A while back I posted a little piece on the kidnappings of some Korean missionaries in Iraq. This is late news, but it seems that cousins across the sea-whose-name-is-in-dispute reacted to their returning compatriots about the same as the Iraqis did to the Korean hostages. No, I'm not drawing unsavory parallels - in both instances each side is polite, rather disgusted, and would like to return their catch as soon as possible:
"You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. The government, not to be outdone, announced it would bill the former hostages $6,000 for air fare.
Some would say these Japanese are just eating their due and would wish the same to the Koreans - but as I recall, there was little more than a quick flurry of articles in the papers when the Koreans returned home. Naturally, this might have something to do with the nature and duration of their respective ordeals. At any rate, we can scribble it on the long list of differences between the Peninsula and the Archipelago.