Japan-South Korea relations

South Korean lawmakers to adopt resolution condemning Abe’s ‘shameless behaviour’

In rare show of unity, South Korea's National Assembly moves to denounce Japanese PM's visit to controversial war shrine

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 4:24pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 4:32pm

South Korean lawmakers are expected to adopt a resolution next Monday condemning Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for visiting a controversial war shrine, local media reported.

On Friday, leading members of Korea’s National Assembly urged the adoption of a resolution to denounce Abe for his visit on Thursday to the Yasukuni shrine, which honours more than 2.4 million war dead, said the Yonhap News Agency.

“We cannot help but condemn the Abe administration, which, instead of repenting for the past brutalities committed in neighbouring countries by militaristic Japan, openly reveres war criminals,” said Kim Han-gil, the chairman of the opposition Democratic Party.

“Abe’s visit to the shrine is anachronistic, shameless behaviour that upsets peace and coexistence in East Asia,” Kim added.

In a rare show of political unity, ruling and opposition lawmakers are expected to adopt the resolution on December 30 during the National Assembly’s plenary session.

The proposed resolution is part of Seoul’s strong reaction to Abe’s visit to the shrine, a diplomatic sore spot for years.

Seoul has already called his move deplorable and damaging to regional relations.

“We can't help deploring and expressing anger at the prime minister's visit,” said Yoo Jin-ryong, Seoul’s culture minister.

“Abe needs to face up to the fact that his anachronistic shift to the right and the revival of militarism will have much greater losses than gains,” added Choi Kyung-hwan, the floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party.