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[Editorial] Review Korea-Japan Relationship

Posted July. 08, 2001 09:39,   


Responding to the Korean government`s request for the amendment of 35 items among many other distorted contents of the Japanese historical textbook, Japan expresses its rejection of the amendment. According to the Japanese press, Japan only pretends to amend to escape from the current hot issue by correcting two errors about the ancient history.

The Korean government has been waiting for the responses from Japan on the Korea`s request for amendment. On receiving the official notice on July 9, the Korean government should take steps for the corresponding and strong measures by stages.

The position of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry not to accept the fake amendment is to be appreciated. The response of Foreign Minister Han Seung-Soo is timely and appropriate in that the Minister evaluated the autonomous amendment by some Japanese publishers as `a trick` and stated that ``the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture should take responsibility for the full amendment of the 35 items demanded by the Korean government.`` The matters of the Japanese historical textbook are not the issues of the past, which do not affect the current situation, rather they are the continuing issues of the present and the future, which will influence on the neighbor country`s conscience in the following generation.

When the Japanese middle school students learn that the ancient Chosun was a basal of China and the Pacific War by Japan was a `Japanese struggle for the Asian liberation from the Euro-American control, what is to come for the future Korea-Japan relationship?

What would be the relationship with the Japanese next generation who would have learned that the China-Japan war and the annexation of Korea by Japan was an inevitable outcome of the international relationship?

`The Congresspersons meeting for National Spirit` urged the government for the strong countermeasures including the postpone of the additional cultural openings, the suspension of the high authority exchanges, the expulsion of the Japanese ambassador in Korea, the withdrawal of the Korean embassy in Japan, the amendment of the Korea-Japan Basic Agreement, and the boycott of the Japanese products. The declaration endorsed by the 25 lawmakers yesterday portrays the inflexible determination to straighten the relationship at this time even at the risk of the diplomatic cessation. The government has to take such a firm stance in dealing with the matters of the Japanese historical textbook distortion.

The Korean government has been under the criticism of its lukewarm responses to the Japanese historical textbook matters. The Korean government must not be caught up in the wise tactics of Japan and has to respond strongly and firmly. The government must show our firm determination by the actions at this time. It`s time to review the whole relationship between Korea and Japan.