Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Giving the Finger to Japan

Two South Korean protesters, one an elderly woman, cut off their fingers in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to protest Japan's claim to an obscure rocky uninhabited island off the Korean and Japanese coasts.

In fact, there is a bit more at stake in the territorial dispute than it seems because, apparently, control of the uninhabited rocks will also control the rights (per that useful Law of the Sea Treaty) to 16,600 square nautical miles of sea and seabed and significant mineral and oil deposits.

Still, this rather dramatic protest should remind dreamy (often European) internationalists waiting for the inevitable decline of the nation-state that fervent nationalism is alive and well, even in wealthy, developed, democratic countries.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Oh said...

Fervent nationalism may cause insecurity in the world. Yet we should not ignore that many part of the world still remember the history of colonialism. Cutting off your finger has been a way to show your resolute will.

As a Korean, I don't think there is any 'territorial dispute' between Korea and Japan. There is only big discrepancy of understanding of history. 'Dokdo' is not just 'uninhibited rock' which may bring economic wealth, rather it shows the unhealed wound, trauma and remnants of Japanese colonization of Korea.

3/25/2005 1:00 AM  

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