SEOUL: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday urged Japan to be more sincere in addressing its colonial past as dozens of South Koreans rallied in central Seoul, lining up dead dogs' heads in front of the Japanese Embassy.
The events were to mark the anniversary of a March 1, 1919, uprising against Japanese colonial rule, which still stirs up deep-rooted bitterness among South Koreans.
About 20 South Koreans lined up the heads of five dead dogs on the ground outside the embassy, each with a knife placed in its mouth on pieces of paper with the name of South Koreans who allegedly collaborated with Japan during its 1910-45 colonial rule. Protest organizers said the animals had been slaughtered at a restaurant, as dogs are regularly consumed as food in Korea.
"Any country can make a mistake. Still, if it wants to live as part of the global village, I think Japan must sincerely apologize to the international community for its past," said protester Oh Bok-seob.
In a nationally televised address, Roh said Japan "needs to, above all, show an attitude of respecting the historical truth and acts that support this."
"Instead of trying to beautify or justify its past wrongdoing, (Japan) should show sincerity that is in line with its conscience," he said.
Source: China Daily/agencies