South Korea expressed regrets Wednesday over Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura's recent remarks on the history textbooks that whitewash Japan's wartime past.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a press release Wednesday that Machimura failed to correctly reflect the facts surrounding the dispute over the textbooks and called on the Japanese government to correct its distortions of historical events.
Appearing on a NHK program on Monday, Machimura said no Japanese history textbooks beautified the militarism and South Korea and China had yet to specify which passages were wrong in the textbooks Japan authorized in April this year for adoption in Japanese schools.
The release rejected Machimura's remarks, saying South Korea conveyed to Japan in June a list of corrections it wanted to be made to the history textbooks, and urged Japan to take "sincere" steps.
The relations between South Korea and Japan turned cold early this year when Japan intensified its claim over a group of disputed islets located in the East Sea (Sea of Japan). Both countries claim the islets are their own territory.
South Korea and Japan also are at odds over Japanese education authorities' authorization of several kinds of school textbooks which experts say gloss Japan's wartime past.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry's press release said right recognition of history is key to the establishment of forward-looking South Korea-Japan ties.
"On such standing, the South Korean government urged again the Japanese government to correct the textbooks' distortions over history," said the release.
(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2005)