July 02, 2013 11:57
President Park Geun-hye has no plan to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the time being, a senior diplomat in Seoul said Monday.
"Some people are saying Park should have a summit also with Abe following her summits with U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, but I understand that she isn't seriously thinking about a Seoul-Tokyo summit," the diplomat added.
The diplomat said Park is disappointed by the Abe administration's reluctance to face responsibility for the drafting of sex slaves for the Imperial Army in World War II and attempts to whitewash other wartime and colonial atrocities.
Park and Xi criticized Japanese revisionism during her visit to China last week. "An unstable situation continues in recent days in which confrontation and distrust between countries in the region are deepening due to history and related issues," they said in a joint statement after the summit.
Park asked China for its support to Seoul's plan to erect monuments at a railroad station in Harbin where Korean freedom fighter Ahn Jung-geun assassinated Japanese prime minister Hirobumi Ito in 1909, and in Xian, where Korean independence fighters were stationed.
When she met U.S. President Barack Obama in May, Park said Japan needs a "correct understanding of history" to ensure peace in Northeast Asia.
In January, Park met a special envoy sent by Abe when she was still president-elect. At the time, she stressed the need to build trust between Seoul and Tokyo but was critical of the Abe administration's attempts to take back a 1994 apology for Japan's colonial rule and aggression known as the Murayama Statement.
On a visit to Brunei to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and urged Japan to stop distorting history. "Unless they are handled carefully, historical issues can end up hurting the spirit of an individual or a nation."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com