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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 August 14 - 20  > Koike in Gwangbokjeol ceremony calls on Japanese and South Korean governments to hold talks in cool-headed manner
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2019 August 14 - 20 TOP3 [JCP]

Koike in Gwangbokjeol ceremony calls on Japanese and South Korean governments to hold talks in cool-headed manner

August 16, 2019

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on August 15 called on the Japanese and South Korean governments to hold talks in a cool-headed manner.

He made this call in his speech delivered in the Gwangbokjeol (return of the light) ceremony held by the the Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) in Tokyo to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Korean liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

Yuh Keun-ie, the chief of the Mindan Central Head Office, in his speech at the ceremony said that South Korea-Japan relations carry a crucial importance for Korean residents in Japan and stressed the need to make further efforts to strengthen mutual ties of friendship.

South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo read the text of President Moon’s Liberation Day speech.

Along with representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and the Komei Party, Koike spoke as a guest.

Koike said that under the difficult situation Japan-South Korean relations are currently facing, the Japanese government decided to remove South Korea from its “white list” of favoured trade partners. Criticizing the government for using trade issues as a means to solve political disputes, Koike said that the government should withdraw the removal decision which only works to worsen bilateral relations.

Koike then demanded that the two governments not widen the rift between them and instead find solutions by conducting negotiations in a calm manner.

Regarding the issue of wartime Korean forced laborers in Japan, Koike referred to the Japanese government’s argument that the issue was resolved with the conclusion of the 1965 Japan-ROK claims agreement. He said that despite the bilateral agreement, individual victims still have the right to claim for damages. He stressed that the governments and the top courts in Japan and South Korea both recognize this point. “The JCP has been proposing that the two governments establish dialogue based on this point and jointly work to settle the issue with a forward-looking approach,” Koike said.

Koike also pointed out that the most important thing is to restore the honor and dignity of victims, which was confirmed in the joint statement of the Japan-South Korea and South Korea-Japan parliamentarians’ unions which was adopted in the joint general meeting at the end of 2018. Koike added that the JCP will work hard to achieve this.

Furthermore, Koike cited the 1998 Japan-ROK partnership declaration stating that “Korean nationals residing in Japan could serve as a bridge for mutual exchanges and understanding between the peoples of Japan and the Republic of Korea.” Koike said that the JCP will continue to work in national and local legislative bodies to fulfill Korean residents’ demand for local suffrage and for the elimination of hate speech campaigns against them.

Past related article:
> JCP calls for withdrawal of Abe cabinet approval of expanding export trade controls against South Korea [August 3, 2019]
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