Hwang hopes to ease Seoul-Tokyo tension

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Hwang hopes to ease Seoul-Tokyo tension

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is acting president, said Wednesday he hopes to overcome the tension between Seoul and Tokyo over historical issues.

“South Korea and Japan will continue to expand cooperation in business, cultural and human resources. (They) will also bolster ties for the peace and prosperity of Northeast Asia, and cope with North Korea’s nuke and missile provocations,” Hwang said during a speech marking the 98th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement.

“But Japan should also face history as it is, and show sincere and consistent gestures on educating its future generations and repenting for its wrongdoings.”

The event, which took place in 1919, is widely considered to have paved the way for Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial rule, which lasted from 1910-45.

The acting president said that the two countries should respect and exercise the agreement reached earlier on Tokyo’s enslavement of Korean women.

South Korea and Japan reached a deal in December 2015, where Tokyo agreed to provide 1 billion yen ($8.91 million) for the creation of a foundation aimed at supporting the sexual slavery victims, euphemistically called comfort women, during its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The agreement, however, has been criticized by some here, who claim the deal was reached without earning enough consent from victims.

Hwang also called for the public’s unity amid the deepening tension surrounding the impeachment of the president.

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