South Korean president orders government to purge remnants of Japanese occupation

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun ordered the government on Tuesday to intensify work to eliminate remnants of Japan's colonial rule, amid a heated diplomatic rift with Tokyo over contested islets.

"We need to clearly get rid of the legacy of Japan's colonization of Korea in various documents and records all around the world," Roh said at a weekly Cabinet meeting, according to Yonhap news agency. "That will enable us to recover our sovereignty in knowledge and information."

Last week, Roh warned that Japan was risking a "diplomatic war" in the long-running dispute over islets in waters between the two countries known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan. The spat intensified this month after a local government in Japan voted to set a day commemorating Japanese claims to the territory.

Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula in 1910-45, leaving a legacy of bitterness over its occupation that lingers in both South and North Korea.

Associated Press

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