SEOUL, March 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday called for Japan's "responsible" attitude towards historical issues between the two countries, the first such call since she took office last week.
"The historic dynamic of one party being a perpetrator and the other party a victim will remain unchanged even after a thousand years have passed," Park said in a televised speech marking the independence movement on March 1, 1919, against Japan's 1910-45 colonial occupation.
"It is incumbent on Japan to have a correct understanding of history and take on an attitude of responsibility in order to partner with us in playing a leading role in East Asia in the 21st century," she said, adding only such recognition will enable "rock- solid trust" and "genuine" reconciliation between the two countries.
The remarks came as Seoul and Tokyo remain at odds over a number of historical issues, including territorial disputes over a set of islets lying halfway between the two Asian powerhouses.
Just a day ago, Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida renewed a claim over the islets, known as Dokdo here and Takeshima in Japan, calling South Korea's control of the rocky islands " unacceptable."
South Korea's foreign ministry immediately issued a statement expressing "deep regret" over the claim.
The two countries also repeatedly clash over the issue of Korean women forced by the Japanese army into sexual slavery during World War II, with Seoul demanding proper compensation and Japan dismissing the issues as resolved by a controversial 1965 treaty that normalized their relations.