SBS called the East Sea the Sea of Japan

August 10th, 2013 · Japan · 0 comments

Well, that’s embarassing.

Korean arrested in Yasukuni Shrine protest

August 16th, 2012 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals, Japan, Politics · 0 comments

In Japan on August 15, which is commemorated in South Korea as Liberation Day, one Korean man took a Korean flag near the infamous Yasukuni Shrine in Japan to protest the shrine’s role in the ongoing disputes over the two country’s shared history that continue to prevent them from having a normal relationship. Video of Japanese police forcing him away has been making the rounds on the Korean internet.

Japan-Korea military agreement protested in Seoul

July 20th, 2012 · Japan, Politics · 0 comments

With Korean authorities struggling to get the public to accept the General Security of Military Information Agreement (한일 군사정보포괄보호협정 or 한일군사협정 for short) signed with Japan, protests have been held in front of the Japanese Embassy by leftist groups. One man also decided to use a day off from work to hold his own one-person demonstration.

SKorea: Should ‘comfort women’ be called ‘sex slaves’?

July 17th, 2012 · Japan, Politics · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (외교통상부) is considering a plan to change the English name of the Japanese military “comfort women” to “sex slaves”. But Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (한국정신대문제대책협의회), a group composed of the victimized women, opposes the plan and supports the continued use of the phrase “comfort women”.

Comfort women demonstration

Comfort women at a demonstration in Seoul late last year. Pic: AP.

Ministry authorities announced on the 16th that “as to the issue of using the expression ‘sex slave’ for the Japanese military comfort women in our own language, we have no plans… we are merely considering a plan to change the international expression from ‘so called comfort women’ to ‘sex slave’.”

The issue of changing the expression for comfort women arose recently, when US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reportedly referred to the Japanese military comfort women as “enforced sex slaves”. On the 13th the full foreign affairs and trade commission of the National Assembly issued its reply, through Democratic United Party Representative Shim Jae-gwon, that “we ask whether there may be a need to the change the expression to sex slave.”

However, the Council argued that “we must continue to use the expression comfort women, as used by the Japanese military, to expose the reality of Japanese war crimes,” and the expression in Korean remains unchanged.

An official with the Ministry said that “we believe that the opinions of the victims are very important.”

Former Korean comfort women to sue Japanese politician

July 3rd, 2012 · Japan, Legal news, Politics · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

Women used as comfort women by the Japanese military have begun a legal offensive against Japanese citizens who insulted the comfort woman statue across from the Japanese Embassy in Korea.

Kim Sun-ok, Bae Chun-hui, Lee Yong-nyeo, Kim Gun-ja, Lee Ok-seon, Kang Il-chul, Yu Hui-nam, and others of the women living at the “House of Sharing” in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, announced on the 3rd that on the afternoon of the 4th they will file a lawsuit for defamation and criminal insult against 47-year old Suzuki Noboyuki, a Japanese citizen.

South Korea comfort women statue

South Korea comfort women statue. Pic: AP.

Their attorney is Park Seon-ah of the Hangang Law Corporation.

There are over 1,000 complainants from House of Sharing, the E-Museum for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, and the International Peace and Human Rights Center.

They plan to also report Mr. Suzuki to the Immigration Service to have banned from entering the country.

House of Sharing explained in a statement that “Mr. Suzuki placed a stake on the comfort woman statute, which represents all of us former comfort women, called us prostitutes, and insulted our experiences during the Pacific War caused by Japan… he questioned whether Japanese people bore any legal responsibility for committing human rights abuses and praised war crimes.”

House of Sharing’s president Ahn Shin-gwon said that “police say that there is no statute allowing them to take action, so we are takin legal action to prevent it happening a second and third time.”

Mr. Suzuki went to the Korean War and Women’s Rights Museum in Seoul on the 18th of last month, then the next day went to the comfort woman statue across from the Japanese Embassy and placed a white sign on reading “Takeshima is Japanese Territory” in Korean and “Takeshima is Japan’s Inherent Land” in Japanese, setting of fthe current controversy.

SKorea: Police protect comfort woman statue

January 20th, 2012 · Japan, Photos, Politics · 0 comments

Police in Seoul have been keeping an eye on the comfort woman statue installed across the street from the Japanese Embassy to prevent it being defaced and to prevent fights breaking out. Comfort women supporters have decorated the statue.

SKorea: ‘Comfort woman’ statue near embassy angers Japan

December 14th, 2011 · Japan, Politics · 0 comments

A statue of a comfort woman placed across from the Japanese embassy in Seoul, with a plaque describing their enslavement during the Japanese occupation, has drawn the ire of the Japanese government.

The statue was set up on the 14th by Japanese-Korean citizens’ groups, which had been vowing to do so. According to YTN News, the Japanese government had been strenuously resisting the statute but was unable to stop it, and has announced through Ambassador Fujimura that “this issue has been fully and finally resolved” (“완전하고도 최종적으로 해결이 끝났다”) and “the Japanese government will not be changing its policy regarding the comfort women issue” (“일본 정부로서는 위안부 문제와 관련한 지금까지의 방침에 어떤 변화도 없다”).

Japanese tourists buying fake goods in Korea

November 28th, 2011 · Economy and Worklife, Japan · 0 comments

Well, hey, this is free trade, right?

Original article in Korean is at this link.

The Seoul office of the Korea Customs Service (관세청) has caught 39-year-old Mr. Choi, a tourist guide, secretly making and selling counterfeit brand name goods to Japanese tourists.

Mr. Choi is accused of setting a shop in an apartment in Hannam-dong where the fake goods were displayed and selling them to Japanese tourists enticed in off the street.

Customs Service investigators found that Mr. Choi moved the tourists in his personal car to avoid detection, and to prevent discovery during the departure process he used international mail to smuggle them out of the country.

The Customs Service has arrested Mr. Choi without detention and plans to refer him to prosecutors.

Japanese automakers to sell American-made cars in Korea

November 5th, 2011 · Economy and Worklife, Japan · 0 comments

Original article in Japanese is at this link. Somehow, when the KORUS FTA went through I figured it would benefit Ford more than Toyota.

On the 1st, Toyota Motor Corporation announced that it will begin exporting the minivan Sierra to South Korea, which is manufactured in the United States.

This is the first time that Toyota will sell in Korea cars that are fully manufactured in the United States. The rising value of the yen against the won in international exchange markets, declining profitabilty of Japanese exports, the Korea-US free trade agreement that goes into effect at the beginning of the year, and the repeal of certain duties and tariffs are all reasons for the plan. Toyota also plans to begin expanding the number of Camry sedans made in the US for the Korean market.

Toyota is exporting 600 cars this year. The cars to be sold in Korea will be exported from Japan and, under the free trade agreement, will be treated as American-made products exported to Korea without tariffs.

Osaka murder mystery

October 28th, 2011 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals, Japan · 0 comments

Well, here is my first stab at a Japanese translation. This one doesn’t have anything to do with Korea, but there will be some in the future.

Original article in Japanese is at this link.

At approximately 10:40pm on the 26th, in room 208 of a love hotel in Ajirokita in Higashi Osaka, a 119 emergency call was received from a man saying that “a 17-year-old girl is acting funny.” According to the Osaka Prefectural Police Department, the woman is 17 years old and lived in Osaka City. She collapsed in the room in a state of cardiac arrest, and was moved to a hospital where she soon died. Moreover, there was evidence of that she had been strangled, and prefectural police are looking at it as a murder case as they continue their investigation.

Investigators said that the woman was found on the bed, face up. At approximately 6pm on the 26th, the woman told one male and one female friend that she was going to go to the hotel. After that, they did not hear from her again, and the two went into the room, saw her, and called 119.

According to investigators, paramedics rushed in and found the woman nude and unconscious. There was no noticeable wound other than the one on her throat.