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  • Japan will apologize for Korean Annexation 100 years ago and give back some war spoils. Bravo.

    Posted by arudou debito on August 10th, 2010

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    Hi Blog. In another big piece of news, Japan is taking another step closer to healing the wounds around Asia of a cruel colonial past by saying sorry to South Korea. Good. Bravo. Sad that it took a century for the apologies and return of some war spoils, but better now than never. Let’s hope it further buries the ahistorical revisionist arguments that basically run, “We were invited to Korea, and did them a favor by taking them over.” — arguments that help nobody get over the past or help with neighborly Asian cooperation. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    /////////////////////////////////////////

    Japan To Voice Remorse Tues. Over Annexation of Korea 100 Years Ago
    Kyodo World Service in English 1211 GMT 09 Aug 10 2010, courtesy Club of 99.

    http://home.kyodo.co.jp/modules/fstStory/index.php?storyid=516523

    Tokyo, Aug. 9 Kyodo — Prime Minister Naoto Kan is scheduled to release a statement for South Korea on Tuesday regarding the centenary later this month of Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula, ruling party lawmakers said Monday.

    The statement will include a phrase expressing deep remorse and apologizing for Japan’s colonial rule, stating also that Japan will return cultural artifacts taken from the peninsula that South Korea has been demanding, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    The expressions used closely follow those of past prime ministerial statements — one by Tomiichi Murayama in August 1995 and another by Junichiro Koizumi in August 2005, the sources said.

    The government told the Democratic Party of Japan that Kan is planning to release a statement in connection with the centenary after securing approval from the Cabinet on Tuesday, Goshi Hosono, acting secretary general of the DPJ, told reporters after attending a ruling party meeting.

    While apologizing for the annexation, the statement will also be aimed at deepening future-oriented ties with South Korea, the sources said.

    Kan is hoping to turn the page on bilateral historical issues, while enhancing cooperation with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s government in addressing challenges related to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and its past abduction of foreign nationals, the sources said.

    On the transfer of cultural artifacts, the items in question are believed to be held by the Imperial Household Agency, including the Joseon Wangsil Uigwe, a meticulous record of Korean royal ceremonies and rituals.

    The statement to be released Tuesday will only be directed at South Korea, whereas the Murayama statement apologized to Asian victims of Japan’s past aggression, the sources said.

    The statement does not refer to Japan-North Korea relations, the sources said.

    The release will take place before Aug. 15, when South Korea celebrates its liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

    Kan’s Cabinet had been considering releasing the statement either before Aug.15 or Aug. 29, the day the annexation treaty was proclaimed 100 years ago.

    Kan is slated to hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to explain his reason for issuing the statement.

    Opposition to releasing such a document remains among conservative lawmakers within and outside the DPJ, with some expressing concern over renewed claims for financial compensation for the suffering inflicted during Japan’s colonial rule in some Asian countries.

    DPJ Secretary General Yukio Edano said at a news conference that the party did not make any special request regarding the release.

    Edano also said he has no concerns about reigniting the issue of compensation in Asia because of the release.

    ENDS

    27 Responses to “Japan will apologize for Korean Annexation 100 years ago and give back some war spoils. Bravo.”

    1. jim Says:

      finally for a change the GOJ is growing some balls and doing whats right.

    2. Anon Says:

      Here’s the story in Japanese

      http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100809-00000081-mai-pol

      I love how they use the term 植民地時代に朝鮮半島から日本へ流出した文化財 to describe cultural artifacts taken/stolen from Korea. The creative use of the term 流出 makes it sound quite passive and benign….

      – As if treasure just managed to “flow” over here. As part of the Flog of War, mayhaps?

      <日韓併合100年>首相談話10日発表「痛切な反省」
      8月9日21時39分配信 毎日新聞
       政府は9日、日韓併合100年を迎えるに当たって、植民地支配への「痛切な反省と心からのおわび」を改めて表明する首相談話を10日に閣議決定して発表する方針を決めた。95年の村山富市首相談話に盛り込んだ歴史認識を踏襲したうえで、植民地時代に朝鮮半島から日本へ流出した文化財の「引き渡し」に応じる姿勢を示し、未来志向の関係を構築する内容で最終調整している。韓国側の主張する併合条約の「違法性」や、65年の日韓基本条約で解決済みとしてきた個人補償請求権問題には触れない。【野口武則】

       併合条約が締結されたのは100年前の8月22日、公布・発効は29日だが、この時期に条約の違法性を盛り込まない談話を出せば韓国の反日世論が盛り上がる恐れもあると判断。終戦記念日の8月15日も検討したが、韓国では植民地支配からの解放を祝う「光復節」の大統領演説が予定されている。韓国側との事前調整の結果、菅直人首相が先に談話を発表し、李明博(イ・ミョンバク)大統領がその評価を演説に盛り込む方向となった。

       村山談話は「植民地支配と侵略」によって「アジア諸国の人々に対して多大の損害と苦痛」を与えたことを認め「痛切な反省」と「心からのおわび」を表明した。

       今回の談話でもこの表現を踏襲。戦後補償問題には触れず、未来志向の日韓関係を構築する具体策として、サハリン残留韓国人への支援や朝鮮半島出身者の遺骨返還などに引き続き取り組むほか、新たに「朝鮮半島由来の図書」を引き渡す方針を示す。

       日本政府は文化財の返還についても65年の国交正常化時に解決済みとの立場。しかし、李氏朝鮮(1392〜1910年)の婚礼などの行事を記録した「朝鮮王室儀軌(ぎき)」が宮内庁に保管されていることが06年に判明し、これを含む文化財の返還を求める声が韓国で上がっていた。談話に盛り込まれる朝鮮半島由来の図書は朝鮮王室儀軌などを指し、「返還」ではなく「譲渡」の形で引き渡す交渉を外務省は想定する。

       ただ、日韓併合100年に合わせて首相談話を出すことには、日本国内でも「謝罪外交」を嫌う保守派が反発。韓国側で新たな戦後補償への期待が高まりかねないうえ、賠償問題が解決していない日朝関係に影響する懸念もある。自民党の谷垣禎一総裁は9日、仙谷由人官房長官に電話し(1)請求権問題は解決済み(2)村山談話を踏襲した98年の日韓共同宣言(3)未来志向の関係−−の3点で「逆行することがあってはならない」と申し入れた。谷垣氏によると、仙谷長官は「3点は踏まえてやりたい」と応じ、菅首相も谷垣氏に電話して談話発表への理解を求めたという。

       民主党内にも「後退する談話は出せない。踏み込むと戦後補償に絡んでくる」(ベテラン議員)との慎重論がくすぶる。9日の政府・民主党首脳会議では仙谷長官が「15日、29日の前のタイミングで行いたかった」と時期についても配慮したことを強調した。
      ENDS

    3. Claytonian Says:

      I don’t know about returning artifacts, but Japan has made many previous apologies:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

      – I don’t know if people understand how apologies work, but an apology about something like this is not something you make once. You make them repeatedly, and sincerely, until… well until everyone (particularly the victim) agrees that it’s history and you’re forgiven. Which, given the gravity of the situation, will probably take generations.

      As for returning artifacts, the amount of war spoils Japan has is immense (cf. Seagrave, GOLD WARRIORS), so this is but a sou back, but an important step.

    4. Norik Says:

      My husband was delighted to hear that yesterday on the news. I think, however, that this act will bring a wave of protests among empowered nationalists like this “Tachiagare, Nippon”party, for example, which may reflect on Korean citizen and enterprises located in Japan.

      – It will blow over. Ignore the bullies or they just get stronger.

    5. HO Says:

      “Which, given the gravity of the situation, will probably take generations.”
      Debito, that is an excellent point. But the problem is that Japanese government does not understand the situation and think the apology is to put an end to its past. This wishful thinking by the GoJ is called “future-oriented ties with South Korea”. PM Kan is just to add another insincere apology to the list of insincere apologies.

      In pragmatism, this is a bad diplomatic maneuver. No Western nation has ever apologized its colonial rule. I think this attitude is more sincere than tens of insincere apologies by the Government of Japan.

      – No Western nation has ever apologized for its colonial rule? Does Clinton apologizing for slavery count? I’m sure we can find other similar examples (go for it, readers). But at least you’re accepting that it was a colonization. Some people won’t even do that.

    6. Giant Panda Says:

      I’m sure the black trucks had advance wind of this one, there were several doing laps of my office building yesterday. But Bravo for the DPJ! So nice to hear of a conciliatory gesture which aims at building bridges. If Japan is to survive the ascendency of China they will need to band together with other Asian countries like never before.

    7. Kimpatsu Says:

      With regard to Claytonian and Debito’s response, I’d add that an apology has to be sincere. Previous so-called “apologies” have smacked of mere formality, like the approval of minutes of the previous meeting at the top of the current agenda. Viz:
      1. Apologise to Korea
      2. Issue statement decrying Japan bashing
      3. Remind China it is the “sick man of Asia”
      4. Nippon banzai!
      What? Why are you unhappy? We already apologised!

      – If you’re referring to my response, I too said an apology has to be sincere: “You make them repeatedly, and sincerely…”

    8. jon Says:

      “Opposition to releasing such a document remains among conservative lawmakers within and outside the DPJ,”

      I m just a bit worried they will bow down to rightist pressure yet again. Sometimes I think some older people here yearn nostalgically for a “simpler” time, i.e. the 80s, when Japan was in economic ascent, had the full and seemingly unconditional support of the USA and so didn’t have to worry about China or Korea. Thats basically what the Tachigare Party and others are counting on; this “nostalgia”.

      Their recent lives must seem very “mendokusai” in comparison,what with all these pesky gaijins complaining, and leading to the inward looking self-pity accompanied with rightist snarlings we are now seeing, but that’s just my take on it.

    9. Tony D Says:

      “I’m sure we can find other similar examples (go for it, readers).”

      Sort or related… in Australia the “stolen generation” was a generation of indigenous Australian children who were taken from their families to be cared for by christian missions. As one of his first acts, then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology in 2008 (after the previous right-wing prime minister refused to apologise countless times).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_generation

    10. Brad Says:

      HO,

      Oh for Pete’s sake. “No Western nation has ever apologized its colonial rule.” What are you talking about?

      http://www.afrol.com/articles/16439
      http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521872317&ss=exc

      And really, you should look more at the issue of logical fallacies because they tend to litter your arguments.

      The argument that Japan is in the right to do or not to do something based on what western nations are doing or not doing is called an Ad Hominem Tu Quoque argument, I believe. Simply put, just because someone else doesn’t help out at the scene of a traffic accident doesn’t mean it’s right for you not to do so as well. Think about it.

    11. David Chart Says:

      I’m not sure that the USA has apologised for its colonisation of the whole of North America. Certainly, it’s making no move to give the seized territory back to the colonised, something even the British managed eventually, in the cases where we’d left some of the colonised alive. Granted, the British had the advantage of having Britain left at the end of the process, while the USA is all colony. On the other hand, the British are quite firm about not giving back the looted cultural treasures in the British Museum, ditto the French and the ones in the Louvre.

      I think the apologies are a good thing, but to be honest Japan seems to do about as well as any other post-Imperial power at this (that is, not very well). Kudos to Mr Kan for doing this, in the face of domestic opposition.

    12. Iago Says:

      Giant Panda said: “I’m sure the black trucks had advance wind of this one, there were several doing laps of my office building yesterday.”

      Off topic, but yesterday’s convoy of black (and blue, grey and white) trucks was the annual Nagasaki Anniversary outing. I assume they were out on Friday, too, but I wasn’t around to see them.

    13. Rob Says:

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=587

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=431

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_primary&id=164

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=505

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=464

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=169

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=167

      http://political-apologies.wlu.ca/details.php?table=doc_press&id=536

      Some examples of apologies and compensation for either colonial rule or for incidents that occurred during colonial rule. These aren’t enough, in my opinion, but they’re something at least.

      As a Briton, I think Britain should apologise for it’s colonial past. However, it should be noted that even if a formal apology has not been forthcoming, Britain still readily educates school children about the dark side of it’s history. It has also had a progressive and successful immigration and integration policy regarding the descendants of former colonies, particularly India.

      Congratulations to Mr. Kan for making the apology.

      – Now, in the spirit of capitulation, can we get HO to admit he was wrong?

    14. Joe Says:

      USA has definitely apologized for its role in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

      http://www.hawaii-nation.org/publawall.html

    15. jon Says:

      @Rob, Britain need not apologize for colonialism, only for atrocities when commited.The situation is markedly different from Japan.
      Britain gave countries independence when they asked for it in most cases, and most former colonies were ok to join the Commonwealth as equal parties. I m not saying everything was sweetness and light, though.

      This is different to Japan’s short-lived attempt at an “empire”. They murdered millions in recent genocidal wars and were kicked out at the end of it. Other than certain elements of Taiwan and the junta in Myanmar, I don’t see any of these former colonies rushing to join a Japan-style commonwealth.

      There is a difference, and thats why they need to keep on apologizing. For as long as their former victims want them to.

    16. HO Says:

      Brad, in your first link, German Government did not apologize for colonial rule nor for colonization war but for war crimes during colonization war.
      The second link is about apology to its own citizen, as opposed to foreign government in diplomatic relation. The theme of the essay is national membership. A government loses nothing by apologizing to its own people. By the way, when will Australia return the land to Aboriginal Australians? Koreans restored their land 65 years ago.

      Rob, your first link is indeed an apology for colonial rule. I correct my comment to “No Western nation except Italy has ever apologized for its colonial rule.”
      The 2nd link is not a government apology but a personal apology by a descendant of a slave trader.
      The 3rd link is not an apology for colonial rule but for spreading of diseases, shooting by police and removal of chiefly titles.
      The 4th and 5th links are not an apology for colonial rule but for slavery.
      The 6th and 7th links are not an apology for colonial rule but for rapes and deaths and injuries due to explosion of left behind explosives.
      The 8th link is not an apology for colonial rule but only for “potato famine” suffered by the Irish.

      I think all of these except Italian case have a message that colonial rule itself is not a bad thing.

      Joe, I read the link and felt it is more of a list excuses than an apology. What the Congress apologized for is this.
      “(3) apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination; ”
      So, “participation of agents and citizens of the United States” in spite of US government instruction to the contrary. Then again, this is an apology to its own people. Are there any plans to make Hawaii an independent nation?

      Thank you all. I learned a lot by the information provided.

      – You certainly learned how to wriggle and nit-pick. Actually, I don’t think you needed to learn.

    17. AIB Says:

      NZ to Samoa…

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2025041.stm

    18. Frank Says:

      Ho – You exhibit a behavior that I see too often in Japan – you decide what is appropriate for Japan to do, or how to act based upon how western nations have behaved…

      How western nations have or will act in the future is fundamentally irrelevant.

      You do your nation a disservice when you apparently need western nations to act first in order for an action to be justified. If Kan thinks now is the time and this is the way, and you agree, just say so. If you disagree, say so. At this point, comparisons only cloud the issue.

      I assume that as the leader of Japan, Kan has access to much more detailed information regarding Japan’s occupation of Korea. Based on that information, he has come to this course of action. Good for him. I hope this heals some long festering wounds on both sides.

      Since no western nation occupied Korea for 50 years, your comparison is irrelevant.

      Take pride in your nation, but be adult enough to admit when your nation behaves inappropriately.

    19. Rob Says:

      HO, I did point out initially that the links represented “examples of apologies and compensation for either colonial rule or for incidents that occurred during colonial rule”. I think that makes it perfectly clear that I’m not saying all these incidents are direct apologies for colonial rule. However, it’s equally important to apologise for incidents that occurred during colonial periods, which were directly brought about by colonialism.

      “I think all of these except Italian case have a message that colonial rule itself is not a bad thing.”

      Yes sure, if you accept that actions carried out by colonialists during colonial periods can be easily seperated from the colonial rule itself. I don’t think they can, and I think each of these apologies and offers of compensation contain an implicit criticism of colonialism.

      Wouldn’t it be a far less sincere apology that ran “I apologise for colonising your country, but not for raping women, blowing people up with bombs, spreading diseases, sanctioning police brutality, and failing to provide an agricultural infrastructure that would have prevented the decimation and exodus of your population through famine”?

      You argue that “No Western nation has ever apologized its colonial rule. I think this attitude is more sincere than tens of insincere apologies by the Government of Japan.” My reading of your words here is that not apologising is “more sincere” because the countries simply don’t care about their colonial pasts. On the contrary, my links show countries sincerely apologising for specific events. That seems more sincere to me than a blanket apology for colonialism.

      You disagree, which is fine. I’d appreciate it if you could do it in a less sarcastic, point-scoring way next time though.

      – I think you mistook HO for a person who actually reads what we write, not knee-jerk reacts as if we’re all out to get Japan.

    20. Valentina Says:

      HO said: “No Western nation except Italy has ever apologized for its colonial rule.”
      And the apologies were not sincere. It was just a way to grant Italian firms the possibility of investing in Libya and to obtain Libya’s help in stopping illegal immigrants who sail from its coasts to reach Italy. Lybia, on the other hand, obtained infrastructures, which in any case can be built exclusively by Italian companies, and succeeded in its commitment to reparation politics. Berlusconi more than once described the purpose of the treaty as “less illegal immigrants and more oil.” Italy’s crimes during the colonial period are not even mentioned in the treaty, and actually most Italians don’t know about them because they’re generally neither taught in schools nor publically discussed. Meanwhile, the approximately 20,000 Italians who lived in Libya and were repatriated after their properties were expropriated when Gaddafi took power in 1970 are still waiting for compensation, either from Libya or Italy. Also, Italy colonized Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, too and invaded Albania during WWII, and it still hasn’t apologised nor has it paid reparations, as far as I know.
      If you’re interested, you can find a good analysis of the Libyan-Italian treaty here http://www.merip.org/mero/mero031609.html. It’s long, but it clearly shows that it was all just “theater”.

      – Thanks for this. But further posts offering perspective on overseas cases of historical apologies should take the time to add how it relates/compares to Japan’s current apology to Korea, please.

    21. David Chart Says:

      @Jon: Your view of the history of the British Empire seems about as distorted as the Japanese view of the history of their empire (I’m British, by the way). It took about forty years of peaceful protest, met with brutal repression, to get the British to leave India, for example. We were simply thrown out of Rhodesia. As for genocidal attacks, the British are responsible for one of the very few genuinely genocidal incidents in colonial history: there are no Tasmanians left. They were all killed by the British settlers. Other nations might have attempted genocide, but it took the Brits to succeed.

      There’s nothing unusual about Japanese revisionism on these issues, nor about sanitised textbooks. At least in my day, which was about twenty years ago, British textbooks were very quiet on the negative legacy of British colonialism. Valentina says that Italian textbooks are the same. Apologising 100 years after the event is also normal; the US apology to Hawaii and the German apology to Namibia were on the same anniversary, and the apologies for slavery were even later than that.

      I’d say that Japan’s record is pretty average by global standards, so I don’t think nihonjinron exceptionalism is appropriate here. Mr Kan’s apology also looks like a good one, if the Asahi article about it at http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0810/TKY201008100186.html is right. It includes an explicit acknowledgement that the Koreans did not want to be taken over, and had their country and culture stolen, and a commitment to having the courage to face historical facts and the humility to accept them, as well as recapitulating the Murayama apology for damage done. Like Mr Arudou, I hope this helps move the debate in Japan on a bit.

      「改めて痛切な反省」 韓国併合100年、首相が談話
      2010年8月10日12時4分

       政府は10日の閣議で、韓国併合条約発効100年を迎えるのを機に、過去の植民地支配への反省や未来志向の日韓関係を築く決意などを柱とする菅直人首相談話を決定した。韓国が日本の植民地支配からの解放を祝う15日の「光復節」の前に公表することで、韓国側の前向きな対応を期待している。首相は談話の閣議決定後、韓国の李明博(イ・ミョンバク)大統領に電話し、談話の内容を直接伝えた。

       談話では「韓国の人々は、その意に反して行われた植民地支配によって、国と文化を奪われ、民族の誇りを深く傷付けられた」との認識を表明。そのうえで、「歴史の事実を直視する勇気とそれを受け止める謙虚さを持ち、自らの過ちを省みることに率直でありたい」として、戦後50年を機に出された1995年の「村山談話」の表現と同様に「植民地支配がもたらした多大の損害と苦痛に対し、ここに改めて痛切な反省と心からのお詫(わ)びの気持ちを表明する」としている。

       そのうえで「これからの百年を見据え、未来志向の日韓関係を構築する」として、将来の東アジア共同体の構築に向けて、両国関係をアジア地域の平和と安定、核軍縮、気候変動などで「協力してリーダーシップを発揮するパートナー」と位置づけた。

       また、宮内庁が保管している古文書「朝鮮王室(王朝)儀軌(ぎき)」を韓国側に引き渡す方針も明記した。「朝鮮王室儀軌」は朝鮮王朝時代の王室の公式記録で、韓国が日本に返還を求めてきた文化財の一つ。韓国国会も06年、返還要求決議を採択していた。談話では、文書への韓国の所有権を認める「返還」ではなく、引き渡しと位置づけた。政府として未解決の補償問題の存在を認めるような表現は避けた。

       記者会見した仙谷由人官房長官によると、首相との電話協議で李大統領は、談話に対する「強い謝意」を表明。「韓国と日本が将来、より強い協力関係を築くことができる」と述べたという。

       談話は、鳩山政権時代から水面下で検討が行われていた。菅政権では、仙谷官房長官を中心に検討を進めてきた。韓国側は事前に、15日より前の談話発表を期待する声を寄せていた。

       一方で閣内からは、「慎重に検討してほしい。賠償、補償の話が蒸し返されることは絶対あってはならない」(玄葉光一郎・公務員制度改革担当相)と談話発表に慎重な声も上がっていた。野党側も自民党の安倍晋三・元首相らが、談話発表に反対する声明を出していた。
      ENDS

    22. jon Says:

      “And the apologies were not sincere. It was just a way to grant Italian firms the possibility of investing in Libya”

      Ok, I can relate this to Japan.
      1. Most post-war reparations from Japan, to, e.g. Indonesia or Malaysia were in the form of Japanese firms and factory investment.
      2. As with Okinawa, three fourths of said investment flows back to mainland Japan.

      I m quoting my findings in my degree done 25 years ago, but will search sources if required.

    23. David Chart Says:

      I should have looked harder. Asahi has the full text of the apology:

      http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0810/TKY201008100189.html

      韓国併合100年 首相談話の全文
      2010年8月10日11時38分
       本年は、日韓関係にとって大きな節目の年です。ちょうど百年前の8月、日韓併合条約が締結され、以後36年に及ぶ植民地支配が始まりました。三・一独立運動などの激しい抵抗にも示されたとおり、政治的・軍事的背景の下、当時の韓国の人々は、その意に反して行われた植民地支配によって、国と文化を奪われ、民族の誇りを深く傷付けられました。

       私は、歴史に対して誠実に向き合いたいと思います。歴史の事実を直視する勇気とそれを受け止める謙虚さを持ち、自らの過ちを省みることに率直でありたいと思います。痛みを与えた側は忘れやすく、与えられた側はそれを容易に忘れることは出来ないものです。この植民地支配がもたらした多大の損害と苦痛に対し、ここに改めて痛切な反省と心からのお詫(わ)びの気持ちを表明いたします。

       このような認識の下、これからの百年を見据え、未来志向の日韓関係を構築していきます。また、これまで行ってきたいわゆる在サハリン韓国人支援、朝鮮半島出身者の遺骨返還支援といった人道的な協力を今後とも誠実に実施していきます。さらに、日本が統治していた期間に朝鮮総督府を経由してもたらされ、日本政府が保管している朝鮮王朝儀軌(ぎき)等の朝鮮半島由来の貴重な図書について、韓国の人々の期待に応えて近くこれらをお渡ししたいと思います。

       日本と韓国は、二千年来の活発な文化の交流や人の往来を通じ、世界に誇る素晴らしい文化と伝統を深く共有しています。さらに、今日の両国の交流は極めて重層的かつ広範多岐にわたり、両国の国民が互いに抱く親近感と友情はかつてないほど強くなっております。また、両国の経済関係や人的交流の規模は国交正常化以来飛躍的に拡大し、互いに切磋琢磨(せっさたくま)しながら、その結び付きは極めて強固なものとなっています。

       日韓両国は、今この21世紀において、民主主義や自由、市場経済といった価値を共有する最も重要で緊密な隣国同士となっています。それは、二国間関係にとどまらず、将来の東アジア共同体の構築をも念頭に置いたこの地域の平和と安定、世界経済の成長と発展、そして、核軍縮や気候変動、貧困や平和構築といった地球規模の課題まで、幅広く地域と世界の平和と繁栄のために協力してリーダーシップを発揮するパートナーの関係です。

       私は、この大きな歴史の節目に、日韓両国の絆(きずな)がより深く、より固いものとなることを強く希求するとともに、両国間の未来をひらくために不断の努力を惜しまない決意を表明いたします。

      And the South Korean response suggests that they are getting to the point of accepting it:

      http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0810/TKY201008100214.html

      首相談話を韓国外交通商省が評価
      2010年8月10日12時30分

       【ソウル=牧野愛博】韓国外交通商省は10日、日本政府が発表した菅首相の談話について、「朝鮮王室儀軌などの図書を早期に返還するとした点を評価する」などとする報道官の論評を発表した。

       論評は、首相談話が「自らの過ちを省みることに率直でありたい」などとした点に注目し、「こうした認識をすべての日本国民が共有することを期待する」と強調。「過去の不幸な歴史に対する正しい認識と洞察を基礎に、現在の緊密な韓日関係が、未来に向けたパートナーの関係にさらに発展することを希望する」と訴えた。
      ENDS

    24. HO Says:

      AIB, the apology you linked is the same one as the 3rd link by Rob.

      But what surprised me a bit was this quote.
      ‘The New Zealand Herald praised the prime minister, and called the apology a “closure on past shame.”‘

      An apology is not an end but a beginning of ever lasting effort for atonement. New Zealanders should not think they can get way with their “past shame” just by saying sorry.

      In the famous “tensei jinngo” column of Asahi Shimbun today (Aug. 11, 2010) had this strange sentence after PM Kan’s apology.
      「謝罪で始まる関係はそろそろ終わりにしたい。」
      “(We) would like to end a relationship of apology (with Korea) around this time.”
      This is what one of the most liberal newspapers in Japan has to say on the next day of the apology. As I expected, Japan thinks it can get away from its past just by saying sorry, and has no intention for continued efforts for atonement.

      – Some days I don’t know which HO is in the house: The Defensive Delusional Nitpicker Nationalist, or the Prudent Researcher Who Adds to Discussions. This post seems an example of both.

      And if you think the Asahi is “one of the most liberal newspapers in Japan” (There aren’t that many major ones, and the Mainichi holds the leftist position; Kyodo News Service beats them both.), you’ve been reading papers from the 1980s. But we digress…

    25. anon Says:

      “An apology is not an end but a beginning of ever lasting effort for atonement. New Zealanders should not think they can get way with their “past shame” just by saying sorry.”

      HO: well, well, well… another snipe from a ignorant fool/troll…
      That statement was taken completely out of context since if you read a little further:

      “Successive Japanese leaders found it impossible and Australia’s John Howard stuttered and gagged when it came to apologising to his country’s subjugated indigenous peoples.
      “So we should not see Prime Minister Helen Clark’s apology as mere words.”
      But the leader of New Zealand’s Opposition National Party, Bill English, was not so sure.
      Mr English said it was “appropriate to acknowledge the suffering” that took place.

      In no way does it imply that nothing else was done. I wonder if HO knows anything about NZ history??? The comment about NZer’s getting away with just an apology is quite insulting and disgusting. Learn about NZ and its people before making such stupid comments about all NZers!

      NZ has a very good track record on recognising and settling the past injustices of its colonial past. Just look at the treaty of waitangi tribunal process -which ends with compensation, land restoration and offical apologies to the affected iwi. The many many laws that consider the sensitivities of the local iwi such as the Resource Management Act. It is an example of how laws are made to include respect for the maori people so that the past injustices won’t happen again.

      – Now as I requested, please relate this back to the Japanese apology even if only in the conclusion. Any more rebuttals without context will not be approved.

    26. Mike Says:

      Debito,

      I read allot of the Seagraves book, and to be honest, it seems to be allot of speculation. The author seems to have a very limited understanding of the US Military and its structure/operations. “A source from the Embassy said the US seals in Manila were recovering gold” – a perfect example. It doesnt seem very plausible and I was disappointed.

    27. Danny Bloom Says:

      Should Japan apologize to Taiwan for colonial rule, 1895-1945?

      http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2010/08/18/2003480676

      Recently, Japan apologized to South Korea for
      its colonial rule (1910 – 1945), seeking, according to an Associated
      Press report, “to strengthen ties between the two countries ahead of
      the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of the Korean
      peninsula.”

      During Japan’s occupation of Korea, many Koreans were forced to fight
      as front-line soldiers for Japan’s Imperial Army, work in slave-labor
      conditions or serve as prostitutes in brothels operated by the
      Japanese military. Sound familiar? Substitute “Taiwan” for “Korea” in
      the news reports, and the picture becomes clear. Japan also owes an
      apology to Taiwan for drafting young Taiwanese men to fight as
      front-line soldiers for Japanese military campaigns and for forcing
      thousands of Taiwanese women, many of them Aboriginal girls, to serve
      as “comfort women” in Japanese
      military brothels. Just as many older Koreans still remember
      atrocities committed by Japan, many older Taiwanese also remember.
      Although the issues do not remain as sensitive many decades later here
      in Taiwan, the mental and psychological toll of the Japanese colonial
      rule of Taiwan (1895 – 1945) cannot merely be airbrushed away by
      Japanese spin doctors.

      “For the enormous damage and suffering caused by this colonization, I
      would like to express once again our deep remorse and sincerely
      apologize,” Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the Korean people
      in early August. His statement was intended specifically for the ears
      of South Korean people, in contrast to earlier apologies by Japan for
      wartime actions made broadly to the island nation’s Asian neighbors,
      including Taiwan.

      Kan also said Japan plans to return some “stolen” Korean cultural
      artifacts, including historical documents, that it “acquired” while
      ruling the Korean peninsula in the early half of the 20th Century.
      Will Japan also agree to return some of Taiwan’s cultural artifacts
      that were also transported to Japanese museums during the colonial
      days and also humbly and heartfeltly apologize for forcing young
      Taiwanese women into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers during the
      war years, some as young as 16 and 17?

      History is a cruel reminder of what some nations to do other nations,
      and while many South Koreans were glad to hear of Kan’s recent
      remarks, many of the older people in Jorea told reporters covering the
      story that “Tokyo’s [new] “apology was insufficient, saying it should
      be backed up by specific measures such as reparations for victims,
      prosecution of wrongdoers and a record of the Japanese military’s
      history of sexual slavery in Japanese textbooks.”

      After Kan’s remarks were publicized in Korea, a small group of
      activists protested in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, urging
      Japan to offer a more sincere apology and return all Korean cultural
      artifacts in its possession. Said one activist: “We no longer welcome
      apologies of words without action.”

      Kan’s apology comes ahead of the 100-year anniversary of Tokyo’s
      annexation of the Korean peninsula on August 29. Did Japan offer a
      similar and yet specific apology to Taiwan in 1995 to mark the
      100-year anniversary of Tokyo’s forced annexation of this island? If
      it did, I am not aware of it. And has Japan really ever made up for
      what it did to the so-called “comfort women” of Taiwan who were forced
      to “comfort” Japanese officers and soldiers in military brothels as
      unpaid prostitues, sometimes servicing as many as 20 men a day?

      Okay, war is terrible, ugly, and unspeakable acts often occur. But
      where are the apologies from Japan. Germamy, after World War II, did
      apologize to the entire world, and has been
      in an apooogy mode ever since. Germany saw the light and humbly said
      the Nazi era was an abomination. Has Japan ever really apologized for
      the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, for the atrocities committed
      all over Asia during what it calls the Pacific War, for the unspeakble
      horrors that the Taiwanese, Dutch and Korean “comfort women” had to
      live through?

      In his statement in August, Kan expressed “deep regret over the
      suffering inflicted” during Japan’s rule over Korea, and his official
      cabient endorsed the statement.
      Saying that Japan will hand over some important cultural artifacts
      that South Korea has been asking for, including records of an ancient
      Korean royal dynasty, Kan tried to own
      up to his country’s past, including the unsavory history of Japan
      forcing some 200,000 non-Japanese women, mainly from Korea, Taiwan and
      China, to service
      the Emperor’s soldiers as prostitutes.

      How did South Korea’s ruling party react? A party statement said Kan’s
      speech was “a step forward” from past statements, but “not enough to
      allay” Korean anger.
      The Korean government said that Kan’s words did not contain “[any]
      mention of illegitimacy of the forced annexation and Koreans forced to
      work as sex slaves or manual laborers by the Japanese army.”

      So where does Taiwan stand in this developing story? Will Japan
      someday offer a similar apology to this country’s people?

      As the Taipei Times reported (“Protesters demonstrate for Japan’s
      ‘comfort women’”, p. 2, August 12), “Japan still refuses to admit it
      ever recruited women [from Taiwan] for use as sex slaves by its
      Imperial Army, let alone apologize or compensate them.”

      “As part of a globally coordinated action, activists for former
      comfort women’s rights …..staged a demonstration outside Japan’s
      representative office in Taipei, ahead of the 65th anniversary of
      Japan’s surrender [at the end of WWII], demanding Japan apologize for
      the recruitment of [Taiwanese] comfort women,” the Taipei Times
      reported. “Holding up signs that read ‘I won’t forget until I die’ and
      ‘Japanese government, apologize,’ dozens of demonstrators …chanted
      slogans as they demonstrated outside …the Japanese representative
      office in Taipei.”

      Kang Shu-hua (康淑華), director of the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation,
      noting that even 65 years after Japan surrendered, said : “We would
      like to urge the Japanese government to honestly admit its wrongdoings
      in the past, so that the mistakes won’t be repeated again.” According
      to Kang, Japan still refuses to even admit it ever recruited ”comfort
      women” and has declined all demands for an official government
      apology or compensation.

      Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英), who also
      attended the protest, told reporters: “I don’t remember how many times
      I have demanded Japan’s apology. If Japan can apologize to South Korea
      for its invasion of that country, it should also apologize to those
      Taiwanese who suffered under Japanese imperialism.”

      At issue here in Taiwan is not only the “comfort women.” Chung
      Sheng-huang (莊盛晃), director of the Kaohsiung City Association for
      Taiwanese Veteran Soldiers, noted: “In fact, Japan not only recruited
      ‘comfort women’ during World War II, it also deployed more than
      200,000 Taiwanese [young] men to serve in the Japanese Imperial Army
      in Southeast Asia and China. We should not forget the history.” Not
      all of them came home, Chung might have added.

      There’s a telling coda to the story of the recent protest outside the
      Japanese trade office. When the demonstrators went to the Japanese
      trade office to deliver a letter of protest, it was duly accepted by
      someone from the Japanese representative office who nevertheless
      refused to give his name or title. What could this man, an officer at
      the trade office, be afraid of? He works for a major world power –
      Japan, third leading ecnomy in the world — and he wouldn’t tell
      reporters his name or position?

      There’s more: When the demonstrators asked the Japanese official if he could
      please place a final puzzle piece into a map of Taiwan with pictures
      of victims of Japanese imperialism and colonialism, he refused,
      according to the Taipei Times.

      Kang’s response to Japan’s silence on these issues sumed up the
      current state of affairs between Taiwan and Japan in terms of ever
      getting an official apology from Tokyo. “The puzzle symbolizes the
      historical memory, which can only be full if the Japanese government
      faces history,” she said. “We regret that it could not be completed
      because the Japanese government was reluctant to join.”

      So will Taiwan ever get a similar government apology from Japan that
      Tokyo recently issued to South Korea? Only history knows, and for now,
      history’s not talking.

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