S. Korea: Japan must educate people on colonial past
NEW YORK (AP) - South Korea's foreign minister said on Thursday that Japan's wartime past will overshadow relations between the two staunch United States (US) allies until Japan educates its people about crimes committed during colonial rule.
In an interview with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan said: "We are victims of Japanese colonial rule." Mr Kim, speaking a few hours before "serious" talks with Japan's foreign minister, also said South Korea would not compromise in its dispute over the tiny Dokdo islands, called Takeshima by Japan, which has further strained ties.
"When the Japanese government claims Dokdo is their territory, Korean people (take) it as another attempt to invade our country," Mr Kim said. "So that's the Korean sentiment and I hope that the Japanese government understands this."
But he said South Korea recognises its shared interests with fellow-democracy Japan, such as coping with North Korea and its nuclear ambitions. Both Japan and South Korea play host to tens of thousands of US troops.