A month after camera company Nikon Corp. cancelled a photo exhibit on wartime Korean “comfort women,” a judge has ordered the exhibit to open Tuesday as originally planned.
The case has stirred strong emotions in both Japan and South Korea. Nikon had originally accepted earlier this year the exhibit by photographer Ahn Se-hong, titled “Layer by Layer: Korean women left behind in China who were comfort women of the Japanese military.”
But the company suddenly cancelled last month after receiving a storm of protests. Mr. Ahn sued to force Nikon to hold the exhibit, and Judge Yasushi Itami ruled in his favor Friday.
In his ruling Judge Itami said that that the political goal of the photos was an invalid reason for cancelling the show. “Even if a photo exhibit is tinged with politics or has some meaning as political activities, it could coexist with the mission of development of photo culture,” Judge Itami wrote.
Bravo, Judge Itami!
As frustrated as South Koreans are at Japanese, their actions towards them are still largely courteous. This is in strict contrast, to the way most Chinese interact with Japanese. Every Chinese person sees a Japanese person, and automatically thinks of WWII, stirring up a lot of raw emotions. No one in Japan looks at China through the lens of WWII, and sees it for what it is today. Korea can at least manage to eek out a win in this court, so what can Chinese do in their interactions with Japanese? No, constantly bringing up WWII in a debate isn’t the answer.
Next stop: Formal written apology.