Japan Officially Clears Use of Controversial ‘Rising Sun’ Flag
The Japanese government plans to legitimatize its stance on the use of a flag that symbolizes Japanese imperialism during World War II, according to a report.
Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, a conservative daily, reported Tuesday that the government decided to establish a stronger stance on using the rising sun flag. The report comes after the Korea Football Association, South Korean soccer’s governing body, filed a complaint against Japanese soccer fans who waved the flag during a match against Korea in Seoul last month.
Such a move will certainly add more fuel to the contentious relationship between the Japanese and South Korean governments. The two countries have been at odds with each other on several political issues, which include a territorial dispute and controversy surrounding the conscription of wartime sexual slaves by the Japanese military during World War II.
The rising sun flag was initially prohibited by the Japanese government after the World War II, but a modified version of the flag was used by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces in 1954. Today, the Japanese navy uses the same flag.
Although Korea and China, two countries that suffered under Japanese rule during the first few decades of the 20th century, view the flag as an equivalent of Nazi Germany’s swastika, the symbol on the flag started to appear more frequently in recent years, especially during sporting events.
Not so coincidentally, anti-Korean supremacist group, Zaitokukai (complete with an official website), have also been making use of the Rising Sun flag to emphasize their recent calls to massacre* Koreans (often followed by epithets like “cockroaches” and “whores”), among other neocolonial, racist shit. Tokyo’s Shin Okubo and Osaka’s Tsuruhashi have been frequent targets of such Zaitokukai demonstrations and harassment because of the area’s well-known Korean – officially labeled as Zainichi – population. Apparently, their anti-Korean hate is too extreme even for “mainstream” neo-nationalists, but little is being done by the Japanese government to firmly and outspokenly act (not just chide) against their activities or afford long-term, constitutional protection for the rights of Korean-Japanese.
And here’s the thing: Zaitokukai didn’t come out of nowhere and their rise in extremism should not be lightly dismissed as a surprise, either. Zaitokukai members emerged from a society whose imperial, war criminal past was whitewashed in a positive light along with victim blaming, enforced by the government with their approval of such textbooks and the media for failing to address or cover anti-Korean racism from a Zainichi perspective.
*Perhaps the most famous example is the clip in which a middle school girl, the daughter of a Zaitokukai leader, calls for the massacre of Koreans à la Nanjing Massacre in Tsuruhashi (though she could’ve just as easily referenced the massacre of Koreans following the 1923 Kanto Earthquake), but there are other examples with greater organization and numbers.
Japanese commuters push 32-ton train to free woman
TOKYODozens of Japanese train passengers pushed a 32-ton train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen into the eight-inch gap between the train and platform during the busy morning rush hour Monday.
The act of heroism was captured by a newspaper photographer, whose photo of the rescue ran in the Yomiuri daily’s evening edition.
A public announcement that a passenger was trapped prompted about 40 people to join train officials to push the carriage, whose suspension system allows it to lean to either side, according to the Yomiuri newspaper, Japan’s largest daily.
The unnamed woman in her 30s was then pulled out uninjured to applause from onlookers at JR Minami-Urawa station, just north of Tokyo.
After just an eight-minute delay, the train went on its way.
AP PHOTO/NORIHIRO SHIGETA, YOMIURI SHIMBUN
Kim Bok-dong (left) and Kil Won-ok attend a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on May 29. (Yonhap News)
Koreans donate to women victimized by sex crimes during Vietnam War
Two Korean former sex slaves during the Japanese colonial era are raising funds to support other victims of wartime sexual violence around the world.
The so-called Butterfly Fund was formed by 87-year-old Kim Bok-dong and 84-year-old Kil Won-ok to support female victims of the Vietnam War and civil wars in Africa, the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan said Monday.
The fund sent $6,000 and $4,000 to 43-year-old Euguyen Ban Luang and 43-year-old Euguyen Ti Kim, respectively, last month. The sisters were victims of sexual violence committed during the Vietnam War. Their mother conceived them when she was raped by a Korean soldier.
When the Vietnam War broke out in 1965, former president Park Chung-hee sent more than 300,000 soldiers to support the U.S. military there. In regards to the suffering the deployment caused, former presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun made official apologies to Vietnam.
“The Vietnamese suffered the same pain as us. This is the first step to compensate them,” the group said.
Most Vietnamese women who were sexually violated by Korean soldiers during the war were unable to maintain a normal marriage, according to a field study conducted by the council. Their children also had lower levels of income and education.
“I experienced that pain. I know all too well how much suffering that causes,” said Kil Won-ok, who was forcibly taken by the Japanese invading army at the age of 13.
“I want to comfort women who went through the same ordeal as I did,” Kil said, explaining why she established Butterfly Fund.
Prior to receiving the fund, Luang worked as a day laborer catching shrimps. Now Luang can lease a plot of land for 30 years to farm. Kim, who lives in Hanoi, will rent a building to run a store.
Originally, the Butterfly Fund was to use financial compensation from Japan, but the Japanese government refused to provide any compensation for the wartime atrocities it committed against women during World War II. Singer Lee Hyori donated 5 million won ($4,420) as the fund’s first campaigner, and 300 organizations joined in the effort to amass over 70 million won.
“Our ladies dream of a peaceful world,” said a spokesperson of the council. “We will see to it that the funds are given to those who need them the most.”
By Lee Sang-ju
Japanese School Girls and Fake Dragon Ball Z Attacks!
The new DBZ film opens soon and it appears girls over in Japan are recreating some of the show’s signature moves!
I totally dig this!
Aya Kamikawa: Why she kicks ass
- She is the only openly transgender official in Japan at this point, and the first to seek or win elected office in Japan.
- She won a four-year term as an independent under huge media attention, placing sixth of 72 candidates running for 52 seats in the Setagaya ward assembly, the most populous district in Tokyo. In April 2007, she was re-elected to her second term, placing second of 71 candidates running for 52 in the same ward assembly.
- While the government announced that they would continue to consider her male officially, she stated that she would work as a woman.
- She is devoted to work for various groups, the disabled, single-parent families, homeless people to evening junior high school students, LGBT people and to improve rights for women, children, the elderly. She strives to give support for these people and bring positive changes which would help them in society.
- She was also a committee member for Trans-net Japan (a self-support group for transgender people) and organised meetings and social events to give support and symposiums to raise the public awareness.
I need to see more stories like this one every day. Actually we all do.
Korea's last prince, 이우. Died in 1945 in Hiroshima, Japan. (x)
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima not only took the life of one of the last Korean royals, it incinerated over 20,000 common Koreans, many of them forced laborers, at the hands of their enemy’s enemy, who not only did not distinguish between civilians and soldiers but refused to distinguish between the Japanese and their victims.
After the war, the few Korean survivors went unrecognised as victims of this atrocity, because they were not Japanese nationals, and neither they nor their offspring, many of whom suffered severe congenital malformations from the radiation poisoning, received compensation or adequate medical treatment.
They were thus triply victimized. First by the Japanese, who enslaved them. Second, by the Americans who exploded an atomic bomb over them indiscriminately. Third, by the world, for refusing to recognize them as victims of an atrocious crime against humanity. Even today, I’m surprised about how few people realise that so many Koreans were killed at Hiroshima (and Nagasaki).
Reblogged again for the commentary.
1 in 7 of the victims in the Hiroshima bombing were Korean.
So, I was out in Odaiba with my parents during New Year, and we came across this big group of dogs dressed up in kimono for the occasion.
Unfortunately we just missed the part where they were all lined up for photos, but I knew there was at least one person on my dash who’d appreciate pictures of Japanese dogs in formalwear, so I took lots of photos anyway :)
Chiune Sugihara. This man saved 6000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing from the train as he pulled away. He saved 6000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.
Why can’t we have a movie about him?
He was often called “Sempo”, an alternative reading of the characters of his first name, as that was easier for Westerners to pronounce.
His wife, Yukiko, was also a part of this; she is often credited with suggesting the plan. The Sugihara family was held in a Soviet POW camp for 18 months until the end of the war; within a year of returning home, Sugihara was asked to resign - officially due to downsizing, but most likely because the government disagreed with his actions.
He didn’t simply grant visas - he granted visas against direct orders, after attempting three times to receive permission from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and being turned down each time. He did not “misread” orders; he was in direct violation of them, with the encouragement and support of his wife.
He was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations in 1985, a year before he died in Kamakura; he and his descendants have also been granted permanent Israeli citizenship. He was also posthumously awarded the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania (1993); Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996); and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2007). Though not canonized, some Eastern Orthodox Christians recognize him as a saint.
Sugihara was born in Gifu on the first day of 1900, January 1. He achieved top marks in his schooling; his father wanted him to become a physician, but Sugihara wished to pursue learning English. He deliberately failed the exam by writing only his name and then entered Waseda, where he majored in English. He joined the Foreign Ministry after graduation and worked in the Manchurian Foreign Office in Harbin (where he learned Russian and German; he also converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church during this time). He resigned his post in protest over how the Japanese government treated the local Chinese citizens. He eventually married Yukiko Kikuchi, who would suggest and encourage his acts in Lithuania; they had four sons together. Chiune Sugihara passed away July 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Until her own passing in 2008, Yukiko continued as an ambassador of his legacy.
It is estimated that the Sugiharas saved between 6,000-10,000 Lithuanian and Polish Jewish people.
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST WHY DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS CAT BEFORE
HER NAME IS TAMA
AND SHE’S THE STATIONMASTER AT A TRAIN STATION IN JAPAN
SHE GREETS ALL THE PASSENGERS
AND SHE HAS HER OWN OFFICE
AND SHE’S PAID IN CAT FOOD
AND SHE IS A FUCKING EXECUTIVE OF A FUCKING RAILROAD STATION
AND LOOK AT HER
the trains are decorated with cartoon versions of her since she’s their mascot as well
In 2009, IKEA Japan ran a marketing campaign called Shunoumondai (Storage Problems). Storage Soluton Experts from IKEA would go to the homes of people with major storage problems, install a bunch of IKEA stuff, and solve it. The theme of the campaign was this catchy song with calypso beat, and the…
Click the link for the videos. Japanese commercials, never change.