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Japan demands retraction of ROK speaker’s remarks calling for apology from Emperor

Asahi, Yomiuri, and Sankei wrote that Prime Minister Abe said at a Lower House Budget Committee session on Tuesday that the GOJ has demanded that South Korea’s National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang retract his remark made last week to Bloomberg seeking a direct apology from Emperor Akihito to settle the bilateral dispute over the comfort women by saying that the remark were extremely inappropriate and deplorable. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told a regular news conference on Tuesday that Japan made the demand through diplomatic channels. Suga added that the ROK government responded by saying that although Moon made the remarks in the hope that bilateral ties between Japan and South Korea will be improved at an early date, the report did not reflect his “true intentions.” Suga also said that Japan has neither received an apology nor been informed of the retraction of the remarks.


Sankei wrote that Moon told South Korean journalists on Monday in Washington that his calling Emperor Akihito “the son of the main perpetrator of war crimes” was meant to “stress the importance of a sincere apology from a leader in a responsible position.” A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday that the ROK government is assuming that the remark was intended to stress the need for Japan to show a sincere attitude. Mainichi interpreted the spokesperson’s statement as defending the speaker.

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