BBC News, 1 March 2005
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has asked Japan to apologise and consider paying compensation for its colonising of the Korean peninsula last century.
Japan has expressed regret for its actions before and during World War II, but Mr Roh said Japan should make a formal apology. "South Korea and Japan should be reborn as good neighbours," Mr Roh said.
Ties between the countries have warmed in recent years, but a new row over disputed islands has stirred tensions. "Japan must make the truth of the past known and offer sincere apologies and, if necessary, pay compensation. Only then can we be reconciled," said Mr Roh in a speech to mark the anniversary of a 1919 uprising against Japanese colonialists. "Japan should take a more positive attitude with a belief that before it is a legal issue, this is an issue of universal ethics in a human society and a matter of trust between neighbours," he said, indicating that Tokyo should follow the example of Germany.---------------------