanese treated them. japan didn’t create any wonderful new japanese prefecture in skorea. it was a shithole when americans went in to save it from china. just look at archive photos of skorea before korean war. if japan was so good for korea why was it a shithole when americans arrived? and who is to say china and russia would have made it part of their nation? both nations were powerful enough to overtake many smaller nations along/near their borders and did not. there is no evidence that china or russian wanted to make korea part of their nation. why didn’t china just make north korea part of china? they cared more about keeping japan and the west away from it more than bringing it into their nations. they did not want japan or western nation taking claims on mainland asia so that was their interest more than anything.

    in the end, america and allies liberation of skorea only proves what skoreans are saying. if left alone, with a chance to be themselves, they quickly became a great nation. once japan and china were kicked out by force, skorea took less than 20 years to modernize in urban areas and recently have surpassed much bigger japan in many key areas. skorea will likely be a more vibrant and vital country than japan is 20 years from now. when, not if, both koreans unite they will do it like germans did. one korea will become an even greater nation. as soon as they got support from world to keep nasty bullies away from them (japan and china) skorea took off like a rocket. japan did nothing for skorea other than humiliate them in big and small ways.

  • DV

    Wow, I never knew before reading the comments to this article that Japanese people think so overwhelmingly that Koreans have an inferiority complex. If that’s the case, then why do the Japanese hate Koreans so much? If you truly pity someone, shouldn’t you be kinder to them?

    • Kumabear

      >why do the Japanese hate Koreans so much?

      Don’t you know why?

      Because Koreans are spreading lies and fabricated history all over the world in order to degrade Japan’s reputation. Did Japan rob Korean language, abolish Korean cultures, destroy Korean forest, rape and kill Korean ruthlessly, and exploit Koreans during occupation era? No. Everything above is big fat lie created after the war. Japan did the opposite. Koreans lie and blame Japan for what they in fact have done.

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