Foreign politicians, envoys call on Japan to apologize for past wrongdoingsUpdated: 2014-02-05 PM 10:08:32 (KST)
Politicians and envoys from countries far and wide have been taking Japan to task for its renewed glorification or attempted whitewashing of its past wrongdoings.
Influential figures from nations including the United States and Britain have called on Tokyo to issue a clear and frank apology for its wartime atrocities.
They specifically want Japan to apologize for its military's wartime use of sex slaves and for Japanese lawmakers' continued visits to a war shrine that honors several Class-A war criminals.
A congressman from California, Mike Honda, recently sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to pay closer attention to the issue of the so-called "comfort women" who were forced to provide sexual services to Japanese troops during World War Two.
Honda has consistently pushed for Japan to apologize, calling it a human rights matter, not something that should just be consigned to history.
In his letter to Kerry, Honda calls on him to encourage Tokyo to apologize to the sex slave victims, who are thought to have numbered as many 200-thousand, with many of those from Korea.
The letter also points out that more and more are passing away, in a reminder that time is limited for the remaining survivors to receive their long-delayed apology.
He said that, although some believe Japan has already issued an apology, it is clear the Japanese government has not done enough to apologize to the victims.
The British ambassador to Japan, Tim Hitchens, also urged Japan this week to admit its historical wrongdoings and to improve its relations with its neighbors.
At a conference in Tokyo Monday, Hitchens indirectly asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine again, saying the best way for Japan to correct its historical mistakes is to admit what it did wrong.
Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine in December last year, marking the first time in seven years that a sitting Japanese prime minister has visited the shrine.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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