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President Kim urges Japanese gov`t not to set gloss on textbook dispute

President Kim urges Japanese gov`t not to set gloss on textbook dispute

Posted March. 01, 2001 18:05,   


President Kim Dae-Jung urged Japan Thursday to make greater efforts to develop forward-looking, friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring countries and foster an accurate understanding of history.

The President was apparently referring to the recent Japanese government move to authorize middle school history textbooks that allegedly distort the truth of its wartime aggression against Asian countries. He made the remarks in a speech marking the 82nd anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule in 1919. ``When I visited Japan in October 1998, Korea and Japan agreed to overcome the past history issue together and build a forward-looking relationship in years to come,`` he said.

The president`s remarks were interpreted as a veiled criticism of the distorted Japanese history textbooks and an expression of his desire for Japan to correct the problem.

In his speech in the main hall of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of Seoul, Kim said, ``North Korea is now moving toward change but its efforts are not yet complete. We have to positively support North Korea`s efforts to adopt openness and reform.``

He added, ``We must put an end to the Cold War tension on the Korean Peninsula this year and prepare for a turning point in the move toward peace.``

``To this end, we will strengthen cooperation with the United States and maintain closer cooperative three-way ties among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan. We will also keep up friendly relations with China and Russia,`` the president said.