Japan destined to settle its crime-ridden past

On July 3, France returned the remains of 24 Algerian fighters, who were arrested and shot dead by the French army during their armed struggle for winning back the independence of the country in the period of France’s colonial rule over Algeria.

French President Emmanuel Macron laid a wreath at the tombstone for the Algerians, who had fallen in the war of independence, during his visit to Algeria in 2017. In September 2018, he admitted for the first time that an Algerian who had been captured by the French troops in 1957, when Algeria was engaged in the war of independence, was tortured and killed by them, before expressing an apology to the bereaved family of the victim.

He said on a public occasion in December last year that colonialism was a crucial mistake.

The earnest efforts of France to break with its past wrongdoings are earning sympathy from the international community.

Contrary to these efforts, Japan which committed class-A unethical crimes in the past is working hard to justify its sinful past by employing quite vulgar and base means.

Last century, the Japanese militarists occupied Korea by force of arms and enforced colonial rule over it for more than four decades.

In the period, they killed over one million Koreans, forcibly drafted more than 8.4 million young and middle-aged people and reduced some 200 000 Korean women to sexual slaves for their imperial army.

Far from making an apology and reparations, Japan is denying their past crimes, while whitewashing them.

The Japanese authorities, who have been going on with group visit to the Yasukuni Shrine every year despite the opposition and rejection from the international community, sent an offering to the shrine last May, too.

They also approved the textbooks for middle schools which marked Tok Islets as part of their territory and cancelled or totally distorted their past crimes including forcible drafting of Koreans and sexual slavery.

Past crimes can never be erased by fabrication and rejection, and Japan is destined to settle its past crimes.

The country will never be able to win support and sympathy unless it makes a sincere apology and soul-searching for the past crimes.

By Choe Yong Nam PT