S. Korea's Park Stresses Future With Japan, MPs Focus On Past


S. Korea's Park stresses future with Japan, MPs focus on past

SEOUL,(APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Augst,2016) - South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Monday called for a "future-oriented" relationship with Japan, even as a group of Seoul lawmakers dredged up a long-running territorial dispute by visiting some islets claimed by Tokyo. The visit by 10 MPs to the South Korean-controlled Dokdo islets in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) drew an angry response from the Japanese government which called the trip "extremely regrettable." The row over the islets -- which are called Takeshima in Japanese -- is one of a number of bitter disputes that have tainted relations between Seoul and Tokyo for decades. But both countries managed to turn a major corner last December when they reached a "final and irreversible" agreement on one of the most emotive issues -- the so-called "comfort women" forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels.

In a speech to mark the 71st anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule over the Korean peninsula, Park stressed the need to look forward. "We should newly define relations with Japan to forge future-oriented ties," Park said in her televised address. Her remarks coincided with the lawmakers' visit to Dokdo where they met South Korean security personnel based on the islets. A surprise trip to Dokdo in 2012 by then-South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak had triggered a spike in tensions with Japan, and Monday's visit was also sharply criticised by Tokyo.