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Korean Politicians Mixed Over Japan’s Power Shift

Posted September. 01, 2009 07:48,   


Korean politicians yesterday were mixed over the end of the Liberal Democratic Party’s 54-year domination of the Japanese government.

While the ruling Grand National Party in Korea forecast improvement in Korea-Japan relations, its opposition rival Democratic Party of Korea stressed the meaning of the power transition itself.

In a congratulatory message to Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama, President Lee Myung-bak said, “I’m convinced that Japan will not only continue its development but also make a greater contribution to peace and co-prosperity of the international community. I hope both nations can closely cooperate to develop bilateral relations into a mature partnership.”

Ruling party spokesman Yoon Sang-hyun said in a commentary, “I hope the two countries can dispel mistrust and develop bilateral relations into a mature and forward-looking partnership based on solid trust.”

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea, Chung Sye-kyun, said in a supreme council meeting, “I believe a similar development will take place in Korea soon,” expressing hope for his party’s victory in next year’s local elections.

Democratic Party spokesman Noh Young-min said, “The outdated ideological vested rights of the conservative party allowed the LDP to be complacent, and as a result, it lost the support of the Japanese public who strongly wanted change and reform. Korean politics has much to learn from Japan’s transfer of power.”

The minor conservative Liberty Forward Party said in a commentary, “The LDP’s defeat was the expected outcome of its resistance to the changes of the times. It will serve as a good example to our party.”