NBC contributor Josh Cooper Ramo ran into some controversy during the 2018 Winter Olympics after making a comment about the relationship between Japan and Korea.
As the Washington Post noted, Ramo said on live television that “every North Korean will tell you that Japan as a cultural and technological and economic example has been so important to their own transformation.” The comment was made after Ramo spoke of Japan’s 35-year occupation of the region.
Many Koreans were upset with the comments, which seemed to ignore various crimes against committed against the Korean people. These included, as the New York Times pointed out, forcing Korean women into sex work for the sole benefit of men in the Japanese military.
Several viwers called out the callousness of the assertion.
Apologize to Koreans! Koreans do not look to Japan as a positive example, especially based on Japan's inhumane treatment toward Koreans during their illegal and immoral occupation. #JoshuaCooperRamo@jramo
— Michigan Missy M (@MH65980897) February 10, 2018
NBC anchor Carolyn Manno apologized in an on-air statement:
During our coverage of the Parade of Nations on Friday we said it was notable that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the trip to Korea for the Olympics, “representing Japan, a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945 but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation.” We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize.