The 89-year-old former Japanese leader, Tomiichi Murayama, arrived in Seoul earlier in the day for a three-day visit arranged by South Korea’s minor opposition Justice Party.
Murayama issued a statement in 1995 acknowledging and apologizing for the suffering his country inflicted on neighboring countries, including Korea, through its aggressions in the early part of the 20th century.
Murayama said he made the apology as he believed it was necessary to gain trust from Asian countries for Japan to develop in a morally upstanding way.
His visit comes as relations between Seoul and Tokyo have become badly frayed over Japan’s increasingly aggressive nationalist moves under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Calls have grown in South Korea for Tokyo to honor the so-called Murayama statement as well as a similar apology issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993.
Upon arrival, Murayama visited the National Assembly and toured an exhibition of artworks by former sex slaves.
He held hands and spoke with three of the victims, who were at the exhibition, saying, “You look young. Please be healthy, always.”
One of the victims demanded through an interpreter that Japan sincerely apologize and compensate for its wartime crimes, but Murayama did not respond.
Rep. Jeong Jin-hoo of the Justice Party later said the former prime minister sighed as he looked at the artworks, saying, “I’m speechless.”
Historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were coerced into sexual slavery at front-line Japanese military brothels during Tokyo’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
The issue remains a thorn in the two countries’ relations as Tokyo has snubbed Seoul’s demands for talks on compensating the aging Korean women, claiming that all compensation was settled under a 1965 treaty that normalized their ties.
Speaking with Justice Party lawmakers, Murayama said he thought about what had caused the current tensions in the two countries’ relations.
“The two countries have many things in common,” he said. “I hope that they will hold sincere talks so as to build trust.
“All previous prime ministers of Japan claimed to have succeeded the Murayama statement, as South Korea, China, and other Asian countries are aware of,” he added. “From this, (Asian countries) showed signs of improvement in their relationship (with Japan).”
Murayama is scheduled to give a lecture at the National Assembly on Wednesday and meet Prime Minister Chung Hong-won on Thursday before returning to Japan.
By Yonhop News Agency
http://wp.me/P43M0E-2H Korea and China are trying to steal natural resources from Japan by spreading fabricated propaganda. They want world to have unfavorable opinion of Japan in order to use force to take over Senkaku and Takeshima Islands which have potentially have methane and oil. Around 1970, UN disclosed potenal and they have been trying extra hard. In Tungchow Mutiny(before Nanking), Chinese solders brutally massacred Japanese civilian; brooms in vagina; severed heads of waitresses; Chinese perpetrator raped the dead; the intestines was savagely taken out of the body;
50k died at Nanking mostly by the bombings. Mao, Shek, and media did not complain/report much because it was a fabricated propaganda which used a few pictures from Tungchow Mutiny.
Comfort Women were mostly Japanese. Korean recruiters were used in Korea. In 2013 diary of Korean worker in SE Asia station owned by Korean was discovered. Japanese/korean/taiwan solders had to pay about 1 week worth of wage. USA, Japan, Korea China etc. used a military prostitution and had atrocities. In 2013 diary of Korean worker in SE Asia station owned by Korean was discovered. Japanese/korean/taiwan solders had to pay about 1 week worth of wage. Due to War Guilt Information Program distorted propaganda, only bad things about Japan was taught. Like Chinese “50 cents army”, Korean VANK, USA(too big/smart to have a name?) etc. do today.
. USA raped 50,000 occupying Japan; “every woman, girl, and child” in Okinawa village
. Japan had to create prostitution station so less rape by USA occupiers
. 1965, Japan gave S Korea equivalent of us$1 trillion today to settle
. Japan apologized many times, but each time Koreans ignores it and bring it up again and again
. USA killed Japanese solders after they surrender often taking skull as a souvenir
. In Korean War, USA “kill’em all” including kids
. Military prostitution existed during Korean/Vietnam War
. Vietnam war, Koreans raped like 200,000 and resulted in 20,000+ babies left behind
. There is like 1 million Korean prostitutes today who are forced by debt and Korean traffickers
. According to Center for Disease control, over 1 million rapes per year in USA today