According to newspapers, Mr. Kan, the Prime Minister of Japan, expressed his “deep remorse” and “heartfelt apology” to Korea for Japan’s past colonial rule. He is an idiot! Actually Korea was a part of Japan from 1910 to 1945, but it was not a colony in any meaning of the word. Japan tried to assimilate it sincerely as an integrated part of the nation.
Japan made an enormous investment; in total, from 1910 to 1944, more than two billion yen (nearly 200 billion U.S. dollars in the recent rate of exchange). As a consequence, the population increased from 13 million in 1910 to 25 million in 1943. The first railway was constructed in 1896 by a Japanese company. The total length of the railway was extended to 1,039 kilometers in 1910, and to 6,633 kilometers in 1945. There were about 100 elementary schools in 1910, and 5,213 in 1944. Keijo Imperial University was established in 1924 in Seoul mainly for Korean students. In the Japanese Imperial Army there were many Korean military officers and some generals.
We admit that there was some racial discrimination, but it was being improved as Korea was being civilized. The Japanese language was adopted as the standard language, but the Korean language was also taught at school. Korean letters, which were invented in the 15 c. but not generally used, were re-discovered by Japanese educators and taught at school. In 1940’s, the Koreans had the same rights and duties as the Japanese. Do you say this is a colony?
After the Greater Asian War, Korea gained independence from Japan. The Korean government used anti-Japan emotions to establish national identity. Negative propagandas might be necessary for Korean people to separate from the overwhelming influences of Japan. I can understand that. They have their own reason.
The problem is that the Koreans told some lies; for example, ‘military comfort women’ and ‘forcible recruitment’. Actually there were Korean prostitutes for military soldiers, but Korean pimps gathered girls and ran brothels near Army camps under the permission of the government. The girls were not recruited by the Japanese Army nor by the government. The brothels were purely privately managed. About ‘forcible recruitment’, it was formally called ‘commandeering’, and every Japanese citizens ware commandeered to work in munitions factories. As the Koreans had the full Japanese citizenship at that time, so, naturally, they were commandeered. After the War, almost all the commandeered Koreans went back home. There are many Koreans in Japan now, but all of them came to and live in Japan voluntarily, irrelevant to so called ‘forcible recruitment’.
Taiwan was also a part of Japan from 1896 to 1945. In Korea, Japan adopted similar policy to Taiwan. The Taiwanese are generally pro-Japanese. Why is Korea anti-Japan? It is because they need an enemy to unite the nation, I believe. That is okay, but that is their business, not ours. Mr. Kan, you are the Prime Minister of Japan. You must do our own business, not Korea’s.