<font color="maroon" size=2><b>[Breaking News]</b></font><br> Japan apologizes for unfortunate past

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[Breaking News]
Japan apologizes for unfortunate past

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

South Korea positively assessed Japan's apology over the 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula Tuesday, saying it takes the move as Tokyo's intention to overcome their unfortunate past and expressing hopes for better ties based on a correct understanding of history.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized Tuesday to South Korea for Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. In the statement, Kan also expressed deep regret over the suffering inflicted upon Korean people during the period and his resolve to deepen bilateral ties with South Korea. It was endorsed by the Japanese Cabinet.

In response, South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun said Seoul "paid attention" to Japan's admission that its colonization was forced upon the Korean people against their will and that Japan wanted to be frank about facing its past mistakes.

"We expect all Japanese people to share this view," Kim said in a statement. "We recognize Prime Minister Kan's statement as his and the Japanese government's willingness to overcome the unfortunate past between Korea and Japan and to develop bright bilateral relations in the future."

Kim also said South Korea is evaluating Japan's pledge to carry out humanitarian cooperation and to quickly return Korean cultural relics, including the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) royal documents called "Uigwe."

"We hope that through proper recognition and reflection of the unfortunate past, the close South Korea-Japan bilateral relations can further develop into a partnership for the future," Kim added.

Japanese media reports on Monday said Tokyo had been considering releasing the statement either before Aug. 15, when South Korea marks its liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, or Aug. 29, when the annexation treaty took effect a century ago. [Yonhap]

Related Korean Article

`식민지지배 통절한 반성..마음에서 우러나는 사죄 표명`
`조선왕실의궤 등 한국 도서 가까운 시일내 반환`


간 나오토(菅直人) 일본 총리는 한일 강제병합 100년을 맞아 10일 오전 내각회의를 거쳐 "식민지 지배가 가져온 다대한 손해와 고통에 대해 다시 한번 통절한 반성과 마음으로부터의 사죄를 표명한다"는 내용의 담화를 발표했다.

간 총리는 이날 담화에서 "정확히 100년 전의 8월, 일한(한일)병합조약이 체결돼 이후 36년에 걸쳐 식민지 지배가 시작됐다"며 "3.1 독립운동 등의 격렬한 저항에서도 나타났듯이, 정치.군사적 배경 하에 당시 한국인들은 그 뜻에 반하여 이뤄진 식민지 지배에 의해 국가와 문화를 빼앗기고, 민족의 자긍심에 깊은 상처를 입었다"고 밝혔다.

간 총리는 이어 "역사의 사실을 직시하는 용기와 이를 인정하는 겸허함을 갖고 스스로의 과오를 되돌아보는 것에 솔직하게 임하고자 생각한다"면서 "아픔을 준 쪽은 잊기 쉽고 받은 쪽은 이를 쉽게 잊지 못하는 법"이라고 말하고 "식민지 지배가 초래한 다대한 손해와 아픔에 대해 재차 통절한 반성과 마음에서 우러나오는 사죄의 심정을 표명한다"고 밝혔다.

그는 또 "일본이 통치하던 기간에 조선총독부를 경유하여 반출돼 일본 정부가 보관하고 있는 조선 왕실의궤 등 한반도에서 유래한 도서에 대해 한국민의 기대에 부응하여 가까운 시일에 이를 반환하고자 한다"고 덧붙였다.

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