Good neighbors? Really?
SK president Roh finally learned from his predecessor
the game of "ame to muchi". Waiting for Japan
Parliament to adopt, finally..., an official declaration
of apologies for colonization and war events provoked
by its Imperial army.
"South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has asked Japan to
apologize and consider paying compensation for its
colonizing of the Korean peninsula last century. Japan
has expressed regret for its actions before and during
World War II, but Mr Roh said Japan should make a formal
apology. "South Korea and Japan should be reborn as good
neighbours," Mr Roh said.
Ties between the countries have warmed in recent years,
but a new row over disputed islands has stirred
tensions. "Japan must make the truth of the past known
and offer sincere apologies and, if necessary, pay
compensation. Only then can we be reconciled," said Mr
Roh in a speech to mark the anniversary of a 1919
uprising against Japanese colonialists. "Japan should
take a more positive attitude with a belief that before
it is a legal issue, this is an issue of universal
ethics in a human society and a matter of trust between
neighbours," he said, indicating that Tokyo should
follow the example of Germany.
Japan colonized the Korean peninsula 1910-45. Forced
about 200,000 Asian women to work as sex slaves. Seoul
complains Japanese text books whitewash history. The
Japanese government argues that any reparations were
dealt with under post-war peace treaties. But newly
released details of those treaties have only enraged
South Korean public opinion further. In January, Seoul
declassified documents revealing that South Korea's
post-war government agreed to accept an $800m economic
package as reparations from Japan when the two countries
established diplomatic ties in 1965.
Two other issues continue to dog reconciliation efforts.
Groups of South Korean women are still seeking
compensation from Japan for being forced to work in
Japanese brothels before and during the war, and
disputed territory is also a sensitive issue. Anger
flared after Japanese ambassador to Seoul, Toshiyuki
Takano, said last week that the Dokdo islets in the Sea
of Japan (East Sea) - known as Takeshima in Japan -
"historically and legally" belong to Japan. Despite the
historic sores, relations have slowly been improving
between the two nations in recent years.
In 2002, South Korea and Japan jointly hosted the World
Cup, and cultural ties are also increasing - a South
Korean soap opera called The Winter Sonata has many avid
fans in Japan."
End of quotes./
An expensive fabricated serial attempt to reconcile,
masterminded by advertising agencies laymen dealing with
politics during the celebrations of the Japan Korea