Skip to main content

Japan apologizes for colonial rule of Korea

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, pictured, speaks at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-Hwan in Seoul on Thursday.
Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, pictured, speaks at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-Hwan in Seoul on Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada apologizes to S. Korea for Japan's rule over Korea
  • He calls period from 1910 to 1945 when Japan ruled over Korea a "tragic incident"
  • Japan's military accused of using women, mainly from Korea and China, as sex slaves
  • In 2001, then-PM Junichiro Koizumi acknowledged damage inflicted by Japan's military
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Thursday apologized to South Korea for the more than three decades when Japan ruled over Korea, calling the time a "tragic incident."

Okada made the rare apology during a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, Korean state-run media reported.

"I believe it was a tragic incident for Koreans when they were deprived of their nation and their identity," Okada said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

"I can fully understand the feelings of (Koreans) who were deprived of their identity and nation. I believe we must never forget the victims," he added.

Japan controlled Korea from 1910 to 1945. During that time, Japan's military is accused of forcing about 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, to serve as sex slaves. They were known as "comfort women" for soldiers in Japan's Imperial Army.

There have been street protests and lawsuits in that past in South Korea over the sufferings of the comfort women.

At least one other Japanese leader has apologized for the era.

In 2001, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi acknowledged the "enormous damage" inflicted by Japan's military "by colonization and invasion."

 
Quick Job Search