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Facing up to century-long history of knotty ties with Korea

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A declaration was adopted in Tokyo on Feb. 8 a century ago by a group of young Koreans, whose country was under Japan’s colonial rule. The document, known as the “Feb. 8 Declaration,” called for Korea’s independence.

The youths who gathered for the event were detained by police, who rushed to the spot. The actions of those young people that day triggered Korea’s largest independence campaign the following month, remembered as the March 1 Movement, across the peninsula, which, in turn, inspired a popular movement in China.

The declaration refers to a deep thirst for ethnic self-determination. It says Japan’s 1910 annexation of Korea was not based on the will of the Koreans and stated, “Our people ... will definitely contribute to world peace and humankind’s culture when they have built a new nation.”

During postwar diplomatic normalization talks........

© The Asahi Shimbun