Japan said on Monday that it would continue to look to pursue its country's viewpoint on history after South Korea's president urged Japan to acknowledge the “historical truth.”
The request was made by President Park Geun-hye on Sunday at an official ceremony to mark the Independence Movement Day.
This year commemorates the 96th anniversary of the declaration of the nation's independence from Japanese colonization on March 1, 1919.
Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Japan would try to work with South Korea while also adhering to its own position.
“We [both] have our own individual issues. We are making effort to convey our country's viewpoint and gain understanding on our stance, starting with the leadership, through emphasizing dialog at higher levels of politics and through various endeavors,” Suga said at a regular news conference.
Japan's ties with South Korea and China have worsened since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has adopted a conservative agenda, including a less apologetic tone toward the wartime past and bolstering Japan's defenses.
The legacy of Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula has complicated ties between two strong allies of the United States in the region that are also, along with China, involved in diplomatic efforts to end North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
South Korea and China also have separate disputes with Japan over territorial claims.