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President Kim Reiterate Rectification of Japan`s Textbooks

President Kim Reiterate Rectification of Japan`s Textbooks

Posted July. 10, 2001 19:24,   


Responding to the Japanese virtual rejection to rectify the distorted historical textbooks, President Kim Dae-Jung stated that ``it is astonishing that the efforts for the Korea-Japan friendly relationship is in danger of falling back to the starting point. It cannot be tolerated.``

Spokesperson Park Joon-Young said that, after the report of Foreign Minister Han Seung-Soo at the cabinet meeting, the President ordered ``the government authority to take firm stance and efforts to resolve the problems of the distorted historical textbooks.``

The President also mentioned, ``if Japan does not teach nor reflect on its past conducts, it cannot cooperate with its neighboring countries. Based on the trust of neighbors that Japan fully acknowledges its past conducts and would never commit such conducts again, the neighboring countries would forgive Japan and accept as a friend.``

President Kim assured that ``the government will continue to demand for the rectification of the distorted Japanese textbooks. That is the only way for a cooperative relationship of the two nations in the future with mutual understandings and the atonement.``

Meanwhile, the government will bring this issue to the international society and cooperate with other Asian countries to press Japan to rectify its distorted historical textbooks.

The government will have a Foreign Minister meeting with China at the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) in Hanoi to discuss the countermeasures such as the rejection of the Japan`s entry into the permanent member of the UN Security Council. In addition, the government is considering the suspension of the Korea-Japan Foreign Minister meeting during the ARF. The government will send the high officials including Han Wan-Sang, the Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, to the International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in South Africa, August, and will make subjects of discussion such as racist descriptions in the Japanese textbooks, the Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, the military conscriptions and requisitions by Japan.

The government will have another meeting to discuss the timetables of the decided countermeasures including the postponement of the opening of Japanese cultural market and the reduction of the Korea-Japan exchange programs. A government authority remarked that ``Japan shall regret its decision not to rectify the distorted historical textbooks. The rectification of the historical textbooks is in fact not to be requested by Korea. It is such problem that should be resolved by Japan itself for the sake of its own identity and dignity.

Yun Seung-Mo ysmo@donga.com