It is now a century since the great Kanto earthquake struck Japan on September 1, 1923.
On this occasion, public opinion is running high in Japan calling for the authorities to disclose the truth of the massacre of Koreans by the then Japanese imperialists and to acknowledge their past crimes.
Ex-Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama, who attended the mourning ceremony for the Korean victims, told reporters that “Not enough had been done during the government-launched investigation into the facts.”
He also stressed that “Avoiding the past will only deny the future. One must develop the will to apologize properly for its mistakes and Tokyo Province and Kanagawa Prefecture also have to take relevant responsibility.”
In a press conference, the Governor of Kanagawa said that it is necessary to look properly into the truth of the Korean massacre.
People from all walks of life including university professors, historians and lawyers denounced the attitude of the Japanese authorities asserting that the Korean massacre is an undeniable historical fact.
They pressed the government to look into its regretful history properly and immediately launch an investigation into the facts, though belatedly.
They also remarked that discrimination and history distortion still persist in Japan as they did a century ago.
Meanwhile, before and after September 1, forums, meetings, lectures and other various mourning ceremonies were held in several regions including Tokyo Province, Gumma Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, and Osaka City.
Videos, films and books based on the massacre of Koreans were produced and published.
In Tokyo Province, the Governor again stated that she would not send memorial writing to the mourning ceremony for Korean victims, which sparked a demonstration of students.
They paraded around the municipal building holding up slogans and fans inscribed with the letters “Don’t repeat the past!” and shouting “Tokyo Province should not deny the massacre!”.
Major media including Kyodo News and 《RKB Mainichi HOSO》 carried articles titled “Mourning ceremonies for Korean victims held in various regions, indelible history of massacre”, “Tokyo Provincial Governor encouraging those attempting to deny truth about Korean massacre” and “100 years since great Kanto earthquake, government’s intolerable distortion of facts”, and noted that the massacre of Koreans is an undeniable fact supported by numerous testimonies and historical evidences and that it is only natural to mourn the victims.