crime

S Korean monk gets 6 years for Buddha statue theft

21 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2015 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
Login to comment

Why not put them back in the temple on whatever island it was on? You know for good karma's sake.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

wakawaka225::

That would make too much sense.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The copper statuette, which stands about 10 centimeters tall, was reportedly a ninth-century gift from the Korean kingdom.

So says Japan.

Japan still thousands of Korean treasures that were looted and stolen from Korean peninsula during the Japanese colonial period. Under the 1965 Japan-Korea normalization treaty, Japan was supposed to return many of those treasures to Korea. Japan never kept their treaty promise. Yet Japan has no problems quoting the 1965 treaty whenever it suits them.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Papi Japan has kept the 1965 treaty to the word.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

YuriOtani, Japan has not returned all the looted treasures that they were supposed to under the treaty. Korea has been pressuring Japan to do so for the last 50 years. Japan has not kept their treaty.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

So. Korea says that Japan maybe stole those statues centuries ago. What a joke of a country they have.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@overchan I know, right? Just based on a suspicion of what possibly happened centuries before and without any proof they returned only one of the two statues. South Korea is a joke, alright. That's why they'll never be taken seriously.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Japan requested the two statues’ swift return, but a South Korean District Court blocked their repatriation on suspicion that they might have been stolen from Korea centuries ago by Japanese pirates."

I guess that's what happens when you have home field advantage with the courts. I assume Koreans had proof that they were stolen by Japanese pirates?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

YuriOtani, Japan has not returned all the looted treasures that they were supposed to under the treaty. Korea has been pressuring Japan to do so for the last 50 years. Japan has not kept their treaty.

YuriOtani is correct. This is yet again Korea failing to abide by the treaty.

https://ja.m.wikisource.org/wiki/文化財及び文化協力に関する日本国と大韓民国との間の協定

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Japan under Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea in 1592 and after a brief truce in 1596 invaded again in 1597 and were pushed out in 1598. It disrupted Korean society well into the future and many treasures were stolen.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

6 is a little bit to much

0 ( +3 / -3 )

South Korea last month decided to return one of two ancient Buddha statues

This was returned to Japan because no-one in South Korea claimed the statue that was made in Korea during Korea's Silla dynasty. Because no-one claimed, no-one could prove that it belonged in Korea, and no one contested the return to Japan, it was decided to be returned to Japan (even though there is no evidence that this was a gift to Japan).

I guess that's what happens when you have home field advantage with the courts

Despite the home advantage, the above statue was returned to Japan, despite Japan not proving that it got the Korean statue legally or as a gift. If what you said was correct, then it wouldn't have been returned. The other statue which is still tied up in courts, is due to the fact that a Buddhist temple in Korea says that this is their statue which was robbed by Japanese attackers. There has to be a trial, and the Japanese side has to prove that it was really a gift.

Japan has yet to fulfil the 1965 treaty return ALL of the stolen and looted Korean treasures taken by Japanese colonists, not just a few items that are less valuable. The list of the treasures that Korea has given to Japan, Japan has to return them all. They are Korean historic artifacts, why do Japanese want Korean stuff in their country? Don't the Japanese look down on Korean made things?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Financial crimes are punished hard in Japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

paps, I wouldn't say Japan has "never" kept their promise. They have returned thousands of volumes of books in the past. Hopefully they'll continue to return any looted artifacts.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japan-to-return-ancient-books-to-s-korea-in-early-dec

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The monk needs to be punished, either in Japan, in South Korea, or both, but six years seems a little steep for a country that lets murderers walk free with no punishment at all, and gives suspended sentences to CEOs who commit fraud to the tune of MUCH higher numbers. I suppose the seriousness of it being between South Korea and Japan, and previous treaties, comes into play, but still. Should be a major fine and permanent blacklisting, not six years for a seventy year old monk (again, with people here who commit murder at that age are let off because of it, etc.).

Moderator: Please repost without the comparisons to other crimes which are irrelevant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@papi2013

Despite the home advantage, the above statue was returned to Japan, despite Japan not proving that it got the Korean statue legally or as a gift. If what you said was correct, then it wouldn't have been returned. The other statue which is still tied up in courts, is due to the fact that a Buddhist temple in Korea says that this is their statue which was robbed by Japanese attackers. There has to be a trial, and the Japanese side has to prove that it was really a gift.

According to yourself, that's because the SK side was completely nolo contendere. As for your next part, the fact that the burden of proof is on the Japanese is a sign of the Korean court's bias. It is not even a provenance problem, but a prescription problem. After so many years out of their hands without a claim, modern law will say the item belongs to Japan - end of story.

The purpose of prescription is to avoid messy, frivolous disputes like this. As time goes by, it gets harder and harder to find hard evidence one way or another. Thus, if he's been holding onto it for awhile without a dispute filed, it becomes the new owner's property.

Japan has yet to fulfil the 1965 treaty return ALL of the stolen and looted Korean treasures taken by Japanese colonists, not just a few items that are less valuable. The list of the treasures that Korea has given to Japan, Japan has to return them all. They are Korean historic artifacts, why do Japanese want Korean stuff in their country? Don't the Japanese look down on Korean made things?

The Treaty proper does not even mention cultural artifacts. There is an associated Agreement, which has a list without debate of provenance. Consider 1321 pieces were transferred and the size of the list, it has been fulfilled.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He definitely deserves to be punished, and the statutes returned to Japan (glad one was, now the other unless they can prove it was stolen from Korea originally), but six years seems stiff in a nation where murder can see the proven guilty walk away.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The issues with ancient artefacts and relics and their ownership is a controversial issue around the world. When one considers the number of relics and artefacts that fill museums around the world, having been taken from their original locations to foreign locations by archeologists, treasure hunters, militaries, and the like, one realises the magnitude of this. Two countries that have been particularly vocal about this have been Egypt and China, trying to reclaim from foreign museums and collections items that they believe should belong to their national collections and archives.

Of course, as with anything else crossing national boundaries, physical possession is nine-tenths of the law.

The following link provides some interesting information. Please note, this is with regards to Korea and its claims but also talks about this issue in the global context. I am not taking sides here, I am just sharing a link with some information that some might find useful. Just as an example.

http://korea.prkorea.com/wordpress/?p=309

With regards to the sentence here, law and sentences are a funny thing. Theft and robbery sometimes get treated more severely than crimes that one would imagine should result in longer sentences. In this case, I am certain that there was probably an intent to make an example of this individual, to discourage other adventurous people from following in his footsteps.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Korea reminds me of my ex. She used to ask money from me, take my money, tell me that I used her, that I owe her everything, that's just depressing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm not talking about this particular Buddha statue as I know nothing about it (and it sounds like it was the right thing to do for the thieves to be jailed and the statue to be returned to Japan), but that Japan has pillaged the Korean peninsular throughout history and stolen artifacts is a widely accepted, historical fact.

Not only that, Japan has forcefully brought Korean artisans and potters to Japan.

In fact, one of Japan's most celebrated pottery artisans, Chin Ju Kan (Korean pronunciation being Shim Su Kwan) openly states this fact on his official website:

At a time when Kagoshima was called “Satsuma”, our founder came here from The Korean Peninsula, traveling through the rough waves of Genkai Nada ocean. Despite the sad fact of history that the founder was brought here under captivity, it did not stop him from giving everything to the art

http://chinjukanpottery.com/about

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hm. It's obvious humans are still very possessive, even if they had such a religion empowering them to greater understanding, that even a Buddha statue is illusionary, had he not realized this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites