China Daily recently reported, “Japan apologizes for annexation of Korean Peninsula.”
I think this is a responsible move on Japan’s part. It is a step forward in reconciliation. Some people argue unless the Japanese take full responsibility for their past atrocities, warming of relations with Japan should not be allowed. That is backwards. I have always said in the past, the warming of relations gives confidence and actually allows both parties to face a difficult past. This is more in tuned with human nature. Of course, this does not mean the past ought to be forgotten.
For the Chinese people, they in fact have shown incredible forbearance. The ultimate lesson of this recent history for us all is to not let it repeat. That should be a goal our generation work towards. If we do not, we are in fact likely sewing the seeds for our future generations to repeat the past. The Chinese government is expanding relations with Japan despite this unresolved history. That is responsible, wise, and admirable.
Here is the brief report carried on China Daily:
The apology came ahead of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula on August 29. Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula extended from 1910 to the end of the Second World War in 1945.
The move, directed at the Republic of Korea (ROK), is believed to aim to strengthen future-oriented ties between the two countries.
In addition to the apology, Japan will also return some Korean artifacts to the ROK.
During Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910-45, many Koreans were forced to fight as front-line soldiers, work in slave-labor conditions, or serve as prostitutes in brothels operated by the military.
In response, South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Kim Young- sun said Seoul “paid attention” to the position included in Prime Minister Kan’s statement that Japan admitted its colonization was forced upon the Korean people against their will and that Japan is willing to be frank about facing its past mistakes.
Seoul takes the move as Tokyo’s intention to overcome their unfortunate past and expects all Japanese people to share this view, Kim added.