- Title: SOUTH KOREA: 100th anniversary of Japan's annexation of Korea
- Date: 30th August 2010
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SINGING NATIONAL ANTHEM
- Embargoed: 14th September 2010 13:00
- Reuters ID: LVA9H66GN2KT4BXJBX8FN3F2PS3X
- Story Text: South Koreans held rallies in Seoul on Sunday (August 29) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of Korea.
Korea lost its sovereignty in 1910 after forcibly signing an annexation agreement with Japan. The Korean peninsula was liberated in 1945.
Around 1,000 South Koreans gathered at Seoul's Pagoda Park and staged a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary.
They sang the South Korean national anthem and waved national flags.
"It's more important to act than just to say something. To create a good future between the two countries, Japan should take action with an apology and compensation," said protest leader Nam man-woo.
After the ceremony more than 100 protesters, in heavy rain, visited Seoul's Japanese Embassy and staged an anti-Japanese rally. Protesters waved national flags, chanting anti-Japanese slogans.
Korean activists have demanded Japan should admit the annexation agreement was illegal because it was signed by force.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologised earlier in August for the suffering as a result of Japan's colonisation of the Korean peninsula a century ago, deflecting criticism from both ruling and opposition parties as he tries to improve ties with South Korea.
He said in a statement to mark the centenary of Japan's annexation of the Korean peninsula that he expressed a renewed feeling of deep remorse and stated his heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering caused by colonial rule.
South Korean political parties noted Prime Minister Kan's apology as "progress," but was "not enough" to make up for the past.
South Korean women who served as sexual slaves for the Japanese army during World War Two have denounced Japan's wartime apology.
South Korea's former comfort women urged the Japanese government for a sincere apology and compensation.
Tokyo has refused to pay direct compensation to any of the estimated 200,000 mostly Asian women forced to work in its military brothels before and during the World War Two, saying all claims were settled by subsequent peace treaties.
Japan acknowledged in 1993 there had been a state role in forcing Korean and Chinese women into military brothels and in 1995 set up a fund to provide compensation to survivors.
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