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  National
"It Is Fortunate That I Wasn't Born as a Korean," Ex-Japanese Envoy to Seoul Says in Column
Masatoshi Muto Stirs Controversy in South Korea
Masatoshi Muto ()

Former Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Masatoshi Muto () is making a big controversy in South Korea with his remark "It is fortunate that I wasn't born as a South Korean."

South Korea's elite mass circulation daily "Chosun Ilbo" introduced the former Japanese envoy's controversial remarks to its readers on its Feb. 14, 2017 edition, citing Japanese business magazine Diamond Weekly, which ran the envoy's column titled "It Is Fortunate That I Wasn't Born as a South Korean."

Muto, widely regarded as a Japanese diplomat well informed about South Korea, served as Japanese ambassador to Seoul between 2010 and 2012. Currently, Muto is a chair professor at South Korea's Dongseo University in Busan.

In his column contributed to the Japanese weekly Muto enumerated a number of reasons why he feels happy not be born in the soil of South Korea.

"South Korea is a horribly competitive nation with its cut-throat college entrance exams, narrow chances of employment, insecure old-age life, difficulty in getting married, and steep suicide rates," Mutto said. "I feel really happy that I was not born as a Korean."

Muto's explanation wen on. He pointed out such "problems" as excessive private education culture and harsh employment market, citing various statistics.

He also touched upon the growing difficulty for Korean males to find their bride.

"Marriage is difficult unless they are college graduates," Muto argued. " "In order to get a good wife they have to be a graduate of first-rate university, and have to hold a job at top companies in South Korea."

Muto also mentioned about South Korea's "unique" face-saving culture by saying "South Koreans want a glamorous marriage ceremony to save their face in front of others."

He argued that South Koreans invest too much money on the education of their children, making their old-age life poor and insecure due to the shortage of money.

"Making a success in South Korea's highly competitive society is extremely difficult," Muto explained. "I feel happy to be born in Japan not in South Korea."

He added that South Koreans' recent "burst of rage" against their President Park Geun-Hye is actually the result of this competitive society.

"Their desperate wriggling out of this horrible competition led to their dispair and grumbling directed toward President Park," Muto argued.

He went on to ague that President Park became their target for attack because she tried to improve South Korea-Japan ties during her tenure.

Muto showed negative reactions to a series of the massive anti-Park candle-light vigil protests staged for the last several months by millions of South Koreans.

"I doubt if South Korea is a democratic nation or not," he said. "Some citizens clamor for the stepdown of President Park even before the verdict on her is not officially made yet."

"This kind of thing is unthinkable in Japan," he stressed.

Muto, however added that South Koreans' feeling about Japan is never bad at all except for matters of only history and politics."

The former Japanese ambassador described South Korea as the society where "males are oppressed."

"Last year over 70 percent of all successful entrants to South Korea's Foreign Ministry are all women, Muto said. "Females get much higher scores in the exam for the foreign officers."

"Women have more time to prepare for the exam while males are forced to serve in the military," he said. "Compulsory draft system for males is the reason."

Muto's above comments are creating lots of controversies in South Korea while his column contributed to Diamond Weekly becomes one of the most read articles in Japanese porter sites.

Masatoshi Muto (: Ȫ ުȪ) was born in Tokyo, Japan on Dec. 18, 1948. He graduated from Yokohama National University (YNU) in 1972, majoring in economics.

While he was student at YNU he passed exam to become foreign officer.

He served as Japanese ambassador to Seoul from 2010 till 2012. He was the Japanese ambassador to Kuwait before he assumed his ambassadorial post in Seoul.

Muto worked in England and Australia, respectively as minister from mid-1990 till 2000. In 2002 he served as consul general in Honolulu, Hawaii. He became the ambassador to Kuwait in 2007.

Muto served four times in Seoul during his diplomatic career, earning his unofficial title the "expert" on Korea and Korean affairs in Japan.




 

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