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Official Protest on Koizumi`s Visit to the Shrine

Posted April. 23, 2002 09:41,   


Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) Choi Sung-Hong summoned Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Terusuke Terada to the ministry on April 22, and lodged an official protest against the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Yasukuni Shrine.

Minister Choi said to the Japanese ambassador, `Our people worries about the visit of Prime Minister Koizumi to Yasukuni Shrine, which is a symbol of militarism, ` and added, `Our government has to express strong regret over this.`

Then Minister Choi demanded to remove the names of Korean victims who died in the Pacific War from the warship list of honoring the ward dead in Yasukuni Shrine. But, Minister Choi added, `Our government is determined to keep the promise to the international community to co-host successfully and peacefully the World Cup soccer finals with Japan.`

To this, ambassador Terada declared, `Prime Minister Koizumi will not visit again Yasukuni Shrine in coming August 15,` and added, `We will transfer the grave concern and worry of the Korean government to our country.`

A related person of the government reacted on some criticism on alleged lukewarm governmental responses on the shrine visit and the distortion of Japanese high school history textbook; `The fact that the government announced an official statement and the minister of the Foreign Affaires summoned the Japanese ambassador to South Korea means that we have reacted strongly in diplomatic front.`

In other hand, Japanese minister of the Home Affairs Yasuo Fukuda remarked on the visit of Prime Minister Koizumi to Yasukuni Shrine, `This is not an official visit.`

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com · ksshim@donga.com