How to Eliminate the Karma with Troubling Neighbor Countries
Chief Editor's Monthly Column

 

Chief Editor’s Monthly Column

 
In May, North Korea again launched three missiles. Further, they are very near to completing a nuclear missile that can reach North America.

U.S. President Donald Trump is firm on his decision not to let this eventuate. It is just a matter of time before he takes action to confiscate North Korea’s weapons and bring an end to the Kim regime.

The problem then is what sort of future we foresee for the Korean Peninsula in 10 or 20 years. Let us think about what Japan can do to contribute.

 

A Region Tossed Around by Superpowers

Historically, the Korean Peninsula has been a place sandwiched between superpowers that have continually invaded and dominated the region.

Thus they learned that the most effective diplomatic and defense strategy was to bow down to the greater imperial powers of the Chinese dynasties, entitled with the benefits of a peerage (for example the Kingdom of Joseon).

They habitually invited the imperial army from China to resolve civil conflicts within the Peninsula (for example when the Chinese Tang aided the Silla kingdom in destroying the Baekje and Goguryeo Kingdoms).

They remained the ‘weak’ nation to appeal to the Chinese dynasties, and understanding the futility of invading the Peninsula for any economic ends. This was especially the case with the Joseon Kingdom in which the culture declined to the point where they even lost the technique to build wheels on carts –coincidentally, a technique they had mastered in the previous Goryeo age.

 

Dependence on Other Countries and the Difficulties of Founding a Nation

To summarize, historically the Korean Peninsula was characteristically (1) dependent on other countries in diplomatic and defense matters, and (2) the economic circumstances made it difficult to found a nation.

A geopolitically similar situation elsewhere in the world would be represented by Palestine and the Jews. The Jewish nation was destroyed in the 2nd century CE and the people were left scattered around the earth for nearly 2,000 years. They finally founded Israel after WWII: a land they could return to.

The Korean Peninsula was also a difficult place to survive in, and was constantly in danger of destruction.

 

The Characteristics Are Still the Same

The current Korean Peninsula seems to still retain these characteristics.

As for number (1), the Korean War in the 1950s was fought mainly between the U.S. and China, and the Korean president Syngman Rhee just fled to distant Busan to watch. Even with the current North Korea crisis, South Korea seems entirely reliant on the U.S.

North Korea, on the other hand, is trying to free itself from China’s clutches by building nuclear missiles.

For number (2), the current North Korean economic conditions reflect Joseon’s poverty levels. In the Ly dynasty, only the governing class were able to trade with the Ming, Qing or Japan’s Tsushima Island. North Korea is doing the exact same thing, with companies directly under Kim Jong-un’s control stocking up on luxury items.

Private ownership of property was forbidden in the Ly dynasty, and North Korea is the same.

 

Moon Jae-in’s Revival of the ‘Peerage’ System

Then how will South Korea’s new Moon Jae-in administration fit into this history of the Korean Peninsula?

Back in 2012, Moon promised to create a federation for the lower classes. This was something agreed to by the then South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il. Not surprisingly this plan simply evaporated.

There is a high chance that president Moon will soon meet North Korea’s current supreme leader Kim Jong-un to talk about the reunification of North and South. For both countries the common denominator is ‘anti-Japan’. In his book, Moon said, “If I become president, I will eradicate the pro-Japanese. I will shift the power balance within South Korea.”

This can be likened to the purge of public servants that took place in Japan after WWII under the auspices of the U.S. government. The GHQ dismissed over 210 thousand public servants in politics and media directly or indirectly involved in WWII. Moon is trying to do a similar purge of pro-Japanese people within South Korea.

Moon’s economic policy is also connected to North Korea. He plans to enact a law that enforces the employment into private companies of people under 40, the age group with a particularly high unemployment rate. He also plans to employ 810 thousand new personnel into the public sector. He idealizes big government, and to achieve this he will raise taxes on big businesses and the wealthy class.

It will be the erasure of everything attractive about the South Korean economy.

Moon is already known for his pro-North Korea, and servile stance towards China. If he bows down to China and decides to remove the THAAD currently deployed in South Korea, it will mean the revival of the ancient ‘peerage’ system.

Troubles for the Palestine of the East

How should Japan react to the Korean Peninsula that appears to be trying to return to the Joseon age?
Historically, Japan has accumulated a lot of karma with its neighbor: the troublesome ‘Palestine of the East’.

The relationship between Japan and the Korean Peninsula can be summed up with the explanation to number (1) above: The Peninsula’s dependence on Japan in diplomacy and defense.

(A) In the Battle of Baekgang in 663, Japan lost in battle fighting for the former Baekje against Silla and Chinese Tang.

(B) In the second Mongol invasion of Japan in the year 1281, Goryeo pledged loyalty to Kublai Khan and attempted the invasion of their enemy Japan to win his favor. Japan was forced into Goryeo’s civil conflict.

(C) Hideyosi Toyotomi’s invasions of Korea (in 1592 and 1597) were generally fought between the Japanese and Chinese Ming armies. Joseon did not have a powerful army, and had to outsource the Ming to protect them.

(D) In the late 1800s as the West’s invasions of Asia was picking up speed, Japan countered this flow by quickly establishing a modernized state. Joseon, however, was so obsessed by its peerage to the Qing dynasty that they refused to adopt modernization, to the point where they even called for help from Russia.

After the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became Japan’s protectorate but decided to annex the former after the assassination of Japanese Prime Minister Hirobumi Ito (who had opposed Korea’s annexation).

This was another example of Korea’s dependence on Japan, and the outcome was not a happy one for either country.

 

Korea’s Prosperity After WWII Was a Special Case

The other characteristic of the Korean Peninsula was that (2) its economic circumstances made it difficult to found a nation. Special cases were the times in which they were engaged in active exchanges with Japan.
For instance, during the Three Kingdoms of Korea, there was a branch office of the Japanese government in Baekje and for a time the Kingdom was part of Japanese territory.

In fact, Baekje was the source from which Buddhism crossed over to Japan. At the time Baekje was in opposition to the Chinese Tang dynasty, but its connection with Japan brought about a very high culture.

Later, South Korea continued to depend on the U.S. for military support, but thanks to this, they could evacuate from stronger conflicting forces in the China and succeeded in the self-initiated founding of their nation.

With around USD500 of capital as financial support from Japan, they achieved the ‘Miracle on the Han River’. Korea created the most prosperous and happy age in its history.

 

Public Happiness for the Children of God

This being the case, what is best for South Korea is not to revive the Joseon age, but to strive for further progress.

South Korea should choose to strengthen ties with the U.S. and Japan instead of being swallowed up by China along with North Korea. Even better would be if we could share with the people of North Korea the current happiness and prosperity enjoyed by South Korea.

Master Ryuho Okawa, founder of Happy Science, gave a lecture at a Happiness Realization Party gathering on 30 April, and spoke to the future of North Korea.

 

“We must aim so that the 25 million people of North Korea have freedom in politics, freedom in economy, freedom of beliefs and freedom of the press, so that each member can participate in, and create a political system that everyone can agree upon: the foundation of liberty.”

 
The idea at the base of liberty is the understanding that people are children of God. It is because each and every person is the child of God that people are cherished, and the right to happiness is emphasized.

The foundation of liberty refers to democracy — its final aim not being just the pursuit of happiness beyond the realm of the individual, but also the creation of the public happiness for the entire country.

 

How to Overcome Japan-Korea Karma

What can Japan do to help make this happen for the people of North Korea?

(1) Japan must establish a missile defense system to counter North Korean missiles. Then the U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance should invite China and Russia to put economic and military pressure on North Korea to force them to abandon nuclear development. Create an international environment to allow Kim Jong-un the option of defection. America and Japan must persuade president Moon out of grasping the reins.

(2) Support the leaders of the North Korean defectors as the potential leaders of a renewed North Korea. Japan’s karma of Korean support goes back to Kim Ok-gyun’s reformations, but we must help in lessening South Korea’s dependence on Japan and other countries.

(3) Begin financial support in anticipation of North Korea’s abandonment of nuclear developments, or the emergence of a reunified Korea.

(4) Create a network of coinciding ideologies around Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula with America and Japan as the pivot. This will help to connect North Korean democratization with China’s democratization, and to change atheistic China into a religion-friendly state.

These are the possible steps to dissolving the karma that Japan has towards its troublesome neighbor countries.

Jiro Ayaori

 


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How to Eliminate the Karma with Troubling Neighbor Countries
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