crime

5 South Koreans arrested over stolen Buddha statue in Japan

67 Comments
By EMILY WANG

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Stop stealing Japanese culture!

11 ( +23 / -12 )

Weird. To make a buck or because they figure it originally came from Korea?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I want to see the reaction of Korean media. A few weeks ago they complained about the Japanese "over-reaction" over the arrest of that Japanese journalist. Let's see if they will freak out for their thieves. There should be a tougher check on tourists departing from Japan to Korea via ferry.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

The South Korean government is dispatching the consul of the Fukuoka Consulate General to confirm the facts.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

6 ( +7 / -1 )

if these thugs weren't caught the same thing that happened to the statue of the Tathagata Buddha would have happened, the Korean government would have done nothing. The South Koreans claim that that statue was actually theirs way back in the 14th century. But, they have no real proof other than what they think.

http://www.tokyoweekender.com/2013/01/koreans-arrested-for-part-in-smuggling-ring-stealing-japanese-treasures/

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=89,11392,0,0,1,0#.VHUJ86NxmJA

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201401210060

And many within the South Korean public call these criminals national heroes for stealing Japanese national treasures and trying to sell them.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201304020233

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Lets put these "heroes" in prison for 10 years. Maybe it will teach them manners. Then deport them to Korea.

4 ( +14 / -11 )

It's sad to see that many will use this theft to judge all South Korean's, like we don't have are share of thieves. Every country has thieves but that should not be the basis to judged all citizens of those countries. That being said, I'm glad they were caught and I hope they now have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Fools! Completely disrespectful. For those turning this into some kind of political rant against South Koreans, though, don't forget that some of you were defending a much stupider case with the swimmer Tomita. And who knows, maybe these fools will return to South Korea then claim they never did it and confessed because they were scared. In any case, charge them if you can, then deport and blacklist them. Easy.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

Unfortunately, temples might have to reexamine their security. A 10 centimeter statue shouldn't be stolen by tourists.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Book 'em Danno! Then throw them in the same cell as the Chinese coral thieves...

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Stuart haywardNov. 26, 2014 - 09:04AM JST

It's sad to see that many will use this theft to judge all South Korean's, like we don't have are share of thieves.

Last time other Buddha statutes were stolen by Koreans from Tsushima, the Korean government decided not to return them to Japan. This is not an isolated case, but serries of thefts encouraged by Korean government.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Talk about racking up some bad karma. At least the cops caught them. Win for the Jp cops.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Immediate protest to the SK government about cultural sabotage and general lack of respect.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

seems Buddha is "famous" these days, oh well the Koreans should have known better than to just take something in a foreign country. By the way I placed my umbrella down too get something out of my backpack at the train station and when I turned back around to pick up my umbrella someone had done the old switharoo trick, took my new one and left me an old beatup torn umbrella... .hmmm..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is not an isolated case, but serries of thefts encouraged by Korean government.

Ridiculous. The government has not encouraged this at all. That's like saying that the Japanese government encouraged the swimmer to steal the camera.

Once again you are blinded by the right.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

"Everyone knows South Korea invented Buddhism 40,000 years ago."

10 ( +15 / -5 )

When I was on a busness trip to Korea they took me up in the mountains on the Southeast Coast of ROK. There was a buddha missing a diamond form the forehead. They claim the Japanese stole this in the early 1900's. Retribution?

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Michael T KovacsNov. 26, 2014 - 11:04AM JST

When I was on a busness trip to Korea they took me up in the mountains on the Southeast Coast of ROK. There was a buddha missing a diamond form the forehead. They claim the Japanese stole this in the early 1900's. Retribution?

I think you should double check what they say about Japan.

I used to believe whatever Koreans say about Japan. But that was a big big mistake. I put myself in a position to spread untruth. Now, I make it a rule to check whatever Koreans say about Japan by reliable source.

Generally speaking, diamond was not introduced to East Asia until very recently. If you can identify the Buddha statute, I may be able to help you.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Nice sentiments, Timmouton. Just what the world needs right now.

What next? Maybe the Hidus should start reading the bible and the Muslims start wearing crucifixes?

Because you know best....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CH3CHO: (Last time other Buddha statutes were stolen by Koreans from Tsushima, the Korean government decided not to return them to Japan. This is not an isolated case, but serries of thefts encouraged by Korean government.) I mentioned nothing of the government, I spoke about the people of South Korea. Not many governments are a good representative of their citizens, governments have become corporations and no longer act in the best interest for their people or countries. My comment was clear but maybe you didn't read it carefully. I'm against condemning all citizens of a country for the poor actions of a few, or the actions of their government. If you want to judge all South Koreans because of this incident, I would say you might be racist.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Is it just me, or does "Buddha statue" sound wrong?

You wouldn't talk about a "Jesus statue" or a "Mary statue".

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

CH3CHO: "Last time other Buddha statutes were stolen by Koreans from Tsushima, the Korean government decided not to return them to Japan. This is not an isolated case, but serries of thefts encouraged by Korean government."

What a bunch of right-wing crap. 'Encouraged by the government' my butt. You only undermine your own argument. These were moronic individuals, and that's all. The last time one of the governments encouraged stealing the other's treasures was when Imperial Japan had colonized much of Asia. Fortunately, some 70 years after getting the boot, they are slowly giving things back. Not surprised to see you turn this into some nationalist rant, though, and have no doubt you're having a field day on 2-Channel.

The question is, though, since you want to get political about it, will they turn around and deny they stole it (despite confessing) when they get back to South Korea, like Tomita did, and claim it was just some Japanese smear campaign? Just wanted to give you an example of how easy it would be to make something political if you're indeed bent on it instead of seeing it for just an example of stupidity.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Michael T KovacsNov. 26, 2014 - 11:04AM JST

When I was on a busness trip to Korea they took me up in the mountains on the Southeast Coast of ROK. There was a buddha missing a diamond form the forehead.

You may be talking about Seokguram. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seokguram

Here is a rumor based story about the "missing diamond". http://www.tripadvisor.jp/ShowUserReviews-g297888-d320362-r123526857-Seokguram-Gyeongju_Gyeongsangbuk_do.html

Here is an explanation of the statue by Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea. It says nothing abot the "missing diamond". http://english.cha.go.kr/english/search_plaza_new/ECulresult_Db_View.jsp?VdkVgwKey=11,00240000,37

The statue was built in year 751. In light of the fact that East Asian countries do not produce any diamonds, how could they put a diamond to the statue back then?

The statue was long abandoned and was rediscovered in1909. Here is a picture of the Seokguram statue just after the rediscovery. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:Seokguram_ruin.jpg

I think the "missing doiamond" story is just another hoax. It is always good to double check what Koreans say about Japan.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

StrangerlandNov. 26, 2014 - 10:43AM JST The government has not encouraged this at all.

The SK government has not returned Japan the stolen statues from Japan for two years. The action seems like encouraging the theft.

In SK and China, there is unwritten law "Han nichi Muzai", 反日無罪, which means, "you are not guilty if it is a crime againt Japan"

3 ( +8 / -5 )

People would have been even more upset if a Col. Sanders statue had been taken with a Santa Outfit on it.

Stealing religious things is just not cool. It is th esame as grave robbing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

CH3CHO: You went out of your way to reply to my comment, so I responded. Do you have anything more to say or is a down vote your only reply?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The SK government has not returned Japan the stolen statues from Japan for two years. The action seems like encouraging the theft.

That statue is a 13th century Korean buddihst statue which was looted by the Japanese during the colonial days. The Japanese could not produce any documented evidence that it was voluntarily given by the Koryo Kingdom (Koryo Kingdom was the Korean kingdom prior to the Choson dynasty). Japan holds thousands of Korean historical artifacts that were looted when Korea was a colony of Japan, and refuses to return any of them back.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

The SK government has not returned Japan the stolen statues from Japan for two years. The action seems like encouraging the theft.

I know that English is your second language, so I'll give you some leeway, but you are using the word 'encourage' incorrectly. Encouraging requires an action. What you are describing is allowing by inaction. It is not the same as encouragement.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The SK government has not returned Japan the stolen statues from Japan for two years. The action seems like encouraging the theft.

Actually, it's stuck in a long drawn out court case in South Korea, with the debate going on as to the nature of how the statue ended up in Japan in the first place. Nobody's encouraging nothing, and nothing's been decided yet.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

@Strangerlamd

Inaction can be a form of encouragement, of course.

Look at the Nazi police who stood by and watched as the Jews' businesses were looted.

100% encouragement.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Strangerland

I give you one point lesson in Japanese.Your logic is called "Heso magari" in Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The vast majority of theft from temples in Japan is carried out by Japanese. Particularly in the 1980s it was possible to find temple carvings being sold at antique auctions, with no provenance stated, but clearly removed from temple buildings, with or without approval. You may notice that many temples now have wire netting placed over the carvings above the doors, etc....

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It's what they're GOOD at, in Japan. In the 90's, they were famous for slicing girls purses open, and stealing wallets. Glad they actually got CAUGHT.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually, it's stuck in a long drawn out court case in South Korea, with the debate going on as to the nature of how the statue ended up in Japan in the first place

How come you always know so much about what's going on in Korea? Just wondering.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Chris CaseNov. 26, 2014 - 03:53PM JST

The vast majority of theft from temples in Japan is carried out by Japanese.

Is there any news report or something on that? I have no idea from where you got that wild allegation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm no theologist, but aren't statues like these exactly the kind of idolatrous iconography the Buddha had no patience for?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Whatever the thieves say, these crimes have nothing to do with history or culture. You folks, do not try to use such news to inflame the current tense situation between the two countries.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bad karma for the perpetrators, indeed. 反日無罪 I would have hoped that a common Buddhist tradition would be a unifying element for Korean, Japanese and Chinese cultures, but no.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"The vast majority of theft from temples in Japan is carried out by Japanese. Particularly in the 1980s it was possible to find temple carvings being sold at antique auctions, with no provenance stated, but clearly removed from temple buildings, with or without approval."

@Chris Case: The carvings are from temples torn down or rebuilt.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Half of South Korea's historic artifacts are housed in other countries. That represents about 150,000 cultural properties located outside the country, of which 75 percent are in Japan. Many of them were looted treasures that were stolen during centuries of invasions, especially by Japan. South Korea have long complained that Japan will not cooperate in returning the artifacts. If Japan cooperated with South Korea, I doubt any of this would have been issues.

The SK government has not returned Japan the stolen statues from Japan for two years. The action seems like encouraging the theft.

The thieves were tried and prosecuted by the South Korean court, so no, they weren't encouraging the theft. However, that statue contained an inscription that it was the property of the Buseok Temple, made in 1300's (which would be the Goryeo Dynasty), and that it was to be "enshrined there forever". Buseok Temple is now located in South Korea. So how did the statue end up in Tsushima Japan, when it was decreed that it would be housed in Buseok Temple forever? The Buseok Temple blocked the return of the statue to Japan, when they launched a court action. The lower Korean court then suspended the return for now until they decided what to do with the statue and determine how it ended up in Japan. The Japanese side should explain how they got this statue, but they refuse to do so, probably because they don't have an explanation themselves.

"Everyone knows South Korea invented Buddhism 40,000 years ago."

No, but Japanese just refuses to recognize that Buddhism came from India, via China, onto Korea, then passed onto Japan, and many of Japan's cultural artifacts in Japan are in fact, Korean origins that were either bought, stolen, or looted.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Lets put these "heroes" in prison for 10 years. Maybe it will teach them manners. Then deport them to Korea.

They would probably be like hey we gave you back your swimmer for next to nothing, what have you done for us lately?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Papi2013

That statue is a 13th century Korean buddihst statue which was looted by the Japanese during the colonial days. The Japanese could not produce any documented evidence that it was voluntarily given by the Koryo Kingdom (Koryo Kingdom was the Korean kingdom prior to the Choson dynasty). Japan holds thousands of Korean historical artifacts that were looted when Korea was a colony of Japan, and refuses to return any of them back.

Even if that's the case, after so many years prescription would have taken priority. There are countless katanas and other things taken by the winning Allies and placed in their museums and homes. Though the provenance is clearly Japanese and I doubt anyone can find "documented evidence" that it was voluntarily given by the relevant Japanese (and even if they can somehow produce a signed paper there's significant room to call it a coerced agreement), I think most people would agree that if some Japanese went to take them from their present resting places, they would be considered thieves.

@smithinjapan

These were moronic individuals, and that's all.

I don't think I can be that forgiving of the SK government. In most countries' education systems, at least an effort is made to teach kids that theft is bad. However, Korea's historical education gives them a sense of victimhood and entitlement against Japan (all their good things come from us ... they come and rob us). When you are imbued with such a mentality, your sense of wrongness about theft against Japan is depressed. Not all would steal of course, but an increased percentage would.

If Japanese education formally advocates Koreans are a lesser race, and then we hear some news about Japanese beating up some Koreans, do you think you will really argue that it was just some "stupid Japanese individuals", or would you link the education mandated by the Japanese government as part of the cause?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The poor stolen buddhist statues in SK must be stored in the dark storage room and lonely without being cared and worshipped and prayed by familiar Tsushima people. The vengeance of the statues will be pitiless.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tina

I don't think the Buddha was particularly into vengeance... or pitilessness...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why am I not surprised. I'm sure not all Koreans and for that matter Chinese are thieves but in the Japanese eyes, " it's I knew it, I told you so... !"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@luca

Japanese Buddhism does vengeance if you did a bad thing, called "Tatari"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The poor stolen buddhist statues in SK must be stored in the dark storage room and lonely without being cared and worshipped and prayed by familiar Tsushima people. The vengeance of the statues will be pitiless.

Couple of things here that the Japanese press fails to inform their readers (why am I not surprised?). There were two statutes involved, not one.

http://www.newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/103381.php

One statue was made in 8th century, which was returned to Japan. But the problematic other statue was made in Korea in 1330 and it had an inscription inside the hollow structure that the statue was to be forever be kept and enshrined in Boemu Temple in Korea. Normally when the statues are enshrined forever, they are never moved unless they were stolen or looted or the temple get destroyed.

Second, it was the Korean government who informed the Japanese government that they found the missing statues which the Japanese side had no clue as to where they went. So it's a far stretched to say the Korean government is responsible for the theft. The sticking point is the inscription inside the statute, at a time when the Korean government has been for years, trying to convince Japan to return tens of thousands of Korean historic artifacts that were illegally looted and taken to Japan during Japan's colonial rule in Korea, to no avail. Koreans are trying to determine if the statue was taken to Japan at that time. There are suspicions that it was. Maybe this is a good chance for Japan and South Korea to sit down together and discuss the ways to resolve the problem, and return many of the stolen Korean artifacts that Japan continues to hold.

Third, now turning attention to the new case of where 4 Koreans are charged with stealing another statue. Yonhap News from South Korea reports:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2014/11/25/39/0301000000AEN20141125010300315F.html

I would not be surprised that once again, the statue in question is probably another Korean originated artifact.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Talk about stealing there are thousands of artifacts stolen from Korea that has not been returned till this day.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

StrangerlandNOV. 26, 2014 - 10:43AM JST This is not an isolated case, but serries of thefts encouraged by Korean government.

Ridiculous. The government has not encouraged this at all. That's like saying that the Japanese government encouraged the swimmer to steal the camera.

Once again you are blinded by the right."

Not the same thing. Other Buddhist statues have been stolen from temples in Japan and taken to S. Korea and the Korean courts and government have done nothing to return them. It appears that the S. Korean government is, if not complicit in the thefts, at least turns a blind eye to them.

The immaturity of South (and North) Korea is astounding. But what can be expected of a country which has been fighting a civil war for close to 65 years?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Another point is that Joseon banned worship of Buddhism making many buddhist temples abandoned.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan holds thousands of Korean historical artifacts that were looted when Korea was a colony of Japan, and refuses to return any of them back.

No, that's factually incorrect. Did you conveniently forget this? http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japan-to-return-ancient-books-to-s-korea-in-early-dec

2 ( +4 / -2 )

HotmailNov. 26, 2014 - 10:43PM JST

Half of South Korea's historic artifacts are housed in other countries. That represents about 150,000 cultural properties located outside the country, of which 75 percent are in Japan. Many of them were looted treasures that were stolen during centuries of invasions

Like the "missing diamond" of Seokguram? As I said before, I do not swallow what Koreans say about Japan unless verified by a reliable source. I hope people here take prudent steps as well.

Does anyone have the list of those 150,000 items? What are the 75% or 112,500 items in Japan? How many of them were actually looted? It is known that Japan imported a lot of Korean art pieces such as Korean pottery at high premium over the centuries.

What do you mean by "centuries of invasion"? If you look at the history of Korea, it was under Chinese control most of the time and China took things of value as annual tribute from Korea. Korea was under Japanese control less than 50 years. Are you talking about the sporadic Japanese pirates more than 500 years ago? Or are you talking about Minama that governed southern part of Korea more than 1500 years ago?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No, but Japanese just refuses to recognize that Buddhism came from India, via China, onto Korea, then passed onto Japan,

That's one hundred percent incorrect. Japan certainly recognizes where Buddhism came from. In this paper, today, there is an article about Daruma dolls. Daruma is Dharma is Boddhidharma. There is plenty of room for craz;y ideas here, but please don't just post hateful nonsense.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese just refuses to recognize that Buddhism came from India, via China, onto Korea, then passed onto Japan

Hotmail

Japan learned Buddhism from China until aournd 7 century when "Ken to shi"遣唐使 were sent directly to China. Not through Korea. There are many old documents that show it in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Buddhism came to Japan in 538 via Kingdom of Baekje aka Kudara which was a Japanese ally in Southwest Korea. However, Kingdom of Baekje was destroyed by Kingdom of Silla aka Shiragi from Southeast Korea in 660 and many Baekje people fled to Japan as refugees. In 663, there was a battle to rebuild Baekje by allied forces of Beakje refugees and Japan against Silla, but the battle was won by Silla. Baekje refugees assimilated into Japanese. The relationship between Japan and Silla Korea stayed unfriendly for a long time.

In 8th century, Japanese realized the Buddhism that came via Korea was not the "true" Buddhism and wanted to learn from Chinese Buddhists. So, in 753, Japanese Emperor invited Jianzhen from China to spread "true" Buddhism in Japan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jianzhen

In 805, Saicho, after learning Buddhism in China, came back to Japan and started Tendai sect of Buddhism. In 806, Kukai, after learning Buddhism in China, came back to Japan and started Shingon sect of Buddhism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saich%C5%8Dhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukai

Various sects of present day Buddhism in Japan fall in Jianzhen, Saicho or Kukai lineage.

It is true that Buddhism came to Japan via Korea. It is also true that surviving Japanese Buddhism came from China.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

CH3CHO

Baekje 's vassal state of Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The Kannon Bosatsu za zo that was stolen from Kannon ji in Tsushima was documented back to atleast 400 years. It originated from Korea but at that time the then Josen dynasty had banned worship of Buddhism so most all buddhist temples were abandoned.

Buseoksa Temple that is said to be the orign of this statue had been abandoned in the early 15th century. The present Buseoksa Temple has nothing to do with the then Buseoksa Temple of the past in which they follow different sects or schools.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As suspected, the Koreans who tried to steal the statue were Buddhist monks in their 70's, who were trying to steal back a Korean originated statue with no record or evidence that it was peacefully gotten by Japan. The statue goes back to Shilla Dynasty origin.

http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2014112611398

The Japanese side claims that the statue was 'gift' which was carried by the emisary from Kingdom of Shilla, but Japanese side say they have no recorded evidence that it was a gift.

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/11/27/2014112700355.html

It's highly suspicious that Japan has no record of this gift, when Shilla and Japan were mortal enemies. The Korean side also have no record of the gift being given to Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hotmail

highly suspicious that Japan has no record

Highly suspicious of a gift list that was sent more than 1000 years ago?

Also historical evidence sugesting that Shiragi or Shilla was a vassal state of both Wa or Japan and Goguryeo and was caught in the middle.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

SamuraiBlue, I'm not here to argue the silly laughable claims by Japanese rightwing that all of the Korean kingdoms were either Japanese colonies or vassal states in which Japan supposedly gave culture to Korea, since they are out of topic for discussion. But whenever Korean emisaries bearing gifts went over to Japan, they were recorded in the annals, with all the details right down to the gifts themselves. If it really was a gift, and Japan has no historic documentation, how is Japan so sure that it is a gift? Based on what?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Does anyone have the list of those 150,000 items? What are the 75% or 112,500 items in Japan?

CH3CHO,

You should ask that question to the Japanese government. They have the information, but refuses to release it, possibly because it's really embarrassing that Japan did not live up to the 1965 treaty agreement between Japan and Korea to restore ties, in exchange for a number of conditions, and one of those conditions was Japan returning all the looted Korean cultural treasures. Japan simply did not live up to the promise.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/07/29/2014072901190.html

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Papi2013Nov. 28, 2014 - 02:49AM JST

You should ask that question to the Japanese government.

One who claims must show the evidence. I take your comment as admittance of baseless claim.

Japan did not live up to the 1965 treaty agreement

Have you read that agreement? Here you are.http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JPKR/19650622.TMJ.html

第二条

日本国政府は,附属書に掲げる文化財を両国政府間で合意する手続に従つてこの協定の効力発生後六箇月以内に大韓民国政府に対して引き渡すものとする。

Article 2. Japanese Government is to deliver the artifacts listed on the attached document to the Government of the Republic of Korea by means agreed by both Governments within 6 months of the effective date of this agreement.

Japan did deliver all the listed items to Korea. There is nothing in the agreement that was left unfulfilled.

So, if you think Japan needs to return an artifact, prove that it was illegally taken, and file a lawsuit within statute of limitation. The statute of limitation in Korea is 10 years by the way. You cannot claim an artifact in possession of someone else without proving it was illegally taken. That is called "burden of proof".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Looks as if someone is in denial even though there is sufficient historical evidence like countless battles LOST by Shilla against Wa resulting to sending members of the royal family to Japan as hostages. There were many refugees that moved to Japan in which they carried alot of artifacts with them as they crossed the strait. Now are you saying that there is a whole list of artifact that they brought? There were also many gifts and trinkets that were sent to the surrounding aristocrates. The list you talk about only lists that one that were sent directly to the Emperor which was only a small part of the entire gifts that were sent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

lol.. at the Japanese historic fantasy. The lies don't just end with Japan's WWII amnesia. Obviously it goes well beyond that. The Tsushima temple say the statue was a gift. Now you're saying something totally different. Where's the documented proof that this was a gift SamuraiBlue?

A deposition submitted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Northeast Asia Division http://english.chosun.com/site/data/img_dir/2014/07/29/2014072901143_0.jpg

Keiichi Ono, the director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Northeast Asia Division, recently submitted a deposition to the Tokyo High Court on behalf of the Japanese government which reveals that official documents civic groups are demanding access to "include a list of national treasures that have not been presented to the Korean government until now."

It warned that Seoul may seek the return of the treasures if the documents are made public.

A Japanese civic group filed for public access to official documents involving 1965 talks that normalized diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan, seeking to view lists of Korean treasures held by the Japanese royal household, National Museum and other archives.

But the Tokyo High Court on July 25 overturned a lower court order to disclose the documents on appeal from the Japanese government. The High Court said in its ruling, "If the documents are released, there is the danger that Japan could be placed at a disadvantage in future negotiations with North Korea as well as in future ties with South Korea."

According to Ono's deposition, the Japanese government conducted a comprehensive survey ahead of the 1965 normalization treaty on how key Korean national treasures were smuggled out of Korea and how much they cost. Following the signing of the treaty, Tokyo returned 1,431 treasures to Korea.

But the deposition reveals that Japan sifted through the list of looted treasures and returned only the less valuable ones relatively. The deposition also notes that the records contain information on how the treasures were stolen from Korea, which Seoul would find "difficult to understand."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Double jeopardy, if you ask me. Retaliation on behalf of the South Koreans towards the Japanese swimmer who admitted stealing a journalist camera, returns home and now denies the offense. Who knows...?? Regardless, theft is unacceptable - period.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

SamuraiBlue, I'm not here to argue the silly laughable claims by Japanese rightwing that all of the Korean kingdoms were either Japanese colonies or vassal states in which Japan supposedly gave culture to Korea, since they are out of topic for discussion. But whenever Korean emisaries bearing gifts went over to Japan, they were recorded in the annals, with all the details right down to the gifts themselves. If it really was a gift, and Japan has no historic documentation, how is Japan so sure that it is a gift? Based on what?

What happened to burden of proof? Japan is the last clearly documented owner. If Koreans want it back, the burden is them to categorically show beyond reasonable doubt Japanese had stolen it ... and that's before you run into a mess of victor's spoils, prescription, statute of limitations...

Sorry Korea ... at this point it doesn't really matter what happened. Legally speaking, that statue is out of your hands.

A Japanese civic group filed for public access to official documents involving 1965 talks that normalized diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan, seeking to view lists of Korean treasures held by the Japanese royal household, National Museum and other archives.

Thi is one of those times I have to sympathize with the Japanese right-wing position that these "civic groups" are either cronies of China & Korea, traitors, or both. It is one thing for Koreans to file claims like this, but a Japanese civics group?

Anyway, the Tokyo High Court is correct in its decision. Considering the Korean mentality (I'm sorry but I'm not really able to continue to not see lines out of the dots), any advantages of public access of the documents is decisively outweighed by the disadvantage and thus public welfare will say that access should be restricted.

Don't Koreans and those who support them feel any shame at this junction anyway? Supposedy, the Japanese stole your items. But you guys can't even compile a list of what is stolen. Instead, you ask the "defendant" to do it for you. (It is also interesting how much of Dokdo claims seem to rely on Japanese rather than Korean documents).

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