S. Korea gives mixed welcome to Japan's apology for colonization

17:50, August 10, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

With the centenary of Japan's past colonization of the Korean peninsula less than three weeks away, South Korea on Tuesday embraced Japan's renewed apology for its past colonization of the peninsula with mixed feelings.

TOKYO'S APOLOGY

"I express a renewed feeling of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by colonial rule," Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in a statement, according to Japanese media reports.

He admitted that the annexation was against Korean people's will. "It is easy for the side that inflicted the pain to forget, while those who suffered that pain cannot easily forget," he said.

The prime minister's remarks were reminiscent of the 1995 statement by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, who acknowledged Japan's wartime atrocities inflicted upon Asian nations, including South Korea. Kan's apology was directed only at Seoul.

Kan, who took office in early June, also promised to return historical artifacts plundered during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial occupation of the peninsula, including a collection of royal documents from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

His Democratic Party of Japan, which ended 50 years of conservative rule of the Liberal Democratic Party in a historical election victory last year, has traditionally advocated better ties with Japan's Asian neighbors.

Such party views had garnered much anticipation among liberal activists and politicians here for breakthroughs in issues stemming from the colonial era, which ranges from territorial disputes to interpretations of history to compensation for South Koreans forced into labor during the occupation.

【1】 【2】

(Editor:王寒露)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Staff members watch a screen showing the blast-off of the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
Hot Forum Discussion