Australia’s Bob Carr wants better Japan-South Korea relations

Australia wants Japan and South Korea to resolve recent disputes between them in the interests of enhanced regional security, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says.

He met with Japan’s new Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Sydney on Sunday, with security in the Asia-Pacific region high on the agenda, particularly following a recent missile launch by North Korea.

Complicating matters and causing concern in the United States is a falling out between Japan and South Korea over a territorial dispute and Japan’s attitude toward its colonial past.

Senator Carr told reporters he and Mr Kishida had discussed Australia’s new role on the United Nations Security Council and the missile launch.

‘We hope to be able to work closely with Japan when it comes to shaping a response on the Security Council to that unsatisfactory and illegal behaviour by North Korea,’ he said.

Read the rest of the story: Carr wants better Japan-SKorea relations.

Bilateral ties strained between Japan and South Korea and no summit likely at APEC meeting

It is unlikely that Japan and South Korea will hold a bilateral summit on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vladivostok this weekend.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will be among the leaders of the 21 APEC leaders to attend the annual summit.

A South Korean foreign ministry spokesman told reporters on Tuesday that neither side has proposed holding a bilateral summit.

He also said no meeting is scheduled either between Japan’s Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Kim Sung-hwan. Both will attend the APEC ministerial meeting opening on Wednesday.

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Japan says no decision on buying South Korean debt, disputed island row continues

The Japanese government has not reached a decision yet on whether it will buy South Korean government debt, Finance Minister Jun Azumi said on Friday, as a diplomatic row escalates between the two countries over a territorial dispute.

Azumi reiterated that the government might not extend a currency swap arrangement with South Korea after it expires in October.

Purchases of South Korean government debt and the currency swap were part of efforts to strengthen economic ties, but further cooperation has been thrown into doubt due to diplomatic tensions that have been growing in Northeast Asia.

“I want a little time to see how things develop,” Azumi told a media conference.

Read the rest of the story: UPDATE 1-Japan says no decision on buying Korean debt, island row festers.

Japan to formally propose South Korea take isles dispute to International Court of Justice

The Japanese government decided Tuesday to formally propose to South Korea by the end of the day that the two countries jointly seek a resolution to their dispute over some sparsely inhabited islands at the International Court of Justice, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said.

Japan will soon send a diplomatic document known as a “note verbale” formally making the proposal to the South Korean government through the Japanese embassy in Seoul, government officials said.The move comes in the wake of South Korean President Lee Myung Baks recent controversial visit to one of the disputed isles in the Sea of Japan, controlled by Seoul but claimed by Tokyo.

South Korea Postpones Military Agreement with Japan

South Korea has postponed at the last minute the signing of a landmark military agreement with Japan, amid anger in Seoul over the planned pact with a former colonial ruler.

The information-sharing pact would have been their first military agreement since the end of Japans brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over Korea.

It would have enabled the two sides, both of whom are close US allies, to swap intelligence about North Koreas missile and nuclear programs and other defence issues.Many older Koreans have bitter memories of Japans rule and military cooperation is a sensitive issue. Both the ruling and opposition parties in Seoul called for a delay, saying details have been kept secret.

A senior official of the ruling New Frontier Party, Chin Young, said the public opposes some aspects and it was inappropriate “to rush the signing of the agreement, with its details remaining unknown to the public”.

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Japan and South Korea To Sign Military Pact – First since WWII

Japan and South Korea have agreed to share intelligence in their first joint military pact since World War II.Japans Cabinet approved the pact Friday. It will allow sharing intelligence in such areas as missile defense, North Koreas nuclear weapons program and other regional security matters. It has already been approved by South Korea and is to be signed in Tokyo later in the day.The pact reflects mutual concerns that more cooperation is needed to enhance security readiness, and is seen as a breakthrough in ties between the two neighbors.Japan ruled Korea as a colony for several decades until the end of World War II in 1945, and Seoul has often been wary of Japans postwar military development.

Seoul Sex Slave Statue Becomes Focal Point of Dispute With Japan

The unsmiling teenage girl in traditional Korean dress sits in a chair, her feet bare, her hands on her lap, her eyes fixed on the Japanese Embassy across a narrow street in central Seoul. Within a day, the life-size bronze statue had become the focal point of a simmering diplomatic dispute as President Lee Myung-bak prepared to visit Tokyo this weekend.
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The statue, named the Peace Monument, was financed with citizens’ donations and installed Wednesday, when five women in their 80s and 90s, who were among thousands forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military during World War II, protested in front of the embassy, joined by their supporters. Such protests have been held weekly for almost 20 years.

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South Korea’s Misguided Ulleung Island Pier Plan

Seoul’s plan to develop a naval base on Ulleung Island is aimed at boosting its claim over the disputed Dokdo islets. It will also inflame tensions with Japan.

South Korea’s decision to build a naval pier at Sadong Port on Ulleung Island is creating further strains in its already troubled relationship with Japan.

Ulleung is the closest South Korean territory to disputed islets known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan that are claimed by both countries. South Korea’s Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry is set to provide 217.5 billion won $183 million for the base, with the remainder of the cost to be borne by the National Defence Ministry. Construction is expected to begin early next year and, once completed in 2015, this ‘forward-deployment’ naval base will feature a 300 metre pier large enough to accommodate high-tech Aegis destroyers as well as South Korea’s 14,000 ton amphibious landing ship, the Dokdo.

Read the rest of the story: South Korea’s Misguided Pier Plan.

Is Japan ruled by Korea?

Fuji TV channel( on You Tube is erupting with more than 10000 criticisms a day.

It started with Sousuke Takaoka, a Japanese actor, and his tweets condemning Fuji TV playing too much Korean content. He just said “Fuji TV should play what we Japanese people want to see.” Then he was promptly fired from his agency, Stardust Promotion.

After his dismissal, many people poured out support on his twitter page insisting he didn’t say anything wrong. This started a backlash.

Many Japanese who were not interested in watching Korean content in their living-rooms expressed their frustrations on Fuji TV’s YouTube pages, but the comments were almost immediately erased by Fuji TV.

To give further background on the subject and perhaps insight into why this spread of hanryu as it’s called in Japan, meaning the Korean wave, has produced this sudden “Korean Movement” or explosion of Korean Culture and Advertising, let’s looks at a few facts and examples. One such example that is taking place is the K-Pop Sensation, which has suddenly begun to segway into Samsung Appliances becoming “popular” in Japan, and there are other related stories, so let’s have a look behind the curtain, so to speak.

Fact 1: Many stockholders of Fuji TV are Korean and Korean residents.
Fact 2: The Korean government has hired an advertising company, Dentsu Inc., to promote Korea in a new Korean “movement” campaign.
Fact 3: Fuji TV has censored Japanese Nationalism.

Let’s start with Fact 3 and What Fuji TV has done. First, when Mao Asada won first place in a figure skating competition, Fuji TV blipped the scenes of the award ceremony and playing of the Japanese national anthem. Second, when the Japanese women’s soccer team won the 2011 World Cup, Fuji TV didn’t broadcast the award ceremony at all.

On to Fact 2. Fuji TV shows K-pop, Korean drama and Korean gossip shows all day long. Fuji TV has a spot where they rank the most popular food in Japan. The first prize is always something Korean like bulgogi Pizza, Hiyashi Kankoku, which normal Japanese most likely have never even had or seen.

And lastly Fact 1. There is no denying that Koreans own 20% or more of Fuji TV. Fuji TV has stopped sharing information on its stockholders in an effort to hide this fact.

If Korean culture such as food, K-pop and TV dramas were really organically popular in Japan, none of this would be much of a problem or even an issue, but all are fake reports or media trying to persuade the minds of the Japanese. And Sousuke Takaoka just pointed out those problems. Sousuke likened the proliferation of Korean content on Japanese TV as an act of “brainwashing.” It’s an invasion of free will, thought and expression.

Another problem is pachinko, the industry is 80% owned by Koreans, and they are a huge sponsor, but sponsoring TV programming that is Korean within the Japanese media.

Also, the Japanese main party is trying to make a new law, focused on Civil Liberties. It appears to be a great law on the surface, but it is actually a gag order law to prohibit free speech. Ultimately stripping the Japanese people of their civil rights, by allowing harassment and arrest for such things as expressing your opinion. The problem has gone beyond media and the K-Pop Sensation. It’s political as well, with the main party of Japan being caught paying money to North Korean groups that have been linked to the kid-napping of Japanese citizens. The victims of these crimes committed by this group, have been abducted and taken to North Korea. This includes PM Naoto Kan’s personal office making donations of nearly $625,000.

Worse still is this is not isolated to Japan, other countries have had battle with Korea. Most recently, Taiwan, which is currently passing a law to limit Korean influence in it’s in media due to the tactics and falsehoods spread in the messages of Korean advertisements.

So, why is it that Japanese people can’t watch their own culture’s TV shows? Why are they instead force fed Korean culture? Why do they have to watch something they are not interested in on TV?

What happens if Korea takes control of all media in Japan? Would Japan be taken over, too?
Japanese people have to get back in touch with their nationalism, their county’s spirit, and support Takaoka with courage.

Japan and South Korea continue tough and unified stance with North Korea

The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan showed North Korea a tough, unified face Saturday, saying it must prove it is serious about giving up its atomic ambitions before they will allow a new round of aid-for-nuclear disarmament talks.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan told reporters after a meeting in Seoul with his Japanese counterpart, Seiji Maehara, that the North must demonstrate its "true commitment" to abandoning a nuclear program that is believed to have produced enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen bombs. The North also unveiled in November a uranium enrichment facility that could give it a second way to make atomic bombs.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told Maehara in a separate meeting that the issue of North’s uranium enrichment should be taken to the U.N. Security Council, presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung said. Maehara agreed, she said.

North Korea, which shelled a South Korean island in November, killing four, has expressed its desire to restart the nuclear talks it quit in early 2009. The talks involve the two Koreas, Japan, the United States, China and Russia.

South Korea, the United States and Japan, frustrated over what they see as the North’s habit of breaking nuclear deals once it has received much-needed aid, want it to first show its good faith on disarmament.

"North Korea should show its true commitment toward denuclearization through specific actions," Kim said. He didn’t elaborate.

Read the rest of the story: South Korea, Japan continue hard line on NKorea.