[KS] No Takeshima here! More Internet censorship in South Korea
Afostercarter at aol.com
Afostercarter at aol.com
Fri Mar 18 04:15:43 EST 2005
I would hope that all Listmembers are dismayed at the latest flare-up
of the pointless Tokto/Takeshima spat between South Korea and Japan.
This is all the more regrettable, given the hopes raised by recent trends
such as the great popularity of South Korean soap operas in Japan.
Is it not deplorable that no opinion leaders, on either side of the Sea of
No Agreed Name, seem ready to put their heads above the parapet
and try to dampen this row down, rather than fan the flames further?
If such voices do exist and I've missed them, I'd be very glad to know.
There is a fine, nuanced view from Japan by Kosuke Takahashi at
Also available at that excellent resource Japan Focus, which I
imagine many Listmembers will know already:
>From the Korean side, the latest twist is blatant censorship.
See the article below. ("Mental harm to youth," forsooth!)
This is especially retrograde, since long ago I recall reading in
Korea Journal (back when it appeared monthly) that a two-volume
collection of the works of ardent Korean pro-Japanese writers
from the pre-1945 period had been published in Seoul.
Not without controversy, but published it was.
This may have been as long ago as the 1980s, even.
(Perhaps someone who knows could give the reference and date?)
Progress marches on ....
(On why South Korea and Japan really should sort and stop this once and for
This was penned a couple of years back. The thought that I could probably go
updating this plea - wholly in vain - for the rest of my life is deeply
To me, the title of a great Northern Soul classic by Dana Valery
(written by Paul Simon, I believe) sums up the moral here:
"You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies."
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University
Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK
tel: +44(0) 1274 588586 (alt) +44(0) 1264 737434 mobile:
+44(0) 7970 741307
fax: +44(0) 1274 773663 ISDN: +44(0) 1274 589280
Email: afostercarter at aol.com (alt) afostercarter at yahoo.com website:
Pro-Japanese Online Portal Sites Shut Down
By Kim Tae-gyu
Korea's Internet and telecom industries have begun to counter Japan's recent
claim to Tokto, Korea's easternmost islets.
The nation's biggest portal, Daum Communications, Thursday said it had shut
down five overly pro-Japanese online communities.
``After consultation with the Information Communication Ethics Committee
(ICEC), we closed five communities, which claimed Japan's sovereignty over
Tokto,'' a Daum spokesperson said.
She added Daum also found five more overridingly pro-Japanese communities and
is mulling over whether to close them.
The state-backed ICEC said the online communities, which distort the history
and thus doing mental harm to youth can be shut down under relevant laws.
Tokto is rocky islets, located about 90 kilometers east of Korea's Ullung
Island and some 160 kilometers northwest of Japan's Oki island, which belongs to
Currently, Tokto is under the strict control of Korea with the nation's armed
forces stationed there, but Japan has claimed its sovereignty over the
islets, calling them Takeshima.
In particular, Tokto has emerged as a bone of contention between Seoul and
Tokyo after Japan's Shimane Prefecture outlined a claim over the islets by
passing an ordinance bill, designating Feb. 22 as ``Takeshima Day.''
The act prompted many Koreans to stage protests while Seoul announced it will
lift restrictions on civilian visits to Tokto to counter Japan's move.
To support the step, under which about 150 people will be able to visit Tokto
per day, the nation's three wireless carriers look to increase their mobile
service qualities on the tiny islands.
SK Telecom, the nation's top mobile operator, and runner-up KTF on Thursday
said they would push for establishing base stations in Tokto.
The two firms launched mobile phone services in Tokto in 2002, taking
advantage of base stations on the neighboring Ullung Island. But the service quality
has been bad due to the distance between the two areas.
``The demand for cell phone services will increase on Tokto as more visitors
will be allowed there. So we will guarantee loud and clear calls there by
building a Tokto base station or enhancing the capacity of the Ullung Island
station,'' a SK Telecom spokesperson said.
LG Telecom, the nation's smallest wireless carrier, said it will also
incorporate signal relay devices on Tokto tourism ships to enable its customers to
place or receive mobile calls.
High-speed Internet access has already been made available in Tokto through a
telecom satellite of Koreasat 3, also known as ``Mugunghwa,'' from mid-last
KT, the country's dominant fixed-line company, invested about 120 million won
last year to incorporate a 1-megabits-per-second (Mbps) facility.
The firm also donated 10 computers to Tokto residents, composed of 37 coast
guard policemen, three greenhouse keepers and one civilian.
Before then, Internet connection was possible from 2000 thanks to the
investment of venture start-up Mirae Online. But the connection was too slow at 128
kilobits per second (Kbps), the speed of a dial-up modem.
KT and its mobile arm KTF also said they would embark on new call rate
systems, under which the firms will grant some of the rates to Tokto coast guards.
voc200 at koreatimes.co.kr
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