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Korea-Japan ties headed toward nadirNational
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Updated : 2014.03.29  19:15:19
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Korea-Japan ties headed toward nadir

  The relationship between South Korea and Japan 1) is plunging toward its nadir as Tokyo 2) shows no signs of willingness to improve the strained ties with its onetime colony 3) amid escalating territorial and historical friction.

  4) Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that Tokyo was considering 5) taking the territorial spat over South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo to the International Court of Justice.

  His remarks during a parliamentary session came after Tokyo’s stepped-up claim to the islets in its textbook guidelines 6) exacerbated public resentment in Korea, which suffered through Japan’s colonization from 1910-45.

  Seoul dismissed Abe’s remarks as mere “empty talk,” 7) reiterating that Dokdo was not in dispute, and that it was part of Korea’s territory historically, geographically and by international law.

  “There is no dispute over Dokdo that needs to be settled. Thus, Tokyo’s mention of 8) the ICJ litigation is only empty talk. No matter what they may do, it would turn out to be only meaningless,” Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

  Observers here criticized Japan’s consideration of the ICJ litigation as 9) a “political ploy10) given that the court proceedings cannot be initiated without Seoul’s consent. Korea has not accepted the court’s compulsory jurisdiction.

  11) Pundits also pointed out that Tokyo might seek 12) to utilize the litigation itself to make Dokdo an international dispute and to claim that Seoul is not confident in its argument about 13) the sovereignty issue.

  Japan 14) incorporated the islets as part of its territory in 1905 before colonizing the entire Korean Peninsula. Korea has been 15) in effective control of them with a small 16) police detachment there since its liberation in 1945.

  On Friday, Abe once again 17) drew the ire of Seoul and Beijing, two major victims of Japan’s past militarism, by failing to mention Tokyo’s 18) past acknowledgement of its wartime colonization and aggression, while referring to the “Murayama Statement” during a parliamentary session.

  In the landmark 1995 statement, former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama officially apologized for Japan’s colonial occupation of Asian countries and its wartime invasions.

  “The issue of the historical perception should be left for historians to deal with,” Abe told the parliamentary session.

  On Aug. 15 last year when Japan held a memorial ceremony for Japanese war dead, Abe also did not mention the wartime damage, which his country 19) inflicted on Asian states, and 20) its contrition, angering Seoul and Beijing. Former prime ministers have expressed Tokyo’s repentance for the damage during the annual ceremony since 1993.

  Abe also drew sharp criticism last April by saying that the definition of invasion remains “ill-defined” academically and internationally. At the time, the remarks 21) were deemed to indicate his inclination toward reversing the Murayama Statement.

  Amid Tokyo’s lack of 22) atonement for its brutal past, Seoul, Pyongyang and Beijing stepped up their criticism of Japan’s revisionist view of history during an open debate at the U.N. Security Council last Wednesday.

  “Japanese political leaders’ worshipping at the Yasukuni Shrine is a direct challenge to the foundation on which Japan rejoined the international community in the post-war world,” said Oh Joon, Seoul’s top 23) envoy to the U.N.

  “Such remarks and actions 24) undermine future-oriented relations and peace building among nations in the region. They also 25) run counter to the objectives and spirit of the United Nations, which reflect 26) the aspirations of people for peace after experiencing the most 27) horrendous war in history.”

  Meanwhile, in an Op-Ed piece published in The Washington Post on Friday, three scholars of the U.S. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies ― Richard Armitage, Michael Green and Victor Cha ― argued that President Barack Obama should add Seoul to his April visit to Asia, noting the role he could play to 28) foster future-oriented relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

  “Visiting key treaty 29) allies Tokyo and Manila, while skipping another key ally, South Korea, on Obama’s first trip to Asia in his second term would be an embarrassment for South Korean President Park Geun-hye, particularly given how 30) prickly relations are between Tokyo and Seoul,” the Op-Ed reads.

  “We would not recommend that Obama 31) try to arbitrate the complex historical problems between Japan and South Korea. But this trip is the ideal opportunity to keep the leadership in Tokyo and Seoul focused on what we can and must do together in the future.”

1) is plunging toward its nadir : 최악의 상황으로 돌입하다
2) shows no signs of willingness to improve the strained ties :
경색된 관계를 개선시키려는 어떤 의지도 보이지 않는다
3) amid escalating territorial and historical friction : 영토와 역사적인 것에 대한 마찰이 악화되고 있는 가운데
4) Hawkish : 강경파
5) taking the territorial spat : 영토에 관한 승강이 (입씨름)
6) exacerbated public resentment : 사람들의 분노를 악화시켰다 (더했다)
7) reiterating that Dokdo was not in dispute : 독도는 분쟁거리가 되지 않는다는 것을 되풀이하며
8) the ICJ litigation : 국제사법재판소 (International Court of Justice) 에 제소함
9) a “political ploy” : 정치적인 계략
10) given that~ : ~을 가정하면..
11) Pundits : 전문가들
12) to utilize the litigation itself to make Dokdo an international dispute :
독도를 국제분쟁 지역으로 만들기 위해 제소 그 자체를 이용하는 것
13) the sovereignty issue : 통치권 쟁점 (사안)
(* issue—the topic of discussion)
14) incorporated : 합병했다, 포함시켰다
15) in effective control of ~: ~에 대해 실질적으로 지배하는
16) police detachment : 경찰 파견대 (초소)
17) drew the ire : 분노를 불러 일으켰다
18) past acknowledgement : (지나간) 과거에 대한 시인
19) inflicted on Asian states : 아시아 국가들에게 가했다
20)(did not mention) its contrition : 일본의 뉘우침을 (언급하지 않았다)
21) were deemed to indicate his inclination toward~ : ~에 대한 그 (아베)의 성향을 가리키는 것으로 간주되었다
22) atonement for~ :~에 관한 속죄
23) envoy to the U.N. : U.N. 특사
24) undermine future-oriented relations : 미래 지향적인 관계를 손상시키다
25) run counter to~ : (be against) ~에 어긋나다 (역행하다)
26) the aspirations : 염원
27) horrendous : 참혹한
28) foster : 조성하다, 발전시키다
29) allies : 동맹국
30) prickly relations : 껄끄러운 관계
31) try to arbitrate : 중재하려고 애쓰다

By Song Sang-ho
Published: February 2, 2014
Source: The Korea Herald

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