Jae Woong Lee, deputy consul general for the Republic of Korea, spoke on Korean-Japanese relations Monday night in a lecture sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.According to Lee, Japan and Korea countries have shared — and continue to share — a long and complicated history. Their geological position and common culture should create favorable conditions for diplomatic relations, Lee said, yet Korean-Japanese relations continue to be strained.Lee said ancient Japanese and Korean art display “striking similarities,” though ancient Japanese art is usually sculpted from wood and Korean sculptors preferred to use a bronze medium.“This is evidence of the close interactions and close relationship between Korea and Japan more than 1,000 years ago,” Lee said. “We like to boast that Korean ancient history moved to Japan and had them give birth to their own Japanese culture.”Though the countries share a related history, Lee said tensions remain in the current Japanese-Korean relations, yet have not kept the countries from working together on prominent issues.“There is a prolonged, unstable relationship from various factors. Even though Korea and Japan have a close history, there are still problems,” he said.These problems stem from the way the Japanese government portrays this shared history, Lee said.Lee said the Korean people are worried the Japanese are promoting a type of revisionist history, through endorsing textbooks that incorrectly portray the invasion of Korean lands, and by authorizing such books, the Japanese government is refusing to depict past wrongs.“This is just one of the main headaches, one of the stumbling blocks over which there is a divide between Japan and Korea,” Lee said.Many Koreans are offended by Japanese politicians’ visits to to Yasukuni Shrine, Lee said.“This is just one of the shrines that Japan has. But this specific shrine, they have the names of the war criminals … ” Lee said. “Politicians of Japan go to this shrine, giving a certain impression to Koreans that they do not truly regret their past wrongs against the people in the region.”Japanese-Korean relations were previously strained by the issue of “comfort women.” The term refers to the practice in countries occupied by Japanese rule, including Korea, in which young women were taken from their homes and taken to “comfort stations,” where they were forced into sexual slavery.Lee said Korea and Japan reached a tentative agreement in December to resolve the dispute over this issue, and this agreement represents a large success for the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.“Japan is finally accepting more responsibility for this issue and they agreed to provide us compensation. The Japanese government clearly said ‘sorry’ to Korea,” Lee said.Lee said Japanese-Korean relations can only continue to prosper if both countries continue to be sensitive to and aware of past events.“They have to acknowledge the correct history,” Lee said. “There is no compromise on that.”Tags: Liu Institute
ZANU-PF Claims Assassination Plots Target Deputy Leaders Former vice-president Joice Mujuru was accused of “plotting to unconstitutionally remove President Robert Mugabe from office”, according to a statement from Simon Khaya-Moyo, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.She was also accused of “orchestrating factionalism in the party thereby causing acrimonious divisions” and “engaging in activities that smack of corruption”.Mujuru was long considered a likely successor to Mugabe, who is 91 and first came to power in 1980, but she fell out with the veteran leader late last year and was sacked as vice-president in December.Her allies in government were also fired and expelled from ZANU-PF after Mugabe himself accused her of plotting to oust him.Joice Mujuru is a former guerrilla fighter from the liberation war in the former Rhodesia and the widow of army commander Solomon Mujuru, who died in a mysterious house fire in 2011.After holding cabinet posts in every government since independence in 1980, Mujuru came under heavy attack from Mugabe’s wife Grace, who was promoted to head ZANU-PF’s powerful women’s wing at the last party congress in December.Apart from the allegations seen as grounds for Mujuru’s expulsion, the First Lady also charged that Mujuru was incompetent and had let her husband do most of the work.Mugabe replaced Mujuru as vice-president with his justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hardliner in the regime. – AFPRelated Mnangagwa expelled from Zanu-PF Zimbabwe’s ZANU PF wins 16 parliamentary seats
AHEAD of their tour to the United States of America (USA) which bowls off in March, softball giants Regal were given moral support from United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch.Ambassador Lynch had her first interaction with softball cricketers last Sunday at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) where she was presented with a souvenir bat, signed by members of the Regal All Stars, Regal Masters and Regal Legends cricket teams.The Diplomat then gave her best wishes to the Regal team who will be winging out in March for assignments in Florida and New York, Regal will set off for Florida in March for the Orlando Cup and will then travel to New York for the Independence Cup later in July.The envoy caught a glimpse of an encounter between Regal Masters who beat Fisherman Masters in a friendly match. As the guest of honour, the diplomat was presented with a Regal cricket team authentic cap, a match ball and the bat which bore the autographs of the championship’s winning players.Also present at the presentation, which took place on the Everest outfield were Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) president Aleem Hussain, ECC president Manzoor Nadir and Georgetown Softball Cricket League (GSCL) president Ian John.John gave a brief history of the Regal teams and stressed on their achievements since they began travelling to Florida and New York. The longstanding GSCL executive was happy to report that on every trip since 2015 the Regal teams were successful and brought back many team and individual trophies.Meanwhile, making the presentation to the ambassador was team owner, Mahendra Hardyal, on behalf of the players who were all gathered on the field.In response, Ambassador Lynch expressed her gratitude for the gift and the invitation. “I am very grateful for this opportunity to be involved and though I attended CPL cricket twice, this is the first time I’ve been this close to the game. I intend to give this gift prominence in my office,” she said.Then, wearing her Regal team cricket cap and armed with her new bat, the ambassador displayed her prowess as a cricketer with a confident and well executed on-drive to the first ball she received much to the loud applause of all in attendance.