Park ‘disappoints’ Tokyo
The government is “extremely disappointed” that South Korean President Park Geun-hye sees no point in a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters said yesterday. The comments come after Park said during a BBC interview that a sit-down would get the two sides nowhere while Tokyo refuses to apologize for “past wrongdoings.” Abuses carried out during Japan’s repressive 1910 to 1945 colonial rule remain a source of deep anger and resentment in South Korea, particularly the treatment of women forced to work as “comfort women” in wartime military brothels. “Japan has been explaining to the South Korean side our position over past issues such as perceptions on history and comfort women, and we’ve asked them to accept it,” Kato said.
Leung seeks Manila apology
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英) threatened sanctions against the Philippines yesterday over a row involving the deaths of its tourists in a 2010 hostage crisis in Manila. The government is demanding a formal apology for the incident, which saw eight of its citizens killed and seven others wounded after negotiations broke down between Philippine authorities and a former police officer who hijacked a tour bus. “Unless, within a month, there are concrete steps taken to resolve this issue, the government will take necessary actions to apply sanctions,” Leung told reporters yesterday. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has refused to make an apology on behalf of Manila, insisting the deaths were primarily caused by the actions of the hostage-taker. Manila has offered compensation of US$75,000 to each family of the deceased and up to US$150,000 to those injured, media reports said, but the families say the amount was too low.
Talks to name PM halted
The ruling Ennahda Movement and opposition parties suspended talks on Monday over forming a caretaker government to end a national crisis after they failed to agree on a new prime minister. It was not clear when negotiations would restart. The government has already agreed to step down later this month to make way for a temporary administration that will govern until elections, but the two sides remain deeply split over details of their agreement. General Labor Union secretary-general Hussein Abassi said the union, which brokered the talks, may propose candidates if the parties fail to reach agreement.
Hackers march on parliament
About 100 masked members of the hacking group Anonymous Philippines marched on parliament yesterday, denouncing corruption and pledging more cyberattacks, a week after 30 government Web sites were paralysed. The hackers, wearing Guy Fawkes masks, faced off with dozens of riot police outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City, blocking the road and bringing traffic to a standstill for about an hour. “We are here today to press for a new system of government,” one of the leaders said. “We are everyone and anyone. We will not go away and we will continue with our activities.” Mostly dressed in black, the hackers chanted anti-government slogans and held placards that read: “The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic, join us.” The government has said it will prosecute members of the group, but has conceded it is yet to determine their identities.