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Some 400 South Korean residents of Japan staged a rally Friday in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office to protest Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s assertion that the Korean people “chose” to be annexed by Japan in 1910.

Members of the Tokyo chapter of the pro-Seoul Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) reiterated their calls for Ishihara to retract his remarks and apologize.

A Mindan member handed the governor’s secretary a written protest that said, “It is a historical fact that (Japan) forcibly annexed (the Korean Peninsula) with military threat.”

The document said that Ishihara’s frequent problematic remarks pose a threat to peace and stability in East Asia.

On Oct. 28, Ishihara told a gathering in Tokyo, “The annexation was made with an agreement of the nations worldwide and (the Korean people) had to choose between Russia, Shina (China) or Japan, and they decided to seek help from (the Japanese), who had the same facial color as their own.”

“Shina” is a Japanese word referring to China that was often used as a derogatory term before and during World War II.

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