Demand Apology from NBC for Defending Japanese Imperialism during the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

  • by: Joseph Juhn & Sensible Citizens
  • recipient: All victims of the Japanese imperialism and the lovers of peace, harmony, human dignity, and athletic excellence.

== UPDATE (Feb. 24, 2018) ==

Joshua Cooper Ramo, who set off a firestorm after attributing Korea's economic/cultural transformation to Japan's imperialism, apologized today.

However, when many of us hoped that this matter would be settled once and for all, a supposed East Asia specialist named Norman Pearlstine and Fortune Magazine published an article defending Joshua Ramo's comments on Korea-Japan relations.

Perhaps it's best not to give any attention to a logically debunked, culturally insensitive, and morally reprehensible argument reminiscing the glorious imperialistic past, but if major media networks like NBC and Fortune continue to produce gravely misleading information and feed wrong accounts of history to its average readers, then we shall speak up.

Norman Pearlstine's argument is akin to attributing Jews' survival to the Nazis, African-Americans' dignity to slavery, and Indians' rise to global power to the British rulings. He either deliberately fabricates or utterly ignorantly confuses cause and effect.

Jews, African-Americans, Indians, and Koreans survived, thrived, and succeeded not as a result of their oppressor's kind contributions but despite the brutal oppressors' attempt to destroy their basic rights, dignity, and livelihood. Why would Pearlstine propagate that the oppressed shall credit their oppressor's abusive past for their later triumphant growth?

Mr. Pearlstine completely misses the point. Even if one is to concede that some elements of Korea's post-colonialism economic development policy may resemble that of Japan's, this point fails to merit any intellectual and moral worth to his logic. 

We, sensible citizens, merely want truthful and sensible reporting. 

== ORIGINAL Post ==

(Feb. 10, 2018): On February 9, during the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, one of the NBC broadcasters, identified to be Joshua Cooper Ramo, in introducing Team Japan, said the following: (on the video, from 00:47-00:58)

" representing Japan, a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945. But EVERY Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation…"

Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during WWII, would find such statement deeply hurtful and outrageous. And no, no South Korean would attribute the rapid growth and transformation of its economy, technology, and political/cultural development to the Japanese imperialism.

It is NOT the intention of the petitioners to tarnish the spirit of peace and hope of the Winter Olympics nor to disrespect the individual atheletes of Team Japan.

Quite the contrary, we believe that staying silent is not an appropriate response to such ignorant, insensitive, and harmful information that defies the very spirit of peace, harmony, honor, and human dignity at the Olympics.

We demand NBC to release a public apology to the Korean people and the viewers of the Winter Olympics who deserve to be informed on the truthful account of history.

미국 방송사인 NBC가 9일 평창동계올림픽 개막식 중계 중, 한 해설자가 다음과 같은 말을 했습니다:

"일본이 한국을 1910년부터 1945년까지 강점했지만 모든 한국인들은 일본이 문화·기술·경제적으로 매우 중요한 본보기였다고 말하게 될 것"
한국인이거나, 일본의 제국주의 역사에 조금이라도 익숙한 이들은 저 언급에 분노할 수 밖에 없습니다. NBC는 사과는 커녕, 저 망언에 불만을 표출하는 모든 온라인 접근을 차단하고 있기에 우리의 의견을 전달할 수 있는 탄원사이트를 만들었습니다.
이 탄원서에 서명을 하는 모든 이들은 올림픽의 정신인 평화와 자유와 화합과 인간의 존엄성의 가치를 훼손할 의도가 없습니다. 반대로, 그 가치들을 훼손하는, 일본 제국주의를 옹호하는 NBC의 잘못된 역사관을 지적할 뿐입니다. 공개적인 사과를 얻어낼때까지 서명과 공유를 해주세요.
Update #16 years ago
UPDATE 1: NBC delivered a brief apology that merely reads: “We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize.” NBC appears to believe that this is a matter that only affects the feelings of Korean people. NBC should apologize, instead, to all viewers who deserve honest journalism, accountability, and common sense history. Japanese imperialistic past was one of the most horrific atrocities of the 20th century and a more specific and genuine apology is called for.
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