Japan's official apologies for the first time to Korea, during the South Korean President Roh Tae Woo's visit to Japan on May 24, was what people in Korea have long wanted. The Post's editorial {"Finally, Japan Regrets," May 27} accepts the words of Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu as "brave and wise" and anticipates the improvement of relationships between Japan and South Korea. I can't help wondering, however, whether the Korean people can really recover from the deep sorrow with these apologies.

Emperor Akihito expressed the "deepest regret" to President Roh for what Japan had done to Korea in the past. What is more regrettable, for me as a Japanese, is that it took 45 years to say only one word of "apology" to people in Korea. Even after the war, many Koreans are still suffering from Japanese so-called "arrogance." Fingerprints are required of Korean people living in Japan. What the Japanese generations who were born after World War II have seen is textbooks which omit the word "invasion" and reference to the society in which a man who criticized former emperor Hirohito was shot. We young people grow up without knowing what actually happened in the past.

I strongly hope this apology won't end up as a mere courtesy. I expect the day will come when we can talk more frankly about our past, present or future relations between the two countries. HIROKO OGAWA Washington