Los patriotas y populistas de Asia Oriental

TOKIO – Cuando enfrentan preocupaciones nacionales, los políticos suelen recurrir a distracciones extranjeras – un axioma simple que es muy útil en la evaluación de las cada vez más tensas disputas sobre soberanía en los mares de China oriental y meridional.

No obstante de que China está involucrada en disputas intensas y de la más amplia variedad, la más trágica es aquella entre Corea del Sur y Japón, teniendo en cuenta que ambos países son democracias con intereses estratégicos casi idénticos. El 10 de agosto, el presidente surcoreano Lee Myung-bak visitó la isla de Takeshima (llamada Dokdo en coreano), que ha sido objeto de una disputa territorial entre Japón y Corea del Sur durante 60 años. Durante una conferencia en la Universidad Nacional de Educación de Corea cuatro días más tarde, avivó aún más las tensiones, cuando manifestó sobre la visita propuesta del Emperador de Japón que: “si él quiere venir, primero debe pedir disculpas por el pasado”.

A pesar de sus numerosos logros como presidente, Lee está pregonando sus credenciales nacionalistas/anti-japonesas en las postrimerías de su mandato, que finaliza en febrero de 2013. De hecho, su posición se ha tornado tan enérgica que se negó a aceptar un mensaje del primer ministro de Japón acerca de su visita a la isla.

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