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South Korea's Roh urges Japan to heal bitter history


clock03-29-2010, 12:41 AM
Yorum: #1
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun urged Japan on Tuesday to take steps to overcome the legacy of its 1910-45 colonisation of the Korean Peninsula.

While avoiding direct criticism, Roh called on Japan to make "sincere efforts" to improve ties between the two countries.



"(Japan) needs to examine the truth from the past, offer a sincere apology, make compensation if necessary, and heal the feud," Roh said, citing the example of Germany, in a speech on the country's Independence Movement Day.



Despite lingering sensitivities related to the bitter history, the two nations have made progress in overcoming the past, notably in cultural exchanges.



South Korea and Japan are also working together to dismantle North Korea's nuclear arms programme, along with the United States, Russia and China.



But South Koreans still deeply resent Japan for forcing Koreans to abandon their language and heritage during the colonial period. Japan also forced many Koreans into slave labour during World War Two.



"I believe that Japan and South Korea are facing a new phase where both countries overcome ... history to deepen friendly relations and the leaders of the two countries exchange views frequently," Japan's top government spokesman, Hiroyuki Hosoda, told reporters on Tuesday.



He did not elaborate and added the government needed to confirm what Roh meant by his remarks.



The two countries mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.



Japan has insisted that all wartime compensation issues concerning South Koreans were settled by bilateral documents that established the diplomatic ties.



Reigniting the compensation issue, Seoul declassified in January the first set of sensitive records from diplomatic talks with Japan in the 1960s. Activist groups say the records show the negotiations stripped victims of slave labour of the chance to seek fuller compensation.



Also a renewed territorial dispute threatened to mar the improving South Korea-Japan relationship last week when the Japanese ambassador asserted that Japan was the rightful owner of several largely uninhabited islands claimed by Seoul and Tokyo.



South Korea said the comments over the islands -- known as Takeshima in Japan and Tokto in South Korea -- were "unacceptable."



(Additional reporting by Teruaki Ueno in Tokyo)



© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.





This is the first time I really liked what our president did and i absolutely support Roh for his remark made in this march 1st movement day.

It is the day when our grandfathers and grandmothers bravely started peaceful demonstration demanding freedom of Korean people which was brutally stoped by Japan's cruel and evil empire.



I thought our two nations relationship were getting better after that cultural exchange between two nations and successful 2002 World Cup.

I just can't believe that Japan is still claiming that Dok-do is their island.

It is ours period and there is tons of old maps to prove it. Also Dok do is much closer to Korea than Japan.



Why can't we just be friend??? I just don't understand that Japan is still persuing their arrogant policy toward victims of their empire during WWII.

I believe this would cause isolation of Japan in North East Asia because I know that Chinese hate Japanese much more than we do.



By the way Japan only expressed their regrets never formally apologized.
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