Koreans not as Japan sees them

Busan, South Korea

Regarding Philip Brasor’s Oct. 11 article on the Busan Film Festival, “Territorial disputes don’t rain on Asia’s largest parade of cinema,” I enjoyed reading it, but I would like to comment on one sentence at the beginning stating “Koreans’ reputation for demonstrating strong feelings in public.”

Actually, this almost never happens. Koreans — unlike Westerners but somewhat like the Japanese — usually refrain from showing emotion in public.

They may do this sometimes, but only for very important issues that relate to their personal or national “well-being.” The Dokdo (Takeshima) dispute is one of these issues. On this point, the Koreans feel that the Japanese government is going back to its Meiji Era roots by claiming Dokdo as Japanese territory. Needless to say, they feel threatened and take this issue seriously. Even then, despite having lived more than four years in Busan, I have never witnessed one public demonstration on Dokdo (or anything else for this matter).

Perhaps I could advise to take with a grain of salt what is said about Korea by the Japanese media. It’s often distorted and borders even on propaganda.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

bernard parent