The Japanese ministry of foreign affairs just changed a sentence on its website. Rather than describing South Korea as ‘an important neighboring country that shares basic values with Japan such as freedom, democracy, and a market economy’, it now merely describes it as the ‘most important neighboring country’.
Meanwhile, in other news, South Korea is also outraged that Wendy Sherman said that ‘it is not hard for a political leader anywhere to earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy’. They’re also outraged that Big Hero 6 contains Japanese references.
They also just began a new round of confiscation of assets from the children and grandchildren of people accused of collaborating with the Japanese during the war. No doubt any ressemblance to the North Korean songbun system of hereditary political dishonour is entirely coincidental. (One also presumes that a certain Takagi Masao‘s daughter will be safe from any depredations…)
The problem, as mentioned before, is that outrage has diminishing returns. If you’re never anything but outraged, and you make it clear that no amount of apologies or compensation will ever be enough, then that pretty much frees up the people who’ve offended you to do whatever the hell they like, a fact upon which Shinzo Abe has built his entire foreign and defence policy.