30 March 2006

Hey Kids, What Time Is It?

It's Dokdo Time!

Yep, it's that time of year again. Time to argue over Dokdo. This time, in addition to the usual text book stuff, apparently Japan has found documents proving that Dokdo was never returned to Korea after World War II, because Washington didn't make Japan give it back. Perhaps this has something to do with Japanese nationalism, or patriotism, and perhaps it has to do with the disputed northern territories with Russia or maybe Japan is just feeling its oats.

In general, as Abe prepares for his PM run, it is likely Japan will continue its little pokes at its neighbors over sovereignty and history issues, like the occasional visit to Yasukuni as a way to tell the rest of Asia that Japan HAS moved beyond World War II, and now it is time for the rest of Asia to do the same.

For both Korea and China, however, the perennial "enemy" of Japan is too good a foil to pass up, and Seoul, Pyongyang and Beijing will continue to play the Japan card, stirring domestic unity through angst and shifting attention away form domestic issues.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry (which keeps the East Sea and Koguryo as Hot Topics on its website) has issued its rebuttal to the Japanese claim, calling on Tokyo to "retract its undue and intolerable claims to Dokdo, owned by South Korea" and questioning "whether Japan has the will to develop friendly relations with South Korea and work toward regional peace and co-prosperity" (though if I were the Korean's, I would steer clear of words like "co-prosperity" when dealing with Japan, given its historical implications).

Anyway, as this is wandering away from me, lets all go look at some cool pictures of South Korea's mini aircraft carrier, the (aptly named) LPX Dokdo, http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=46792 which, by the way, was launched before Japan got their mini-carrier out of the dockyards. Oh Pilsung Korea...

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