SEOUL, The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to change the date of National Railway Day -- designated in 1937 when Korea was under Japan's colonial rule -- amid criticism it is a vestige of the colonial occupation.
The Japanese colonial powers designated Sept. 18 as the railway anniversary to mark the 1899 opening of Korea's first railway, linking Seoul and the city of Incheon. Critics have called for the anniversary to be changed, as the Gyeongin Railway was a major means by which Japan exploited Korea.
On Tuesday, the Cabinet decided to move the anniversary to June 28 to mark the 1899 establishment of Korea's first railway agency during a meeting presided over by President Moon Jae-in.
It is the second time that the government of President Moon Jae-in has changed a national anniversary.
Last month, the Cabinet also decided to change the anniversary of the 1919 founding of Korea's provisional government in China to April 11 from the current April 13 in accordance with suggestions from historians.
These decisions have prompted speculation that the liberal Moon administration could also seek to change other anniversaries that were designated from a conservative point of view, such as Armed Forces Day, which marks South Korean forces' crossing of the 38th parallel border into the North during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Conservative critics say changing such anniversaries that have been observed for decades would be going too far.
Source: Yonhap News Agency