Official of Japanfs Ruling Party Comes Under Fire for Remarks on Japanfs
Colonial Rule in Korea
Taro, chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of
Japan, drew protests from the governments of North and South Korea and Koreans
at home and abroad when he said on May 31 at a lecture held on May 31 that the
1939 decree forcing Korean people to adopt Japanese names gstemmed from Korean
requests for surnames.h He apologized on June 2 for infuriating Koreans by
claiming they voluntarily adopted Japanese names during Japanese colonial rule.
But Aso did not retract his previous statement, saying that there are gvarious
viewsh in both Japan and Korea.
top-level official of Japanfs ruling party glet loose preposterous remarks
over the policy pursued by Japan during its military occupation of Korea under
which it forced the Koreans to change their names into Japanese ones,h the
KCNA reported. Reportedly he claimed that the policy was enforced because
Koreans asked Japan to name them in Japanese, adding that Japanese taught
Koreans the Korean alphabet, that it is Japan that enforced a compulsory
educational system and that it would be better to have a correct understanding
KCNA also said that Asofs remarks were gan intolerable mockery of the Korean
nation as they laid bare Japanfs impudence of flatly denying its past crimes
committed against the Koreans.h The policy of forcing Koreans to change their
names into Japanese ones, called gSousi Kaimeih in Japanese, was gpart of
Japanfs colonial policy to exterminate the Korean nation and assimilate its
members to Japanese and thus convert Koreans into Japanese subjects,h it
the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, condemned the LDP senior
officialfs remarks, saying that his remarks were an gimpudent distortion of
undeniable historical factsh and gintolerable provocative remarks against
the Korean nation.h In a comment issued on June 2, Jo Ryong Hyon,
vice-chairman of Chongryun and chairman of gthe Committee for Protecting
National Identityh urged Aso to retract his statement and sincerely apologize
to Koreans, expressing his concern that his remarks reflected a strong anti-DPRK
public opinion and atmosphere prevailing in Japan.
of the DPRK dismissed his remarks as ga gross distortion of historical facth
and gan unpardonable challenge to the Korean nationh as it infringes upon
and gravely debases its dignity.
Sinmun in a signed commentary on June 6 said that the Japanese imperialists had
enforced that policy as part of their policy to gmake Koreans imperial
subjectsh and his claim that the policy was enforced at the request of Koreans
is ga gross distortion and denial of historical facts and a revelation of
Japanfs intention to repeat its past aggression.h Minju Joson also warned
that such politicians as Aso had better be careful about their words and deeds,
mindful that they will have to pay a very high price for their reckless remarks.
political figures of Japan are hell-bent on creating a favorable atmosphere in a
bid to justify the history of blood-stained aggression, avoid the responsibility
for their past crimes and realize their long-cherished ambition for reinvasion
of Korea,h said a spokesman of the DPRK Measure Committee for Demanding
Compensation to Comfort Women for the Japanese Army and the Victims of Forcible
would be well advised to liquidate its criminal past and take the road of peace
and stability of Asia, not the road of becoming a military power, mindful of the
bitter lessons of the last century,h the spokesman added.
1939, Japan worked out and promulgated a law on disallowing the Koreans to go by
their peculiar Korean names and changing them into Japanese ones and carried it
out at the point of the bayonet. Japan forcibly took Koreans to gconsultation
offices for changing namesh and did not allow the children whose parents did
not change their names to enter schools at all levels or continue their studies
a higher level and get jobs but drafted them for compulsory labor of various
forms, labor conscription and gpatriotic corps.h
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