Researching the history of the Land of the Rising Sun, one learns about the invasions that Japan made to other countries. In addition, you also learn about the invasions that the Japanese themselves have suffered throughout history.
For 1500 years, relations between Korea and Japan were marked by trade. At the same time, they were characterized by wars and political conflicts between the two nations. Conflicts that interfere in the relationship to this day.
In recent decades, controversies over historical facts have soured relations between South Korea and Japan.
Disputes over the veracity of historical facts, strengthened the nationalist movements of each country, encouraging the commercial and political distance of the respective nations.
Both countries have already tried to reach a political armistice, unfortunately, without success.
Currently, 94% of Koreans believe that the Japanese “feel no remorse for past crimes”.
63% of the Japanese believe that Korea's demands for recognition and forgiveness for past acts are "incomprehensible".
Invasions from Japan to Korea (and vice versa)
In the Kamakura period, the Japanese suffered invasions from the Mongol Empire, along with the Kingdom of Goryeo (Korea).
However, the Mongols and Koreans failed in the offensive against the archipelago, resulting in Japan's victory.
During the 16th century, during the Muromachi period, samurai and pirates attacked ships off the coasts of China and Korea.
In 1592 and 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified the nation, ordered the daimyos, the conquest of China through Korea. Meanwhile, King Seonjo warned China about the invasion.
Subsequently, Japan completed its occupation of the Korean peninsula within three months.
Attempts by the Chinese to take the peninsula back from the Japanese failed and Korea lost in battles on land. However, the Korean Kingdom managed to turn around by winning all the naval battles resulting in the decisive defeat of the Japanese fleets.
With the war stalled between the Chinese army and the Japanese army and Toyotomi's death, the Council of Five Elders ordered the withdrawal of Japanese troops, resulting in Korea's victory.
Between 1910 and 1945, Japan occupied Korea and set up a government to administer it as if it were part of Japan.
However, with the occupation, the industrialization of the peninsula accelerated, at the cost of changes in Korean culture in a negative way.
Testimonies from Koreans recounted the brutalities carried out by the Japanese at this time, ranging from looting and forced labor to rape and execution.
If you haven't read about the Unit 731, Koreans were also victims of experiments carried out by the Japanese along with Chinese and other prisoners of war at the time of the occupation.
After the withdrawal of Japanese troops in 1945, the peninsula ended up being disputed by the Soviets and the Americans.
In 1948, this gave rise to the two Koreas. However, the two countries are still at war as a peace treaty has never been signed.
Political conflicts and controversies
Since then, South Korea has refused to establish any diplomatic relationship with Japan and it was only resolved in a Treaty of Basic Relations in 1965.
The only possible progress between the relationship was in 2015, when both addressed the issue of such atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese. This prompted a public apology by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Do Japanese and Koreans hate each other?
In South Korea, 77% of South Koreans view the Japanese in a negative light and 22% had a positive opinion of Japan. Only 1% remained neutral.
In Japan, 37% of Japanese view South Koreans negatively, with only 13% seeing them positively. The rest remained neutral.
There have been attempts by Japan to improve political situations between the two nations. However, the result was little and has not had much effect.
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