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`Gangster-like` Japanese daily`s rash remarks about S. Korean president

`Gangster-like` Japanese daily`s rash remarks about S. Korean president

Posted September. 02, 2015 06:59,   


In Japan`s media, it is a taboo to criticize or lampoon the Japanese king and his family. Western media has a taboo about the Holocaust but none about royal families. British tabloids reports on every move taken by members of the British royal family. In Japan, there is no law banning the criticism of the Japanese royal family. However, Japanese media implement self-regulation in order to avoid extreme right-wing groups` violence.

Japan`s extreme right-wing daily Sankei Shimbun avoids reports that could displease the king but does not hesitate to carry articles disrespecting another country`s head of state. In August last year, Tatsuya Kato, the Sankei`s Seoul bureau chief, wrote a column about South Korean President Park Geun-hye`s whereabouts on the day of the Sewol ferry disaster. Quoting a stock market official, Park`s whereabouts on the day "had something to do with her relationship with a married man," he wrote. It is Japanese people`s "bad DNA" to be extremely polite among themselves but turns extremely rude against others.

In an August 31 column criticizing Koreans` "bad DNA" of toadyism and double-dealing with the U.S. and China, Hiroyuki Noguchi, a senior reporter at the Sankei daily`s political section, made spiteful comments on President Park`s planned attendance at China`s Victory Day celebrations, likening her to Korea`s Empress Myeongseong, who was assassinated by Japanese assailants in 1895. The column said Korea`s Joseon Dynasty had a powerful woman just like Park, referring to Empress Myeongseong, and fell after the empress was assassinated. The daily was cowardly enough to use the passive tense, without mentioning that the Japanese government was behind the brutal killing. Rather than sharing a sense of guilt about the assassination by Japanese assailants, the newspaper mentioned the incident as if threatening the South Korean president. Such behavior is equal to what gangsters would do.

I wondered why a Japanese newspaper was worrying about South Korea`s "bad DNA" instead of being concerned about Japan`s own DNA. A close perusal of the column revealed why. Every time Korea changed its "strong friend," Japan`s fate fell into jeopardy. Seeing that Japan is feeling a sense of crisis, I come to think that the South Korean government was doing a good job of double-dealing with "strong friends."