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 have been 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 until today.
In recent decades, controversies over historical facts have embittered relations between South Korea and Japan.
Disputes about the veracity of the historical facts, strengthened the nationalist movements of each country, encouraging the commercial and political separation 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 "do not feel remorse for the crimes of the past".
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)
During 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 offensives against the archipelago, resulting in Japan's victory.
During the 16th century, during the Muromachi period, samurai and pirates attacked ships off the coast 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 of the invasion.
Later, Japan completed the occupation of the Korean peninsula in three months.
Chinese attempts to take the Japanese peninsula back failed and Korea lost in land battles. However, the Korean Kingdom managed to turn it around by winning all the naval battles resulting in the decisive defeat of the Japanese fleets.
With the stagnant war between the Chinese army and the Japanese army and the death of Toyotomi, the Council of Five Elders ordered the withdrawal of Japanese troops, resulting in the victory of Korea.
Between 1910 and 1945, Japan occupied Korea and implanted 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 negative changes in Korean culture.
Testimonies by Koreans reported the brutalities carried out by the Japanese at that time, ranging from plunder and forced labor to rapes and executions.
If you have not yet read about the Unit 731, the Koreans were also victims of experiments carried out by the Japanese together 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 disputes
Since then, South Korea has refused to establish any diplomatic relationship with Japan and was only resolved in a Basic Relations Treaty 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 the prime minister, Shinzo Abe.
Do Japanese and Koreans hate each other?
In South Korea, 77% of South Koreans view the Japanese in a negative way and 22% had a positive opinion of Japan. Only 1% remained neutral.
In Japan, 37% of the Japanese view South Koreans in a negative way, with only 13% seeing them in a positive way. The rest remained neutral.
There were attempts by Japan to improve the political situation between the two nations. However, the result was little and has not had much effect.
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