The baseball tournament, which started on Wednesday 28 July at the Tokyo Olympics, seems promised to the Japanese. But their intimate enemies and historical rivals from South Korea, who by the way are other big favorites, can shatter that dream. If all goes well for them, the two teams will face each other in the semifinals on August 4 or 5 in a match where defeat will be banned.
It must be said that baseball is the number one sport in both countries. And as a result, it crystallizes, even more than judo, football or volleyball – other popular sports that should give rise to very frequent meetings during the games – the persistent tensions between two neighbors. Relations between Seoul and Tokyo are still delicate due to memory issues related to Japan’s colonization of the peninsula between 1910 and 1945. It is the South Korean “comfort women” – a euphemism for women forced into prostitution. The army – or the Koreans – were forced to work for Japanese industry during the war.