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Joint civic body to deal with Korea-Japan conflicts

Civic groups have for the first time joined to form a permanent consultative body to urge Japan to solve ongoing conflicts and apologize for its annexation of Korea a century ago.

Next Friday, some 20 Japan-related civic groups here will launch the Korea-Japan Citizens’ Consultative Body, a consolidated body to request that Japan settle historical conflicts, according to the Institution for Research in Collaborationist Activities on Wednesday.

The groups include Dokdo Safeguard and the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Service by Japan, which are involved in major ongoing issues between the two countries.

The corresponding civic groups established a committee of group action last year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of the Korean Peninsula in 1910.

The temporary committee, after its year-long campaign promotion, was dissolved last December to be reorganized into this permanent body with a pledge to deliver a constant voice to the Japanese government.

The first official project to be led by the consultative body is fundraising for the quake-stricken Japanese citizens, according to the IRCA.

“We shall deliver the funds directly to the quake victims, via our counterpart in Japan, as the Japanese government does not deserve them,” said an IRCA official.

By this, he referred to the Japanese government’s recent decision to approve new history textbooks which claim territorial sovereignty over the disputed Dokdo islets in the East Sea.

The announcement once again sparked e Korean people’s animosity toward Japan, as it came amid rising sympathy for Japanese suffering in the aftermath of the March 11 devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

“The consolidated body will mainly involve itself in elucidating the unsolved historical matters with Japan, but it will also make efforts to improve the peaceful relationship of the two neighboring countries,” the official said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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