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  • In August 2015, a South Korean man set himself on fire to protest Japan’s human rights

  • abuses in Korea in the early 20th century. A recent BBC poll found that a majority of

  • South Koreans hold negative views of the Japanese. So why does South Korea hate Japan?

  • Well, beginning in the late 19th century, Japan established dominance over Korea, and

  • from 1910 to 1945, it was annexed as a Japanese colony. Japan’s military leadership was

  • harsh, but it did help modernize Korea.

  • However, after the war, Japan surrendered control of Korea to the Soviet Union and United

  • States, who split the country in two. This would later be known as time of great confusion

  • and turmoil in Korea, culminating in the devastating Korean War. Japan had previously occupied

  • most high-level military positions before 1945, so there were few Korean leaders that

  • held enough power to unite the whole country again amid the political chaos. Although Japan

  • has made apologies to Korea for their colonial rule, many Koreans still feel the apologies

  • lack sincerity.

  • One of the worst effects of Japan’s influence was the mandatory establishment of brothels

  • in Korea and other neighboring countries like China during World War 2. “comfort women,"

  • as the sex slaves were called, were often kidnapped and forced to work. After the war

  • was over and the brothels were disbanded, tens of thousands of surviving women, who

  • had dealt with STDs and traumatic injuries, were not acknowledged by Japanese leaders

  • until the 1990s. Additionally, some Japanese textbooks have allegedly ignored and whitewashed

  • this part of history, sparking anger among South Koreans. Weekly rallies calling for

  • Japan’s further acknowledgement of these tragedies have occurred outside Japan’s

  • embassy in South Korea since 1992.

  • Further territorial disputes have added to the discord. A string of islands, valued for

  • their fishing reserves and natural gas resources, have been claimed by both countries. Even

  • the name of theSea of Japanbetween them, is a source of debate. South Koreans

  • prefer the less possessive term theEast Sea." These issues have contributed to diminished

  • trade relations and diplomatic deadlock.

  • The heart of many of their disputes is based on Japan always coming out ahead, partially

  • based on their subjugation of Korea. Although South Korea has proven itself to be one of

  • the most prosperous and promising asian economies, the lasting effects of war and Japanese imperialism

  • have kept them one step behind their neighbor.

  • In the long run however, despite old, unhealed wounds, the two nations have been allies in

  • the face of other hostile nations, like Russia and North Korea. South Korea and Japan’s

  • proximity to one another has encouraged an overlapping popular culture, and complementary

  • economies. Although the two countries have dealt with more than a century of strife,

  • they are still massively reliant on each other.

  • South Korea’s not the only country that hates Japan. China’s also got an ongoing

  • grudge, and with good reason. Find out about that in this video. Thanks for watching us

  • on Test Tube! Remember to like and subscribe to get new videos daily.

In August 2015, a South Korean man set himself on fire to protest Japan’s human rights

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Why Does South Korea Hate Japan?

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    JACK JHOU posted on 2015/09/11
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