Park Urges Abe to Validate Previous Apology

bearly-moving, Aug. 3, 2015, 11:14 a.m.

President Park Geun-hye urged the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to validate Tokyo’s previous apology regarding the shared history between South Korea and Japan, as the issue could define the relationship between the two countries.

Although South Korea and Japan are key allies of the United States in economy, the two have been in constant conflict over historical accuracy as well as territories. This is due to Japan’s colonization from 1910 to 1945.

Park hopes that Abe will correct the historical accuracy that was clouded by previous Japanese authorities during his upcoming speech and set the tone for which the two nations will operate in the future.

This comment was made by Park during her meeting with Katsuya Okada, the leader of Japan’s opposition Democratic Party, at the Blue House, the South Korean presidential office.

The speech by Abe will be closely monitored by China, South Korea, as well as other regional powers to see if Abe will continue his predecessors’ statements trends regarding the Japanese wartime aggression.

Last year, Abe’s Cabinet angered South Korea when it stated that it needed to review the apology and was seem as a way to undermine it.

Fukushiro Nukaga, Abe’s special envoy, told Park that Abe will confirm two previous statements of apology, in 1995 by Murayama and in 1993 by Kono.

In 1993, the Chief Cabinet Secretary at the time, Yohei Kono issued a statement recognizing the Japanese military creating and running “comfort stations,” or brothels where hundreds of thousands of Korean and other Asian women were forced into sexual trafficking.

Two years later, in 1995, the Prime Minister at the time, Tomiichi Murayama confirmed this incident, and have apologized for the suffering Japan his put on South Korea, as well as other nearby Asian countries.

Park told Okada that recognizing the past and dealing with the issues are part of working together to form a stronger bilateral relationship with the two countries.

She mentioned about the importance of resolving the issue of sex-trafficking in the past and this is the last chance to finally put the past behind.

As the victims pass away, this issue has been increased in its urgency to address the problem as the number of those alive have dropped to 48 since 2007.

Okada replied by saying that he feels “sorry and shameful” when thinking of the victims and wishes to address the problem together.

Although Japan says that it has dealt with the problem since the normalization treaty of 1965, South Korea demands that this is not the case, and the issue needs to be solved directly.

Park says that the two countries need to fix this problem step by step, as this will help strengthen the relations with South Korea and Japan.

Park has currently shunned bilateral talks with Abe as he did not recognize the past history and unfairness, including sex trafficking.
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