The United States on Tuesday urged its allies Japan and South Korea to show restraint in their tense relations as an American senator faulted Tokyo on historical disputes.
Danny Russel, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, called on the two countries to look at the model of Japan and the United States, which have overcome the bitterness of World War II to nurture a close friendship.
“We continue to stress the need for prudence and restraint, for all parties to take steps that will promote healing,” Russel said of Japan and South Korea.
“All parties can contribute to a reversal of the current atmosphere and the creation of a positive trend,” he told a Senate subcommittee.
Echoing remarks of Secretary of State John Kerry on a visit last month to Seoul, Russel said Japan and North Korea shared common challenges including uncertainties over nuclear-armed North Korea.
While Russel said historical disputes cannot “be resolved by one party alone,” the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia, Ben Cardin, faulted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on historical disputes.
“The Japanese prime minister’s rhetoric on these issues is increasingly concerning to many,” said Cardin, a member of President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party.
Cardin accused Abe of “provocative activities,” a likely reference to the Japanese leader’s December 26 pilgrimage to the Yasukuni shrine which honors 2.5 million war dead including convicted war criminals.
China and South Korea have accused Japan of showing insufficient remorse for atrocities in the 20th century. Abe is known for his conservative views on history and in the past has questioned whether imperial Japan directly coerced so-called “comfort women” into military brothels.
Japan in 1993 apologized to the women. Last week Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the government “would like to consider” setting up a verification team with academics to re-examine the accounts of 16 Korean women who testified ahead of the apology.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, who has refused to meet Abe since she took office, said Saturday that Japan would face “isolation” if it revised the apology.
Respected historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, were forced to serve as sex slaves in Japanese army brothels.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report
Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.
The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.
But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.
‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys
In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.
"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.
The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.
"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors
A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.
"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.