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Yoon: Japan has transformed into security and economic partner

Yoon: Japan has transformed into security and economic partner

Posted March. 02, 2023 07:39,   

Updated March. 02, 2023 07:39


“Japan has transformed from a militaristic aggressor of the past into a partner that shares the same universal values with us,” said South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol during his speech on March 1 Independence Movement Day, which was the first after his appointment.

“The trilateral cooperation among the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan has become more important than ever to overcome the security crises, including North Korea's growing nuclear threats and global polycrisis,” said the president who attended the ceremony of the 104th March 1 Independence Movement Day held at Yu Gwansun Memorial Hall of Ewha Girls' High School in Jung-gu, Seoul on Wednesday. He did not mention Japan’s apology or self-reflection for history but instead emphasized future cooperation. It is deemed that such a stance came about in consideration of the fact that final negotiations on the issue of compensation for forced labor victims during the Japanese colonial era, which is the biggest issue at the moment between the two countries, are taking place and that a Korea-Japan summit meeting may be held in March depending on its results.

“We must stand in solidarity with countries that share universal values in order to contribute to promoting the freedom of global citizens and the common prosperity of all humankind. This spirit of solidarity and cooperation is the same spirit that called for our nation's freedom and independence 104 years ago,” said President Yoon. “Today, 104 years later, we must look back to that time when we lost our national sovereignty, the time when our people suffered because we failed to prepare for a changing world properly,” the president said. “Let us remember the patriotic heroes who devoted themselves to our homeland, and let us reflect on the unfortunate times of our history and contemplate what must be done for our future prosperity.”

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com