SEOUL – Thousands of people took the streets of the South Korean capital on Thursday on the occasion of Independence Movement Day, marking the 99th anniversary of when Koreans began widespread resistance against Japanese colonial rule and called for independence.
Koreans celebrated and marched while holding South Korean flags in all parts of Seoul and one group near Japan’s Embassy reenacted a historical scene of Japanese colonial police confronting Korean independence supporters, an epa journalist reported.
Young people dressed in gold military uniforms held artificial guns and acted out a scene where they attacked independence marchers dressed in traditional white hanbok outfits, who fell to the ground.
A few dozen people joined the reenactment while hundreds more marched around the area and towards the Japanese Embassy.
Some people shouted “We need an apology from Japan!,” demonstrating that Japan’s rule of the Korean peninsula (1910-1945) remains a sensitive issue for many.
Following the protests by Korean activists on March 1, 1919, pro-independence demonstrations spread to many cities in Korea and Japanese authorities responded with mass arrests and scores of people were injured and killed over the course of the year.