After some investigation I realized that the 'Etc/GMT' time zone id's in Java SE 7 are somewhat confusing.
'etc/GMT-8' has an GMT offset of +8 hours and corresponds with Krasnoyarsk Time (Russia).
However, in the common understanding, Krasnoyarsk Time is referenced as GMT+8 (UTC+08:00 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
The same applies the other way round:
'etc/GMT+8' has an GMT offset of -8 hours and corresponds with pacific standard time (not taking daylight saving into account).
Here as well, the GMT equivalent is GMT-8 (eight hours behind GMT).
Is there a reason why the time zone id's in Java are defined against common understanding? Not that it is a problem, but it a bit confusing.