More on Korean capital and the Japanese island of Tsushima

Friday, March 13, 2009

View of the harbor at Izuhara, the largest town on Tsushima.


I wrote a bit yesterday on some comments by a Japanese politician named Ichiro Ozawa on a silly war of words over buying land on islands owned by the other country, namely Koreans buying land in Tsushima and whether Japan should buy land in Jeju-do now that the yen is so high.

An article in Korean from last month has some more information on how some people in Japan see Korean capital as a threat to the island of Tsushima:


일본청년회의소 회원들이 도쿄 다치가와(立川)역 앞에서 영토에 관한 신법 제정 등을 요구하는 100만명 서명활동을 벌이고 있다.
The Junior Chamber International Japan (日本青年会議所, JCI) is carrying out a million signature campaign in front of Tachigawa Station in Tokyo demanding a new territorial law.

and:
일본 청년회의소(JC)가 대마도 지키기에 나섰다. 일본 청년회의소는 지난 7일부터 전국 47곳에서 약 1천500명의 회원을 동원해 나가사키현 쓰시마(對馬)시에서 "한국 자본이 쓰시마의 부동산을 속속 매입하고 있다"며 안보위기론을 제기하면서, 신법 제정 등을 요구하는 서명운동을 전국적으로 시작한 것으로 알려졌다.
Starting on the 7th the JCI mobilized 1500 of its members in 47 locations throughout the country to gather signatures saying that "Korean capital continues to buy up real estate in Tsushima city, Nagasaki Prefecture", that security is under a crisis and that a new law needs to be enacted .
한편 대마도에는 현재 한국 자본인 (주)대아해운사가 투자한 리조트 호텔과 부산∼대마도 여객선 운송이 이루어지고 있으며, 일부 한국인이 현지 법인을 만들어 부동산을 취득한 후 한·일 간을 오가며 관광사업을 벌이고 있다.
In the island of Tsushima, the Korean company Dae-a has invested in resort hotels and a passenger line going from Busan to Tsushima, and some Koreans have created companies on the island to buy property to run tourism businesses.


Nevertheless, this is pretty small time and there's certainly no danger to anyone's territorial sovereignty here. Tsushima is extremely close to Busan (1 hour by ship to the north, 2.5 hours to the south) so a lot of Koreans will visit there for a day or two to fish, or to see historical sites mostly about the island's usage as a stopover point on the way from one country to another when delegations were sent over. The reason for the existence of these Korean companies is that it's that much easier to travel abroad when you have guidance in your own language around you, because Koreans by and large don't speak any Japanese anymore and the people on Tsushima don't know Korean either (there are a few Korean words in the local dialect but the language as a whole is mostly unknown).

Curious what the island actually looks like? Luckily there's a video on YouTube taken by a friend of mine when he was there as they drove around in a rented car. Here it is:

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