Korea’s Liberation Day is just three days away. Its significance is all the more salient because this year marks the 100th anniversary of both the March First Independence Movement and the founding of the Provisional Republic of Korea Government.
As a victim of great suffering from Japanese imperialism in the past, we, for our part, cannot help but take Japan’s ongoing economic retaliation very seriously. It is even more so because this economic retaliation is in itself unjustifiable and also has its roots in historical issues. This is why our attitude toward this Liberation Day has become still more resolute.
However, our response to Japan’s economic retaliation shouldn’t be emotional. While maintaining unwavering resolve and calmness, we need a long-term approach to look for the fundamental countermeasures.
One hundred years ago, even at the moment when they shouted for the nation’s independence while shedding blood, our ancestors called for and practiced universal fraternity, seeing all humanity as being equal and the citizenry of the world as one. Still today our invariable spirit remains opposed to antagonistic nationalism and aspires to equality and peaceful coexistence based on love for humanity.
In that regard, I’d like to express my profound respect and gratitude to the people for having exhibited mature civic consciousness to date. While resolutely opposing the Japanese Government’s unwarranted economic retaliation, they’ve also responded in a composed manner in the interest of the larger cause of not compromising friendly ties with the people of Japan.
If the peoples of our two countries communicate with a better understanding of democratic values and human rights based on a fully mature civic awareness and deepen their amity through a spirit of peace and love for humanity, the future of Korea-Japan relations will brighten.
My Administration will strive to turn Japan’s economic retaliation into a blessing in disguise and meticulously push ahead with a detailed strategy to grow our economy in a more qualitative manner.
While paying close attention to our deficiencies, my Administration will confidently face the unfolding situation with trust in the capabilities of our fellow Koreans and businesses. It is never easy, but it's something we have to do, and we can do it.
Still, our goal is not simply to become an economic powerhouse. Rather, we will seek a global community marked by a peace and cooperation that prioritizes human beings and upholds the universal values of humanity. To this end, we will work together with the international community to fulfill our responsibilities and roles. The Republic of Korea will evolve into a model country not only in terms of economic power but also in such values as human rights and peace.