Sunday, February 14, 2010

Japan apologizes for colonial rule of Korea

What are the implications for the apology? How do the government materialize their apology in the way that victim can be healed and redressed, and we can educate ourselves about the past and create the vision for the future?

(CNN) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Thursday apologized to South Korea for the more than three decades when Japan ruled over Korea, calling the time a "tragic incident."

Okada made the rare apology during a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, Korean state-run media reported.

"I believe it was a tragic incident for Koreans when they were deprived of their nation and their identity," Okada said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

"I can fully understand the feelings of (Koreans) who were deprived of their identity and nation. I believe we must never forget the victims," he added.

Japan controlled Korea from 1910 to 1945. During that time, Japan's military is accused of forcing about 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, to serve as sex slaves. They were known as "comfort women" for soldiers in Japan's Imperial Army.

There have been street protests and lawsuits in that past in South Korea over the sufferings of the comfort women.

At least one other Japanese leader has apologized for the era.

In 2001, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi acknowledged the "enormous damage" inflicted by Japan's military "by colonization and invasion."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

solidarity message

In response to the recent hate crime attack on the Korean school in Kyoto by Zaitoku-kai (lit. trans. "Citizens’ Group against Special Rights for Zainichi," an ultra right-wing nationalist group that has been accusing Zainichi Koreans for having various "special rights" by manipulating their alien/non-Japanese citizen status) , there was a huge public meeting to condemn their violence against students, teachers, families and communities of Kyoto Korean School. Eclipse Rising, along with numerous social justice groups both in Japan and globally, sent a message to show our solidarity in fighting against the injustice.


Eclipse Rising is a SF bay area-based Zainichi Korean group that does not allow privileges of Japanese nationals and the Japanese state. As Malcolm X once said, The only way we'll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world," Eclipse Rising situate the issues that Korean schools in Japan are confronted as a part of the bigger system of oppression that we all are forced to live under, and hence is determined to fight against the injustice in solidarity with people and communities of the oppressed in the world.