(Roundup) S. Korea repeats call for Abe to inherit right history perception in WWII statement

August 11, 2015 5:13 am 

SEOUL, Aug. 10 — South Korean President Park Geun-hye reiterated her call Monday for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to inherit right historical perception of previous governments at his upcoming statement this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

"Taking the meaningful opportunity, the Japanese government should make it clear to completely inherit historical perception of previous cabinets and show a mature attitude to newly start relations with neighboring countries," Park said during a meeting with senior presidential secretaries.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's liberation from the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule and also the 50th anniversary of normalized diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

Her comments came as Abe is expected to announce his 70th WWII anniversary statement Friday, to which the international community, especially countries victimized by Japan's past militarism, are paying attention to confirm whether Abe apologizes for the past aggression and wartime atrocities.

Park stressed the importance of Abe's right perception of history that would be reflected in his WWII statement during her meeting on Aug. 3 in Seoul with Katsuya Okada, head of Japan's main opposition Democratic Party.

South Korea has called for Abe to include four key words, including war of aggression, colonization, apology and repentance, in his upcoming statement, inheriting historical perceptions of previous governments shown in former prime ministers' statements by Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 and by Junichiro Koizumi in 2005.

Seoul's foreign ministry issued a spokesman's statement, urging Japan to launch fresh relations with its neighbors by clearly inheriting historical perceptions shown in the Murayama, Koizumi and Kono statements.

The Kono statement refers to an official apology made in 1993 by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, who acknowledged the imperialistic Japan was involved in the recruitment of more than 200,000 young women, mostly Koreans, as sex slaves in military brothels during World War II.

The Murayama and Koizumi statements apologized to its Asian neighbors that suffered from Japan's colonization and wartime brutalities.

President Park's comments may have warned of no improvement in future relations between Seoul and Tokyo if Abe is not to clearly apologize for its past colonization of the Korean Peninsula. Park has refused to sit face-to-face with Abe since her inauguration in February 2013, citing his wrong perception of history.

Park expressed her sorrow for the death of another South Korean victim of Japan's past sex enslavement.

The 93-year-old South Korean woman, who was coerced to serve as a sex slave for the Japanese military brothels during the World War II, passed away on Saturday in the United States where she had been living under medical treatment along with her adopted son.

The deceased victim was falsely lured into being mobilized to Japan's military brothels along with other six South Korean women, Park said, expressing her sorrow for failing to cure the pain and restore the honor and dignity of the dead.

The President said that if the issue of "comfort women," a euphemism for the victims of Japan's sex enslavement, is not to be resolved this time, no opportunity would come given the advancing years of the victims.

With the death of another victim, the number of living South Korean "comfort women" fell to 47 out of 238 victims who identified themselves as former sex slaves. In 2015 alone, eight victims died of old age.

According to historians, at least 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were deceivably or forcibly mobilized to comfort stations of Japan 's Imperial Army in Japan, China, Southeast Asia and islands of the South Pacific. (PNA/Xinhua)



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