Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lee has pledged not to seek a new apology from Japan for the use of forced labor and sex slaves during colonial rule.

South Koreans seek new relationship with Japan
Published Date: January 11, 2009

SEOUL: Oh Yeh-sol loves watching Japanese cartoons, eating sushi and drinking sake. She believes that Tokyo's 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea should be a thing of the past. "I think it's better to get along with them and pursue exchanges," said Oh, 26, who recently started offering a language exchange program for Korean and Japanese speakers in her Seoul cafe. With Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso arriving in Seoul today, many South Koreans, including President Lee Myung-bak, say it's time to look beyond
the troubled past and build closer ties with Japan.

People "say Korea and Japan are 'close yet distant countries' but we should be 'close and close' countries," the Japan-born Lee told Aso during a private meeting on the sidelines of a first-ever three-way meeting with China's leader last month. "And Korea is ready to become so." Lee has pledged not to seek a new apology from Japan for the use of forced labor and sex slaves during colonial rule. He also resumed top-level visits, which had been suspended since 2005 to protest former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a Tokyo war shrine.

The past, however, has a way of bubbling up. Lee's overtures took a serious hit in July when Tokyo announced it would recommend that a government teaching manual include Japan's claim to uninhabited islets claimed by both countries. South Korea recalled its ambassador in Tokyo for three weeks and heightened security near the islets. Activists staged near-daily protests in front of the Japanese Embassy. Many scholars and newspaper editorials demanded Lee toughen policy on Japan.

Koreans view Japan's claim to (the islets) as its historic aggression," said Jin Chang-soo, a Japan expert at South Korea's Sejong Institute, a policy think tank. On Tuesday, the dispute threatened to flare up again. Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported that Tokyo planned to conduct a maritime research survey in waters between the two countries. The Japanese government denied the report, but South Korea still warned Tokyo against the plan amid media speculation that such a survey could include waters near the islets.

Despite such hiccups, growing economic ties are bringing the two countries closer. The countries are major commercial partners, with two-way trade reaching $82.6 billion in 2007. About 2.6 million South Koreans traveled to Japan in 2007, while 2.2 million Japanese visited South Korea.

The global financial crisis has bolstered cooperation, with the two countries increasing a bilateral currency swap facility to about $20 billion. Lee meets Aso tomorrow, his sixth meeting with a Japanese leader since taking office 11 months ago. South Korean officials say the meeting will focus on economic cooperation and efforts to stop North Korea's nuclear program. The islets are not on the agenda. Among Koreans who still harbor strong resentment against Japan are those who were sex slaves for Japanese troops during World War II. Many feel that earlier apologies by Japanese leaders have been insincere and are demanding a fresh one.

They punched, kicked and beat me when I cried and refused to take off my clothes though I was only a 13-year-old girl at the time," said 82-year-old Gil Won-ok. "We don't have many years to live. If we all die, to whom will Japan apologize?" -- AP


Lee has pledged not to seek a new apology from Japan for the use of forced labor and sex slaves during colonial rule.


対日補償要求は終了 韓国政府が公式見解 2009年8月16日 産経ニュース



李大統領は日本の植民政策の強制労働や性奴隷についてこれ以上の謝罪を求めないと誓った。 李大統領はまた、2005年の小泉首相の靖国参拝以来、延期されていた日韓首脳の相互訪問を再開させた。










以下はKWAIT TIMESのサイトに掲載されている2009年1月10日に行われた麻生首相と李明博大統領との間で行われた日韓首脳会談についてのAP通信の記事全文(赤字の部分に注目)

2008/01/28 民主党、アキヒロ慰安婦謝罪要求放棄誓約、「何の権限で?」



  • 0
    I am tired of these articles, my family and myself have no reason to apologize. Why don't they go to a home for the aged on the mainland and demand an apology? If the old apologies were not sincere, what reason does the government or any sane person believe the new ones would not be received any differently? Won-ok san if you did not accept the apology then why would you believe one from an innocent person? The guilty ones are all long retired and out of government service. The Koreans will not forgive Japan now or in the future. They will rub salt into this wound forever. Being from Okinawa I see no "sin" from my ancestors and think the mainlanders should not personally be held accountable for crimes committed by their aged/dead ancestors.
  • 0
    As a citizen of S.Korea, I bet that most of Koreans doesn't even care about Japan's apology, if there will be any. I mean...who would REALLY care such a thing?
    I think it is totally the matter of Japan. It is simply their decision whether to become a decent nation or to remain as a barbarian islet.
    No other country has right to force them to apologize to anybody.
  • 0
    However, South Korea and Japan is especially important because the two nations share the same values and have similar economic systems and their relationship cannot just stay in the past, instead, it should develop toward the future. But it does not mean there is no problem with the past. Japan ties are often strained due to Tokyo's attitude on its colonial past and their territorial disputes over a group of islets located in the East Sea. For Japan, they continues to behave in a primitive fuedal mentality and probably cannot change their ways.
  • 0
    Judging from the previous flurry of comments on a long dormant topography, it seems like Ms. Oh's tolerance and eagerness to improved relations with Japan are not shared by her fellow citizens.
  • 0
    Japan has only themselves to blame for not helping relations with South Korea. At the political level, the problem lies in the Japan’s postwar political leaders tended as far as possible to avoid the entire subject of war memory and responsibility, making apologetic comments only when pushed, and even then in guarded and ambiguous language which almost inevitably failed to satisfy those to whom the apologies were addressed. Where is the sincerety and consistancy in postwar Japan? This is why neighboring countries have hard time believing Japan.
  • 0
    Please do look here, Mctheaven! I have no idea how dare you say you are Korean. Who on earth are you and how you can be so certain about most Korean's opinoions? If you were properly informed in the cruel sexual exploitation, you shoud not say in that way. You asked that who would care about such thing. Then here, I reply, those who are well-educated in schools and acknowledge all the desperate history do exclaim Japan's apology and compensations to victims with respect.
    Improvement of relationship between two countries is needed and it goes without any word, however, it does not mean that the sin of Japanese old gvrn. must be forgotten without admitting its guilt. Not by Korean current president's silly pledge, but by the whole nations' agreement, better relationship should be expected.
  • 0
    I'm korean, and i'm living in korea now. And now i'm mad at this saying " Lee has pledged not to seek a new apology from Japan for the use of forced labor and sex slaves during colonial rule" in the article. Because i never heard about this incident from any broadcast media before in korea.... you know why? Because he(Lee) is in control of broadcast media, So all of korean who lives in korea,,, they don't know about this happen(Except some peoples someone like me who contact with this incident in Internet) . An the important thing what i want to say is that it's not a korean people's mind. it just a crazy sound from Lee(president of korea).
  • 0
    To YuriOtani:
    "Old apologies". What do you mean by "OLD APOLOGIES"? As a Korean, I do not remember learning about Japanese government apologizing SINCERELY to those miserable sexual slaves during history class. The "old apologies" you are talking about are ones, which are not official and insincere. FIY, there were no official apologies from your government so far to those innocent sex slaves. What the old sex slaves want from your government is nothing but a sincere and an official apology. Money is not the matter. It is because of the shame that they had to live with for so long. They want to get compensated for that. Just put it in this way. Say you were one of the victims back in that time, living until now (though I'm not sure about your gender). You are hurt mentally and physically. And you've been hiding yourself for all those years. (Would you tell people that you were raped? NO) And those soldiers' descendants are now trying to hide the rotten truth. They do not mention the tragic history in school textbooks nor do they admit their mistakes internationally. This is what we, both the sex slaves and Koreans feel is insincere.
    What you are trying to say is that this part of history is none of your business, right? Because all the raping was done by your ancestors who are all dead now. It seems like you are telling us that past is past and present is present, yes? Well, you do care about what your ancestors did, don't you? You admire them for what they did for you in the past. But, you are trying to hide/ignore the ones who raped. What I'm trying to say here is that you do care about admirable ancestors and be proud of them, but you are denying your ancestors, who raped innocent Korean women. They are your ancestors, no matter what. So, it is right for your government to still give a sincere apology to the sex slaves. (FYI, not only the sex slaves, living body testers as well.Maruta? Was that how you guys called it?)
    Well, from your perspective as a Japanese, you won't understand how most of the Koreans feel about this tragic history. But, how would you feel if you were one of the victims, and how would you feel if you had a victim in your family? I'm sure you would go crazy asking for apology, a SINCERE one.
    P.S Yeah, like crisallid said, it is not the Koreans, who determined to forgive. It is the President, who did not even inform us of his actions. We, Koreans won't forget all this, and the relations won't be recovered unless we receive SINCERE official apologies.
    “We don’t have many years to live. If we all die, to whom will Japan apologize?”
    Don't just do nothing and wait until they are all dead, if that's what you are trying to do to hide the rotten truth forever.
  • 0
    Ah, UnagiDon, where would we be without your arch humor? ;)
  • 0
    dear Yuri san..
    Is there any okinawa-jin to accept 'Old' apology from 'Nai-chi-hin'?
    They all Banzai-attacked US soldiers and perished "proudly" being Holy Imperial Japanese Citizen in 1944~45?
  • 0
    german's better than japanese in the way of saying 'sorry'

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