Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 5 News List

Seoul wants hero’s body traced


A South Korean minister yesterday urged Japan to cooperate in tracing the remains of a famed independence fighter executed 100 years ago, accusing the former colonial ruler of lying about the case. The call came ahead of a state rally and service on Thursday to commemorate the death of An Jung-geun.

An assassinated Hirobumi Ito, Korea’s first Japanese governor-general, in China’s northeastern city of Harbin in October 1909. He was executed at a Japanese prison in China on March 26, 1910.

“We urge Japan to change its position and take a sincere attitude,” Minister of Patriots’ and Veterans’ Affairs Kim Yang said, insisting Japan should have “definitive” records.

Japan has said it has no relevant information on An’s imprisonment or execution, but Kim said his office had found new Japanese records on the imprisonment of An and other independence fighters.

The records prove that Tokyo has been “lying about not possessing any documents related to martyr An,” Yonhap news agency quoted the minister as saying.

They show that An was executed a month after he was sentenced to death and that Japan rejected a request to return the body to his family, the minister said.

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