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NBC Sports apologizes for Japanese colonization remark

Feb 12,2018
NBC Sports, the official broadcaster of the Olympics, apologized on Sunday for remarks that its commentator made during a broadcast of the opening ceremony about Korea’s relationship with Japan.

When the Japanese delegation entered the stadium, Joshua Cooper Ramo, the commentator, identified Japan as “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,” he said.

His comments offended many Koreans who felt Ramo had distorted their views of Japanese colonization. Incensed, many took to social media to criticize NBC.

Some netizens argued that the Korean government needed to “officially protest” the comments and “get an official apology,” while others corrected Ramo and said, “Japan actually tried to destroy Korean culture and the economy.”

NBC Sports released an apology Sunday local time that was read on air by anchor Carolyn Manno who said, “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.”

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee said it received an apology from NBC Sports containing similar language that was read live.

NBC Sports has since uploaded coverage of the opening ceremony excluding all commentary.

BY LAURA SONG [song.hankyul@joongang.co.kr]