Major South Korean newspaper: Atomic bombings were divine retribution. / “God may feel that retaliation against Japan hasn’t been complete.”
The JoongAng Ilbo, one of South Korean’s biggest newspapers, has printed an opinion piece arguing that the atomic bombings of Japan were “God’s vengeance,” and that Japan may deserve more divine punishment.
According to NHK, the Japanese government has filed an official protest about the article. NHK’s article focuses on the atomic bombings, and doesn’t mention the ending section of the article, which is arguably worse:
Abe seems to be hallucinating. The low-yen boom and extreme-rightists’ support have blinded him to push Japan onto an arrogant and selfish path. He is mistaken when he thinks he can challenge the memory and decency of humanity just to be popular among his own ignorant people.
Abe is free to do as he wishes. But God, too, is at liberty. The vindictive spirit of the Maruta has been resurrected thanks to Abe. God may feel that retaliation against Japan hasn’t been complete.
What is the challenge to human decency that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is apparently guilty of? It would seem that earlier this month, he posed for a photo in a Japanese jet that happened to have the number 731 printed on it. Anti-Japanese nationalists in South Korean and China were angry about the number, with some seeing it as a deliberate attempt to remind them of Unit 731. Major newspapers helped fuel the anger:
“Abe’s pose resurrects horrors of Unit 731,” read the headline on the English-language Korea Joongang Daily. The Chosun Ilbo’s caption referred to “Abe’s never-ending provocations.”
None of the newspapers gave any indication of whether their Tokyo-based staff had tried to establish whether there was any intent to use a jet marked 731, although the Chosun Ilbo noted that there were other jets at the same base with different numbers that could have been used.
A Defense Ministry official in Tokyo said that the numbering on the jet was pure chance.
“The last three digits on the Blue Impulse jets are their individual ID numbers. There isn’t much we can say other than that the number was purely coincidental,” the official said.
Other South Korean newspapers tried for even crazier conspiracy theories:
The Dong-A Ilbo, another large national paper, ran a composite photo that also showed Mr. Abe wearing a baseball jersey with the number 96. This, according to the Dong-A, could be another “numerical provocation” since Article 96 is the section of the Japanese constitution that Mr. Abe wants to revise as part of his goal to allow Japan to formally possess a military.
Abe pointed out a much more obvious reason for the number: he is the 96th Prime Minister of Japan.
A 31-year-old Korean man has been arrested after stabbing two Japanese people on the street in Osaka .
Two people were wounded. The first was a newspaper deliveryman. Then, a woman who happened to be nearby was stabbed.
According to eyewitnesses, he was asking people if they were Japanese. When they answered that they were, he attacked. According to police, he said he wanted to kill many Japanese people(“生粋の日本人なら何人も殺そうと思いました”). He described his targets as “生粋” or “natural-born” Japanese, a distinction that probably doesn’t include Koreans who have taken Japanese citizenship.
The Japanese media is reporting the incident as a “indiscriminate random attack” (無差別通り魔), but it look more like a hate crime meant to target a single ethnicity.
Here is the latest video clip of the ongoing clash between the radical animal rights group Sea Shepherd and Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean:
According to Sea Shepherd:
The Japanese whaling fleet, poaching whales from Antarctica’s Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, creates a collision as they attempt an illegal refuelling operation. Sea Shepherd Ship Bob Barker peacefully blocks the whalers’ factory ship, Nisshin Maru, from refuelling.
The Bob Barker holds their ground, but the Nisshin Maru moves in, pinching the Bob Barker between itself and the fuel tanker Sun Laurel while blasting the bridge windows with high-powered water cannons. The bow wake from the two larger ships causes the smaller one to lose steerage, and the ensuing turbulence throws the Bob Barker off course. The Bob Barker gets helplessly tossed side to side between the two larger ships.
This video clearly shows the fault of the collision on the Nisshin Maru. According to COLREGS, the Bob Barker had the right of way, and the Nisshin Maru had no right to move closer to the Bob Barker.
However, a user of Reddit.com who is familiar with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) wrote the following:
The Bob Barker is very much in the wrong in this situation. These two vessels are undergoing an operation known as “underway replenishment”. Vessels engaged in this operation become “restricted in their ability to manoeuvre (RAM)”. I am unable to see from the video whether or not she is displaying her day shapes to indicate so, but either way the Nisshin Maru has properly warned the Bob Barker to keep clear. As the Nisshin Maru is RAM, the Bob Barker, which is under “power-driven vessel” status must avoid a vessel RAM. COLREGs Rule 18 (a)(ii)
The second mistake is the attempt to overtake these two ships so close. This is a direct violation of COLREGs Rule 13 (d) which governs overtaking. “Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.” Because of the fact that the Bob Barker is within 22.5 degrees abaft (behind) the beam (line in the middle from side to side) of both vessels, she is to keep well clear and safely overtake the vessels on either the port or starboard sides.
Any remotely competent mariner would not find themselves in this position. a smaller vessel like the Bob Barker should not have much difficulty avoiding this even near the start of this video. The Bob Barker should have used astern propulsion to remove herself from the middle of these two vessels.
It has come to my attention that the Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies has published an excellent new article about the “Comfort Women” issue. Gavan Gray of Ristumeikan University explores how an inaccurate historical narrative has come to be accepted as unquestionable truth among Asian and Western countries that so harshly criticize Japan’s handling of the issue:
The clash between Japan and South Korea over redress for former ‘comfort women’ is a key element preventing stronger ties between the two neighbours. The issue has also diverted attention from the larger problem of human-trafficking that plagues both countries. In recent years understanding of the issue has been broadened by Asian scholars who have moved beyond the version that was dominant in the early 1990s. In the West however, perceptions remain as they were twenty years ago, repeating as fact elements that have been brought into question or utterly disproven. This inaccurate portrayal by Western media and governments has compromised resolution of the issue in Asia and failed to acknowledge widespread use of equivalent systems of prostitution by both South Korea and the USA. The reason Japan was so specifically targeted lies in a timely convergence of feminism, Korean nationalism and latent anti-Japanese racism. Acting to exaggerate the cruelty of Japan’s system while ignoring those of other nations, these factors prevented Japan and South Korea from developing a new perspective on the issue that would allow stronger ties between the two and refocus the campaign to end exploitation of Asian women.