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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Statement by the Spokesperson of the ROK Government on Japanese Prime Minister Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine

ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Date 2013.12.26

1. The government of the Republic of Korea cannot help but deplore and feel anger over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit on Thursday, December 26, to the Yasukuni Shrine, which glorifies Japan's history of colonial rule and war of aggression and enshrines war criminals despite continued concerns and warnings by neighboring countries and the international community.

2. The Yasukuni Shrine is an ahistorical facility which enshrines war criminals who cannot be forgiven, including Hideki Tojo, who brought the horrors of war to East Asia, and Kuniaki Koiso, who, as Japanese Governor-General of Korea, inflicted immeasurable suffering and loss on Koreans through various methods of exploitation, including conscription, forced labor and extortion.

3. Prime Minister Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine clearly shows his wrong perception of history. It is an anachronistic act that fundamentally undermines not only the ROK-Japan relations but also stability and cooperation in Northeast Asia.

4. Prime Minister has said that he would contribute to the international community in the name of the so-called 'active pacifism.' However, the ROK government cannot help but ask back if he really thinks that he could contribute to promoting peace with such a wrong view of history.

5. If Japan truly wants to actively contribute to world peace, it is most important for the country to build trust by feeling deep remorse and apologizing to the governments and people of neighboring countries which suffered pain during Japan's militaristic aggression and colonial rule, while getting rid of a wrong view of history that denies its history and glorifies aggression and facing up to history.

*unofficial translation

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