At first, Korean pop singer Kim Jang-hoon, dubbed "the angel of donation" for his habit of donating many of his concert proceeds to the poor and campaigns to promote his country, asked his fans to put aside their decades-old animosity toward Japan over Dokdo in the wake of the 9.0 March 11 disaster that has left nearly 28,000 dead or missing.Yeah, I agree that Tokyo really should have just let it go, at least this once, but I think that when it comes to responses like this...
Many ordinary South Koreans responded generously, and a dozen K-pop stars donated more than $5 million.
But the mood soon darkened after a Japanese education panel authorised the publication of school textbooks that assert Japan's claims to the islets, which act as a stark reminder of Japan's brutal colonial rule over Korea from 1910-1945.
For many, this meant all donations were off.
A Seoul district office that raised about $10,000 for Japanese disaster relief changed its mind and sent most of the funds to a civic group promoting Korea's claims to the islets, which are also a symbol of South Korea standing up to its neighbour.... I'd like to point out to whatever ku office that was, that the people in Japan who are suffering and in need of help from South Korea and other countries are entirely different from the right-wing politicians who feel obliged to keep bringing up Tokyo's historically questionable and currently unenforceable claim to the Tokto Islets and the seas surrounding them.
"I asked myself, why did Japan do this at this tragic moment. We had to discuss what to do next with this fund," said Ra Tae-sung, an official at the office in southwestern Seoul.
Sphere: Related Content