I was tremendously interested in the Jan. 21 article “Korean who assassinated Japan’s first leader honored” and a related article on Jan. 23, because I had a chance to visit the place where Hirobumi Ito was shot at Harbin railway station (1909). The places where Ito was standing and where Ahn Jung Geun shot him are marked.

Japan must recognize what it did in northern China and on the Korean Peninsula during colonization. I have visited both South Korea and China for a limited time and found out for myself how terrible Japan’s colonization was!

The problem is that Japan has its own historical perceptions and China and South Korea have theirs. Each has its own attitude toward history itself. What these three countries need to do is look at the history from another perspective. Japan must know of the hardships it caused Chinese and Koreans in the process of forcing them to be the Japanese Emperor’s subjects.

I honestly hope that China, South Korea and Japan’s leaders can reconcile. We cannot go back to days gone by. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, if he is thoughtful, will not make Japan’s senpai countries angry or irritate them psychologically.

masayuki aihara

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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