Tag Archives: Japan-South Korea

White House in Support of Abe's Asia Visits

The White House came out in support of strong ties among East Asian states yesterday, but emphasized Japan–South Korea ties more than better relations between Japan and China.

I read the reference to the United States’ “two key allies in East Asia, Japan and the ROK” as a way of emphasizing the continued distance between the United States and China. The statement could easily have been worded to emphasize strong ties between all three without introducing this element.

The full statement:

President Bush is encouraged by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned visit to the People’s Republic of China on October 8 and to the Republic of Korea (ROK) on October 9. The United States places utmost importance on close cooperation between its two key allies in East Asia, Japan and the ROK. Stronger bilateral ties enable closer trilateral U.S.-Japan-ROK cooperation, which only strengthens our mutual partnerships based on common values of democracy and freedom. Cooperation between Japan and China is also critical to dealing with the common challenges we face in Asia. Strong relations among these key nations in Asia can enrich the vibrant social and economic exchanges already taking place, and contribute to the region’s security.

The President supports the efforts of Prime Minister Abe and looks forward to continuing the strong relationship between the United States and Japan for the cause of peace, prosperity, and freedom in Asia and the world.

Abe, the Politics of Being Korean, and the NYT

From a conversation I had last week with David Marx and some snooping around on Japan’s popular 2ch message board comes Marxy’s essay on “Abe and the Politics of Being Korean.” The particular 2ch thread, which is now unavailable, got on Marxy’s back for being a vicious foreigner and also included unfriendly comments about New York Times reporter Norimitsu Onishi, whom the 2ch-ites say is a Korean Japanese. Part of Marxy’s take:

Much more moral clarity over on the thread, however, as posters want to know about this Japan-bashing writer Onishi. Apparently he is Korean-Japanese with Canadian citizenship. Comment 572 states 「大西は日本在住の、日本→カナダ国籍取った朝鮮人だよな。マジで殺されろ。」using a questionably-racist term for Koreans (朝鮮人) and then adding a cherry on top: “Seriously, he should be killed.” The logic is clear: of course, he is bashing Japan, because he is #1 – not actually Japanese – and #2 – the Korean-Japanese live their whole life to bash Japan. Racial purity determines political outlook.