politics

Abe says WWII labor row is biggest issue with S Korea

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By Mari Yamaguch

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that the main cause of escalating tensions between Japan and South Korea is a loss of trust over court rulings ordering Japanese companies to compensate South Koreans for forced labor during World War II.

Abe said last month that it is natural to assume that South Korea would fail export control promises because it has already broken the wartime compensation agreement.

And Abe's statement will be used against Japan when the case goes to the WTO.

Abe san practically confessed that his trade restriction was politically motivated and he "assumed" without proof.

-10 ( +14 / -24 )

Abe, responding to a question about the escalating tensions, urged Seoul to take appropriate actions to stop the court procedures. His cabinet approved a plan Friday to drop South Korea from a list of countries granted preferred trade status on Aug 28.

But SK is not China or Japan. Government remains independent of the judicial system there.

"Considering the current Japan-South Korea relations, trust is the biggest problem — the question of whether to keep the promises between nations," Abe told reporters in Hiroshima, where he attended a memorial marking the Aug 6, 1945, U.S. atomic bombing. Abe said the South Korean government's refusal to interfere with the judicial system to stop the forced compensation broke the 1965 agreement and was tantamount to violating international law.

So SK should violate its constitution to appease Japan?

South Korea's government says it cannot interfere with civil lawsuits filed by individuals, and has rejected Japan's request for arbitration.

Well duh.

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

Honestly speaking, the trust problem started when Abe visited the Shrine.

-17 ( +12 / -29 )

@Heckleberry

Well duh.

Personally, I think this case should go before the ICJ. All the international legal scholars conclude that the individual right to seek damages was not covered by the 1965 treaty and Korea has a better than 95% outcome of winning if the case was ever tried at the ICJ.

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

Oh Sure. The South Korean government is making endless antagonistic threats, officially sponsoring 'we hate Japan' banners, goading their people into hateful protesting and even killing themselves and yet, somehow, you three make Japan out to be the bad guy.

The denial is strong.

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Personally, I think this case should go before the ICJ. All the international legal scholars conclude that the individual right to seek damages was not covered by the 1965 treaty and Korea has a better than 95% outcome of winning if the case was ever tried at the ICJ.

Seeing as how Korea is the one constantly refusing to meet Japan at the ICJ, I would think even Korea wouldn't agree with you on that probable outcome.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

Oh Sure. The South Korean government is making endless antagonistic threats, officially sponsoring 'we hate Japan' banners, goading their people into hateful protesting and even killing themselves and yet, somehow, you three make Japan out to be the bad guy.

@tanker - Mayor of Nagoya just days ago denied history of wrongdoing, and in doing so he joined a looooooong list of high ranking Japanese officials who have attempted to whitewash and deny history. But I suppose you think Japan is contrite enough and SK should get over it..

Kawamura had argued the exhibition could give the wrong impression that Japan accepts a South Korean claim that comfort women were forcibly taken by the Japanese military and thus it should not be displayed at a publicly funded event.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/mayor-rapped-for-demanding-halt-of-comfort-women-exhibition

But let's ignore all that, sweep it under the rug quicksmart, and focus on what SK is doing wrong hey...

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

So SK should violate its constitution to appease Japan?

No, but the government is well within it's power to mitigate and stop these types of lawsuits from proceeding by creating laws that prevent from from moving through the courts.

SK is purposely choosing to ignore the agreement it made with Japan back in the 60's between the tow countries.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

@extanker

Seeing as how Korea is the one constantly refusing to meet Japan at the ICJ, I would think even Korea wouldn't agree with you on that probable outcome.

Actually it has nothing to do with the winning probability and everything to do with not establishing a precedence of going to the ICJ from what I hear.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

I meant "precedent", not precedence. Sorry.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Japan revoked Korea from the white list because Korea had been refusing to answer to Japan for years where the missing imported products went.

Japan told Korea G20 of last month was the deadline and Korea still ignored it. So here we are.

And Korea’s ignoring 1965/2005 agreement is another issue. To this Japan has not been retaliating yet but sending warning. As soon as Korea starts to hurt Japanese companies Japan will retaliate in a different field other than “white list”.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

everything to do with not establishing a precedence of going to the ICJ from what I hear.

"from what you hear". That's funny. If they thought that they had a leg to stand on, they would be there to let the ICJ hear their sob stories in a heartbeat.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

@tanker - Mayor of Nagoya just days ago denied history of wrongdoing, and in doing so he joined a looooooong list of high ranking Japanese officials who have attempted to whitewash and deny history.

Individual opinions are faaaaaaar (see, I can be overly dramatic too) from the same thing as a government sponsored initiative. Nice try though. You let me know when the Japanese government starts hanging banners in Tokyo.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

He said the biggest problem not the only problem.. and I’m no Abe fan.. however;

“South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty.[12]”

seems pretty clear

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Overturn that politcally biased court "ruling", Moon, and save your nation from economic destruction. Its that simple.

PM Abe is 100% correct.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Agreed! Trust has been lost for a while now. Korea needs to take steps to consider the relationship with Japan important again, treat Japan the way you treat North Korea, you depend more on us for your technology and economic rise, than you do on North.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Well, Abe has spoken the truth. All the security propaganda is simply fake news. Corporate Japan is afraid of what will happen as these forced labor court cases go against them and they are told to pay or have their assets in Korea seized. Japan will drive SK into the arms of Russia if he is not careful. The USA will punish Japan if that does indeed occur.

Once again, like when Abe went to Iran to proclaim Japan's great role in politics there, Abe has overplayed his hand and has once again come up with nothing to show.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-novice-player-gets-a-painful-lesson-in-middle-east-peacemaking-11560510619

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Government remains independent of the judicial system there.

Its very difficult to explain how a real democracy works to a group of individuals that can't grasp how important it is in preventing despotism. It's akin to teaching a whale to fly.

 All the security propaganda is simply fake news

As most of us have been saying for weeks. However the 'does no wrong crowd' will simply double down and let their dissonance take charge.

Abe has overplayed his hand and has once again come up with nothing to show.

Lolololololololololoololololololol

As expected!!!!!

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Abe has overplayed his hand and has once again come up with nothing to show.

Right. Which totally explains why Moon is so desparate that he is thinking that teaming up with his neighbor in the North, one of the poorest nations on earth, will suddenly be an economic windfall for South Korea.

One of these leaders overplayed his hand, but it sure isn't Abe.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I think I have said multi times that in honesty its likely they are at least partly responding to these court cases.

Does Abe do and say wrong, or course, I dislike the promotion of Fukushima and the mistreatment of its residents hugely as one example.

But this issue, South Korea isn't abiding by its treaty with Japan.. thats pretty clear.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Right on PM Abe Right ON! As they say in America, shove the ball right down Korea's throat. After Korea( both North and South), China comes next.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

One of these leaders overplayed his hand, but it sure isn't Abe.

Sure Jan!!

Heres something you won't find in your local news to show who exactly is desperate

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190806000591

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

It is a big irony. Neither Japanese nor Korean governments have ever officially and clearly told that the 1965 treaty settlement amount was paid as the “compensation for the losses caused by Japanese war crimes” previously. Actually, Abe government and its followers have often denied the facts of Japanese imperialists' war crimes themselves and even the mainstream Japanese imperialists did not want anyone to clarify the matters of criminal indemnity in details. Now, Abe is saying that they committed the war crimes in fact?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Heres something you won't find in your local news to show who exactly is desperate

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190806000591

Haha wow, the Korea Herald? Seriously? Because that won't be biased. I'm sure there's plenty of things that you 'won't see on the local news' in Korea too. Give me a break.

Now to actually address the article, there's a big difference in local economies wanting to keep tourism dollars and the Japanese national economy as a whole and absolutely nothing in that article even mentions damage to the Japanese economy.

But keep reaching for the illusion that Korea is the one in control here. You'll have to try a lot harder though.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Dream2030

A annexation, not invasion or war, then a world war where Japan clearly lost and paid both in their own human loss and in payments to effected countries.

A treaty, like it or not, well negotiated or not, to normalized relations which clearly states that it resolves both government and individual claims for the the duration of the annexation and war..

We can argue about whose great grandad was worse than the other forever but what does it achieve?

Im not responsible for my brothers or fathers crimes certainly not my grandfathers or great grandfathers... are you?

People from that era made those treaties and agreements perhaps they wanted to abandon hate and an eye for an eye and work towards a prosperous future.

Every older person I have spoken to in Japan was but a child in those times scared and terrified of war..

It has to be time to move on, living in the past is as dangerous politically as it is in our personal lives.

We simply have people using old feelings for political maneuvering.. and it’s sad

11 ( +13 / -2 )

If S. Korea wanted to fix this problem it could be done very easily by paying the victims with money you got in 1965.

What they want is:

Japan back down on trade/security issues... But they continue on historical problems including seizing Japanese assets and selling them off.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Again, if they just spent the 200 or so million to pay their people like they agreed upon so everyone can at least try to move on, then we wouldn't be talking about this. But instead, they would rather spend 6 billion and several years to undue the damage that they themselves caused. Makes no sense...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Moon is the main cause of the problem. He thinks he can handle reunification with NK without neighbors. He says he wants a "peace economy" with NK. If that includes breaking the UN economic sanctions then the US should pull out of SK right away. If Mr. Moon thinks he can handle it let him. The US - Japan alliance will get stronger and be able to counter the threat of NK Nuclear weapons.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Every older person I have spoken to in Japan was but a child in those times scared and terrified of war..

It has to be time to move on, living in the past is as dangerous politically as it is in our personal lives.

Most citizens of Japan have no idea what happened in that era due to constant whitewashing and propaganda. The government of Japan never took proper responsibility and admitted it's wrongdoings, otherwise it would be well documents in school text books for example. It's not. And that's why it's not over...

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

And Abe's statement will be used against Japan when the case goes to the WTO.

Dude, no it won't. The case was already brought to the WTO and no one cared.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

AgentX I have not found that to be the case at all. People seem to know a good deal about it but perhaps rather than fixating on it they are getting on with their lives which has nothing to do with that time.

There are the few outliers for sure that say silly things, but if you let people have freedom of speech that will happen, however the majority of people support a peaceful Japan and don’t want military involvement despite the strong pushes from the US. A country that did what it did all that time ago being so different now, isn’t that a statement that things can be better?

Japan of now, culturally, politically, socially, legally, militarily is a different place.. so yes I suspect some people don’t have that good of a connection to that way of thinking but do you want them to?

I haven’t seen this whitewashing or propaganda people claim, there are sometimes minor disagreements about degrees but not of out and out denial.

In the over decade I have been in Japan I have only once met an older man who seemed to hold somewhat anti-Korean sentiment, but even he said war is terrible for everyone we lost and we should never repeat.

Like almost all things in life everything is not simply black and white, and for a prosperous future we need to look ahead and not back, of that I’m certain.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

NZ2011 - ask them if they are aware of Japan having fought Australia, and their attempt to invade Australia during the war next time...

My comment stands.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Attempt to invade, thats overstating things a bit isn't it?

Some air-raids some landing parties, doesn't sounds like an invasion, be keen to read more if you have more information though.

But in a way so what, Japan was "bad", did bad things in the war and the loser in the end..

Yup how about now, Japan is far better partner to Australia than many other countries in the region that are trying to force political and educational influence in Australia and New Zealand.

The Anzacs like many wars before sent and lost more young men per capita than just about any place.. are we holding the same angst against other countries?

Are people suppose to do a minute play by play of the folly of generations past?

What are the real lessons? I think that nationalism, unchecked leaders, territorial claims, control of media, curbs of freedom of speech, government propaganda against other countries and races... are dangerous no matter if the country doing this is Japan, South Korea, China, North Korea, US, the UK Germany.. not spend our time demonising people something they aren't responsible for.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

AgentX

It's 2019

Australia is not afraid of Japan. In fact they have close friendly relations including military to military.

Australians are thinking about China, just like many other countries in the region.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Deflect and deny.. great work, guys!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Garthgoyle

Dude, no it won't. The case was already brought to the WTO and no one cared.

You are confused. Korea's formal charge is yet to come.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@Samit Basu Today 07:05 am JST

All the international legal scholars conclude that the individual right to seek damages was not covered by the 1965 treaty and Korea has a better than 95% outcome of winning if the case was ever tried at the ICJ.

Link? I have seen some arguments in that direction, but quite frankly they are crap and I don't see how they can squeeze out a "95% outcome of winning". Let's see if yours hit it out of the box.

You are confused. Korea's formal charge is yet to come.

While they can proceed with the formal charge, the political winds aren't in their direction. The problem will be whether Japan can present a credible security claim, and really, even this is not necessarily detrimental - it is self evident you can take chances with a friendly country you can't with an unfriendly one, and you can take fewer chances with a country's whose average resident bears a hooliganism towards the rights of your countrymen.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The Australia Japan relationship since WWII is a very relevant example. Even though Agent X is using it for an anti-Japan post.

Yes, Japan did want to invade Australia during WWII. Just like Japan invaded Korea and China. Big difference is that both Australia and Japan have grown up since then, mended their relationship, and get on well with each other in the year 2019. The big difference with Korea and China is that they will not grow up and wish to constantly revert back to WWII.

The Australia Japan relationship in 2019 is a very good example in how to grow up.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Deflect and deny.. great work, guys

I don’t understand what you mean honestly.. who is deflecting or denying anything.

War happened it was bad, Japan did some truly egregious things, the country was changed fundamentally after it surrendered to ensure that wasn’t able to happen again, let’s not have more.

What is you expect?

That people must be in a constant state of apology for something removed by at least 3 generations, something that isn’t thinkable or possible in Japan today.

Im honestly asking.

Sorry if sensible hopeful attitudes don’t work with your narrative.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Samsung's chip-making operation has decided to stop using all Japanese material within 1 year and go completely Japan-free, even on items not on Abe administration's export control list.

The only way for Japanese suppliers to survive is to move their plants from Japan to Korea.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Samit BasuToday  11:44 am JST

Good luck to them then. Let's just hope for their sake they don't get fleeced too badly by the substitute suppliers :-)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

NZ2011,

A annexation, not invasion or war, then a world war where Japan clearly lost and paid both in their own human loss and in payments to effected countries....

Nonsense. International normal people say that it is “invasion” to occupy other countries’ territories by killing and destroying their people and political, cultural, legal systems. Only Japanese imperialist call it “annexation”. It is even funny that you understand the two words as if they are antonyms.

Then, anyway, are you arguing that Japan has paid the 1965 settlement amount for the past “annexation”, and not for the losses and pains caused by Japanese imperialist war crimes? Why? Keep in mind that the 1965 treaty was signed mainly for reestablishing diplomatic relations between the two governments and Japan has taken the benefits of huge trade surplus from Korea since that till now.

After all, you said that you are “not responsible for my brothers or fathers crimes”. Take it easy, nobody wants to accuse you of them of course. What common citizens want you to do is just not to be an underling of Abe government and its imperialist fascism. It is because, again, "human beings try to understand the present and the future through learning from the past history" but they often deny it, damaging other innocent Japanese and Korean companies and consumers’ businesses and relations.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

TigersTokyoDomeToday  11:28 am JST

The Australia Japan relationship since WWII is a very relevant example. Even though Agent X is using it for an anti-Japan post.

Yes, Japan did want to invade Australia during WWII. Just like Japan invaded Korea and China

Correct that Japan did invade China. And did plan to invade Australia. But Wrong about Korea. Japan has not invaded Korea since the 1500s. Best not to repeat this frequent Korean Nationalist revisionism. Korea was part of Jan from 1910 to 1945 by Treaty not invasion. Dissatisfaction with the 1910 Annexation Treaty is one thing, but to make up an "invasion" is something else. Korean troops as part of the IJA invaded China.

Otherwise, everything in your post is bang on. Australia and Japan, just like the US and Japan have moved on and are trustworthy allies. But then, none of these countries are using historical hate as a political tool.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Both presidents of Japan and Korea elevated/used/speculated the historical tensions for their local election successes to hide the economical failures and they can't step back from now on, since both of them heavily rely on nationalistic ideologies. Abe's Akihabara rally back three weeks ago, was terribly unfriendly and had a huge impact on Korean media, the other guy just blaming Japan for everything and try to consolidate the votes.

Now the situation is getting out of their hands just in two weeks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dream

Im not Japanese and not imperialist in any way.

Clearly you have no interest in taking any substance from what I have written.

The trade situation of modern Japan and South Korea has some impact on an historical claim? That’s odd almost like it’s a playing card pulled out when ever it’s needed..

I will have to spend some more time reading the treaty, and the English is the binding version, again it seems pretty clear the arrangement, despite your interpretation was suppose to normalize relations.. that would seem to preclude ongoing endless claims against one of the parties.

Continue your hyped up dissatisfaction if you like, from my every experience it doesn’t weigh up against reality.

and all the while all the terrible things people say Japan did, and may have done, probably did, we are starting to see the warning signs elsewhere but people would rather stay looking back at a past we know is bad.

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

An apology is useless to the victim that has no intention of accepting it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The implications are clear. This South Korean Government cannot be relied upon or trusted to comply to agreements or signed Treaties.

Once again review the 1965 Treaty articles and protocols there is no room for diplomatic or political interpretation and certainly no justification for domestic judicial review.

No. 8473 Japan and Republic of Korea...

https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20583/volume-583-I-8473-English.pdf

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“Japanese officials denied South Korea's allegation that they are using trade to retaliate, and Abe and senior ruling party lawmakers then suggested that shipments to South Korea may have illegally ended up in North Korea. Japan then cited a loss of communication between export control authorities from the two sides for three years, accusing South Korea of failing to respond to Japanese requests for talks to provide clarifications, criticized South Korea's export control capability, and said the measure was for national security reasons.”

So, with this admission, the Koreans have been vindicated in their accusation that the Japanese were merely inventing justifications. And the Japanese who were saying that it wasn’t a fabricated tit for tat retaliation, but was all to do with failures in South Korea's export controls, have now been exposed as bald faced liars. Algessumnida!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

All this political nonsense is beginning to impact the lives of ordinary Japanese and Koreans.

Give Abe and Moon boxing gloves and put them in a ring for 3 rounds.

That’ll sort the problem out real quick!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

oyatoiToday 12:43 pm JST

So, with this admission, the Koreans have been vindicated in their accusation that the Japanese were merely inventing justifications.

Not quite, oyatoi. While I believe that the judicial ruling is the real cause, as far as what they are saying, there is no contradiction between 1) they are not using trade to retaliate and 2) the main cause of the escalating tensions is because of the judicial ruling.

Further, there is nothing wrong in linking their hooliganism in one department with another. How can you extrapolate another entity's future actions except by referencing their past ones?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All the Koreans have to do is to honour the 1965 treaty that they willingly signed. Moon refuses to do this and won't even respond to requests to do so. Moon is acting like an immature, sulky teenager.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

NZ2011,

Im not Japanese and not imperialist in any way....

Let’s focus on the reality. Don’t you agree to the fact that Abe government's restrictions of exports to South Korea is damaging other innocent companies’ and consumers’ businesses and relations and it will not end in a short term? Abe himself clarified today that he did so because South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered Japanese companies to compensate forced laborers that they used during World War II. A shared request of Japanese and Korean common citizens and other international societies is that ‘Abe should never have introduced commercial weapons into a political dispute and, now, he must compromise.' What is funny but dangerous is that Abe and his followers are rather eager to criticize the Supreme Court’s decision: they deny a common sense of international law that no government has right to stop individual victim seeking a justice! Aren’t they a real threat to the future? (It is good to hear that you are not an imperialist but please notice that I did not ever said you are in fact.)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

itsonlyrocknroll,

The implications are clear. This South Korean Government cannot be relied upon or trusted to comply to agreements or signed Treaties...

Point out clearly what are those "implications" and how they are relevant to the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court that no government has right to stop an individual victim seeking a justice.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Only the truly deluded can believe that the 1965 Treaty marked the end of Japanese having to deal with the consequences of their heinous deeds on the Peninsula and elsewhere. To regain trust and respect and to provide closure, Germany has approached the entire post war period with the proven to be correct attitude that tangible and sincere demonstrations of contrite humility and a flexible attitude to reparations was the only way. If Japan wants closure and healing of the festering wounds stemming from wars of aggression that it started and which continued for a much longer period than corresponding German aggression, it needs to do likewise.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Dream2030Today 01:09 pm JST

Point out clearly what are those "implications" and how they are relevant to the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court that no government has right to stop an individual victim seeking a justice.

They didn't just say they can "seek justice" (even Japan says they can seek justice), they tried to impose justice on an issue that by international agreement has been settled (this is the disallowed part).

We are basically getting into a Permissible Coercions problem. You should divide your thinking into several parts.

One block should assess the correctness of the South Korean court's decision. Since the decision definitely goes against the clear wording of the treaty text, it is likely to be incorrect.

The second block should assess whether any government should be allowed to use "Separation of Powers" as a shield to avoid its international obligations. VCLT would quickly dispose of this by pointing out you can't use internal law as an excuse.

The third block should assess if we agree the Korean court's decision is incorrect and that governments should not be allowed to use SoP as a shield, and thus there is a viable tort, what, if any coercions are acceptable.

This last is one of the big problems of international relations and law, because obviously you can't get anywhere if no one can apply coercions even for clear faults, yet you don't want to make a complete Might makes Right or Suppression of Will situation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki: “not quite Oyatoi”

No, totally! You have completely failed to address the point I made, which is that the initial stated justification for Japan’s near trade embargo on crucial parts had nothing to do with supposedly lax South Korean export controls and everything to do with Japan taking umbrage with the Korean court’s decision to impose punitive sanctions against Japanese firms in Korea with links to the colonial period.

You yourself acknowledge that the former is the true reason. I merely point out to you an example of Japanese hypocrisy exposed. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable with this duplicity. It makes you doubt everything they say.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Dream2030, the implications are clearly stated within the Treaty.

I am sorry Dream2030, whatever the circumstances politicly, economically of the era, South Korea Supreme Court has no jurisdiction, only the International Court of Justice.

Your resentment is or could be morally justifiable, however the world where political odium is concerned may I contend is unforgiving.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

the whole problem is not Japan's position or Abe but SK Moon who has made this a personal agenda that is hurting not only the SKorean businesses but athletes and students. Sad very sad.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

abe san wake up, not only south korea, every country which had been abused by the japanese, till now stills remembers all abt the war. All countries, not only South Korea, Bad history cannot be erased by money or anything. japan have money so , what ???.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Abe said last month that it is natural to assume that South Korea would fail export control promises because it has already broken the wartime compensation agreement." This statement is completely illogical, as is Japan's retaliation against a ruling that can't even be enforced.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki,

They didn't just say they can "seek justice" (even Japan says they can seek justice), they tried to impose justice on an issue that by international agreement has been settled (this is the disallowed part). We are basically getting into a Permissible Coercions problem. You should divide your thinking into several parts.

Wow, … to put it straightforward, … you say 1) the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court is “incorrect” because it is against the 1965 treaty between governments; 2) any government can be against the principles of Separation of Powers, if in order to keep it; thus, 3) any “coercion” by governments against the Supreme Court should be acceptable; and 4) if not, “a complete Might makes Right or Suppression of Will situation” will come. Is my above summary right?

Then, your statement sounds like that of typical imperialist fascism, doesn’t it? … Why don’t you tell something more about the 1965 treaty that you may so much believe in?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Point out clearly what are those "implications" and how they are relevant to the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court that no government has right to stop an individual victim seeking a justice.

No need for denying a claim (although this would be the correct way of handling such demands in this case), but the ruling then cannot go against Japanese companies and selling off their assets, it must go directly against the SK government which here would be the correct institution to address these claims to according to the 1965 binding treaty.

And about the WTO, if SK actually wants to run against a wall again, fine. How does editing a national "white list", which is not connected to WTO rules be ruled about by the WTO. Then any country in the world could claim to be on that list. Simple logic denies any WTO apeal in the first place. It might work, if a SK court decided about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

itsonlyrocknroll,

Dream2030, the implications are clearly stated within the Treaty....

If you don’t want to, let me tell a little more about the answer. A problem of the 1965 treaty is that it by itself implies nothing clear about the terms and conditions of settlement, except the matters of money, in actual.

Rather, its nature itself was different from those of other after-war treaties and did not deal with the matters of war criminal indemnification. That is, while it states that it aimed at settling the “problem” of “property” and “claims” “between the two countries and their nationals” and “promoting the economic co-operation between the two countries,” the “property and claims” here should be interpreted by the words themselves, related to promoting economic cooperation. They are irrelevant with the matters of individual victims’ requests for criminal indemnification. It has been the fundamental view that other Japanese prime ministers’ governments have kept and it may be the reason why they at least repeated the “expression of remorse" even since that, except Abe causing problems!

In addition, your opinion that “South Korea Supreme Court has no jurisdiction” is absolutely against the territorial principle and is to make nonsense.

The last part of your comments is not so much understandable but looks just evasive from the truth unfortunately.

Just hope that Japanese and Korean common citizens can undertand their history and make compromise for the future.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Dream2030 Today 03:28 pm JST

That is, while it states that it aimed at settling the “problem” of “property” and “claims” “between the two countries and their nationals” and “promoting the economic co-operation between the two countries,” the “property and claims” here should be interpreted by the words themselves, related to promoting economic cooperation.

On this part, it is sufficient to point out the title is "*Agreement on the settlement of problems concerning property and claims and on economic co-operation*". Economic cooperation is separate from "Settlement of problems concerning Property and Claims". 

Similarly, the preamble (which assists in interpretation) is

"Desiring to settle [the] problem concerning property of the two countries and their nationals and claims between the two countries and their nationals ; and

[must keep this space]

Desiring to promote the economic co-operation between the two countries ;"

Note TWO separate parts, and in fact the "problem" is just that little bit more important, by virtue of being placed first.

Maybe you shouldn't overcomplicate things by finding excuses for the South Koreans to go against a plain reading interpretation of phrases like 

*"The Contracting Parties confirm that [the] problem concerning property, rights and interests of the two Contracting Parties and their nationals (including juridical persons) and concerning claims between the Contracting Parties and their nationals, including those provided for in Article IV, paragraph (a) of the Treaty of Peace with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, is settled completely and finally."*

and

*"Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, no contention shall be made with respect to the measures on property, rights and interests of either Contracting Party and its nationals which are within the jurisdiction of the other Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or with respect to any claims of either Contracting Party and its nationals against the other Contracting Party and its nationals arising from the causes which occurred on or before the said date."*

They are irrelevant with the matters of individual victims’ requests for criminal indemnification.

Nothing in the above makes any exception for "criminal indemnification". The interpretation the Japanese government has taken concerning claims (or claim rights, seikyuken), however, is that technically they are not extinguished, but the competency to grant relief is. It is a harder to understand formulation, but as long as it doesn't violate the "settled completely and finally" bit international law doesn't care.

There is also the small detail that up till at least the 90s the Koreans went for the simpler formulation of extinguished claim rights, before learning (or so the story went) of what the Japanese were doing and changing horses.

http://justice.skr.jp/seikyuuken-top.html (source much loved by Koreans - I've had it stuffed up my nose so many times ... darn it, let me use it as well)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Interesting statistic showing increases in military spending by country.

China: 189%

S Korea: 65%

Japan: 0.5%

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nationalism continues to create ignorant. Worry about Korea's real problems and don't make up stories to distract attention. Japan has already apologized, let history serve to not repeat mistakes, not as an excuse to create hate.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Dream2030 Today 03:18 pm JST

Wow, … to put it straightforward, … you say 1) the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court is “incorrect” because it is against the 1965 treaty between governments;

Correct, and let me add the consequences of act is severe and goes beyond this treaty. Basically, the Supreme Court is saying the clear meaning of treaties can be voided on unilateral judicial interpretation.

2) any government can be against the principles of Separation of Powers, if in order to keep it; thus,

International law obligates this. Do you wish to contend that entities should be allowed to violate contracts and treaties because of internal organization?

3) any “coercion” by governments against the Supreme Court should be acceptable; and 4) if not, “a complete Might makes Right or Suppression of Will situation” will come.

How did you get that from "[if] there is a viable tort, what, if any coercions are acceptable.

This last is one of the big problems of international relations and law, because obviously you can't get anywhere if no one can apply coercions even for clear faults, yet you don't want to make a complete Might makes Right or Suppression of Will situation."?

Still, you can answer the question even with that (mis)understanding. Obviously, you don't agree "any" coercion should be acceptable. Do you want to extend that to say "No" coercion is acceptable?

If you don't want to go that far, then you must accept "some" coercion is acceptable, and your only choice is to decide whether this coercion is acceptable. I will point out among the coercions this is a weak one, to the point you can argue no coercion happened at all. After all, is removal of a privilege a coercion?

At least arguably No.

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Kazuaki Shimazaki,

On this part, it is sufficient to point out the title is "Agreement on the settlement of problems concerning property and claims and on economic co-operation". Economic cooperation is separate from "Settlement of problems concerning Property and Claims". ...

So, ... no matter whether they make sense or not, are you saying that 1) the 1965 covered two irrelevant or different themes and that 2) its settlement amount was paid as the compensation for the losses and pains caused by Japanese imperialist war crimes related to forced labor, sexual slavery, land grab, etc. after all? Then, let's request Abe to officially confess the facts of Japanese war crimes and make your points clear. Most of the conflicts between Japanese and Korean governments will be solved definitely! Do you agree to it?

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Funko Toyoda,

Nationalism continues to create ignorant. Worry about Korea's real problems and don't make up stories to distract attention. Japan has already apologized, let history serve to not repeat mistakes, not as an excuse to create hate.

Hm .. Just refer to the report of 2019 World Press Freedom Index of RWB/RSF: ranked Japan 67th out of 180 countries (between Niger 66th and Malawi 67th) and explained that there is 'a climate of mistrust toward journalists ever since Shinzo Abe became prime minister again in 2012'. Which party makes "stories to distract attention" between Abe government and "Korea"?

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Just to correct some typos above comment: " ... ranked Japan 67th out of 180 countries (between Niger 66th and Malawi [68]th) ... " and also suggest "Nationalism continues to create ignorant. Worry about [Abe governement's and is followers'] real problems and don't make up stories to distract attention. Japan [should have] already apologized, let history serve to not repeat mistakes, not as an excuse to create hate.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dream..

I have said multiple times I wish Japan was more contrite about its past and with warming ties until fairly recently I felt there might be a chance they may start adopting a different perspective on the situation but by the route that was taken it has put Japan on the defensive.

If South Korea acts in this way you can understand that even if they wanted to do more it potenitally makes Japan libel for almost any claim with no control.

If the supreme court can make these decisions unilaterally on foreign owned or foreign funded companies, which is not clearly not within the spirit of the agreement with the two countries, however you want to slice or re-interpret it, this causes concern for Japan. Im sure if you could look at it objectively you would see the same thing.

"Lets ask Abe to confess" I think that statement in itself outline the problem, like him or not he isn't guilty of those crimes personally, those found guilty were executed or jailed, Japan was changed irrevocably so it wouldn't be able to commit the same crimes. Payments, Treaties were willing made and received, all he can do is repeat the same thing, Japan is not that Japan and it is sorry for its part.

Like him or not he stands up and says... and I quote some sections;

Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war.

And, seventy years ago, Japan was defeated.

On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.

> Also in countries that fought against Japan, countless lives were lost among young people with promising futures. In China, Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and elsewhere that became the battlefields, numerous innocent citizens suffered and fell victim to battles as well as hardships such as severe deprivation of food. We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honour and dignity were severely injured.

> Upon the innocent people did our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering. History is harsh. What is done cannot be undone. Each and every one of them had his or her life, dream, and beloved family. When I squarely contemplate this obvious fact, even now, I find myself speechless and my heart is rent with the utmost grief.

> The peace we enjoy today exists only upon such precious sacrifices. And therein lies the origin of postwar Japan. 

> We must never again repeat the devastation of war.

> Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war. In order to manifest such feelings through concrete actions, we have engraved in our hearts the histories of suffering of the people in Asia as our neighbours: those in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, and Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and China, among others; and we have consistently devoted ourselves to the peace and prosperity of the region since the end of the war.

> Such position articulated by the previous cabinets will remain unshakable into the future.

> How much emotional struggle must have existed and what great efforts must have been necessary for the Chinese people who underwent all the sufferings of the war and for the former POWs who experienced unbearable sufferings caused by the Japanese military in order for them to be so tolerant nevertheless?

> That is what we must turn our thoughts to reflect upon.

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@Dream2030Today 04:16 pm JST

Wow, so your inability to detect sense allows you to ignore the plaintext? As for the 2nd part, to be more accurate, both sides disagreed on the characterization, so they decided to just settle things with a money transfer.

And why should Abe confess to things that he doesn't believe in? Please remember the Constitutional protection of the conscience. I really like how Korea's fans tend to think Japanese freedom of speech and conscience is worthless, while their feelings are gold.

@Dream2030Today 04:37 pm JST

I am not very familiar with Nigel and Malawi. However, as I understand it that thing placed Japan lower than South Korea - the land where they actually attacked contrarian views with criminal prosecutions. That has not happened in Japan (at least not recently). I can only conclude that there are flaws in the measurement, possibly due to the questionnaire which introduces substantial errors based on the expectations of the answerers.

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In my opinion, Japan is a bit hypocritical when talking about wartime.

The point is probably also that revisionism is strong so Japanese people are also ignorant about it (and they don't understand why SK complains).

When Japan embraced it's imperialism and militarism attitude they invaded a lot of countries (China, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, among others...) and they established colonies and "protectorates".

During those years, people were exploited, killed, subjected to chemical experiments etc (like in China) and in SK people were also forced to speak Japanese ant not Korean anymore (this is why a lot of elderly korean can speak Japanese). Japan wiped out korean cultural identity during the "protectorate" from 19010 to 1945. They also forced a lot of koreans to move to Japan to work in factories (creating the zainichi problem that they all whine about today).

The point is, that while Japanese government strongly highlights what they lost during the war, always talking about the disasters of Nagasaki and Hiroshima (which I think everyone agrees that are atrocities that should never happen again), they have never taken responsibility for what they did in Korea and in Asia during the war, and what's worse, they denied any wrongdoing, with public figures saying things like "the Nanjing massacre has never happened".

For the people claiming that "war is war" I want to point out that Korea was conquered in 1910, way before the war started, and atrocities have continued ever since.

Also, how come the "war is war" attitude is ok to excuse what Japanese people did to Asians, but not for the two atomic bombs?

A lot more people were killed by Japanese in Asia, than the bombs killed in those 2 days. (btw I am not trying to legitimate the bombings).

The problem is that Japanese diplomatic attitude was not coherent towards what happened in the war, they want to be seen as victims of what other people did to them, but they do not want to take responsibility for what they did to others. This is the problem, in my opinion.

I just want to say that I am not excusing/legitimatizing atomic bombings by the US or Japanese atrocities, I think that all of them (and war in general) not tolerable, and inexcusable behaviors, and most of all none of them should happen again.

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NZ2011,

I have said multiple times I wish Japan was more contrite about its past and with warming ties until fairly recently I felt there might be a chance they may start adopting a different perspective on the situation but by the route that was taken it has put Japan on the defensive. ...

Okay. Then, let’s make a step further.

Abe and his followers argued that the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court was wrong and tried to justify his government’s restriction of exports to South Korea by it today. In contrast, Korean government and other Japanese and Korean citizens and international societies say that ‘Abe should never have introduced commercial weapons into a political dispute’. If seen from an objective perspective, while the legality of the Court’s decision is arguable at best, there will be no doubt about the fact that Abe government’s action is illegal now.

Then, what should be done? Naturally, in accordance to the seriousness of illegality, Abe government should apologize to the innocent companies and consumers that it caused damages to first and, if it wants to, suggest to discuss the legality of the Court’s decision taking enough time of grace period.

Do you think Abe government and its followers will accept this solution voluntarily? Maybe not! It Abe government has denied the facts of war crimes themselves that their victims reported so far. Isn’t it hypocritical to tell an ‘apology’ in the front, just denying the reasons for it themselves in the back?

The answers will show a reason why normal citizens with conscience and common sense should cooperate to overcome the threats from Abe government and its followers.

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Kazuaki Shimazaki,

Wow, so your inability to detect sense allows you to ignore the plaintext? As for the 2nd part, to be more accurate, both sides disagreed on the characterization, so they decided to just settle things with a money transfer. ..

Really sorry for not-being able to understand your wordings and logics. I will appreciate it if you can more simplify and clarify your points. ...

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Dream2030 , Article 2 is clear, Treaties by there very definition, in this case

Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea. is unequivocal. there is no other judical body than the International court of Justice.

Article II

1. The Contracting Parties confirm that [the] problem concerning property, rights

and interests of the two Contracting Parties and their nationals (including juridical

persons) and concerning claims between the Contracting Parties and their nationals,

including those provided for in Article IV, paragraph (a) of the Treaty of Peace with

Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, is settled completely

and finally.

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@Dream2030Today 06:23 pm JST

Abe and his followers argued that the decision of South Korea’s Supreme Court was wrong and tried to justify his government’s restriction of exports to South Korea by it today.

First, at least according to the article, this did not happen. Today, he said that "the main cause of escalating tensions between Japan and South Korea is a loss of trust over court rulings". He did not actually use it to justify it.

However, even if it did happen, I'll grade there's nothing much wrong with it. I think people are just not aware of the gravity of South Korea's violation. Unilateral renunciation of a treaty and then claiming you can't do anything because of separation of powers is gross hooliganism against the international order. There is nothing wrong with saying that it is a demonstration of unreliability, which in turn justifies national security defenses that would otherwise not be imposed.

Abe should never have introduced commercial weapons into a political dispute’

First, they did not even TRY to claim illegality on that basis. If they did, they are living in fantasy world. Ultimately, political disputes are resolved with the involvement of hard power. It may not always be deployed, but it is always there and influences the result. If no one can apply coercions on anyone else, little would get resolved because there is no reason to. Given this reality, the idea that it is wrong to introduce commercial "weapons" into a political dispute is laughable. Even anime written for 10 year olds are not made with the presumption problems can be solved only with "Pretty please".

I suspect, what they really wanted to say is something like "Abe should never have introduced strategic weapons into a tactical dispute" - an argument of disproportionality. And if you are short sighted and you just think it is just a small amount of money, well you can see where they came from. But the problem actually stretches beyond the would-be lawsuits and is actually strategic as heck.

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itsonlyrocknroll,

Dream2030 , Article 2 is clear, Treaties by there very definition, in this case ... 

I love your approach and would agree that Japanese and Korean government may have agreed that the 1965 treaty is unequivocal as written.

However, the key issue is on the legal interpretation of “claims”. Do they mean all of those claims for civil property rights in general? Or, do they also mean the other ones for criminal indemnification? Unfortunately the treaty did not define it at all. It has not been an easy matter.

Thus, considering the nature of treaty itself, historical follow-ups by the two governments, and other international laws, South Korea’s Supreme Court has finally made a decision implying that the treaty is irrelevant to individual victim’s claim.

Now, if Abe government disliked that decision, it could request discussion about its legality of course, and, if it believed that South Korea’s government should be responsible for it, it could also have separate government discussion.

Nevertheless, what did Abe government? It just started to retaliate to irrelevant companies right after the Court’s decision and just before the national election of Japan. Who was to get benefits from such a retaliation?

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HeckleberryToday 06:58 am JST

So SK should violate its constitution to appease Japan?

According to the 1965 Korea Japan Basic Treaty, neither Korean nor Japanese court ruling is conclusive with regard to disputes about the Treaty. It says a domestic court ruling with regard to the interpretation of the Treaty is subject to international arbitration. Actually, this is the reasoning of the Constitution Court of Korea, which is the highest judicial authority in SK, when it denied the Japanese Supreme Court ruling that had denied compensation payments to Korean former comfort women.

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Dream2030Today 07:32 pm JST

Nevertheless, what did Abe government? It just started to retaliate to irrelevant companies right after the Court’s decision

The fact was that Abe requested an international arbitration with regard to the said court ruling according to the 1965 Treaty. Moon rejected the arbitration even though the Treaty requires both parties to follow the arbitration procedures.

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CH3CHO,

The fact was that Abe requested an international arbitration with regard to the said court ruling according to the 1965 Treaty. Moon rejected the arbitration even though the Treaty requires both parties to follow the arbitration procedures.

If it really wanted to solve a problem, Abe government should have started to have governmental discussion first of course, before directly requesting to bring the case to international arbitration. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court made a decision implying that the Treaty was irrelevant to the matters of criminal indemnification and it was nonsense for Korean government to discuss the matters with an international institute, unless it is an international criminal court. Furthermore, South Korea’s government actually has repeated to request  Abe government to have governmental discussion soon. But, did you watch Abe government's responding attitudes shown through mass media?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dream2030Today 08:30 pm JST

If it really wanted to solve a problem, Abe government should have started to have governmental discussion first of course, before directly requesting to bring the case to international arbitration. 

The fact was that Abe also requested governmental talks. Moon rejected, citing "separation of powers".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

CH3CHO,

The fact was that Abe also requested governmental talks. Moon rejected, citing "separation of powers".

Ha ha, ... then, both Abe and Moon requested and just rejected each other's requests for having governmental talks? It's really funny! It is even more ridiculous if Moon cited the principle of separation of power as the reason for rejecting Abe’s request for having a talk. Rather, I would bet it is more realistic that there are some misunderstandings or distortions about Moon's actions, unless he, as an ex- a civil-rights lawyer, is insane.

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Dream2030Today  09:40 pm JST

I mean Abe "also" requested governmental talks "in addition to an international arbitration." Moon has never requested any talks over the court ruling.

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