Totally different attitudes towards settlement of pastJuly 29, 2023
The aspiration and tide of humanity towards a new era grow stronger continuously. But it never means breaking with the past.
On July 1 the king of the Netherlands apologized for the fact that his country had engaged in slavery in the past. In an event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of slavery abolishment, he said that the slave trade and slavery are recognized as anti-humanitarian crimes and the successive kings and rulers of the Netherlands had made no relevant soul-searching, and that he directly asked for forgiveness as the king of the country and a member of the government.
In 2022 the country’s premier, on behalf of the government, formally apologized for that fact that it had approved slavery for 250 years in the past.
A few years ago, too, the Netherlands restituted historical relics which it had plundered from Indonesia during its occupation of the country. It is said that the restituted 1500 pieces of relics, including primitive axe and ceramics, are of importance in archaeology and geography.
In recent years alone the international community continues to strive to completely atone for the past criminal history.
Germany honestly apologizes for its part crimes on every possible occasion.
A country, however, goes against the trend of the times and denies its past crimes persistently.
During their occupation of Korea from 1905 to 1945, the Japanese imperialists cooked up such evil laws as the “law on national mobilization”, “national personal service drafting law” and “revised national personal service drafting law” to forcibly draft and kidnap over 8.4 million young and middle-aged Koreans and forced them into mediaeval slave labour and abducted 200 000 Korean women to reduce them to sexual slaves.
Saying that “Koreans should obey the Japanese law or die”, the Japanese imperialists brutally slaughtered Koreans by mobilizing army and police and plundered numerous resources and cultural relics of Korea.
Innumerable are the crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists during their occupation of Korea.
Nevertheless, the Japanese reactionaries deny the facts of their crimes, far from honestly acknowledging and apologizing for their past crimes. They distort the facts, saying that “Koreans requested” their invasion and colonial rule and they “did good things a lot in Korea”, and they even disguised themselves as “victims” before the international community demanding the settlement of their past.
Japan tries to justify its crimes during its occupation of Korea among its people and new generations and implant distorted views on history and territory in them.
Moreover, it tries hard to conceal even the sex slavery for the Japanese imperial army, branded as A-class unethical crime by the world, behind the curtain of history, clamouring for the removal of the girl statues dedicated to the memory of sex slaves built in different parts of the world. And putting the sites for forced labour of Koreans on the list of world cultural heritage, it presented to the relevant international organization a report denying its crime of forcing Koreans into labour.
The past criminal history is not erased even if it is denied. The harder Japan tries to conceal it, the more serious the crimes grow.
Its settlement of the past crimes is the unanimous demand of the international community and pure reason of history.
A bright future cannot be expected with historical mistakes.
If Japan continues to reject the demand of the times for the settlement of its past, it will only be on the road to ruin.
THE PYONGYANG TIMES