Saturday, August 30, 2008
I read with great interest in yesterday's Chosun Ilbo English edition that Kenichi Ohmae, Japan's well-known management expert and futurologist suggests Japan should recognize Korea's effective control of Dokdo. In a Japanese weekly publication, Omae said no nation which failed to occupy territory effectively has obtained it through dialogue between parties concerned or UN arbitration. Everybody knows that a war, the only means possible, is not suitable as a way to solve the Dokdo issue. For a moment, I thought that this was going to be an enlightened statement on the issue by a well-known person from Japan. Then I read that Ohmae had stressed Japan should "continue claim" over the islets, while recognizing Korea's effective occupation, but without criticizing or irritating Korea. He further suggested that, in the future it was necessary “to expand the East Asian economic sphere by skillfully pulling China and Korea into it." Japan, he wrote, "should build a hypothetical great power in the future, when the meaning of national territories will become blurred." What this amounts to, in part, is that Ohmae is suggesting Japan can lay claim to Dokdo in cyberspace. What else will Japan lay claim to in the future? What about the future of history? In one sense the information age may blur the meaning of national territories or boundaries, but at the same time it will offer an opportunity to preserve and protect the memories and history of what actually happened over the past several centuries and more.