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Japan–Korea disputes

There have been disputes between Japan and Korea (both North and South) on numerous issues over the years.

Japanese–Korean disputes
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  North Korea
  South Korea

Korea was ruled by the Imperial Japanese government starting with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910 until the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in 1945 which ended World War II. South Korea refused to trade or open diplomatic relations with Japan until 1965, after which trade links expanded dramatically. Today, Japan and South Korea are major trading partners, and many students, tourists, entertainers, and business people travel between the two countries, whereas North Korea's political and economic relations with Japan are not developed.

Historical issuesEdit

Korea under Japanese ruleEdit

With the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, Japan decided the expansion of their settlement, the addition of the market and acquired an enclave in Busan. In the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95, Japan defeated the Qing dynasty, and succeeded in releasing Korea from the tributary system of Qing China by concluding the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which compelled the Qing to acknowledge Yi Dynasty Korea as an independent country. Japan encouraged the modernization of Korea. However, the Min clan, including the Queen Min, took precautions against Japan, whose dominating power was further increasing in Korea.[1] In 1895, Queen Min was assassinated by Japan after seeking to promote Russian influence and oppose reform.[2] In 1897, Joseon was renamed the Korean Empire (1897–1910), affirming its independence, but greatly gravitated closer to Russia, with the King ruling from the Russian legation, and then using Russian guards upon return to his palace. Japan declared war on Russia to drive out Russian influence, and ended the war by imposing the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905. Korea became a protectorate of Japan, a precursor to its annexation. Itō Hirobumi, who was the first prime minister of Japan and one of the elder statesmen, was Resident-General of Korea and was opposed to the annexation of Korea.[3] However, the power balance in domestic Japan grew in favor of the annexation, in part because of Itō's assassination in 1909 by An Jung-Geun. On August 22, 1910, annexing the Korea by signing the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty.

Kim Il-sung led a Korean independence movement, which was active in the border areas of China and Russia, particularly in areas with considerable ethnic Korean populations. Kim founded North Korea, and his descendants have still not signed a peace treaty with Japan. The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, led by (later) South Korea's first president Syngman Rhee, moved from Shanghai to Chongqing.[4] Lee lobbied in the United States and was recognized by the South Korean administrator by Douglas MacArthur.[5] Japanese control of Korea ended on September 9, 1945, when the Governor-General of Korea signed the surrender document of the United States in Seoul.

Japan–Korea Annexation TreatyEdit

In 1910, Japan annexed Korea. The legality of the annexation and the subsequent 35-years of occupation of the Korean Peninsula by Japan are controversial. Both have been criticized as illegal based on the fact that the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 was signed under duress, as well as its never having been ratified by Gojong of Korea.[6] Some Japanese scholars have challenged this view of the treaty as invalid.[7][8]

Japanese apologies to Korea for colonizationEdit

South KoreaEdit

Although diplomatic relations were established by treaty in 1965, South Korea continues to request an apology and compensation for Korea under Japanese rule. The Japanese government has apologized officially many times.[9] In 2012, The South Korean government announced that Emperor Akihito must apologize for Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.[10] Most Japanese Prime Ministers have issued apologies, including Prime Minister Obuchi in the Japan–South Korea Joint Declaration of 1998. While South Koreans welcomed and accepted the apologies at the time, many South Koreans are taught that the statements are insincere, because of misunderstandings between the two nations. In one example in 2005, the Koizumi Cabinet did not participate, but 47 Diet members visited Yasukuni shrine for a memorial service at exactly the same time Prime Minister Koizumi was issuing the apology. This was portrayed by South Korean Media as a contradiction and has caused many South Koreans to distrust and discard Japanese statements of apology.[11]

North KoreaEdit

Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi, in the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration of 2002,[12] said: "I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and also express the feelings of mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, in the war."[13]

Statements by Japanese politicians on colonial ruleEdit

Since the 1950s, many prominent politicians and officials in Japan have made statements on Japanese colonial rule in Korea which created outrage and led to diplomatic scandals in Korean-Japanese relations. The statements have led to anti-Japanese sentiments among Koreans, and a widespread perception that Japanese apologies for colonial rule have been insincere and discarded due to these statements[14][15][16][17]

During the talks between Japan and Korea in 1953, Kan'ichirō Kubota, one of the Japanese representatives, stated: "Japanese colonial rule was beneficial to Korea ... Korea would have been colonized by other countries anyway, which would have led to harsher rules than Japanese rules." Many Koreans consider this remark to be the first reckless statement made by Japanese politicians about colonial rule in Korea.[18]

In 1997, Shinzō Abe, then a member of the House of Representatives and now Prime Minister of Japan, stated: "Many so-called victims of comfort women system are liars ... prostitution was ordinary behavior in Korea because the country had many brothels."[19]

On May 31, 2003, Tarō Asō, then the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and later Prime Minister, stated that "the change to Japanese name (創氏改名) during Japanese colonial rule was what Koreans wanted".[20]

On October 28, 2003, Shintaro Ishihara, then Governor of Tokyo, stated: "The annexation of Korea and Japan was Koreans' choice ... the ones to be blamed are the ancestors of Koreans."[14]

In 2007, Hakubun Shimomura, then Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Japanese government, stated: "The comfort women system existed, but I believe it was because Korean parents sold their daughters at that time."[15]

On March 27, 2010, on the centennial of Japan–Korean annexation, Yukio Edano, then Japanese Minister of State for Government Revitalization, stated that "The invasion and colonization and China and Korea was historically inevitable ... since China and Korea could not modernize themselves."[16]

Japanese compensation to Korea for the reign of JapanEdit

Twenty years after World War II, South Korea and Japan re-established diplomatic relations with the 1965 signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations. In 2005, South Korea disclosed diplomatic documents that detailed the proceedings of the treaty. Kept secret in South Korea for 40 years, the documents revealed that Japan provided 500 million dollars in soft loans and 300 million in grants to South Korea as compensation for the reign of Japan. South Korea agreed to demand no more compensation after the treaty, either at a government-to-government level or an individual-to-government level.[21] It was also revealed that the South Korean government assumed the responsibility for compensating individuals on a lump sum basis[22] while rejecting Japan's proposal for direct compensation.[23]

However, the South Korean government used most of the loans for economic development and have failed to provide adequate compensation to victims, paying only 300,000 won per death, with only a total of 2,570 million won to the relatives of 8,552 victims who died in forced labor.[22][24] As the result, the Korean victims were preparing to file a compensation suit against the South Korean government as of 2005. The treaty does not preclude individual suits against Japanese individuals or corporations but such suits are often constrained by the statute of limitation. Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery, a mock trial organised by and supported by Japanese NGO Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery, issued a ruling that "states cannot agree by treaty to waive the liability of another state for crimes against humanity".[25]

In July 2019, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe accused the government of South Korea of not having an "appropriate response to its breach" of the treaty. In response, Blue House spokeswoman Ko Min-jung advised that the two countries' governments "not cross the line and make utmost efforts for future cooperation between the two countries and their people." Later, President of South Korea Moon Jae-in called for "technological innovation" so that South Korea has less reliance on Japan.[26]

Return of Korean remainsEdit

During the Japanese occupation of Korea (particularly during World War II), Japan mobilized 700,000 laborers from Korea to sustain industrial production, mainly in mining. Some of them eventually returned to Korea after the war, with some dying in Japan during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima,[27][28] or the other Allied bombings of Japan. The high death toll may also have had other causes in the harsh conditions of the war. Corporations, such as Mitsubishi, Mitsui and others, stated that the culpability should fall on the government and not on private companies.[citation needed] The government distributed funds to companies for the purposes of worker repatriation. Japanese companies paid out sums at the end of the war to Chinese work leaders intended for Chinese labourers to return home to China, but the money went missing after distribution to the Chinese workers.[29] Later, the People's Republic of China and South Korea requested help in finding the dead bodies of kidnapped Chinese and Korean laborers for proper burial.[citation needed] The situation prevented China and South Korea from appropriately coordinating their efforts, and they have only identified a few hundred bodies. In addition, Korean workers began demanding their unpaid wages immediately after Japan's surrender and continue to do so today. The issue remains salient in South Korea.[29]

Return of Korean cultural artifactsEdit

The Japanese rule of Korea also resulted in the relocation of tens of thousands of cultural artifacts to Japan. The issue over where these articles should be located began during the U.S. occupation of Japan.[30] In 1965, as part of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, Japan returned roughly 1,400 artifacts to Korea, and considered the diplomatic matter to have been resolved.[31] Korean artifacts are retained in the Tokyo National Museum and in the hands of many private collectors.[32]

In 1994, hundreds of books of the Heart Sutra which were donated by the Goryeo Dynasty to Japan in 1486 were stolen from a temple. The following year, three damaged books out of these hundreds were discovered in South Korea and registered as National Treasure no. 284.[33] In 2002, thieves stole another medieval gift and a Japanese biography of Prince Shōtoku, and donated them to a temple in Korea.[32]

According to the South Korean government, there are 75,311 cultural artifacts that were taken from Korea. Japan has 34,369, the United States has 17,803,[34] and France had several hundred, which were seized in the French campaign against Korea and loaned back to Korea in 2010 without an apology.[35] In 2010, Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan expressed "deep remorse" for the removal of artifacts,[36] and arranged an initial plan to return the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty and over 1,200 other books, which was carried out in 2011.[37]

Comfort womenEdit

Surviving comfort women (in middle row) at a 'Wednesday demonstration' in front of Japanese Embassy in Seoul

Many South Koreans have demanded compensation for "comfort women", the women who were forced to work in Imperial Japanese military brothels during World War II. Enlisted to the military "comfort stations" through force, including kidnapping, coercion, and deception, the Korean comfort women, most of them under the age of 18, were forced to serve as sex slaves for 30–40 soldiers each day.[38] As the few surviving comfort women continued to demand acknowledgement and a sincere apology, the Japanese court rejected their compensation claims.[39]

In November 1990, the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan was established in South Korea. As of 2008, a lump sum payment of 43 million South Korean won and a monthly payment of 0.8 million won were given to the survivors by the Korean government.[38][40] In 1993, the government of Japan officially acknowledged the presence of wartime brothels, and set up a private Asian Women's Fund to distribute donated money and issue official letters of apology to the victims.[38] Today, many of the surviving comfort women are in their 80s. As of 2007, according to South Korean government, there are 109 survivors in South Korea and 218 in North Korea. The survivors in South Korea protest every Wednesday in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korea. The protest was held for the 1000th time in December 2011.[41]

In July 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution calling for Japan to apologize for forcing women into sex slavery during World War II. The resolution was sponsored by Mike Honda (D-CA), a third-generation Japanese-American.[38][42] On December 13, 2007, the European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding that the Japanese government apologize to the survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery system. This resolution was passed with 54 ayes out of 57 parliament members present.[43]

On December 28, 2015, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye reached a formal agreement to settle the dispute. Japan agreed to pay ¥1 billion (9.7 billion; $8.3 million) to a fund supporting surviving victims while South Korea agreed to refrain from criticizing Japan regarding the issue and to work to remove a statue memorializing the victims from in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.[44] The announcement came after Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida met his counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul, and later Abe phoned Geun-hye to repeat the apologies already offered by Japan. The South Korean government will administer the fund for elderly comfort women.[45] However on November 21, 2018, South Korea government decided again keep the issue of "Comfort Woman" as a dispute between the two countries by discarding the 2015 agreement and shut down the Japan-funded comfort women foundation which was launched in July 2016 to finance the agreement's settlement.[46]

Japanese prime ministers' visits to Yasukuni ShrineEdit

Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine that memorializes Japanese armed forces members killed in wartime. It was constructed as a memorial during the Meiji period to house the remains of those who died for Japan. The shrine houses the remains of Hideki Tojo (東条英機), the Prime Minister and Army Minister of Japan between 1941 and 1944, and 13 other Class A war criminals, from 1978 onwards.[47] Yasukuni Shrine has been a subject of controversy, containing a memorial for 1,043 Japanese and 23 Korean B and C war criminals who were executed, as well as the 14 Japanese A-class war criminals.[citation needed] The presence of these war criminals among the dead honoured at Yasukuni Shrine has meant that visits to Yasukuni have been seen by Chinese and South Koreans as apologism for the wartime era.

Yasuhiro Nakasone and Ryutaro Hashimoto visited Yasukuni Shrine in, respectively, 1986 and 1996, and paid respects as Prime Minister of Japan, drawing intense opposition from Korea and China.[48] Junichirō Koizumi visited the shrine and paid respects six times during his term as Prime Minister of Japan, with the first visit on August 13, 2001, stating that he was "paying homage to the servicemen who died [in the] defense of Japan".[49] These visits again drew strong condemnation and protests from Japan's neighbors, mainly China and South Korea.[50] As a result, the heads of the two countries refused to meet with Koizumi, and there were no mutual visits between Chinese and Japanese leaders after October 2001 and between South Korean and Japanese leaders after June 2005. The President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, had suspended all summit talks between South Korea and Japan until 2008 when he resigned from office.[51] The current prime minister, Shinzō Abe, has made several visits to the shrine, the most recent being in December 2013.

Nationalist historiographyEdit

Most anthropologists and historians acknowledge that Japan has historically been actively engaged with its neighbors China and Korea, as well as Southeast Asia.[52] Among these neighbors, Chinese culture came to Japan from the Three Kingdoms of Korea.[53][54] Japanese and Korean peoples share closely linked ethnic, cultural and anthropological histories; a point of controversy between nationalist scholars in Japan and Korea rests on which culture came first, and can thus be considered the forebear of the other.

Modern historiography is also a seat of discord. In South Korea, popular debates about "cleansing history" (Korean내역(과거)청산; RRgwageo cheongsan; MRkwagŏ ch'ŏngsan) focus on finding and recriminating "collaborators" with Japanese colonial authorities. In North Korea, the songbun system of ascribed status is used to punish citizens with collaborating relatives or ancestors.[55]

On the other hand, Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) reviews and approves the content of school history textbooks available for selection by Japanese schools. Foreign scholars, as well as many Japanese historians, have criticized the political slant and factual errors in some approved textbooks. After a textbook by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform (JSHTR) passed inspection in April 2001, the South Korean government, 59 NGOs from South Korea and Japan, and some Japanese teachers' unions, registered objections to certain passages' omission of Imperial Japanese war crimes including comfort women and the Rape of Nanking.[56][56] Although Tsukurukai's textbook has sold six hundred thousand copies in the general market,[57][58] it has been adopted by less than 0.39% of Japanese schools.[59] In 2010, another textbook by the JSHTR passed inspection and was published by Jiyusha (自由社).[59]

Geographic disputesEdit

Liancourt RocksEdit

The Liancourt Rocks, called Dokdo (독도, 獨島; "solitary island") in Korean and Takeshima (竹島; "bamboo island"), are a group of islets in the East Sea/Sea of Japan[60][circular reference] whose ownership is disputed between South Korea and Japan. There are valuable fishing grounds around the islets and potentially large reserves of methane clathrate.[61]

The territorial dispute is a major source of nationalistic tensions.[62] Since the South Korean government bases its legitimacy partly on the notion that it defends South Korea from North Korea in the North and from Japan from the south, nationalism has been stoked over this issue. Korean tourists visit the remote, inhospitable island, in order to show national solidarity.[62] In Japan, maps mark the islands as being Japanese territory.

On August 10, 1951, a secret correspondence currently known as the Rusk documents was sent to South Korea communicating the then U.S. position on issues of territorial sovereignty in the Peace Treaty explaining why the U.S. believed Liancourt Rocks were Japanese territory: "This normally uninhabited rock formation was according to our information never treated as part of Korea and, since about 1905, has been under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shimane Prefecture of Japan. The island does not appear ever before to have been claimed by Korea." In September 1954 and March 1962, Japan proposed to South Korea that the dispute be referred to the International Court of Justice, but South Korea rejected the proposals. Japan again proposed bringing the dispute to the International Court of Justice in August 2012, which was also officially rejected by South Korea on August 30, 2012.

In 2005, members of the Japanese prefecture of Shimane (the prefecture to which the islands belong according to the Japanese claim) declared "Takeshima Day", to highlight their territorial claim to the islands.[62]

Although the Liancourt Rocks are claimed by both Japan and (both) Koreas, the rocks are controlled by South Korea, which has the South Korean coast guard stationed there, as well as two elderly Korean residents.[63][unreliable source]


A small minority of Koreans claim this island as belonging to Korea, although the South Korean government does not make this claim. Called "Tsushima" in Japanese and "Daemado" in Korean, this island was recorded on the Chinese history book as a territory of Japan from ancient times. This island, as Tsushima Province, has been ruled by Japanese governments since the Nara period.[64] According to Homer Hulbert, this island was a dependency to Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.[65] However, according to the Korean history book Samguk Sagi written in 1145, Tsushima is ruled by the Japanese from CE 400.[66] In the 15th century, the King of the Chosen dynasty of Korea, King Sejong sent troops to the Island occupied it after demanding it to pay taxes to the Korean government

In 1948, the South Korean government formally demanded that the island be ceded to South Korea based on "historical claims". However, the claim was rejected by SCAP in 1949. On July 19, 1951, the South Korean government agreed that the earlier demand for Tsushima had been dropped by the South Korean government with regards to the Japanese peace treaty negotiations.[67]

In 2010, a group of 37 members of the South Korean congress formed a forum to study Korea's territorial claims to Tsushima and make outreach efforts to the public. They said that Tsushima was a part of Korean history and that the people on the island are closely related to Koreans.[68] Yasunari Takarabe, incumbent Mayor of Tsushima rejects the South Korean territorial claim: "Tsushima has always been Japan. I want them to retract their wrong historical perception. It was mentioned in the Gishiwajinden (ja:魏志倭人伝) (a chapter of volume 30 of Book of Wei in the Chinese Records of the Three Kingdoms) as part of Wa (Japan). It has never been and cannot be a South Korean territory."[69]

The Sea of Japan naming disputeEdit

There is dispute over the international name for this body of water. Japan points out that the name "Sea of Japan" (Japanese: 日本海) was used in a number of European maps from the late 18th century to the early 19th century, and that many maps today retain this naming. However, both the North and South Korean governments have protested that Japan encouraged the usage of the name "Sea of Japan" while Korea lost effective control over its foreign policy under Japanese imperial expansion.[70] South Korea argues that the name "East Sea" or "Korean Eastern Sea" (Korean동해; Hanja東海), which was one of the most common names found on old European maps of this sea, should be the name instead of (or at least used concurrently with) "Sea of Japan."

Japan claims that Western countries named it the "Sea of Japan" prior to 1860, before the growth of Japanese influence over Korean foreign policy after the outbreak of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894. Further, Japan claims that the primary naming occurred during the period of Sakoku, when Japan had very little foreign contact, and thus Japan could not have influenced the naming decisions.[71] It was in 1929, when the International Hydrographic Organization's Limits of Oceans and Seas used the name Sea of Japan, which eventually influenced other official international documents such as the United Nations. South Korea claims that Korea was occupied by the Japanese and effectively had no international voice to protest in 1929.

Miscellaneous issuesEdit

Censorship of Japanese media in South KoreaEdit

After the end of Japanese Occupation, Japanese cultural products such as music, film, and books were banned in both North and South Korea. The boycott was lifted in South Korea starting in 1998. Some Japanese cultural items, including but not limited to manga, anime, and music, have been introduced into South Korea even while they were banned (the South Korean public was not informed of their Japanese origin, though people mostly knew that they were).[citation needed]

It is still illegal to broadcast Japanese music and television dramas over terrestrial signals in South Korea.[citation needed]

The Japanese anime Hetalia: Axis Powers, a satire series that personifies various nations created by Hidekaz Himaruya, was banned from airing on the Japanese TV Station, Kid Station, after many protests arrived from South Korea about how the character that represents South Korea was a disgrace and did not represent South Koreans correctly. This is in spite of the fact that a Korean character does not appear in any episode of the animated series, though it appears on web comic versions.[72] The animation continues to see distribution through mobile networks and internet streaming.[73]

Kidnapping of Japanese citizens by North KoreaEdit

A 13-year-old junior high school student from Niigata, Megumi Yokota, was kidnapped by North Korea on November 15, 1977. In addition to her, many other Japanese citizens were kidnapped by North Korean agents. In 2002, North Korea admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s, in order to train spies to infiltrate U.S. military installations in Japan.[74] Five people have been released, but the North Korean government claimed that there were eight dead. Japan has pressed for the return of the bodies. However, the Japanese government believes that there are still kidnapped Japanese citizens being held captive in North Korea. North Korea's official statement is that the issue has been settled. Because of the overwhelming number of South Koreans also kidnapped by North Korea, there have been some joint efforts by South Korea and Japan to retrieve their citizens.[75] The issue remains unresolved, but Japan has insisted on an explanation of what happened to their citizens as a precondition for normalizing relations with North Korea.

Origin of Japanese cultureEdit

In brief, the Korean points are that through a long history of contact, several important Chinese innovations in culture and technology were transferred to Japan. Several linguistic theories make similar points. In these theories, practices like wet-rice farming,[76] a new style of pottery,[77] and metallurgy, and writing were introduced from China.[78] Buddhism was first introduced to Japan from Baekje in Korea, but the subsequent development of Japanese Buddhism was primarily influenced by China.[79]

The New York Times writes that Japanese national treasures such as the Kōryū-ji sculptures, which are "a symbol of Japan itself and an embodiment of qualities often used to define Japanese-ness in art", are in actuality based on Korean prototypes and probably carved in Korea.[80][80] In 1976, Japan stopped all foreign archaeologists from studying the Gosashi tomb in Nara Prefecture, which is the supposed resting place of Empress Jingū (of 200 BCE).[citation needed] In 2008, Japan allowed controlled, limited access to foreign archaeologists, but the international community still has many unanswered questions.[citation needed] National Geographic News reported that Japan "the agency has kept access to the tombs restricted, prompting rumors that officials fear excavation would reveal bloodline links between the "pure" imperial family and Korea—or that some tombs hold no royal remains at all.".[81]

Plagiarism of Japanese productsEdit

South Korea has been accused of plagiarizing Japanese products.[82][83][84][85][86][87] In 2007, a K-pop singer, Ivy, was accused of copying a scene from the Japanese video game movie adaptation Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in one of her music videos. The court ordered that the video be banned from airing on television, stating that "most of the clip is noticeably similar to scenes from the film".[88]

Zainichi KoreansEdit

Koreans are the second largest group of foreign nationals living in Japan, before the Chinese, Filipinos, and after the Brazilians and Peruvians. Ethnicity censuses are not available in Japan, what leaves naturalized citizens that are part of these and other immigrant populations, as well historical groups with their own identity such as the Ryukyuans, the Ainu and the mixed-race Japanese invisible, so figures giving Yamato people an amount of about 98.5% of the Japanese population are very likely exaggerated.

Zainichi (在日, resident of Japan) Korean refers to ethnic Koreans currently residing in Japan. Most of them are second-, third-, or fourth-generation Koreans who have not applied for Japanese citizenship.[citation needed] Japanese law asserts that, to be a citizen of Japan, one must abdicate of every other citizenship. Some were either forced to relocate to or willingly immigrated to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea, while others entered Japan illegally in order to escape the Korean War that took place after the Japanese occupation. They lost their Japanese citizenship after the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which officially ended the Japanese annexation of Korea and their country of origin, Korea, no longer existed when South Korea and North Korea became separate states. Zainichi communities are split based upon affiliation with North or South Korea (Chongryon and Mindan). It is claimed that two or three of the leaders of the smaller organized crime syndicates found on a list of more than twenty such groups as specified by the National Police Agency in Japan may be ethnic Koreans.[89]

More positively speaking, Masayoshi Son (Son Jeong-ui), a businessman and CEO of Japanese telecom giant SoftBank, is of Zainichi background. In addition, some of Japan's baseball players and martial artists were of Zainichi Korean background, including Rikidōzan (Kim Sin-rak), Mas Oyama (Choi Yeong-eui), Isao Harimoto (Jang Hun), and Masaichi Kaneda (Kim Kyung-hong). To avoid discrimination, some Zainichi Koreans have adopted Japanese names. Today, however, as the relationship between Japan and South Korea has improved, there also exist many Zainichi Koreans or former Zainichi Koreans with Japanese nationality who do not hide their origin and are in full activity, such as Yu Miri, an Akutagawa Prize-winning playwright and Tadanari Lee (Lee Chung-Sung), a Japanese football player of Korean origin.

Kimchi exportsEdit

In the 1990s, a dispute arose regarding the marketing of kimchi, considered to be a traditional Korean dish. Kimchi was growing in popularity, and its consumption and production were expanding. Korean manufacturers, however, argued that Japanese kimchi is fundamentally different, in that Japanese manufacturers often skip fermentation and mimic the flavors through the use of additives. South Korean producers argued that this made the product fundamentally different from kimchi, while Japanese producers[who?] argued they were simply altering the product to fit local tastes. In 2000, South Korea began lobbying the makers of the Codex Alimentarius, an international food-standards maker which provides voluntary advice to national food agencies, to designate kimchi as only that which is produced in the traditional Korean style.[90] In 2001, the Codex Alimentarius published a voluntary standard defining kimchi as "a fermented food that uses salted napa cabbages as its main ingredient mixed with seasonings, and goes through a lactic acid production process at a low temperature", but which did not specify a minimum amount of fermentation or forbid the use of additives.[91]

Ban on Japanese seafood productsEdit

From 2013, South Korea banned all seafood products imported from Japan, due to concerns on the radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[92] The ban was extended to Fukushima and seven other Japanese prefectures. The Japanese government strongly opposes South Korea's decision on placing the ban, insisting that the country's fisheries exports are safe for consumption, with stringent inspection procedures in place.[93] The ban has led Japan to consider taking the issue to the WTO dispute settlement process.

Trade conflictEdit

In October and November 2018, there was a decision by Supreme Court of South Korea and many high courts in the country that order many Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation, and Nippon Steel to compensate the families of South Koreans who were unfairly treated and illegally forced to supply labor for World War II war efforts. This decisions angers Japanese government, who claim that the issue was settled under the 1965 treaty of normalization of two countries bilateral ties.[94] The Japanese government then as retaliation, announce to tighten the chemical exports that are vital to South Korean semiconductor industry, such as Hydrogen Fluoride, resist, and fluorinated polyimide on July 1, 2019. These controls, according to the Japanese government because South Korea fails to comply with Japanese export control security regulations. But South Korea reject the Japanese government claims, saying that the move was a "economic retaliation".[95]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tatiana M. Simbirtseva, "Queen Min of Korea: Coming to Power". Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society–Korea Branch 71 (1996): 41–54. online
  2. ^ Bruce Cumings, Korea's Place in the Sun (1997) p 123.
  3. ^ "伊藤博文の韓国統治 日韓両国の研究者が再評価 - 文化一般 - 文化・芸能".
  4. ^ "대한민국임시정부 大韓民國臨時政府" [Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea]. Nate / Encyclopedia of Korean Culture. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. 전민족운동이었던 3·1운동에 의해 수립된 임시정부...대내적으로는 독립운동의 통할기구로서의 구실을 가지고 탄생...상해에 있던 시기(1919∼1932)에는 국내외동포사회에 통할조직을 확대하면서 외교활동이나 독립전쟁 등을 지도, 통할하는 데 주력하였다. 초기의 독립전쟁은 만주와 연해주(沿海州)의 독립군단체에 일임...이 시기에 가장 주목할 성과는 광복군(光復軍)을 창설.. (trans. It was a provisional government established by the March 1st Movement that excised the whole nation..It was founded with the purpose as the united organ to excise the Korean liberation movement both outside and inside of Korea ... During the period based in Shanghai (1919–1932), it expanded the supervising organization to the Korean society inside and aboard, it focused on leading and supervising diplomatic activities and liberation movement. The earlier liberation war was entrusted to independence groups in Manchuria and Primorsky Krai..The most notable achievement in the period was to establish the Independence Army...
  5. ^ Cummings, Bruce (2010). "38 degrees of separation: a forgotten occupation". The Korean War: a History. Modern Library. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-8129-7896-4. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Yutaka, Kawasaki (August 7, 1996). "Was the 1910 Annexation Treaty Between Korea and Japan Concluded Legally?". Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  7. ^ Pak, Chʻi-yŏng (2000). Korea and the United Nations. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 6–7. ISBN 90-411-1382-7. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "Treaty of Annexation". USC-UCLA Joint East Asian Studies Center. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
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Further readingEdit

  • Cha, Victor D. (1999). Alignment despite Antagonism: the US-Korea-Japan Security Triangle. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3191-8.
  • Dudden, Alexis (2008). Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14176-5.
  • Lee, Chong-Sik (1963). The Politics of Korean Nationalism. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • ——— (1985). Japan and Korea: The Political Dimension. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8179-8181-0.
  • Lind, Jennifer (2008). Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4625-2.
  • Myers, Ramon Hawley; et al. (1984). The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05398-7.
  • Morley, James (1965). Japan and Korea. New York: Walker.

External linksEdit