Asian legislators to cooperate to 'Correct' History

Asian nations pledged on Sunday to work together to address an ongoing history dispute as Japanese Premier Junichiro Koizumi's repeat visits to a national shrine that honors Japan's war casualties and a number of war criminals has ratcheted up tension in the region.

At the end of the inaugural assembly of the Parliamentarians' Alliance for Peace in Asia (PAPA), over 60 lawmakers from 11 countries adopted a joint declaration of peace and a charter that calls for joint studies into the countries' shared past to correct any controversial anomalies.

The assembly was held amid a renewed dispute over Japan's attempts to glorify its past aggression on neighboring states after Koizumi's recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, his fifth since taking office in 2001. The shrine pays homage to millions of Japanese war dead, including 14 class A World War II criminals.

While reiterating their commitment to the U.N. Charter, the Asian legislators said, "We, the parliamentarians from Asia, recognize the need to further enhance collaboration among parliamentarians to promote true peace and stability in Asia."

The declaration was read by Inuzuka Tadashi, a member of the Japanese House of Councilors from the Democratic Party.

The legislators also said they are "aware of the importance of retaining an accurate and correct perspective on the past wrong-doings and history for true reconciliation and mutual trust among nations and peoples in the region."

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