Tag Archives: japanese empire

The Commonwealth of Korea and Japan (Shintaro Ishihara Right on Cooperative Colonization of Corea)

Shame on Tokyo Gov. Ishihara,” by Park Moo-jong, The Korea Times, 4 November 2003, http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/opinion/200311/kt2003110417310311330.htm.

The Economic History of Korea,” by Myung Cha, EH.Net Encyclopedia, 21 June 2004, http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/cha.korea.

The Korean Economy Under Japanese Rule,” by Abiola Lapite, Foreign Dispatches, 23 November 2005,
http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com/dispatches/2005/11/the_korean_econ.html (from SimonWorld).

Mitsuhiko Kimura, ‘The Economics of Japanese Imperialism in Korea, 1910-1939’,” by mike, Historï¿¥, 10 May 2005, http://akira.arts.kuleuven.ac.be/meijifin/?q=node/view/146.

One Japanese Korea?

I’m a big fan of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. From standing up to North Korean state-terrorism, supporting Taiwan and stopping crushing, or even just bad-mouthing French, to advocate of a strong “Leviathan” anti-Dictatorship Navy, “the Ish” rarely strikes a bad note. But a Korea Times editorial attacks Ishihara for a questionable claim on Korea?

As reported, an unrepentant Ishihara triggered international criticism as well as anger by spitting out thoughtless gaffes last week that Japan’s invasion and brutal [sic] 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula was a union the Koreans chose.

Well, it’s not like Korea objected to foreign “SysAdmin” troops on her soil:

In 1894 peasants protested against a local administrator’s attempts to generate private income by collecting fees for using waterways, which had been built by peasants. The uprising quickly developed into a nationwide peasant rebellion, which the crumbling government could suppress only by calling in military forces from China and Japan. An unforeseen consequence of the rebellion was the Sino-Japanese war fought on the Korean soil, where Japan defeated China, tipping the balance of power in Korea critically in her favor.

But surely the farmers themselves objected to development by a regional stake-holder?

Though sharply opposing unrestricted imports of colonial rice, however, farmers never expressed opposition to the actual occupation of Korea. On the contrary, this ‘rural crisis’ rapidly bred nationalist-fascist attitudes among farmers after the First World War; the militarists and the rightists led farmers to believe that a key solution to their economic problems was further imperial expansion abroad, not abandonment of the colony. As a result, farmers wholeheartedly supported Japanese imperialist policy.

A Core Worth Remembering?

Japan’s attack on the United States on December 7, 1941 justly destroyed her empire. Imperial Japan, like Imperial Germany before her, rightfully was brought under the Allies for crimes against them. However, this straightforward understanding of history should not take away from Japan’s significant contributions to Korea and Taiwan, or used to support neo-Juche isolationism by demagogues in South Korea and elsewhere.