Many countries have made an apology for and reflected on their wrongdoings of the past.
This year, Britain returned cultural relics to Ethiopia and Germany made an official apology for the slaughter of civilians by a Nazi unit in Italy. Recently, France returned cultural heritage which it plundered in Senegal in the 19th century.
This is an expression of the will of those countries not to commit the crimes again and a reflection of international trend to promote reconciliation and new development of relations among countries through the atonement for the past.
But there is a shameless country on the globe, swimming against this trend. It is just Japan.
Japan still refuses to admit and make an apology and reparation for the monstrous crimes it had committed against the Korean people, other peoples of Asian countries and mankind.
Its past history is a crime-woven history of aggression, war, plunder and massacre.
In particular, it robbed Korea of its sovereign rights and plundered and destroyed huge amounts of natural resources and priceless cultural assets early in the last century. Its crimes are the worst ever known in history.
Japan's plunder of cultural assets started before its occupation of Korea and came to a climax during its over four-decade-long colonial fascist rule.
During the occupation of Korea, the Japanese imperialists took to Japan valuable relics which the Korean people created and preserved for thousands of years and destroyed what it could not carry away. They blew up the Mausoleum of King Kyonghyo (31st king of Koryo) in Kaesong and robbed relics equivalent to over ten oxcarts.
At present, displayed in the Ueno Museum in Tokyo are hundreds of cultural assets of Korea which Hirobumi Ito, the first resident-general of Korea, had taken to Japan.
Displayed or kept in the Tokyo National Museum, big and small museums, universities and temples are the cultural relics of Korea such as ceramics, metal craftworks, mother-of-pearl craftworks, Buddhist statues, drawings, books and printing types. The number of the cultural relics of Korea added to those under private ownership is hundreds of thousands of pieces.
The plunder of the cultural assets of Korea by the Japanese imperialists is not a mere property plunder by individuals but a hideous state-sponsored crime designed to completely obliterate the Korean nation by dint of the government power and the military power and an unpardonable international crime contrary to international laws.
Over 70 years have passed since Japan's defeat. But it has no an iota of consciousness over the horrible atrocities, including plunder of cultural relics and is totally denying and whitewashing them.
Not content with this, it is running amuck to revive militarism with a revanchist ambition for reinvasion.
Its attempt to flee from the responsibility for its foul past is further exciting the anti-Japanese sentiments of the Korean people and mankind living with sore affliction and scars.
Japan should stop the foolish act of challenging the current of the times and history and immediately atone for its past.