South Korea urges Japan to face up to history | india | Hindustan Times
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South Korea urges Japan to face up to history

SKorea's foreign minister has urged Japan to face up to history, a day after Japanese leaders complained about the South Korean president's criticism of its former colonial rulers.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 11:58 IST

South Korea's foreign minister urged Japan on Thursday to face up to history, a day after Japanese leaders complained about the South Korean president's criticism of its former colonial rulers.

"Japanese leaders should accept the clear perception that our president and people have on Japan's history in a weighty manner," Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said at his weekly news briefing.

Ban was reacting to reports that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi complained after South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged Tokyo to truly repent for its imperialist past and act conscientiously, rather than seeking to amend laws and reinforcing military powers.

Koizumi and other Japanese politicians objected to Roh's comments, saying changing the constitution is an internal matter.

Relations between Japan and South Korea have seriously frayed in recent years over several history issues, including Koizumi's repeated visits to a war shrine that critics say glorifies the country's wartime past.

South Korea and China have urged Koizumi to stop visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine _ which also honors convicted war criminals _ because they view those visits as a sign that Japan hasn't fully repented for its past, despite its leaders' numerous apologies.