75th Anniversary of Liberation Documentary Special | Korea-Japan: A Parallel Walk
World Ch. Schedule : KST
Date : 2020-08-15
75th Anniversary of Liberation Documentary Special
“Korea-Japan: A Parallel Walk”
Around 2000 years ago, young men and women of Korea and Japan sailed out into the ocean between the two countries - driven by curiosity about the world beyond their shoreline and a sense of adventure - and enjoyed each other’s camaraderie.
Is it no longer possible for the two countries to walk side-by-side into the future, as they did so many years ago?
Through these stories, the people of Korea and Japan hope to send a message to their governments, who seem to have chosen co-destruction over coexistence, like two trains speeding towards each other on the same track.
By TSUZUKI Sumie
Early this year in Japan, Tsuzuki Sumie (68), a lifelong middle school teacher, translated and published Grass, a graphic novel that tells the true story of former comfort woman, Lee Ok-sun.
Why did she feel compelled to do so, knowing it would cause discomfort to Japanese society?
As the grandchild of a Korean grandmother, Sumie recalls her childhood memories of pervasive discrimination against Koreans by the Japanese and says:
“I believed it would help spread peace. That’s why I decided to publish this book.”
By KIM Ju-hwan & NAKATA Miki / LEE Jeong-jae & AINO Keiko
The difference in their nationalities was never a barrier for Ju-hwan and Miki, and Jeong-jae and Keiko, when they first started dating.
But in 2019, Japan’s trade restrictions on Korea and Korea’s boycott Japan movement led to a strain in diplomatic relations, and the two couples have now found themselves in unsteady waters.
“Regardless of politics, if there are more opportunities for people to connect,
I think our two countries can develop a closer friendship.”
In the face of ongoing tensions, the two couples see their spouses and young children. Just as they have come to embrace cultural differences with admiration and affection, they believe there could be positive change if governments and its people can also regard each other with acceptance and understanding.
By PARK Jin-woo & KASUGAI Moe
To fulfill his aspiration of living in Japan, Park Jin-woo (35) made a major career change and moved to Tokyo. While studying abroad in the U.S., Kasugai Moe (30) was unexpectedly cut off by a close Korean friend after the World Baseball Classic finals. Soon realizing that a decline in Korea-Japan relations also had an impact on relationships between its people, Moe found work as a consultant assisting Korean job seekers find employment in Japan, to help improve the relationship between the two countries. Although coexistence is being threatened and there seems to be no end to uncertainty, they still say:
“By mindfully looking at each life dwelling there,
perhaps our relations can progress within people towards a brighter side.”