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Chinese group appeals to emperor for return of 1,300-year-old artifact

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If Japan really wants to stir the pot, they should give it back...to S. Korea.

It was unclear what impact including Akihito in the letter would have as, under Japan’s constitution, the emperor has no power...[A]ll imperial household property belongs to the state.

The emperor has no official power, but it'll be a cold August in Kansai before Japan gives it back without a nod from ol' Akihito.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The China Federation of Demanding Compensation from Japan (CFDC) sent a letter to Akihito and the Japanese government on Sunday via Tokyo’s embassy in Beijing, Xinhua reported.

How about asking instead of demanding?

And who should really own it? One of the Koreas or China? (Or Taiwan?)

7 ( +12 / -5 )

You don't ask for things when you own the world.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

CFDC? Sheesh, laugh my rear end off.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Interesting how the article indicates they "appealed to" and are "seeking" and other soft words, yet the association's name, as well as the letter was actually a demand. I think they shot themselves in the foot if they wanted to get a nice response from Japan.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The China Federation of Demanding Compensation from Japan (CFDC)

They have an entire organisation dedicated to 'demanding compensation'?

And it's dedicated to seeking...

“compensation for personal, material and spiritual damage caused by Japanese militarism during the country’s aggression against China in the 20th century”.

Spiritual damage? What on earth is spiritual damage? Anyway, organisations like this exist to fuel Chinese hatred of Japan.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

China scholars indicating cultural links with Korea? That's where it starts! Watch out Korea. China is about to claim Korea as part of its "inherent territory" for historical reasons!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

ReformedBasher: "How about asking instead of demanding?"

I'm with you on this one. When I read the article and how the artifact in question is basically never seen and remains in 'seclusion', and that it was looted by Imperial troops, I thought it would be a nice and proper thing to give it back, but I don't think the tone of the CFDC is in any way in the proper spirit and is making it more of a current political issue (ex. "It's about international justice!", etc.) between the two nations. That, in turn, makes it less likely they will get it back.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Okay.. So if Japan does hand it back it better be to the ROC in Taiwan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Obelisk in Paris, All treasures in British Museum taken fro Egypt or Africa. Any other stolen things in Europe and America. Should they be returned to where they originally came from???

I don't thnk so.~

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Could China handle such articraft properly, in the first place?

So many national treasures in ROK have been found damaged recently without proper care.

I'm afraid the same thing would happen in China, even if they are returned.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Honglujing Stele was "looted by Japanese soldiers early last century from northeastern China", the official Xinhua news agency said

Japan's presence in China and Korea expanded after it defeated China’s Qing Dynasty in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 and Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. The stele was taken from an area Tokyo captured from Russia in the latter war and sent to Japan in 1908, the Xinhua report said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honglujing_Stele

According to Wikipedia, Honglujing stele was located in Lushun (aka Port Arthur), which became Japanese concession from Russian concession as a result of Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Portsmouth

Saying the stele was "looted" by Japanese soldiers, after the war ended and after the city became Japanese concession, is very strange.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Does anybody really believe that the Chinese really gives a d*mn to artifacts or 70 years ago so called victims?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think "demand" is just a poor translation.

I can't speak Chinese, but I know that they use the same word, 要求, as the Japanese, which can be 'ask' or 'demand', in English, depending on context.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So to further distract the attention of the young Internet-savy Chinese generation who might be up for an uprising against the CCP, there is now an additional issue to keep the Chinese youths hatred focused on Japan. I've lost count of the many issues brought to bear. Emperor Xi certainly have a long list of KPIs to meet!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So maybe, long, long ago, the Koreas where part of what we call CHINA?? But what we now call CHINA now, was just a bunch of smaller fiefdoms, all fighting each other for power and killing each other, if the HISTORY CHANNEL is correct.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This article bides very well with the article about young Japanese athletes keeping a low profile while in China. Yeah, the Chinese are a bunch of egocentric propagandists, but Japan should stop biting their baited lines. There are plenty of master baiters in Chinese politics, but there are also many master baiters in Japanese politics as well. I guess it's a battle to see which team can master bait the most.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The China Federation of Demanding Compensation from Japan (CFDC)

Lucabrasi might be right that it's a poor translation. It's also very clunky as the title of an organization.. How about the Chinese Organization of Legitimate Demands (COLD), or the Chinese Organization of Wartime Export Recovery (COWER)?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a stone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is a precedent for this - Greece regularly demands the return of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum (and those were taken a lot longer ago than this stele was). Same with Belgian claims regarding Flemish art in French museums taken by Napoleon.

Normally I`m not a fan of Chinese complaints against Japan, but with stuff like this they have a point. Cultural property of importance like this really should be returned - its basically just a souvenir to the emperor but is an important piece of history in the place where it originates.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Elbuda

But what we now call CHINA now, was just a bunch of smaller fiefdoms, all fighting each other for power and killing each other,

Surely that's true for every nation on earth?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Obelisk in Paris, All treasures in British Museum taken fro Egypt or Africa. Any other stolen things in Europe and America. Should they be returned to where they originally came from???

I don't thnk so.~

hachikou -- Actually I do think so, and will assume that your comment is based simply on ignorenece. If you would take even 30 seconds to Google the subject, you would learn that many, many countries and institutions are returning articfacts to countries all over the world. In fact, there are still on-going efforts in Germany to try to return artwork to the rightful owner -- Because it is the right thing to do. And those of you hiding behind semantics about the word "demand" should be ashamed of yourselves. Rather than actually addressing a moral question, you hid behind words -- like Japan always does.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Sees to me that the Koreas have a better claim to it than China does.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Comparing avocados with blueberries should lead to nowhere. It was mentioned here about greeks and belgians asking for their arts to be returned. But for sure they have the intention to restore them if needed and display properly in a museum. As the Chinese "demand" (new one) is just another tantrum, this stone will probably serve as a merely door stop if returned to them. Take note.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When Japan normalized relations with China back in the early 70s, as a gesture of good will, they returned some exteremely precious art works that were at the nationa museum in Ueno. There is lots of great Chinese stuff in the British Museum. Will they "demand" that be returned? If not, why not? Why this piece of stone?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“What we try to recover is not just the relic itself, but also a symbol of international justice,” it quoted CFDC president Tong Zeng as saying.

Having China and "International Justice" in the same sentence just makes me laugh

4 ( +5 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

I don't think the Koreans would accept even if it was offered. According the article the it is written on the steele;

the first king of the northeast Asian Bohai(Balhae, Palhae and Parhae) kingdom was given his title by a Chinese emperor from the Tang Dynasty. An ancient Korean related kingdom being a vassal state of China?

I believe the Koreans would want to bury it as soon as they get their hands on it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Comparing avocados with blueberries should lead to nowhere. It was mentioned here about greeks and belgians asking for their arts to be returned. But for sure they have the intention to restore them if needed and display properly in a museum. As the Chinese "demand" (new one) is just another tantrum, this stone will probably serve as a merely door stop if returned to them. Take note.

Koto -- nonsense. An artifact is an artifact and every country is entitled to have important cultural pieces returned to it. Simply because China is a bully and all too frequently harps on Japan's war atrocities is not an excuse for not returning it. Apples and oranges.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Jerseynoy. Indeed, you are quite right but I never said something like not to return them that stone. The point is over this new Chinese turmoil and this given importance for that stone. Only one who is very naive can buy that this is just about that stone. On the other hand this can be very clear that a new step on China's bully was taken. Now, instead of just annoy anyone who holds the office of Japan's prime minister, they started to dig some pretext to attack the Emperor himself. You may wait and see.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Youkyu ----- Must be Request, not ask, not demand.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's Chinese property, it was looted, Japan does have any cultural attachment to it. The right thing to do would be to give it back. It would gain Japan good points in trying to mend their fences with China.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"The stone monument, 1.8 meters tall and three meters wide, shows that the first king of the northeast Asian Bohai kingdom was given his title by a Chinese emperor from the Tang Dynasty (618-907)"

Why would Japanese soldiers take this?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I really haven't heard of the CFDC before reading this article, and a similar one in the Chinese media, but I would guess that judging by the name of the organisation along with the demand being made, and the tone it's been made in, that the CFDC will receive what they deserve in these circumstances, which is nothing. And who could expect otherwise. There might well be a case to have the stele returned to China, and I haven't read all the details of who owned what, when and where, but to make demands instead of diplomatic requests of another country in these circumstances is really poor diplomacy. I don't think even the hard line, pro Chinese/anti Japanese would support the requested outcome in this situation, and quite frankly the CFDC are not helping China's cause or reputation in anyway if this is the way they are going to conduct their business. Stolen artifacts belong with the counties they came from but there are much better ways of getting them returned than the way the CFDC are going about it. Absolutely counter productive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

SamuraiBlueAug. 12, 2014 - 10:50PM JST OssanAmerica I don't think the Koreans would accept even if it was offered. According the article the it is written on the steele; the first king of the northeast Asian Bohai(Balhae, Palhae and Parhae) kingdom was given his title by a Chinese emperor from the Tang Dynasty. An ancient Korean related kingdom being a vassal state of China? I believe the Koreans would want to bury it as soon as they get their hands on it.

LOL You're thinking logically rationally. If you look at the history I am sure you'd agree that the Koreas have a greater claim than China. Better let the Koreans get it and bury it rather than let the Chinese get it and use it as "ancient evidence" that all of Korea was an part of China, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balhae

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan needs to be very careful about giving things back to Communist China - That could establish an unwanted Geopolitical Proxy of "You gave that back, now give us this back..."

Keep in mind that Japan has already apologized to Communist China & South Korea for alleged "War Atrocities" and since then, Japan has unfortunately set a bad precedence for themselves (that is why America never apologized for dropping the bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki - Bad Proxy)

Besides, making appeals or demands to The Imperial Court is something the Japanese will not accept from China or South Korea.

The Imperial Family is at The Heart of the Japanese Culture and tampering with their culture will only result in a simple: "No, but would you care for some Green Tea?"

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He declined to comment on the demand for its return, saying: “We have not received any official request.”

This is key. No OFFICIAL request has been made. A sovereign nation isn't going to respond to unofficial requests or demands to return items in their possession.

China probably has jurisdiction over this stele because it was taken from lands occupied by Russia at the time. Russia at the time occupied Manchuria and the Liaodong peninsula. If it was taken from there, then it wasn't in Korea. The Chinese government should be making an official request, not some private organization demanding the return of the stele.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamor

Fundumentally PRC can't since according to what is transcibed it was errected by Korean ancestry. It's like the present middle east governments wanting back pieces of Mesopotamian antiquity , just because they occupy the land now does not give them right of possession that was not developed by their ancestors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seriously? China Federation of Demanding Compensation from Japan? Is that like the China Federation of Being a Loser? Also, China can have it and Taiwan back when it becomes a democracy and not a minute sooner. Who knows what will happen when Xi and Li go down. The artifact could be damaged.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Give human rights and basic freedoms back to your people and maybe then, China, you would earn some respect and would have your request considered. Until then, you shall remain in the eyes of the world, a nothing country and you shall have no rights afforded to you and you shall continue to be despised and disrespected all over the world.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The palace grounds are open to visitors on only two days a year, but there is no public access to the building itself, where an Imperial Household Agency official told AFP the stele is kept.

He declined to comment on the demand for its return, saying: “We have not received any official request.”

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Imperilal Household Agency handles anything related to Emperor. Unlike other Japanese, Emperor has no freedom according to Japanese Constitution. Official request, it hasn't received. You can not give a letter to Emperor. Remember one politician tried to hand a letter to Emperor and he was criticized, at the party in which Emperor attended sometime ago? Emperor is prohibited to read a letter sent to Him anyway.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

After the War US Govt was completely irresponsible and loose for not taking proper measures to make Japan return artifacts and monuments stolen by them. It is matter of civil respect to return what was stolen and replace what was destroyed.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It would have been a nice gesture to return the artifact (in the same way that returning the Elgin marbles to Greece would be a nice gesture from the UK). Unfortunately, the name of the Chinese organisation has left this dead in the water. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

hatsoff

It would have been a nice gesture to return the artifact (in the same way that returning the Elgin marbles to Greece would be a nice gesture from the UK). Unfortunately, the name of the Chinese organisation has left this dead in the water. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot.

Indeed the only way it would have been more obvious is if they had named themselves the Chinese Federation of Japan Give Us More Money (Please?)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Google is now flooded with news about Honglujing Stele, so I gave up looking for the original source of the stele. Wikipedia says it was taken by Japanese from Russia at Lushun / Port Arthur, but that is outside the Bohai kingdom.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Give human rights and basic freedoms back to your people and maybe then, China, you would earn some respect and would have your request considered. Until then, you shall remain in the eyes of the world, a nothing country and you shall have no rights afforded to you and you shall continue to be despised and disrespected all over the world.

mataka -- which parallel universe do you live in? I guess you missed the fact that this "nothing country" passed Japan to become the world's second largest economy, and if you polled the Top 100 Fortune 500 companies that do business with both China and Japan, probably 80% or more would say that their future business prospects in China are much brighter than in Japan. Sure, their politics and international relations leave a lot to be desired, but using that as an excuse to not return an important historical artifact is a red-herring.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@jerseyboy not a red-herring. Can't have true peace with non-democracies and no peace equals no... slab.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Smith

ReformedBasher: "How about asking instead of demanding?"

I'm with you on this one. When I read the article and how the artifact in question is basically never seen and remains in 'seclusion', and that it was looted by Imperial troops, I thought it would be a nice and proper thing to give it back, but I don't think the tone of the CFDC is in any way in the proper spirit and is making it more of a current political issue (ex. "It's about international justice!", etc.) between the two nations. That, in turn, makes it less likely they will get it back.

Thanks. Yes, using some diplomacy/common sense is a better approach. (Ignoring temporarily the matter of who it should be returned to)

I'm not one of those giving you a thumbs down by the way.

@Others

Let's take a closer look.

The "China Federation of Demanding Compensation from Japan" seems to be a different entity to the government (?), although it's not clear what government interaction/control with the group exists. I'd appreciate any information. Google results seem to focus on this story and I don't have time to keep looking as I'm working to a deadline.

In any case, it seems most of us, including myself, agree that this "group", government-connected or not,is not going about things the right way. (Understand the temptation to ridicule the CCP. I dislike them in general, even so, I doubt whether all members are bad, just collectively bad)

At the same time, I wonder if a there is a similar organization demanding artifacts be returned from Taiwan after the Nationalist removed many from Mainland China. Cynical? Maybe. Still a fair question though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jerseyboy

I guess you missed the fact that this "nothing country" passed Japan to become the world's second largest economy, and if you polled the Top 100 Fortune 500 companies that do business with both China and Japan, probably 80% or more would say that their future business prospects in China are much brighter than in Japan.

I don't think so with all the labor union demands, discrimitive business laws and various rediculous antitrust claims that foreign automobile manufacturers are facing. Also the various scandals and mis-labeling done by chinese suppliers that is costing them a fortune in lost consumer trust towards their product in the entire region. No to mention various pirating and industrial espionage of software and other proprietorial technology If you do an actual profit/risk analysis PRC does not really score high in overall reveues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting stupidity of this CFDC... they sent a letter to the Emperor?... you know the Imperial family does not have any kind of political power in Japan.....

And if the Emperor asks for this relic to be returned.. that will mean that the Emperor is inferring to politics, and if the government does anything that the Imperial household requests (in this matter) it will mean that the government is recognizing that the Emperor has political power.

Either case means that Japan is breaking its constitution... and so, Japan could easily declare also to have an military force.

Now China.. you better think your steps.. because you are asking for something that you may not like.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suddenly, the headline changes from 'demands' to 'appeals'...what gives?

Silent editing, along with questionable moderation.

Well that was a quick delete. You win Moderator as you always do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How about asking instead of demanding?

@ReformedBasher You got played. You have my sympathy, you really do, but, you should have seen it. You and all those who were so fast to vote your post good as well. And the damage has been done. China cannot even ask for stolen property back without being vilified for it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You would think someone could make a copy and be happy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie:

" If Japan really wants to stir the pot, they should give it back...to S. Korea. "

I just LOVE that idea. That would be so frigging brilliant.... I would high-five everybody in my neighbourhood if they did that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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