Home>News Center>World

South Korea urges Japan to face up to history amid shrine row
Updated: 2005-11-23 14:32

South Korea on Wednesday urged Japan to face up to its history amid strained relations following Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's recent visit to a controversial shrine that honors convicted war criminals among other dead.

"It is desirable for Japanese political leaders to pursue future-oriented policies between South Korea and Japan by facing up to the issue of past history," South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said in a weekly briefing.

Japanese leaders have previously apologized for their country's harsh colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910-45, but some political leaders there still make remarks seen as seeking to justify past history.

Ban said Seoul doesn't want Japan to repeat its regrets, but called on Tokyo not to take any action that would nullify its previous apologies.

Koizumi has insisted on annual visits to the Yasukuni Shrine _ most recently last month _ which honors World War II war criminals among other war dead, despite repeated demands from South Korea and China to stop. Asian neighbors view Koizumi's visits as a symbol of Japan's ambitions to return to its militarist past.

Ban warned continued visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders would make South Koreans question whether Japanese are repentant for their past actions. Many South Koreans still harbor bitter resentment toward Japan for its colonial rule.

Ban didn't mention the prospect of previously planned summit talks between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Koizumi next month, saying relations with Japan were in a "very grave" situation, and that it wasn't appropriate to comment on the issue.

On Friday, Roh met Koizumi on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the South Korean city of Busan mainly to play the gracious host, but the two failed to narrow their differences on the shrine issue.

Ukraine marks 'orange revolution' anniversary
Merkel named first female chancellor in Germany
Anti-nuclear protesters in Germany
  Today's Top News     Top World News

CPC not pursuing a road of tyranny - scholar



Harbin cuts water supply for pollution fear



China confirmed three new bird flu outbreaks



Ministry denies ordering Japan bullet trains



Japan LDP seeks to lift ban on having military



China may revise 'green card' procedures


  US, partners end North Korea nuke project
  Iran president confirms retaliation if sent to UN
  EU investigator seeks data on CIA planes
  Suicide bomber kills 21 in Iraq; 3 GIs die
  Suspect in Bush assassination plot convicted
  UN: More hungry in Africa than in '90s
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
South Korea, Japan to meet amid sour relations on APEC sidelines
S.Korea, China say Japan PM shrine trip hurts Asia
FM: Japan needs to learn from Germany
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.