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China's Xi invites South Korea joint effort on Japan's wartime past

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL (Reuters) - China and South Korea share a common past and concern related to Japan's colonialism and invasion in the early 20th century and must work together to establish a correct view on history, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

The comments came as he met with the speaker of South Korean parliament, as the two countries' ties with Japan are tested by what they see as Tokyo's failure to atone for its occupation of the two countries before the end of World War Two.

"China and South Korea have similar experience in history and shared interest on the issue of history related to Japan," Xi said, adding their two assemblies have worked effectively seeking a sincere apology from Japan.

"In China, there is a saying, 'Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future,'" Xi said while meeting with Speaker Chung Ui-hwa of South Korea.

Chinese media reported Xi proposed to hold joint anniversary events with South Korea next year to mark its victory over Japan and then-united Korea's liberation in 1945, when he met South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Seoul.

Park's office could not immediately verify that report.

Japan said such discussion was not helpful.

"Attempts to take up history in vain and make it an international issue would not contribute at all to building peace and cooperation in the region," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

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 over territorial claims.

(Reporting by Jack Kim in Seoul, Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140704/chinas-xi-invites-south-korea-joint-effort-japans-wartime-past