Posted March. 01, 2005 22:36,
Reporting in detail on President Rohs urging of Japan to show remorse and pay reparations for its colonial rule at the commemoration event of the anniversary of the Independence Movement of March 1, 1919, the Japanese press conveyed that the chance for friction between the two countries concerning historical issues has increased despite maintaining an amicable mood for some time. The Japanese government did not express any official response regarding President Rohs remarks yesterday.
Kyodo News pointed out that [President Rohs] uncomfortable emotions on Japan were exposed, commenting, Upon the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Korea and Japan, President Rohs remarks showed that the enhancement of the bilateral relationship is difficult without Japans effort.
Recalling President Rohs remark that he would not discuss historical issues during [his] term, which he made at a July 2004 Korea-Japan summit, the Asahi Shimbun conveyed that President Rohs tone was unprecedentedly strong. The newspaper interpreted that dissatisfaction over Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiros repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine despite Korea and Chinas protests, played a part.
The Mainichi Daily pointed out, President Roh urged the Japanese government and people using strong expressions like reparations because he believes that the responsibility to complement the insufficiency in the Korea-Japan Agreement also lies in Japan. He urged Japan to complement post-war reparations spontaneously, beyond legal limitations.
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun pointed out that President Rohs speech yesterday seems to have made careful consideration for the consensus by paying increased attention to historical issues as the Dokdo issue is reviving and the ruling party is embarking on a fact-finding project of historical truth in Korea.
A diplomatic source in Tokyo forecasted: With President Rohs official suggestion of the reparations issue, the post-war reparations problem has arisen as a current issue between the two countries. A fierce logical confrontation between Korea and Japan regarding the issue will be laid out in the future.