Lines in the water

March 30, 2005

News wise this is a few days old, but I was wondering how I should present the whole thing. Currently Japan is involved in a few territorial disputes other than the Northern Territories with the Russians. There are islands off of Okinawa that China and Taiwan insist are their respectively, which might lie on some natural gas or oil. Then there is Takeshima (in Japanese) or Dokdo (in Korean) an island in the Sea of Japan (for the Japanese and in most maps) or Eastern Sea (for the Koreans). Now, for me these three disputes are another opportunity for the diplomats in the Japanese Foreign Ministry to underwhelm the world with their efforts. However, when the Japanese prefecture of Shimane declared a holiday to commemerate the islands, there was outrage in Korea and the usual apathy in Japan. Tour groups were led to the island with more to come.

The islands are not inhabited, with just a few Korean cops there to police the birds and fish. Image here. The island is important for more than just being a inhabitable rock, but because of the fish surrounding the island that could help the fleets of either country. While I was surfing the net, I did notice the following treasure at Yahoo Korea.

A cute picture of two rocks with the Korean flag sticking out of one of them, I was expecting some cute joke behind all of this, as it is a dot com after all, at the very least something injected to help everyone take a step back and get some fresh air. But, the message next to it (and my Korean is pretty poor) translated to, "Yahoo! Dokdo is Korean!" Really, a clever message, it is important for all locales to feel a familiarity with the service of these international companies. The web as we know it is evolving before our eyes. . .it will be different for each of us. . .

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Japan was found dancing with Richard Gere. Though in all fairness Richard Gere had just proclaimed in a press conference for his new movie that China should back off of the anti-seccession law and that Europe should not lift their arms embargo to the country.

Just another day right?

Seriously, I believe that it is great that Japan and Korea (Korea and Japan) might be able to approach each other and talk about these disputes and resolve differences (while discovering new ones), as painful as the process might be, we just might be moving closer and closer to actually being friends in this big, scary world. Too bad, it seems most folks in Japan don't seem to care about the dispute or know about it.

Heck, I have other things to worry about myself. Anything is possible. . .

Discussion, links, and tweets

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