SEOUL – South Korean President Park Geun-hye has said Japan should back up words with actions in historical issues, indicating that the bilateral relations depend on what the Abe cabinet will do.
In his Friday statement, Abe said Japan must not allow its future generations to be predestined to apologize, which would hardly soothe the neighbors’ suspicion and rage.
The South Korean president, however, said she noticed Abe’s clearly talking of his pledges not to shake positions of previous governments in historical issues based on apology and remorse for Japan’s past aggression and colonization in the first half of the 20th century.
Park’s remarks can be seen as lenient given that Abe issued the “blurring” statement, but her comments left room for the two nations to mend ties strained by Abe’s refusal to clearly apologize for the militaristic past.
Park has refused to sit down face-to-face with Abe due to his wrong perception of history. As the Abe statement failed to make a clear apology for the colonization and atrocities, Park would feel difficulties in holding a bilateral summit with the Japanese leader.
If Park attends the celebratory event in Beijing early next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, she may show a united front with China against the history-revisionist Abe cabinet in historical issues.
The Korean independent fighters resisted against the Japanese invaders together with Chinese patriots during Japan’s colonial era from 1910 to 1945.
China has scheduled a series of events for the war victory anniversary, culminating in a military parade on Sept 3 in Beijing.
The South Korean presidential office plans to officially announce within this week whether Park would participate in the anti-Japanese war victory celebration.
Moon Jae-in, head of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, said during a party meeting that he has advised Park to participate in the celebratory event in Beijing.
Moon said the South Korean government should conduct the diplomacy of taking a lead, not being dragged by.
President Park, after the Beijing event, is scheduled to visit Washington in October with US President Barack Obama, after delaying her trip in June due to the peak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak.