July 30, 2015 10:38
A group of 524 international scholars led by the U.S. linguist Noam Chomsky, Japanese historian Wada Haruki and Korean poet Ko Un in a statement Wednesday slammed the Japanese government for attempts to whitewash its colonial and World War II atrocities.
In a press conference in downtown Seoul on Wednesday, they accused the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of trying to "reverse" efforts by Japan to repent for the colonization of its Asian neighbors during World War II.
"I believe that peace in Northeast Asia can be attained when the people who suffered under Japan's colonial rule can finally be freed from the past," Wada told reporters. "Japan also understands the significance of clearly settling issues of history."
Lee Jang-hie of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies said, "We have looked at the positive progress made by Japan through the  Kono Statement, Murayama Statement [in 1995] and the summit between former President Kim Dae-jung and Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi [in 1998], but since Prime Minister Abe came into office, the progress made by his predecessors has been halted and the situation worsened."
Thirty-seven scholars from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Switzerland and Australia also signed the statement, in addition to 382 Korean and 105 Japanese academics.
They said Abe’s revisionism is ultimately a "delusion."
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