• Staff Report


Internet users in South Korea are reacting to Japan’s national character represented by muted anger, masochistic apologies and gratitude for others after the Islamic State group released a video showing what appears to be the corpse of hostage Haruna Yukawa, according to a local media report.

Yukawa’s father, Shoichi, 74, told reporters at his home in Chiba Sunday after the Foreign Ministry called him to tell him that his son had been beheaded by the militants, “My mind went totally blank … I cannot find any other words.”

The father also expressed gratitude for the authorities who struggled in vain to resolve the hostage crisis as well as an apology for the public for his son causing massive trouble.

The father’s reaction has drawn mixed comments online in South Korea, with some praising Japan’s national character and others comparing their own with Japan’s, according to a Yonhap News Agency report quoted by Record China, an Internet-based news website.

“How could someone say ‘sorry’ after his son was taken hostage and murdered? I revere Japanese,” said one comment.

“I respect his calmness. I don’t like Japanese but feel envy,” another comment said.

“If South Korea is in a simiar situation, our government would surely face a barrage of criticism for its failure to rescue a hostage.”

One comment even went so far as to say that had a hostage crisis involving a South Korean had a similar outcome, a massive protest would be organized by mourning relatives against the South Korean government within a week, calling for financial compensation.

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