September 21, 2015 10:24
Japan's Foreign Ministry revamped a section on its Internet website explaining the country's major historical milestones and deleted all references to its occupation of Korea.
Instead, the ministry claims that Tokyo has apologized for past atrocities and compensated governments and individuals for the damage caused by imperial Japan.
The revamp comes after the island country's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, where he pledged to forswear colonial rule forever.
The new website was unveiled on Saturday and also claims that women, mostly Korean, who were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II, had been legally compensated, and Tokyo "cooperated fully" from a humanitarian perspective with efforts to aid them, including establishing a fund.
The ministry is referring to the Asian Women's Fund, which was in fact set by up private Japanese citizens in 1994 to compensate former sex slaves in Korea and other Asian countries after Tokyo refused to take responsibility.
The victims have refused any aid from the private fund as long as the Japanese government refuses to take responsibility and apologizes.
The ministry said Japanese governments have "consistently held a stance of deep reflection and repentance" for the colonial and wartime atrocities, and now insists that future generations that played no role in them must not be forced to apologize in the future.
The ministry also claims that Germany compensated individual victims of Nazi atrocities only because the country was divided during the Cold War and could not approach the issue as a single government. Therefore comparisons between the two countries' glaringly different approach to their wartime guilt would not be valid.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com