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UN’s Annan Comments on Yasukuni Issue

Posted May. 16, 2006 03:00,   


U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding the distortion of history textbooks in Japan and paying respect at the Yasukuni Shrine, said, “We should approach history as sincerely as possible,” and added, “History is a record of the past that posts opportunities for our next generations to learn from, and unfortunate pasts should not repeat itself, and a common historical view shared by all the people is necessary.”

Secretary-General Annan made this statement during a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki-moon at an outhouse of the government central building in Sejonro, Seoul, on May 15 and said, “(Both countries) should set Europe, which is heading for integration despite its problems regarding the past, as a role model.”

Regarding the question to what he feels should be placed as a priority among the issues of North Korea’s nuclear problem, the human rights violation, and counterfeit money, Annan answered, “The nuclear issue is the most important which should be resolved peacefully through the six-party talks,” and added, “The issues of human rights violation and counterfeit money should be dealt with separately from the nuclear issue.”

On the matter of trouble over the Dokdo islets between Korea and Japan, Mr. Annan only gave a somewhat flat answer that it should be resolved peacefully.

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com