‘Japan is our partner’: Yoon vows to improve Seoul-Tokyo ties
In Liberation Day speech, president proposes economic assistance to North Korea in return for denuclearization
By Jung Min-ho
President Yoon Suk-yeol has pledged to improve relations with Japan, and South Korea will develop important shared values in a speech Monday marking the 77th anniversary of Japan’s liberation from 1910-45 colonial rule. He cited Japan as a partner that should cooperate in order to achieve this.
Mr. Yoon intends to adopt the spirit of his 1998 Joint Declaration between former President Kim Dae-jung, a well-respected figure among liberal voters, and former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi of Japan. He repeatedly stated that his perception of Japan has changed from a former enemy country to an enemy country. new friends.
“Once upon a time, in order to regain and defend our freedom, we had to break free from the political control imposed by the Empire of Japan. Japan is our partner,” Yoon said in his Liberation Day speech on the lawn of the presidential palace on Monday.
“As Japan-South Korea relations move forward toward a shared future and the mission adapts to the times based on shared universal values, it will also help resolve the historical issues that exist between the two countries.”
Freedom and human rights are among the shared values he mentioned, adding that South Korea and Japan, along with many others, should work together to achieve world peace and prosperity.
Based on mutual respect, the governments and people of both countries must contribute to the peace and prosperity of the international community through comprehensive cooperation in various fields, from economic and security cooperation to social and cultural exchanges. ‘ said.
His request for reconciliation follows a ruling by the Supreme Court of South Korea on whether to liquidate assets of Japanese companies in South Korea to compensate Korean victims of Japanese forced labor during the war. It’s coming when you’re ready.
This is one of the major concerns that stands in the way of that goal, along with Japan’s wartime sexual slavery. Yoon took office in May and promised to improve relations between Seoul and Tokyo, which had been at their worst since the agreement with Kim and Obuchi under the Moon Jae-in administration.
In his speech, Mr. Yoon paid tribute to those who fought for the country’s independence.They made sacrifices to build a democratic nation. “It’s not a totalitarian state where freedom and human rights are ignored,” he said in a clear reference to North Korea. and urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal. He said it would provide technology, food and other assistance to help.
In the final part of his speech, President Yoon said his government would restore financial stability in South Korea, moving away from the debt-driven economy of the COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening social safety nets for the most vulnerable. He said he would step up efforts to “Recent floods have caused enormous damage and suffering to our people. Low-income households and vulnerable groups are at greater risk when disasters occur.
We will provide targeted and targeted assistance,” Yoon said. “We will ease the financial burden on small business owners struggling with natural disasters such as COVID-19 and the recent floods.
Most importantly, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (DPK) said that Yoon limited the meaning of the country’s independence to a struggle for freedom, and that the troubled Seoul-Tokyo relationship had to be resolved. accused of failing to offer concrete solutions.
“As long as Japan’s past mistakes remain unresolved, the public will not approve of policies to improve relations between South Korea and Japan.” Cho O-seop, the party’s spokesman, said. “Freedom is an important constitutional value. However, I regret the limited interpretation of the meaning of the independence movement and the use of it to justify policy. The value of freedom emphasized by Yoon in his speech sounds hollow.
South Korea recently signaled a willingness to resolve complex issues with South Korea, suggesting it could be a breakthrough, a Blue House official told reporters. Attitudes, language and tone have changed: Japanese authorities used to refuse to meet South Korean officials, now they are willing to listen, talk and negotiate. It’s a different atmosphere,” he said.
Credit/Source : KOREATIMES
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