Korean President: “The Emperor Should Kneel Before Us”


South Korea’s president has caused a scandal by demanding “the Japanese king” grovel before the Korean people in apology should he wish to set foot on that peninsula’s sacred soil.

South Korean president Lee Myung-bak made a public address at a university at which he told an audience of student teachers “Japan’s king” should “kneel” (i.e. kowtow or dogeza, the most grovelling form of apology possible in East Asia) before the Korean people in apology for daring to maintain its claim over Takeshima, should he wish to pay a state visit to Korea.

He further compounded the insult by referring to Japan’s emperor as “the Japanese king” instead of “emperor” as is customary, with both comments being unprecedentedly undiplomatic as such things go.

The Japanese government has avoided any official diplomatic response by suggesting his remarks were “surely only his personal opinions?” – although what exactly the difference is when a president makes such comments to a public audience in an official address is not clear.

Japan’s government and royal family have made numerous apologies for Japan’s earlier imperialist ventures, but China and Korea have tended to ignore them and instead press for apologies of ever greater humility and acknowledgements of crimes of ever inflating magnitude.

Opportunistically fostering internal public hatred of Japan and maintaining Japan’s economic “aid” are often cited as factors involved in otherwise bizarre efforts to maintain Japan as the region’s foremost aggressor nation.

The South Korean president had only just finished making the first presidential visit to the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan, which the Japanese government urged him not to do and then called “regrettable.”

This followed on from a South Korean footballer being thrown out of the Olympics in disgrace for waving a placard proclaiming Korean sovereignty over the territory at a match, although the Korean response appears to have been a series of further accusations and demands levelled at Japan rather than any gesture of contrition.

Whether or not it has any official consequences, the president’s antics have outraged a significant number of Japanese, with an insult directed against Japan’s imperial household beyond the pale for many:

“This is tantamount to a declaration of war!”

“I can’t believe he was so rude as to call him ‘king’!”

“He should never have gone near this.”

“This sort of thing used to cause wars…”

“They can get away with saying what they like about Takeshima, but insulting the emperor will not be forgiven.”

“I don’t think much of our imperial system but even so this is way out of line.”

“Was there an election coming up?”

“His approval is at like 20% so he is just desperately trying to grub up votes by stirring up hatred against Japan.”

“The South Korean presidency has a 5-year 1 term limit, so what is puzzling is that he has no need to fight to be re-elected… why is he so desperate?”

“His family and those around him are being investigated for corruption, and his older brother was arrested for bribery. He’s just earning brownie points for anti-Japanese activity so they don’t nail him too hard when his time is up.”

“He was really anti-Japanese even before, and was always being provocative like this. His government and the Japanese media just made sure to play it down.”

“He’s at the end of his term with no chance of re-election, so he can say anything.”

“He should be begging for his life.”

“Can we please stop our economic aid to them?”

“At least stop that huge currency swap we are doing for them.”


“This is an insult against the Japanese spirit!”

“The Japanese and Korean governments are actually cooperating – this time the Japanese government needed an external scandal to distract everyone from its huge tax increases.”

“He pretty much killed relations with Japan with that remark.”

“Sad to think someone like this is the South’s president – I guess it shows what kind of people they are.”

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    Avatar of Shadow C
    Comment by Shadow C
    08:52 15/08/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Why can't all the ultra-nationalists of every country just try breathing underwater or something?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:22 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Amen to that

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:03 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I've said this before but have them all fight each other on an island ala Battle Royale for limited rations.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Double Amen.

    I mean... Jesus... Yeah Japans PAST goverments done terrible things to Korea and China. But this is another generation, is even another century for gods sake. Nowadays are a lot of trys from the Japanese and Korean to coexist in peace and then this... person comes and say this. Talking about irresponsible behavior.

    Avatar of touzakarinn
    Comment by touzakarinn
    11:25 17/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Love and peace.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:10 17/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol if u make japanese king grovel before u (korean bastard) then i'm gonna slice ur (korean) dick in half..

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:12 17/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol really i'm gonna drop an ICBM or two on Seoul if i have it

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:35 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Include all the closet nationalists and that would result in extermination of entire east asian region, and some of south asia as well.

    Avatar of caiooa
    Comment by caiooa
    19:26 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    along with usa nationalists, french nationalists, germany nationalists...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:56 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    As entertaining as the idea of idiocide may be, we still need poor uneducated masses to perform the mundane functions within society.
    On the other hand, there are the leeches (e.g. bankers, politicians, lawyers, etc...) who aren't going to be missed at all. If I were to try my hand at fixing the world, I'd start there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:08 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    How about all nationalists, anti internet folks, extreemists of various kinds and people I generally dislike based on what I read from the internet.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:34 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget the religious fundamentalists and feminazis too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:48 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Religious people,and people that live a life trough a single or multiple events, and fail to see the large picture whether to be politics,their actual life, personal values vs. the whole form the world, i know mexico will be a better place :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:03 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not me...French girls are super cute.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:22 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    time for one big global cleansing it seems ... just let the normal people and the anime makers live muwhahaha now that would be a good plan.
    but hey maybe i'll get my wish on 12-12-2012 like originally planned just look at all the crap thats going on world wide and covered by the media.

    Comment by Anonymous

    i only hate french people the rest is ok and im a german

    Comment by Anonymous

    Long as that includes the extermination of you, yeah sure.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:12 15/08/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    King sound about right, thou he has no power to go with that tittle.

    Avatar of Kiljoy616
    Comment by Kiljoy616
    12:01 15/08/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I think that is the whole idea, why have something that eats, sleeps, and shits but has no purpose at all. In a civilized country. Wasted space.

    Avatar of Shadow C
    Comment by Shadow C
    12:09 15/08/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Powerless Monarchs are just around for ceremonies and to give condolences when tragedies happen. Other than that, not very much.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:39 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They are good for morale. That's much more important than you realize.

    Avatar of bedlam11
    Comment by bedlam11
    19:11 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    oh so they also cause needless diplomatic problems. Sound real useful.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You're wrong, they are the royal family, a symbol to one's country, to verbally attack one is pretty much the biggest insult any country can do to another.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:07 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They're good for tourism. As long as the line lives tourists are more interested in visiting the places they reside in (ie the palaces). Same deal with the English monarchy - they definitely earn more in tourism dollars than they cost.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:03 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except the English Monarchy actually has some power within the British Government. The Japanese Imperial family are solely figure heads.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:48 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And what does the monarch actually do?

    Best be done with them just like the French.
    Useless monarch wasting public funds while not actually ruling nor doing anything useful.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:46 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    wrong....! the british monarchy have just as much power as the general public, we are a democracy not a monarchy. the reality is that we have a monarchy because we want one, the queen has to ASK to be let into parliament, it is not her birthright to be allowed in.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:39 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    >why have something that eats, sleeps, and shits but has no purpose at all.

    BTW pets belong in that category too...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:05 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Largely because of the revenue generated by the presence of a monarchy such as the British Royal Family. Not sure if the Japanese Imperial Family does the same, but the British royals pay rent on their land to tune of something like 4 billion a year. Then you get about 16 billion in tourism, or some other astronomical number. CGP Grey on YouTube did a great video about it.


    Hopefully Japan has a similar arrangement. It also helps that the Imperials maintain an important aspect of the classical culture in Japan, and while some people don't think culture is important, history can demonstrate rather brilliantly how letting go of this culture leads to a decline in general social strata (ie: the PRC, the DPRK, the USSR, large parts of America prior to the Civil War, and Mongolia during the USSR). Gotta maintain some social traditions and the Imperial family is inextricably tied to certain ideas about being "Japanese", including home, purpose, and spiritual belonging.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:51 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The spy paradise overrun by Rama IX's emissaries? Soon enough. What will befall Asia next?

    Comment by Anonymous

    The country that didn't have a king or emperor will never know how the difference between 2 of this word is.

    It's really rude when you say someone like that especially the king or the emperor of there country, I'm a German guy who's live in japan and really love emperor Akihito

    He's like the father of all Japanese people! And me too!!

    Avatar of tingle
    Comment by tingle
    18:43 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    hes a great benevolent monarch. what is not to love?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:20 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dumb. There were kings in Korea dumbass. And if Akihito is a father to you, which is weird considering you're from Germany, then the Korean's are your papas too because the emperor has admitted that the royal family has Korean lineage in it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:17 17/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    who cares about lineage LOL

    Comment by Anonymous

    Useless Japanese King sounds right

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:48 15/08/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    No, that doesn't sound right.

    Do you even know what the fuck you're talking about?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:41 15/08/2012 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:44 15/08/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    The Japanese disallowed the use of the Korean language under Japanese imperial rule, killed thousands of people during the protests, abducted women to become prostitutes, treated Koreans like shit and experimented on prisoners/performed vivisection and they still lie about what actually happened during the imperial rule. My Grandfather lived through that shit and I completely understand why he holds a hatred towards the Japanese. I don't think kids should feel hatred for Japan, because we never went through what our grandparents went through, but it makes sense for our grandparents to feel this way.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:40 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "The Japanese disallowed the use of the Korean language under Japanese imperial rule, killed thousands of people during the protests, abducted women to become prostitutes..."

    ah.... those were the good old days...

    Avatar of Qwerti
    Comment by Qwerti
    03:37 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Man, I logged in at work to upvote you :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:59 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Koreans are just butthurt that Japan fucked them up good during that era, you know, Koreans could have stood up for themselves back then like how people did and are currently doing in Syria, Lybia, Egypt etc.

    But no Koreans were too pussy to fight back and now after 7 decades after the war they think they can get back their dignity that they lost by not fighting back and winning against the Japanese.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:37 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know, that's exactly what barbarians do in every single game of civilization. It doesn't end well for them. Swordsmen and archers are unsurprisingly ineffective against automatic rifles, tanks, and warplanes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:54 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, we'll send an army with guns and you can try defending yourself with a sword. Idiots will be idiots.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:52 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And racists will be racists.
    Go back to your hovel, hillbilly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:56 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And gooks will be gooks.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:08 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your statement just drips with stupidity. I wouldn't know where to start with you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:54 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Majority of koreans were chinilpa, or pro-japanese parasites. Their controvertial but efficient president Park Jung Hee was an officer in the imperial japanese army.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:21 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kind of hurts your point that the Japanese occupation is credited for improving literacy in hangeul from 3rd world-level to 1st world-level.
    Shit happened too, I wont disagree, but the disallowing use of Korean is a lie. I don't think you're lying though. I just think you've been told that lie.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:18 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wikipedia is one source that says this, my grandfather and others who lived through the ordeal is another. Where are you getting your sources? The Japanese suppressed the Korean language which forced scholars to write underground books on the Korean language. The Japanese didn't improve literacy, Koreans improved literacy... The Japanese did not want Koreans to learn their own language. Btw, my grandfather is fluent in Japanese, I wonder why.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:29 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your grandfather is biased. He may be right in every aspect, but he is still biased and his accounts are not trustworthy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:21 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Relatively, I have to say I am more inclined towards trusting Wikipedia or other Googled sites as sources of information versus some random guy posting under Anonymous on Sankaku...

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:52 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because they taught Japanese, duh. Doesn't mean they didn't teach Korean. While checking to see if it's true, you know, with google, I easily found loads of pictures of hangul textbooks for teaching children. They must have been for Taiwanese kids because Koreans weren't allowed learn Korean *cough*

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:02 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Still sounds like his grandfather trumps your google.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:11 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Better then where you get it from, out of your ass.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:17 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You get your reliable information from angry senile man? *facepalm*

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:19 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you didn't know, wikipedia cites all of their information and you can look into the nested information if you wish. If you don't know anything, don't say anything. Golden rule of an intelligent civilization.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You get your information from Wikipedia? *facepalm*

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:38 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well the history about prohibition is true. They disallowed people to use Korean Hangul, and forced them to use Japanese. Although as you know, things like that never stopped people from using it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:38 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder if the countries that were invaded by German during World War 2 are still butthurt about it...

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:38 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Korea is just tsundere. Claim to hate Japan but still import anime, send their artists to perform in Japan and jointly host the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Yep! Tsundere!

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:34 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder what the average South Korean think and not those internet right wings.
    Since some Korean artists are popular in Japan and anime seems to be popular in Korea.

    It doesn't makes sense that they hate each other so much and still managed to jointly host the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:10 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Korea is just tsundere. Don't get it wrong! It's not like we watch your anime, send our artists to perform in your country and host 2002 FIFA World Cup because we like you or anything stupid Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:22 19/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They send their artists all over the World dumbass. And btw, not everyone in Korea watches Anime, it's like any other country, it's the minority of the population. Stop thinking the rest of the World worships Japan just because you do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:53 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're not.
    Because 1.Germany was nice about apologies. 2.Germany no longer elects crazy right-wing politicians into office. 3.Germany doesn't churn out blatant whitewashed textbooks. 4.Germany executed war criminals instead of worshipping them. 5.Germany no longer maintains border disputes with neighboring countries.

    Lots of people don't understand the situation in east asia and plain assume koreans are "insecure". Which is actually pretty ignorant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:50 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    "And who exactly do you propose they elect? Their choice is pretty much limited to the right-wing nutjobs, the extreme right-wing nutjobs or the nationalist nutjobs."

    Exactly my point. Germany took a turn for the better while Japanese nutjobs remain very much alive, kicking and worse yet, supported.

    "A criticism well deserved. But hardly a reason to hate a nation over."

    Actually a very good reason to hate a nation over just by itself. Consider some shit who raped your sister, killed your brother and parades around like it didn't happen. Get the point?

    "The German government was overthrown by the allies. The Japanese government was not. The same guys who you propose should have been executed were still in power after the war. The lack of proper mass media and communication networks available to the populace didn't help either."

    What do you think overthrew the japanese government, chipmunks? MacArthur and posse simply chose to leave some war criminals in charge so they could better contain "communist expansion" which is a strategy effective to this day.

    "Most of the Japanese population is simply too young to have had anything to do with the war and doesn't deserve the blind hate they get."

    Standing up for the innocent, eh? I agree with you on this one, but it doesn't rebuke anything I said.

    "On the other hand, Germany doesn't border with authoritarian state which loves to strong arm anyone who opposes them."

    You mean China, Taiwan, Korea, Russia and basically every neighboring country?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:25 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Koreans are just grasping at straws. Condemning Japanese culture while carbon copying it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:23 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Germany no longer elects crazy right-wing politicians into office.

    And who exactly do you propose they elect? Their choice is pretty much limited to the right-wing nutjobs, the extreme right-wing nutjobs or the nationalist nutjobs.

    Germany doesn't churn out blatant whitewashed textbooks.

    A criticism well deserved. But hardly a reason to hate a nation over.

    Germany executed war criminals instead of worshipping them

    The German government was overthrown by the allies. The Japanese government was not. The same guys who you propose should have been executed were still in power after the war. The lack of proper mass media and communication networks available to the populace didn't help either.
    Or do you propose they round up a bunch of 90 year olds and execute them now?
    It happened 60 years ago. If you weren't affected, you have nothing to complain. And even if you were affected, most of the Japanese population is simply too young to have had anything to do with the war and doesn't deserve the blind hate they get.

    Germany no longer maintains border disputes with neighbouring countries.

    On the other hand, Germany doesn't border with authoritarian state which loves to strong arm anyone who opposes them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:47 17/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope you realize that Japanese culture came from Korea/China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:39 15/08/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    It's funny how many of those soldiers were Korean...

    Most of what you listed isn't fact, just the usual SK delusions. And you (South) Korean's really need to stop living in the fucking past.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can you tell me exactly what I'm saying isn't fact? It'd be nice if you gave some sources or at least explain what you mean. Or are you just another mad troll?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:55 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @15:50 Do you really believe a lot of those crazy lies fabricated by the South Korean government? The majority of those Korean prostitutes OFFERED themselves to the Japanese & Korean solders for quick cash. They did do horrible things, but that's all in the past, and you Koreans need to wake up to reality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:16 16/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course, any sovereign nation would be happy to welcome an invading foreign nation with open arms and all the local women would "offer" themselves to the soldiers because, yeah, all of them would. And the Japanese just rolled into town offering to build bridges and buildings all for the benefit of the Koreans and then leave when their work is done. The End. Happy Ending.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:50 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    so you're still refusing to tell me how I'm wrong?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:23 15/08/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    All it boils down to is... you're fucking delusional. kid.

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