Seoul: South Korea on Sunday marked the 100th
anniversary of Japan`s colonisation of the peninsula with a
commemoration ceremony and a silent march by academics from
the two nations.
Japan made Korea sign an annexation treaty on August 22,
1910, and it took effect a week later. The brutal 35-year
colonial rule, which ended with Japan`s World War II
surrender, still evokes bitter memories among older Koreans.
"August 29 is the day of humiliation when Imperial Japan
seized our national sovereignty 100 years ago and started
suppressing our people like we were slaves," said Kim
Young-Il, head of the Korean Liberation Association, which
represents 6,600 former independence fighters.
"We organised this rally... to remember this day 100
years ago and not to repeat the wrongs of history like that,"
Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying at a ceremony in
Seoul`s Tapgol Park.
About 1,000 people attended the event at the park, the
starting point of a 1919 uprising against the occupiers.
Japan ruthlessly suppressed resistance movements and
tried to eradicate Korean culture, even forcing people to
change their names.
Earlier this month, Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan
offered a new apology for colonial rule, expressing "deep
remorse" and "heartfelt apology".
South Korea called the apology a step forward and urged
Japan to show remorse through action, although ties have been
strained by Tokyo`s reasserted claims over a tiny chain of
Seoul-controlled islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).