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Abe, Moon and the ancient wisdom of bamboo

20 1 0
10.08.2019
"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the Oak that resists" an ancient proverb that Prime Minister Abe and President Moon may not be familiar with. Unsplash
By Amanda Price

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the feud between South Korea and Japan and the impact that it would have on a generation of young people born into peace and alliances.

While I expected the feud would continue for some time, I did not expect it would escalate to its present level.

The melee is now threatening to become the most dangerous clash between Korea and Japan since the end of World War II.

Some see this as the culmination of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's dogged refusal to fully acknowledge Japan's criminal past and his unwillingness to compensate those who suffered as a result.

Others see this as an overreaction by President Moon Jae-in who, in comparison to his treatment of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been strangely quick to paint Abe as an arch villain set on destroying the ROK.

For the citizens of Japan and South Korea, regardless of what position they hold, the middle ground is shrinking.

Though politicians on either side would not admit it, their attitudes have leached their way into the hearts of everyday citizens who are under tacit orders to choose sides. Anger has received state sanctioning.

There will be no winners in this war. Innocent people and businesses just hoping to make an honest living will be hurt while politicians fight for values and votes.

If this war is ended through the intervention of a greater global power, in the eyes of the world that power will be given the credit, and Japan and South Korea, both young democracies, will look even younger.

If it is remotely possible for a winner to be identified, it is without doubt the serial human rights abuser and murderer, the dictator demi-god Kim Jong-un.

If Kim acknowledged such a thing as Christmas, the feud between South Korea and Japan would be like all of his Christmases come at once.

"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists" ― an ancient proverb that Prime Minister Abe and President Moon may not be familiar with. Unsplash
But this bizarre notion is not the only irrational thing to emerge from this feud.

Moon's unbridled indignation has now led him to the........

© The Korea Times