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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Japan Apologizes to South Korea for Colonial Era - NYTimes.com

Japan Apologizes to South Korea for Colonial Era - NYTimes.com

TOKYO — Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan offered a renewed apology to South Korea on Tuesday for Japan’s brutal colonial rule, as part of a statement marking the 100th anniversary of his nation’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula in 1910.

“For the enormous damage and suffering caused during this colonial rule, I would like to express once again our deep remorse and heartfelt apology,” Mr. Kan said in a statement, issued ahead of the Aug. 29 centenary of Japan’s annexation of Korea. The text largely repeated language Japan has used since the early 1990s in apologies to South Korea and other Asian victims of its military expansion in the early 20th century.

While the South Korean Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it accepted Mr. Kan’s apology, anger at Japan still runs deep across the region.

The abuses by Japan during its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula pale in comparison to its documented atrocities during World War II — including mass killings of civilians and human experimentation. Many Asians and Westerners urge Tokyo to come to terms with the past, and Japan continues to grapple with that legacy.

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