S. Korea Wanted Stronger Apology by Japan Emperor in 1990: Records

Politics Society

Seoul, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Seoul came up with a policy in 1990 of calling on then Japanese Emperor Akihito to express a more specific and stronger apology over history than that offered by his father, the late Emperor Hirohito, according to declassified diplomatic records.

The policy on negotiations with Japan was drawn up in preparation for then South Korean President Roh Tae-woo's visit to Japan, which took place from May 24 to 26, 1990, the documents, released by the South Korean Foreign Ministry, showed Monday.

During a 1984 Japan visit by then South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, then Emperor Hirohito, posthumously called Emperor Showa, said it was very regrettable that there was an unfortunate past between the two countries at one point in the century and that this should never be repeated.

The South Korean government said in a document in April 1990 that people in South Korean were dissatisfied with the statement by Emperor Hirohito as it was ambiguous about to whom and for what he was apologizing.

A repetition of similar levels of apology would not meet the expectations of South Korean people, the document said, adding that any new apology by Japan's Emperor should clearly refer to the specific content of the unfortunate past and express remorse.

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