- Title: S.Koreans protest Japan's Abe on Liberation Day, demand wartime apology
- Date: 15th August 2019
- Summary: PROTESTERS HOLDING "NO ABE" SIGNS AND CHANTING (Korean): "CONDEMN ECONOMIC PLUNDER" AND "CONDEMN THREAT OF PEACE"
- Embargoed: 29th August 2019 13:58
- Keywords: South Korea independence Liberation Day rally vigil Japan forced labour Mitsubishi
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA005ASBUDS7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: South Koreans held a vigil against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday (August 15) in downtown Seoul calling for an apology and compensation from Japan for its "wartime crimes".
The rally came as the country was commemorating the 74th anniversary of Korea's independence from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
The vigil organiser said about a hundred thousand people were gathered to denounce Abe for his government's decision to impose curbs on exports of some high-tech materials to South Korea, a move they call retaliation over a feud about wartime forced labour.
One of the victims of forced labour, now 90-year-old, took part in the rally and said she wanted an apology "so that I can finally live free and happy." Yang Geum-deuk is seeking compensation from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
People at the vigil chanted "Let's fight!" and "Compensate!" while holding up signs saying, "Condemn Abe's regime" or "Apologise, compensate for forced conscription."
The dispute, triggered after a South Korean court ordered Japanese firms last year to compensate some of their former labourers, has brought ties between the two nations to their lowest ebb in more than half a century.
The neighbours share a bitter history dating to the Japanese colonisation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, including the forced use of labour by Japanese companies and the use of comfort women, a euphemism for girls and women, many of them Korean, forced to work in its wartime brothels.
(Production: Daewoung Kim, Heejung Jung)
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