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Foreign Policy Analysis
How much do you know the Emperor of Japan, the neighboring country of Korea?

How much do you know the Emperor of Japan, the neighboring country of Korea?


Japan, the neighboring country of Korea, is
going to hold a ceremony this week to proclaim the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon is
scheduled to visit Tokyo to attend the event. This week Korea Now will look into the Emperor
of Japan, the symbol of unity of the Japanese people. Japanese Emperor is the head of the Imperial
Family of Japan. Currently, the Emperor of Japan is the only
head of state in the world with the English title of “emperor.” The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest
continuing monarchial house in the world whose origin dates back to the 7th century B.C.
the mythical Emperor Jimmu. The role of Japanese Emperor has historically
alternated between a largely ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate
in 1192, the emperors have rarely taken on a role as supreme battlefield commander, unlike
many Western monarchs. Japanese emperors have nearly always been
controlled by external political forces, to varying degrees. After the Meiji Restoration in 1867, the emperor
became the embodiment of all sovereign power in the realm, as enshrined in the Meiji Constitution
of 1889. After World War II, however, the role of Japanese
emperor was changed again. Emperor Hirohito, the grandson of Emperor
Meiji, was the head of state during Japan’s imperial expansion and militarization. Some historians believe Hirohito was directly
responsible for the atrocities committed by the imperial forces in the Second Sino-Japanese
War and in World War II, even though his degree of involvement in wartime decisions remains
controversial. After Japan’s surrender in 1945, however,
he was not prosecuted for war crimes as many other leading government figures were. It was because General Douglas MacArthur decided
that retention of emperor was vital to maintaining order in Japan. Therefore, the emperor has returned to a ceremonial
head of state without even nominal political powers as in the shogunate era. Under the 1947 constitution, the Emperor of
Japan is defined as “the symbol of the State and the unity of the people.” Hirohito was crowned as emperor on December
25th 1926 and ruled Japan for 6 decades until his death on January 7th 1989. His reign was designated as Shōwa, making
him the longest-reigning Japanese monarch in history. After Emperor Shōwa, Akihito reigned as the
125th Emperor of Japan from January 7th 1989 until his abdication on April 30th 2019, Heisei
era. Upon abdication due to his age and declining
health, he became emperor emeritus for the first time since the 119th Emperor of Japan,
Emperor Kōkaku, 202 years ago. Contrary to Japanese politicians who refuse
to acknowledge or apologize for atrocities their country committed during World War II,
Akihito expressed “deep remorse” over the Imperial Wars of aggression in his speech
on the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in 2015. Emperor Naruhito also expressed “deep remorse”
over Japan’s wartime misdeeds. The new emperor, who acceded to the throne
on May 1st, made a speech last August similar to one delivered by his father, Emperor Akihito. He expressed hopes of not repeating the calamities
of war with a deep remorse about the past in his first address to the people since his
throne. Therefore, some even argue that President
Moon Jae-in himself instead of Prime Minister should go and attend the enthronement event
to find a breakthrough to ease tensions between South Korea and Japan. Seoul and Tokyo have been mired in a trade
war after the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Japanese firms to compensate South Korean
victims of forced labor during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. A Cheong Wa Dae official, however, said President
Moon will not attend the event, citing Tokyo’s stance on its trade curbs against Seoul over
a historical issue. The South Korean Prime Minister Lee is known
to be relatively familiar with Japan. He speaks fluent Japanese and previously served
as a Tokyo correspondent while working as a journalist. He is also known to have an extensive network
among Japanese officials. Some even regard his visit as a move that
may thaw relations between the two countries following a year of friction. However, others are cautious about predicting
any tangible, fruitful outcome of Lee’s visit. What are your thoughts on this? Please let me know in the comments below and
thank you for watching Korea Now.

5 comments on “How much do you know the Emperor of Japan, the neighboring country of Korea?

  1. So, while Emperors Akihito and Naruhito expressed ''deep remorse over wartime misdeeds', PM Abe has again sent offerings to a shrine, the Yasukuni Shrine, that among others also commemorates the worst of those very same who committed those terrible 'misdeeds' . A conclusion can be drawn that no communication between the Emperor and the PM exists or that PM doesn't care at all what the Emperor has to say. Has the Emperor lost absolutely all influence? Tradition where Japanese politicians shamelessly treat vicious war criminals as worthy of commemorating ought to stop once and for all for the relations between Japan and SK to finally become stable. Thanks for the informative video!

  2. Japanese politicians don’t care what the Emperor thinks. As a Japanese-American whose family was always opposed to the war, even when we were in Japan, I can say I have a lot of disagreement with Prime Minister Abe and I sympathize with the current and former Emperor who tried to apologize for the war. I’ve also spent quite some time studying the history of the war and while it was on paper the case Emperor Hirohito was supposed to be in command in reality his actions were heavily constrained by the militarists. While he wasn’t totally uninvolved I think the evidence is fairly strong that he initially opposed the war like my family did, and had he tried to express stronger disapproval the militarists would have replaced him with one of his brothers. He probably could have done more than he did and at a later stage he wasn’t totally uninvolved but to say he was directly responsible for the atrocities I think is not accurate. I think his son and grandson are both trying to express in their own way the sentiment shared by many of those of us like my family that the war was wrong and a mistake and caused untold suffering and harm.

  3. 3:36 I think any persecuted/enslaved/colonised country in this planet should follow suit.All countries affected should also demand compensation.
    The history of the world has been unjust and most powerfull economies are booming thanks to the autrocities that they caused on other countries directly or indirectly.

  4. South Korea never deserve to attend this kind of ceremony. You guys are barbarians, and Japan has a deep history with dignity. You guys are mere insects, not a human being, but like a bug. Bugs are to slap and killed by human being, that's your destiny. Don't refuse, but Korea will be vanished from the world map, no sooner or later.

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