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S. Korea Urges Japan to Correctly Recognize History

South Korean Foreign Ministry Monday urged Japan to commit itself to make efforts to forge forward-looking amicable Seoul-Tokyo bilateral relations based on true reflection on the past and practical effort.


"The Japanese government should double its efforts to let the apologies and self-reflection made by Japanese leaders in the past can be accepted by neighboring countries," said Lee Kyu-hyung, spokesperson of the South Korean Foreign Ministry.


The remarks came after Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a statement, marking the 60th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, earlier Monday.


However, "Despite Japan's official apology and remorse, Japanese political leaders continued rhetoric and actions called into question whether they are truly repentant, which in turn caused huge pain and resentment to the people of neighboring countries that fell victim to Japan's colonial aggression," Lee said.


Lee said his government urged Japan to understand profoundly the meaning of the 60th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.


Koizumi admitted earlier in the day Japan has caused tremendous damage and pain to the people in many countries, especially to those of its Asian neighbors, through colonial rule and aggression.


"We humbly accept the historic facts and express once again our deep remorse and heartfelt apology," said Koizumi.


Japan conducted colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula during 1910-1945. August 15 is the Independence Day in South Korea.


Monday morning, South Korean government held a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation from the Japanese colonial rule. Moreover, a lot of culture and sports events were being held across South Korea to celebrate the festival.


(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2005)


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