|Tokyo puts Ban on the spot over comments
Japan voiced irritation over comments by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who called on Tokyo to face up to the past and improve ties with neighbors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he doubted whether Ban was fully aware of the efforts Japan was making towards dialogue with China and South Korea.
Suga added that Tokyo would ask Ban to explain what he meant when he called for “very deep introspection''. By Japanese leaders
“Prime Minister [Shinzo Abe] has called for dialogue with South Korea and China despite issues of concern,'' Suga said. “I feel a strong sense of doubt as to whether the remark was made with full understanding of our country's position.''
Tokyo's relations with its neighbors have been regularly strained by the legacy of Japan's wartime aggression, as well as territorial disagreements.
Abe, who came to power in December, has not yet held summit talks with his counterparts in China and South Korea.
Speaking in Seoul, Ban on Monday called for “very deep introspection'' by Japanese leaders, especially with regard to moves in Japan to revise its pacifist constitution.
“I find it very regrettable that the tension [among the three northeast Asian countries] continues on due to issues of history and other political reasons,'' Ban said.
“We need determination by political leaders. Correct awareness about history is needed.''—AFP