South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday vowed to achieve the unification of the Korean Peninsula by 2045, a century after the end of World War II.
In a speech to mark the 74th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945, Moon also said that South Korea would “gladly join” hands with its former colonial ruler to defuse an escalating trade dispute whose roots lie in the nations’ wartime history.
In Tokyo, Japanese Emperor Naruhito voiced “deep remorse” over the nation’s wartime actions, echoing the language used by his father, Akihito.
“Looking back on the long period of postwar peace, reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated,” he said.
Moon called on Pyongyang and Washington to arrange a fourth summit between the leaders “at the earliest possible date.”
“This will probably constitute the most critical juncture in the entire process of achieving denuclearization and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said in a speech in Cheonan. “Now is the time for both Koreas and the United States to focus on resuming working-level negotiations ... at the earliest possible date.”
Denuclearization and greater economic cooperation with North Korea would lay the foundations for lasting peace on the peninsula, he said, vowing to realize unification by 2045 and to host a joint Seoul-Pyongyang Olympics in 2032.
“A new Korean Peninsula — one that will bring peace and prosperity to itself, East Asia and the world — awaits us,” he said.
Moon was speaking soon after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual cash offering to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors 2.5 million Japanese killed in war, including 14 World War II-era leaders convicted as war criminals.
Abe has visited Yasukuni only once since becoming prime minister in 2012, but has sent ritual offerings during seasonal festivals and the anniversary of Japan’s wartime surrender on Aug. 15.
Relations between Seoul and Tokyo have deteriorated since South Korean court rulings calling on Japanese companies to compensate South Koreans conscripted as forced laborers during the war.
Moon called on Japan to “contemplate” its wartime past, but added: “We hope that Japan will play a leading role together in facilitating peace and prosperity in East Asia while it contemplates a past that brought misfortune to its neighboring countries.”
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),
SMOOTHER TRANSIT: Japan Airlines reportedly planned to land the flight at Haneda Airport, but changed it to Narita for direct flights to Taiwan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Japan for allowing 94 Taiwanese on a chartered plane evacuating others stranded in Russia, where COVID-19 cases are rising and many international flights have been canceled. Ninety-four Taiwanese exchange students and expats, as well as two Russian spouses, arrived at Narita International Airport in Japan yesterday morning on a charter flight operated by Japan Airlines, before taking a transfer flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last night, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. As of press time last night, Russia had reported more than 362,000 cases of COVID-19, including more than 3,800 deaths. The government had