S Korea urges Japan to 'face history'

2013-08-15 13:06
South Korea's president, Park Geun-Hye. (File, AP)

South Korea's president, Park Geun-Hye. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Thursday urged Japan to "face history" to mend ties with neighbours, on the same day that top Tokyo officials visited a war shrine seen as a symbol of its imperial past.

Park, in a speech marking the anniversary of Korea's independence from the 1910-45 Japanese occupation, warned that controversies over Japan's colonial rule were "darkening the future of bilateral relations".

Many South Koreans believe Japan has failed to atone for abuses during the colonial period.

"It is hard to build trust without the willingness to face history and consider the wounds inflicted upon others," Park said, urging Tokyo officials to show "courageous leadership".

"I expect responsible and sincere steps to be taken to heal the wounds of those who are still suffering," she said.

Wartime aggressions

Park's comments came on the same day that dozens of Tokyo lawmakers and top cabinet members visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine, a constant source of tension in Northeast Asia.

The shrine in the heart of Tokyo honours people who died during World War II - including several war criminals.

Visits to the shrine have consistently enraged neighbours, including the South and China, which view them as an insult and a painful reminder of Tokyo's aggression during the war and its brutal occupation of the peninsula.

Dozens of lawmakers and two ministers including Yoshitaka Shindo, the minister of internal affairs and communications, paid the visit on Thursday, despite repeated warnings by Seoul that such visits would significantly hurt ties.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a hawkish nationalist, has stayed away from Yasukuni since taking office in December but has defended the right of other officials to visit the site, calling it "natural".

Bilateral relations between Seoul and Tokyo have been regularly strained by diplomatic discord over Japan's wartime aggressions, and a decades-long territorial dispute over a Seoul-controlled chain of islands also claimed by Tokyo.

Earlier this month Tokyo released a public survey that showed six out of 10 its people viewed the islands - called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan - as their own territory, sparking angry protests from Seoul.

Read more on:    world war ii  |  shinzo abe  |  park geun-hye  |  japan  |  south korea

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.