Activists Demand US Apology over Sherman's Remarks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A group of civic activists in South Korea called on the United States Wednesday to apologize over Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman's controversial remarks on historical issues stemming from Japan's wartime misdeeds.
In a seminar in Washington last week, Sherman said nationalism can be exploited and that it is not difficult for political leaders to "earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy," adding, "such provocations produce paralysis, not progress."
Sherman did not mention specific countries, but local media interpreted the remarks as targeting South Korea and China, which often slam Japan for its war-time atrocities and other historical misdeeds.
Her remarks immediately sparked an angry reaction here over the US government appearing to take sides with Japan on the highly sensitive historical issue in the region, Yonhap reported.
"These are very dangerous remarks by Sherman, which side with Japan's Abe government engaged in covering up and distorting historical misdeeds," activists belonging to civic groups, including the left-leaning Korea Alliance of Progressive Movement, said in a news conference held near the US Embassy in Seoul.
Sherman unjustly portrayed South Korea and China's calls for an apology from Japan as provocations and indulged Japan, the civic activists said.
"It's deplorable to see the US trying to defend Japan for its national interest," they said, calling on the US government to offer an apology and reprimand Sherman.
They also urged the South Korean government to lodge a complaint with the US and receive an apology.
Feuds stemming from shared history among South Korea, China and Japan have often strained Japan's relations with the two neighbors, as the country has failed to atone fully for atrocities committed during World War II, including the imperial Japanese army's sexual enslavement of Korean and Chinese women.