중앙데일리

Protests Rage At Shrine Visit

'We cannot accept Mr. Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni war shrine, as it is akin to paying homage to H

Aug 14,2001
Government and civic protest against Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to a war shrine continued in Seoul Tuesday. The government summoned Japanese Ambassador Terusuke Terada to the Foreign Ministry. In Tokyo, it dispatched South Korea's ambassador, Choi Sang-yong, to the Japanese Foreign Ministry to lodge a protest.

Emotions were running high on the eve of Aug. 15, Korea's Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule.

"I will refrain from saying anything here and now, as I will mention something during the Aug. 15 memorial speech," said President Kim Dae-jung, at a lunch honoring veterans of the liberation struggle against Japan. A top Blue House aide indicated that Mr. Kim would express "regret" toward the Japanese government on Wednesday.

In Seoul, South Korea's vice foreign minister, Choi Sung-hong, conveyed the government's "deep regret" to Mr. Terada, calling Mr. Koizumi's homage at the war shrine "disappointing." In Tokyo, Ambassador Choi said Mr. Koizumi's actions were "regrettable and extremely disappointing."

Further retaliatory actions are not contemplated now, government officials said, taking into consideration that Mr. Koizumi avoided making his visit on Aug. 15, the day of Japan's World War II surrender.

On the streets of Seoul, sporadic protests were launched by members of various rightist and civic groups. About 200 survivors of Japan's mobilization of labor during World War II burned a Japanese flag and an effigy of Mr. Koizumi at the Tapgol Park in Jongno, decrying the visit to the war shrine as a "resurrection of Japan's militarism."

Some 600 members of a coalition of labor groups gathered at Jongno. "We can not accept Mr. Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni war shrine, as it is akin to paying homage to Hitler's tomb," one marcher said. The Korean National Council of Churches exhibited 170 pictures of past atrocities committed by Japan, and called for the return of the remains of Koreans mobilized for labor by colonial Japan.

by Kim Jin-kook




dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장