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Japan PM to Release Statement on Annexation of Korea

Posted August. 06, 2010 11:27,   


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will release a statement on his country`s previous rule of the Korean Peninsula to mark the centennial anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea, Japanese media said Thursday.

Though the timing of the announcement varies by media outlet, the statement is expected to include an apology for Japan’s colonial rule and urge forward-looking bilateral relations.

Kan’s statement is expected to be on a similar level to the one announced in 1995 by then Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Quoting a Japanese official, Kyoto News Agency said Kan’s statement will maintain the level of expression like in Murayama’s and the 1998 Seoul-Tokyo joint declaration. It will also mention the process of Japanese annexation of the peninsula, specify “keen reflection and apology” for the Korean people’s suffering, and confirm sound bilateral relations and Japan’s intent to establish a forward-looking relationship with Korea.

In the 1995 statement, Murayama expressed “deep remorse” over the tremendous damage and suffering inflicted by Japan on the peoples of many countries, particularly those in Asia.

The major Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun said the Cabinet is considering whether to make it a “statement,” which requires Cabinet approval, or a prime minister’s comment. A statement solely for Koreans is feared to hurt balance with other countries, however.

Tokyo is also mulling the timing of the statement’s announcement.

A source at Kan’s office said Tokyo is trying to avoid Aug. 15, Liberation Day in Korea; Aug. 22, the day the document allowing Japan’s annexation of Korea was signed; or Aug. 29, when the annexation was announced, to avoid giving the impression of apologetic diplomacy.

Asahi said the announcement will likely come before Aug. 15.