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FM Stresses Importance of 'Message' Regarding Criticism of Yoon's Mention of Japanese Scholar

Written: 2023-03-21 17:39:30Updated: 2023-03-22 01:24:54

FM Stresses Importance of 'Message' Regarding Criticism of Yoon's Mention of Japanese Scholar

Photo : YONHAP News

Foreign minister Park Jin has responded to criticism of President Yoon Suk Yeol citing a Japanese scholar during his speech at Keio University in Tokyo by saying that what matters is the essence of the message.

In a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday, Park was asked by main opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Park Jeung on whether Yoon knew about Okakura Tenshin's background as a Meiji era philosopher who preached on Japan's justified invasion of Korea.

Speaking at the university on Friday, Yoon mentioned Tenshin's emphasis on courage and proposed that the two countries muster up courage to forge a better future. The opposition slammed Yoon for citing the very person who claimed that Joseon was originally Japanese territory.

Regarding the controversy, minister Park said what matters is the message about courage which President Yoon hoped to deliver to Japanese students.

The lawmaker further pressed Park, questioning him that if  Ito Hirobumi, the first resident governor of Korea under Japanese colonial rule, spoke of such a message of courage and hope, would his remarks be quoted as well, to which Park refrained from a direct response and promised to make better preparations next time.

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