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S. Korean president urges Japan to face history honestly

English.news.cn   2013-05-09 14:13:33            

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Visiting South Korean President Park Geun-hye Wednesday urged Japan to face history honestly for the good of Northeast Asia.

"Those who are blind to the past cannot see the future," Park said in an address to the U.S. Congress, a day after meeting with President Barack Obama.

"This is obviously a problem for here and now. But the larger issue is about tomorrow," she said, adding "for where there is failure to acknowledge honestly what happened yesterday, there can be no tomorrow."

Besides territorial disputes, tensions have been simmering between South Korea and Japan after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made remarks defending his cabinet and parliamentarians' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 leading war criminals of the World War II.

Abe questioned the definition of "aggression," which he described as vague both academically and internationally, saying it depends on from which side one looks at the situation.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Park said "the Japanese have been opening past wounds and have been letting them fester, and this applies not only to Korea but also to other neighboring countries."

"This arrests our ability to really build momentum, so I hope that Japan reflects upon itself," she added.

Park noted that her country and Japan have a lot in common, and that there is need for the two to cooperate on such issues as economy and security.

Park arrived in New York on Sunday to begin her visit to the United States, her first overseas trip since taking office in February.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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