SEOUL – South Korean President Lee Myung Bak knocked Japan for not addressing the sense of injustice still felt by Koreans over its colonial rule during Friday’s unprecedented visit to the Korean-controlled islets at the center of Japan’s latest territorial dispute, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, citing an official from the presidential office.
Lee drew sharp protests from Japan by visiting an islet cluster collectively known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan. The islets, which lie roughly halfway between the two countries, are also claimed by Tokyo.
“Japan should sincerely apologize because it started a bad war, but it has not done so. That’s why pent-up grievances are not resolved,” the official quoted Lee as saying, according to Yonhap.
“Germany has no such problems because it apologized sincerely after World War II,” Lee was quoted as saying.
Party raps Japan
South Korea’s ruling party hit back at Japan on Sunday in a bitter row over disputed islands, saying any move by Tokyo to take the issue to an international court would be unwise.
The South’s ruling New Frontier Party said any such move would be an act of “imprudence” and called on Japan to fully repent for its harsh colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
Hong Il Pyo, a party spokesman, said in a statement quoted by Yonhap news agency that Japan’s “preposterous” claim over Dokdo had stirred much anger.