by Ewa Nowogorski
World War II was a war like no other, considering the numerous atrocities that have been committed during its time. Japan and South-Korea unfortunately have a history in that department. Yet, one might say there isn’t a country in the world that hasn’t committed some horrendous crime against someone. It is thus, that people are divided in their opinions (as with a lot of things). There are those that absolutely despise what the other represents. There are those that either choose to ignore or are unfamiliar with the past and have no real opinion of the other. Finally, there are those that abhor the past and try to rewrite the past with their intentions and actions.
I have seen and talked to people that have held these opinions and it reminds me of my home-country far too much. It is true that the South-Koreans have been a victim of prejudice in the past, and thus many from the older generation may view them negatively. Those younger ones, who haven’t inherited their parents’ views, are usually predisposed to having their judgements formed by popular media (K-Pop and the like). It is sad to see when hate is reignited, but this time by those in support of the victims. Words like, “You should know the horrible things your country did to mine!” when directed at the individual are usually ineffective and just leave a negative association with the receiver. I thus see a divide in how many see South-Koreans in Japan, but I am glad to know that the relations, at least between how the people treat each other, are improving.