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Yoon's firm stance against Japan's distortion of history remains unchanged: spokesperson

All News 15:14 March 31, 2022

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's firm stance against Japan's distortion of history remains unchanged, his spokesperson said Thursday, following criticism he failed to condemn Japan's recent whitewashing in school textbooks.

Kim Eun-hye issued the statement as the ruling Democratic Party has attacked Yoon for failing to condemn the new high school textbooks, which contain expressions such as "mobilization" or "conscription" in place of "forced mobilization" to refer to Koreans forced to work at Japan's mines and industrial facilities during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

"President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has said repeatedly since he was a candidate that although he wishes for a developmental relationship between South Korea and Japan, it must be premised on a correct perception of history and thorough remorse for the past," she said. "He will continue to respond firmly to any historical distortion."

Kim went on to explain that the reason Yoon has refrained from commenting on the textbooks is that Japan's current diplomatic counterpart is the government of President Moon Jae-in, and he decided it would be "moral" as the president-elect to first respect the government's position on specific diplomatic issues.

She expressed regret the ruling party appears to be exploiting diplomatic issues for domestic politics.

"Please do not overstep the boundary," Kim said. "I respectfully request your cooperation from a position of putting the national interest first."

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (R) poses with Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koichi Aiboshi during their meeting at the presidential transition committee's office in Seoul on March 28, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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