There is some interesting debate going on over at the Marmot’s Hole over a Korean Government’s Truth CommissionTM report absolving 83 World War II war criminals of Korean ethnicity that served with the Imperial Japanese military. The Marmot’s Hole has since posted a follow up report concerning well noted Korean scholar and author Michael Breen’s response to this report:
If the Truth Commission wants to get its moral bearings straight and live up to its name, it should examine the broader assumptions with which it is approaching its mission to resolve the pain of the past. In doing so, it should recognize that the idea that Koreans were all unhappy citizens of imperialism bar a few collaborators is a myth. Koreans were Japanese citizens, and it did not occur to many to support the allies against their own country. Ask anyone who lived in that period, and they will tell you that the political correctness of the post-colonial generation is distorted.
They will also tell you that from 1937-42, Koreans in the Japanese army were volunteers _ who included King Kojongâ€™s son, an army general _ and that large-scale forced conscription only started in 1944. The Commission should know that those rounding up comfort women were Koreans and those torturing people in police stations were mostly Koreans. Koreans, in other words, were more “horribleâ€™â€™ to Koreans in many cases than the Japanese were. The solution to this dilemma is to accept the notion of individual responsibility. I asked my fatherâ€™s friend why he thought the Koreans camp guards were so nasty. “When the camp commander was angry about something, heâ€™d berate his officers,â€™â€™ he explained. “The officers would take their frustration out on the Japanese privates, and they would take theirs out on the Korean privates. The Koreans would then take their anger out on the only people beneath them _ that was us.â€™â€™
So, Truth Commissioners, whoâ€™s the victim, my fatherâ€™s friend or the camp guard?
Some pretty hard hitting comments from Michael Breen. The Korean government’s hypocrisy in regards to their complaints of the Japanese not recognizing properly their own war time history is quite clear after this Truth Commission’s report. I could go on and on about the Korean government’s attempts to rewrite history in order to protect Korean PrideTM but both Marmot’s Hole postings and the comments do a good job of doing this. So make sure you check them out.