|A bust of Ahn Jung-geun at his memorial hall in Harbin, China. (Yonhap News)|
China opened a memorial hall on Sunday honoring a Korean independence fighter who assassinated a prominent Japanese colonial leader in 1909, Seoul’s foreign ministry said.
In October 1909, Ahn Jung-geun shot to death Hirobumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea, in Harbin, China. A year later, he was executed at a Japanese prison in the northern Chinese city of Ryojun, now called Lushun.
The assassination by Ahn occurred prior to the beginning of Japan’s brutal 36-year colonial rule of Korea from 1910.
On Sunday, the Chinese government held a ceremony marking the opening of the 200-square-meter hall in Harbin Station that displayed diverse historical data on the incident, including Ahn’s picture and relevant documents, according to the Seoul ministry.
South Korea and China have been working to set up a monument in Harbin to commemorate the revered fighter, particularly after the issue was discussed during last year’s summit talks.
“The South Korean government welcomes and hails the opening of the memorial hall honoring the independence fighter,” a ministry official said.
Japan has yet to respond, though its Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga criticized the move back in November and referred to Ahn as a “criminal.” (Yonhap News)