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Japan, S Korea reject report of WWII forced labor economic plan

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"In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the 1965 treaty. The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that the Japanese government actually proposed to the South Korean government to directly compensate individual victims but it was the South Korean government which insisted that it would handle individual compensation to its citizens and then received the whole amount of grants on behalf of the victims.

The South Korean government demanded a total of 364 million dollars in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period, at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person. 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.

Most of the funds from grants and loan were used for economic development,[15] particularly on establishing social infrastructures, founding POSCO, building Gyeongbu Expressway and the Soyang Dam with the technology transfer from Japanese companies.[16] Records also show 300,000 won per death was used to compensate victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

26 ( +32 / -6 )

"In 1965, Korea and Japan signed a treaty to establish basic diplomatic relations. Under this treaty, South Korea gave up the ability to demand compensation for the Japanese occupation from 1910-1945 in return for $800 million dollars. The treaty also prevented individuals from filing claims against the Japanese government. Essentially, South Korea was giving up the ability to bring up future grievances and expect retribution. Park Chung-Hee, then-President of South Korea, had requested a normalization of relations with Japan because the country needed economic aid. And it proved effective--economically, that is. South Korea rapidly industrialized and became known as the "miracle on the Han River."

A fact that even those who believe Japan should pay more compensation recognize.

23 ( +30 / -7 )

SK military are no angels but that is not the issue, what is is whether the SK Government entered an international treaty as the sovereign government on behalf of their citizens, if so then the rights of the individuals was subsumed in to that treaty and the compensation was paid. Whether the SK Government passed that on to the affected parties is outside the purview of the Japanese government. Any grievance individuals have over compensation in that case lies against the SK Government.

Moral grievance over how they were treated by Japan during the colonial period and an individual right to express that remains the right of the individual, but not compensation in respect of Japan.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

@Chip Star

When will Jaian stop trying to break the San Francisco Peace Treaty by dropping its claims to the Kurils?

When will Koreans ever learn to do least fact-checks before open up their mouths and learn to stop introducing this type of false equivalence?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/03/national/politics-diplomacy/soviet-documents-reveal-moscows-view-territory-seized-japan-end-wwii/#.XbgVHiVcXDs

Let me ask you a dumb question, did Russia (former Soviet Union) sign SF Peace Treaty?

21 ( +25 / -4 )

Another lame attempt by the Koreans to get compensation “okawari”. I’ve seen common street beggars have more self pride.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

LOOK I CAN CUT AND PASTE TOO:

The South Korean government’s position has not been consistent, either. Its original position was that the individual right to make claims had been voided by the 1965 agreement with Japan. In 1975, the Park Chung-hee government finally paid 300,000 won (US$268) each to the family members of deceased forced laborers, amounting to a total of 9.1 billion won (US$8.12 million). But when the lawsuits about forced labor became a political controversy in the 1990s, the government pivoted to the position that the individual right to claims remains valid. In Sept. 1995, then Foreign Minister Kong No-myeong told the National Assembly that “the government recognizes the individual right to make claims.” But in Aug. 2005, under the Roh Moo-hyun administration, Seoul clarified its position as being that all matters had been resolved by the 1965 agreement except for three, namely victims of illegal actions, such as the comfort women, the Sakhalin Koreans and the victims of the atomic bomb. After that, the government paid 66,985 victims of forced labor and their family members up to 20 million won (US$17,843) each in compensation, with 540 billion won (US$481.4 million) disbursed altogether.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

If this went to ICJ now, Korea would win with a 99% probability.

Oh really. Why doesn't South Korea put their (Japanese sourced) money where their mouth is and make this ICJ proposal their #1 initiative, rather than try and do underhanded cash grabs?

Answer: Because the probability of ruling against them is 99%, and the outcome is that it would not allow them any recourse for future cash grabs.... so they don't put everything into resolving the matter at the ICJ.

Don't think for a moment that 'abuse of terms' isn't a factor when making judgements in these cases... exactly the kind of abuse that South Korea pins its very existence on (cash grabs and tech transfer from Japan).

18 ( +20 / -2 )

There are so many Koreans who interpret the treaty too unreasonable, so Japanese people are amazed. If such an interpretation was premised, Japan would not have paid so much money.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

@Tom Doley

Since you seem to complicate this uncomplicated matter, let me make it simple for you.

Japan and Korea signed a peace treaty in 1965 by the agreement for Japan to provide $800 million in grants which include compensation on behalf of individual victims and for both parties to give up any claims associating 1910-1945 period. Since SK rejected JP's proposal to compensate directly to individual victims, SK was responsible to manage how to settle individual compensations domestically. As of course, Japan has no jurisdiction over Korean individual rights to claim so no Japanese officials ever denied the individual right to file a claim and this official stance is consistent since after 1965 treaty. What Japan basically saying is "Korean individuals can file their claims all they want, but this issue is already resolved between JP and SK by 1965 peace treaty. If you have a problem, go complain SK gov."

Koreans seem to claim "Japan is not denying individual rights to claim" as if this is something new but I really don't understand why Koreans think it would make any difference.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

@Tom Doley

In case you didn't know, Hatoyama is no longer Gov official (nor made this statement as JP official recognition at his time of Prime Minister), therefore, his recent comments are NOT from the "previous government". Noone in Japan care what "Loopy" thinks or says, he only repeats what Korea and China want to hear to gain his attention. As I noted somewhere, the freedom of speech is constitutionally protected and they don't get arrested, socially terminated, or even killed unlike some countries nearby Japan.

Here is the statement by Kono which you conveniently cherrypicked.

But the significance of the Japanese government’s recognition of the individual right to make claims has gone through several permutations, and the current interpretation is that individuals have the right to make claims, but cannot exercise that right in court. In his response, Kono also repeated the standard position that “the issue of making claims between South Korea and Japan was completely and finally resolved by the two countries’ treaty.

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/870655.html

This recognition always had been JP gov stance ever since the treaty was signed in 1965 so prove me wrong if you can.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

As to hide their shortcomings n incompetence by complaining n whining is gangnam style of SK

15 ( +19 / -4 )

That would be a laugh a minute if in fact this plan was suggested in Moon's letter.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Based on the Agreed Minutes to the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems Concerning

Property and Claims and on the Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea dated June 22, 1965 (Archived in UN Treaties 1966 pg 292)

(g) It is confirmed that problem concerning property, rights and interests of the two countries and their nationals and concerning the claims between the two countries and their nationals, which is settled completely and finally as mentioned in paragraph 1, Includes ANY CLAIM falling within the scope of the "Outline of the

Claims of the Republic of Korea against Japan" (the so-called "Eight Items"), which was submitted by the Korean side at the Japan-Republic of Korea negotiations and that, therefore, NO CONTENTION can be made with respect to the above mentioned Outline of the Claims of the Republic of Korea against Japan ;

Item 5 of "Outline of the Claims of the Republic of Korea against Japan" states,

"....amounts receivable, compensation, and OTHER RIGHTS OF CLAIM (その他の請求権) of drafted South Korean workers.”

Therefore, the agreement pretty much covers everything including frivolous lawsuits and its asinine court system that awards such claims.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Several Koreans whom I've met in the US, or when I travel overseas, concede these facts, that:

The very short period of Japanese colonialism in Korea - 1910-1945 - was a progressive period that saw the most rapid modernization and transformation of the Korean economy and society in her 2,000 years plus history.

For the first time in Korea's history, the Japanese colonialist introduced and developed modern railways, a modern telephone and communications grid, a modern road system, a national banking system, an effective public health system - Seoul, a former cesspool of disease finally became habitable for many a slum dweller there, thanks to Japanese sanitation measures. In agriculture, an extensive rural irrigation system, was developed, thus improving agricultural yields, particularly hybrid rice.

Plus, the freeing of the Korean hoi polloi from chattel slavery under the Yangbyan and the decadent, inept Yi Dynasty saved millions of Koreans.

Compensation? For what?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

A state cannot restrict individuals from making claims in court. 

Are you talking about individual rights in consular relations? or simply talking about the basic humane (individual) rights? Which Vienna convention ( from many of so-called Vienna conventions) exactly are you referring to? Please enlighten us all.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Wrong. The whole treaty was made under the context that Japan’s annexation of Korea was legal. Japan ensured this was the case, such that they excluded ‘damages’ which are claims associated with illegal activities, and that is also why the f....

So let me get this straight. The Korea's highest court ruled that since Annexation was illegal, any activities under Japan during that time are deemed 'illegal' and thus, the individual claims are valid.  Wow!

In my previous post, I quoted that the Korean judicial system was 'asinine' but that's too kind. I've now got various other words to describe them but I'm afraid the editors would delete them.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Article 26. "PACTA SUNT SERVANDA"

Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.

Article 27. INTERNAL LAW AND OBSERVANCE OF TREATIES

A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. This rule is without prejudice to article 46.

Separation of powers within a high contracting party is irrelevant to the other high contracting party.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

One who has read the verdict of SK supreme court would realize it did not stress on so-called individual rights to claim not extinguished as much as a Korean poster repeats here by raising prior Japan's government stance, etc, that in itself does not contradict to Japan's assertion that the issues have been already settled finally and completely between nations.

The essence of the SK supreme court verdict is illegality of annexation and associated acts by Japan by which SK supreme court tried to not rip off the treaty itself and bypassed article 26&27 in Vienna convention on the law of Treaties by setting the issues outside the treaty.

Unlike a Korean poster here howls, Japan did not ask but simply rejected stating compensations SK delegates demanded for the acts associated with illegal occupation because Japan did/does believe annexation was legitimate. simple as that.

SK should not have signed on the final document if it didn't like it in 1965 or at least, should have demanded the treaty to refer specifically to unsolved items, if any to be further negotiated in future or something. SK's current attitude fundamentally goes against the spirits of peace treaty, the spirits of normalizing diplomatic relation, far from forward looking approach which SK has been emphasizing. Moreover, SK supreme court should have proposed SK government to take the case to Intl arbitration as stipulated in article 3 in the treaty for this kind of fundamental dispute rather than making unilateral decision over the treaty which has another sovereign as a high contracting party at the other side of the table.

That's what even small kids would understand as a proper attitude to respect Intl Treaty in good faith.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

@Tom Doley -

First off, I am not Japanese!

I am a Kenyan born black African, whose country faced even more severe colonialism than the picnic you guys encountered under the progressive and modernizing Japanese, who when they departed in 1945, bequeathed your country hitherto a backward and primitive society with a semblance of modernization and industrialization!

If Korea was such a great country prior to the arrival of the Japanese, why did you fail to industrialize and modernize? It was the Japanese crossing the Sea of Japan in their civilizing mission that finally shook the decadent Joseon Yi Dynasty from its stupor of backwardness.

Do thank the Japanese for giving you the building blocks that has made Korea - the RoK - what it is today, a modern country! The Japanese invested so much in you guys; education, management, technology, agriculture, etc.

If the Japanese hadn't taken over your country, today South Korea would either be under the Chinese, or perhaps the Russians. Or, maybe the DPRK!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

And yet you can’t even refute the Japanese government’s official stance prior to Abe that individual rights to claims have never been extinguished. Instead you stoop so low to mention the corrupt SK dictators prior to 1990s.

Here you go again. the corrupt SK dictators prior to 1990s is SK's problem. Which one is stooping so low here?

Wasn't it 2000s that Roh admin which investigated all those 1200 pages of records, came up with conclusion that individual victims should be taken care of b SK government

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@Tom Doley

Gee, why do you need to complicate things?

Re-read my previous posts. It gave multiple examples from previous governments all the way back to the 1990s, not just Hatoyama.

Well, you seem to love him very much, I simply wanted to disappoint you he is not a gov official. As per the rest, people can say what they want to say because the freedom of speech is constitutionally protected. The only thing that matters is the official recognition of JP gov and they are all posted and archived in JP MOFA site. So while you are complaining JP gov stances are inconsistent, where in MOFA site stated 1) "Korean individuals have NO the right to make claims" or 2) "the issue of making claims between South Korea and Japan was NOT completely and finally resolved by the two countries’ treaty"?

Obviously you have no idea what 'has gone through several permutations, and the current interpretation is' means, do you? This sure ain't mean that the government's stance has been consistent since 1965.

Of course, there are some undeveloped countries who consistently change their official recognition very often (I don't believe Korea understands the meaning of Succession of states), Japan also need to amend the statement accordingly but the basic principle is still the same. I don't recall Japan made any change upon two points you are complaining about, have they? This is YES/NO question.

In short, what I'm asking you is to simply prove the "change in official recognition of JP gov upon abovesaid two points" (although I still don't understand what you actually want to accomplish by proving so).

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Again you conveniently fail to mention that Roh also said as part of that statement that the 1965 treaty did NOT cover illegal actions, comfort women, Sakhalin Koreans, and victims of atomic bomb.

And what did Roh say about wartime labor issue anyway? mind focusing on the topic?

You obviously have no idea what Yamamoto-san is saying.

Which Yamamoto-san are you talking about? LMAO. is it Yamamoto 晴太?、a mysterious lawyer who doesn't fully disclose his profile, always taking Korean side? You never answered my question which one of those Vienna conventions state a sovereign nation cannot override individual rights to claim?  Is it possibly UDHR Yamamoto Haruta is referring to?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@Tom Doley

 

And what did Roh say about wartime labor issue anyway?

Re-read my previous posts.

 

There’s nothing in your previous post mentioning what Roh admin concluded and announced specifically about wartime labor issues ......although no one has to ask you.

 

 

 Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: “A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.”

 Peremptory norm provides that a state cannot sign away its people’s human rights through a treaty.

Better not omit the continuation of art 53 which states…For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.

 

my 1st question. Is 1965 treaty void by your logic with art 53 of Vienna convention or not? If yes, how come SK top court didn't declare as such? If 1965 treaty itself is not void, what does art 53 or 64 Vienna convention on the laws of treaties have got to do with Japan's or Abe's assertion, which are not "the treaty"

As far as art 53 goes, reality is … (quoted from the link below) There is no universal agreement regarding precisely which norms are **jus cogens nor how a norm reaches that status*, but it is generally accepted that jus cogens* bans genocide, maritime piracy, enslaving in general, wars of aggression and territorial aggrandizement, torture and refoulement....

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peremptory_norm

 

Waiving individual rights to claim for damage or sacrificing those in the treaty so as to settle all the issues between nations finally and completely to recover normal peaceful diplomatic relation is against a norm? When and where Int’l community defined  that a state signing away its people’s human rights through a treaty as an example against ****jus cogens? if so,  the entire world including ICJ has kept screwing thing up in their efforts for ending wars and the misc disputes (like the case between Germany-Italy). Your ( or possibly your favorite Yamamoto-sensei’s) syllogism is just amazing.

 

the only country where I encountered people actually suggesting that colonization was good is Japan.

The only country which has been apologizing for what happened during annexation periods is also Japan

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Wrong. Re-read my post.

Perhaps you could elaborate for it appears your arguments are all over the place. You can start off by specifying your description of "illegal activities".

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Tom Doley -

You have a right to your opinion but you cannot just invent facts and expect people to play along.

For starters, I didn't suggest that Japanese colonization was the only way for Korea to modernize. Alas.

Korea, like any other country was free to industrialize in the early 1800s, or in the 1850s, and even well into the 1890s. Korea did not, why? Remember that the Europeans began to industrialize; first in Britain, followed by France, Germany, and then across the Atlantic in the US. The Japanese were the Asian anomaly. So give credit to the Japanese for realizing the need and importance of modernization and industrialization during the Meiji era.

So, why not Korea or Joseon? At this point of time in the Nineteenth century - 1850s-1890s - Korea was still not colonized. You were free to modernize and industrialize, but didn't, because your Yi Dynasty was inept and corrupt. Your cousins, in China, under the Qing Dynasty were also not a colony of the Japanese in the 1800s. But they too failed to modernize and develop.

Give credit where it's due: the Japanese opted to imitate the Europeans as needed and to trade with the Europeans when necessary! That's what spurred Japanese industrial revolution during Meiji. The Japanese leadership had foresight - the Korean under the incompetent and corrupt Yi Dynasty lacked foresight and leadership! And so did the inept and decadent Qing in China.

So, in Asia, that's the point at which we see the divide into industrial Japan and non-industrial countries like Korea and China. The examples were there for all to follow: the technologies that spurred Japan in industrialization: coal, smelting pig iron, using steam engine, were also available to Korea.

Blame your inept Yi Dynasty - not the Japanese!

As for Korea ending up as a divided country, sorry. That has everything to do with Yalta Conference in 1945. You can thank Stalin, Truman, and Churchill for the division. And Gen. Hodges. Oh....and Kim Il-sung.

Japan is not to blame!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Should be corrected as below

 a state signing away its people’s human rights through a treaty as an internationally accepted example of *****jus cogens*?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Just a patatochip

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Sorry, I meant Suga, Not Kono.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This cannot be interpreted as pertaining to or limiting private citizens or companies of either country. That is only concerning the states, ie the representing national governments.

Those who attempt to use the 1965 treaty to insist citizens are not allowed compensation are not to be trusted in anything they say.

Ridiculous. Ultimate components of a states、at least under democracy, are its citizens and its juridical citizens(corporations) and territory for them,... and national government for them, which represent them to deal with other nation and conclude the treaty for them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Korean politics in the last two or three decades has come to revolve around playing the victim card. Korean politicians, whenever they need to distract Koreans from something or build popularity, rush to attack Japan and demand more payments. From an international perspective, it's a pathetic ploy. Some Koreans see through it, but enough buy into the Korean nationalist rhetoric that Korean politicians are often successful in shoring up support for themselves.

Really, though, it's all lies on the part of Korean politicians. Even in a few cases when they might have one or two historical facts on their side, the Korean politicians aren't actually interested in helping Korean victims. They aren't actually trying or expecting to get further compensation. It's all political grandstanding. Eventually, Korean people may get sick of the lies and start punishing the politicians. Until then, expect more of the same--Korean politician: "Blah, blah, Japan, blah, blah, money, blah, blah!" Japan: "Huh?"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Jus cogens bans slavery which includes sexual slavery, slave labor, wartime labor, etc. (aka. comfort women, forced laborers). These basic violation of human rights cannot be waived by any treaty. The fact that Abe and co says that the 1965 treaty states that individuals such as forced laborers do not have access to courts is a violation of international law.

Seems you don't understand how Jus cogens are interpreted in terms of art 53...that is ...any treaties would be void in such cases the said treaties between nations are concluded for the purpose of slavery . i.e treaty for slavery trades. Likewise, any treaties would be void in case the said-treaties are concluded for the purpose of exterminating particular tribes (genocide). Neither 1965 treaty nor Abe and co's stance has go nothing to do with art 53 . Your syllogism could possibly stand MAYBE (I still doubt it) only when 1965 treaty was concluded for the only purpose of killing rights to claim of each individuals suffered from damages but it was concluded as LUMP-SUM AGREEMENT for the sake of the peace and normalizing diplomacy.

Re-read what SK delegates insisted when Japan's delegates proposed individual compensation from 1200 pages.

Furthermore, There's no Int'l community's absolute consensus about Korean CW and wartime labor in their entirety, were actually slavery in front of the many other evidences which would suggest the opposite.

If you or SK are so confident and still want to challenge, nothing keeps them from bringing it to ICJ.

Only the previous governments stance that individual rights to claim have not been extinguished aligns with the Vienna Convention. This can be supported by the fact that Japan knew about jus cogens much earlier in 1925 when they were a signatory to treaties prohibiting slavery. It can be guaranteed that the 1965 treaty would not have included the jus cogens claims because if it did, it would have been a violation of international law back then when the 1965 treaty was made.

No point to discuss on your personal story

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These basic violation of human rights cannot be waived by any treaty. 

Jus-Cogens or not, property rights(claims) are also one of basic human rights and you seem looking 1965 Treaty OK for both nations to unilaterally settle these without individuals involved in negotiation process.

Don't forget the said-property claims were not just Korean's claims for unpaid wages.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Tom Doley -

I will use your parlance that, there's nothing "obnoxious" about acknowledging and thanking the Japanese for engineering the modernization and industrialization of Korea.

But in order to have an intellectual debate one needs a grasp of facts: Korea was not a colony in, say, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1890s, well before the Japanese set foot in Korea! Meiji Japan took the cue from Europe and started the industrialization process.

During this period in the middle of the nineteenth century when the rest of the world was rapidly industrializing, the inept and corrupt Yi Dynasty was unable or simply incapable of initiating or encouraging the most basic semblance of modernization and industrialization. Why? It took the Japanese to shake Joseon off its stupor.

It's a fact that Korea hitherto a backward country progressed rapidly during the period of Japanese colonialism of Korea from 1910-1945.

And yes, that period of Japanese colonialism was also repressive.

See, you can have a rational debate - if you choose to - once you set emotions aside and are willing to stick to the facts at hand!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wrong. It doesn’t just impact treaties concluded with the purpose of slavery, but also claims against slavery. The UN Commission on HR when confirming that the 1965 treaty did not cover comfort women also acknowledged that claims based on violation of human rights cannot be waived by a treaty. The precedence has already been set. No ifs and buts.

You basically insist a nation cannot represent each individuals to settle (which could include but not limited to waiving such claim in the treaty) the issues when the issues are related to basic human rights.

So I asked how come you or SK and its supreme court wouldn't declare 1965 treaty as a whole to be voided. Property right itself is one of basic human rights. Let alone useless cherry-picking bunch of lazy opportunists in UNHRC which always rely on bunch of NGO and jurists group unrelated to UN.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The precedence has already been set. No ifs and buts.

 

Really by who and when, how? As far as 2015 CW agreement is concerned, at the same UN、 for example,

Ban Ki-moon, then-Secretary-General of the United Nations cerebrated and valued the agreement directly over the phone with SK president. Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in conflict praised the agreement as epoch-making.

 

FYI, several committees like The Committee Against Torture, or The Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women, both under Human Rights Treaties Bodies, both officially criticized 2015 agreement, are actually independent of, do not belong to nor represent UN.

 

Check Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

 

Question: Thank you. I would like to ask you about the comfort women issues between South Korea and Japan. The UN Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women criticized Monday the agreement on comfort women between two countries because it didn't adopt a [inaudible] centred approach. On the other hand, Secretary‑General has welcomed bilateral agreement in his statement. There seems to be a gap in understanding between Secretary‑General and the panel committee. Why are they cross‑purposed?

 

Spokesman: I don't know if they're cross‑purposed. The Secretary‑General made his comments when the agreement was signed, also that, obviously, the welfare of the women was extremely important. The committee you're referring to is an independent committee over which the Secretary‑General has no authority or no link with. So, it's just… it's an opinion. The Secretary‑General, for his part, has expressed his opinion.  Luke.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For the Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

https://www.un.org/press/en/2016/db160308.doc.htm

Look  There's no such cases that acknowledged that claims based on violation of human rights cannot be waived by a treaty, were actually confirmed by ICJ verdict ( as final verdict of German-Italy case) nor by UN officials nor by any precedence which you claimed has already set.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Tom Doley

Which part of “Official recognition of Japanese government” do yo not understand?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Blame your inept Yi Dynasty - not the Japanese!

I find it really obnoxious that people have the audacity to tell the Koreans to thank the Japanese for Korea’s industrialization in the early 1900's when the process of industrialization was a by-product of a ruthless colonization to self serve Japan’s greedy needs and ambitions, and which in itself inflicted mass genocide, human displacement, cultural artifact destruction, loss of self identity, self esteem and pride of the populous, and where we are in a period where some of those victims in that country are still alive.

If Japan had industrialized Korea in a more humane manner, then I too would yell to the Koreans, ‘hey go and thank the Japanese’. But even we Americans have never requested the Japanese to thank us for kick-starting the Japanese industrial revolution.

Seriously, even criminals have better moral conscious than that. Really shameful and pathetic.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There is no universal agreement regarding precisely which norms are ***jus cogens* nor how a norm reaches that status*, but it is generally accepted that jus cogens* bans genocide, maritime piracy, enslaving in general, 

Jus cogens bans slavery which includes sexual slavery, slave labor, wartime labor, etc. (aka. comfort women, forced laborers). These basic violation of human rights cannot be waived by any treaty. The fact that Abe and co says that the 1965 treaty states that individuals such as forced laborers do not have access to courts is a violation of international law.

Only the previous governments stance that individual rights to claim have not been extinguished aligns with the Vienna Convention. This can be supported by the fact that Japan knew about jus cogens much earlier in 1925 when they were a signatory to treaties prohibiting slavery. It can be guaranteed that the 1965 treaty would not have included the jus cogens claims because if it did, it would have been a violation of international law back then when the 1965 treaty was made.

As to whether this makes the 1965 treaty totally void, that’s not for me to decide. My opinion is no. You still have the non-jus cogens claims which are the ‘property’ claims of the treaty (for example, wages receivables of voluntary workers). For these, they would have already been covered by the treaty.

So in summary, Abe’s position is very weak at best. You have three issues.

1.   His assertion and back-flip from previous governments that the 1965 treaty contained clauses that individuals can claim but not at court is false

2.   Even if 1 above is hypothetically true, the statement is a violation of international law for jus cogens claims (eg. forced labor, comfort women, etc.)

3.   His assertion that all claims were covered by the treaty is false, as already proven by the UN Commission of Human Rights that stated the 1965 treaty did not include any damage for violation of human rights

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Seems you don't understand how Jus cogens are interpreted in terms of art 53...that is ...any treaties would be void in such cases the said treaties between nations are concluded for the purpose of slavery

Wrong. It doesn’t just impact treaties concluded with the purpose of slavery, but also claims against slavery. The UN Commission on HR when confirming that the 1965 treaty did not cover comfort women also acknowledged that claims based on violation of human rights cannot be waived by a treaty. The precedence has already been set. No ifs and buts.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Property and Claims and on the Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea dated June 22, 1965 (Archived in UN Treaties 1966 pg 292)

This cannot be interpreted as pertaining to or limiting private citizens or companies of either country. That is only concerning the states, ie the representing national governments.

Those who attempt to use the 1965 treaty to insist citizens are not allowed compensation are not to be trusted in anything they say.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

In short, what I'm asking you is to simply prove the "change in official recognition of JP gov upon abovesaid two points".(although I still don't understand what you actually want to accomplish by proving so)

What’s your fixation on the MOFA website, a mouthpiece for Abe’s propaganda? I’ve given you several statements from previous governments and from the current government in Kono who explicitly made the statement that the interpretation has changed. The change in stance proves Abe back-flipping on the original intentions of the treaty. No ifs and buts.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

And what did Roh say about wartime labor issue anyway?

Re-read my previous posts.

You never answered my question which one of those Vienna conventions state a sovereign nation cannot override individual rights to claim?  

Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: “A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.”

Peremptory norm provides that a state cannot sign away its people’s human rights through a treaty.

Article 64 of the Vienna Convention: the emergence of a new peremptory norm voids all existing treaties that conflict with the new norm.

In other words, Abe's rhetoric that individuals can claim but can’t access the court is a violation of the peremptory norm.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

First off, I am not Japanese!

Well, my apologies. But in my long working career, I’ve lived and worked in Japan for nearly a decade, and also 17 other large countries for short stints here and there, and throughout my time, the only country where I encountered people actually suggesting that colonization was good is Japan. No one else from other developed nations, not even the Australians, English, Italians, Germans, nor French suggested that. The Australians actually felt sorry to the Aborigines. To even allude to the fact that colonization is the only means of modernizing, and to even suggest that Japan be compensated is ludicrous and inappropriate in this day and age, especially for citizens of first world countries.

..under the progressive and modernizing Japanese,

Trying to obliterate an identity, culture, language... sure is progressive. Not to mention the millions of people slaughtered in the progress.

who when they departed in 1945, bequeathed your country hitherto a backward and primitive society with a semblance of modernization and industrialization!

The liberation left Korea divided that resulted in a civil war, that resulted in total destruction and devastation. Sure is semblance of modernization and industrialization.

If Korea was such a great country prior to the arrival of the Japanese,

Japan being more backward than Korea does not mean Korea is such a great country.

why did you fail to industrialize and modernize?

What, as if all countries develop at the same rate?

It was the Japanese crossing the Sea of Japan in their civilizing mission that finally shook the decadent Joseon Yi Dynasty from its stupor of backwardness.

Civilizing mission? Who are you kidding?

Do thank the Japanese for giving you the building blocks that has made Korea - the RoK - what it is today, a modern country! The Japanese invested so much in you guys; education, management, technology, agriculture, etc.

Did the Japanese thank the Koreans for providing the technology, katakana, Confucianism to make Japan what it was prior to the Meiji period?

If the Japanese hadn't taken over your country, today South Korea would either be under the Chinese, or perhaps the Russians. Or, maybe the DPRK!

Wishful thinking!

Actually, the statements above are so childish, one wonders what biff you have with Korea.

Also, don’t automatically assume I’m Korean just because I support Korea on this issue. I will support Korea when it comes to history revisionism, environmental protection etc. and support Japan in other areas. I don’t hate Japan, in fact, some of my fondest memories are in Japan. I’ve just seen too many cases to know very well that hypocrisy and bullying tactics that are commonly used against other people and nations, and will support the victims of such tactics.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Several Koreans whom I've met in the US, or when I travel overseas, concede these facts, that:

The very short period of Japanese colonialism in Korea - 1910-1945 - was a progressive period that saw the most rapid modernization and transformation of the Korean economy and society in her 2,000 years plus history.

For the first time in Korea's history, the Japanese colonialist introduced and developed modern railways, a modern telephone and communications grid, a modern road system, a national banking system, an effective public health system - Seoul, a former cesspool of disease finally became habitable for many a slum dweller there, thanks to Japanese sanitation measures. In agriculture, an extensive rural irrigation system, was developed, thus improving agricultural yields, particularly hybrid rice.

Plus, the freeing of the Korean hoi polloi from chattel slavery under the Yangbyan and the decadent, inept Yi Dynasty saved millions of Koreans.

Compensation? For what?

Here we go again, Japanese attempt at glorifying the occupation as if they had some self righteous deed. Did Japan need America to occupy it in order for it to modernize? After all, pre-Meiji era Japan was a lot more backward than Korea. Did the occupation free the untouchables in Japan? Did Japan compensate America for the modernization during both the Meiji period and after WW2?

Such a lame excuse, even criminals have much better moral conscious.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Wasn't it 2000s that Roh admin which investigated all those 1200 pages of records, came up with conclusion that individual victims should be taken care of b SK government

Again you conveniently fail to mention that Roh also said as part of that statement that the 1965 treaty did NOT cover illegal actions, comfort women, Sakhalin Koreans, and victims of atomic bomb.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

So let me get this straight. The Korea's highest court ruled that since Annexation was illegal, any activities under Japan during that time are deemed 'illegal' and thus, the individual claims are valid. Wow!

Wrong. Re-read my post.

In my previous post, I quoted that the Korean judicial system was 'asinine' but that's too kind. I've now got various other words to describe them but I'm afraid the editors would delete them.

Which means you are also disagreeing with international bodies such as the UN. The UN Commission on Human Rights sided with Korea and said the 1965 treaty did not cover even one iota of claims against comfort women, despite Japan's insistence it did. The very fact that Japan wanted to hide all illegal activities from the treaty ended up making the treaty a ‘property claim’ and economic cooperation treaty. In other words, Japan denied sexual slavery back then, which means they also denied claims against sexual damages in the treaty. Why include them in the treaty now? You can't have best of both worlds.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Article 26. "PACTA SUNT SERVANDA"

Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.

Article 27. INTERNAL LAW AND OBSERVANCE OF TREATIES

A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. This rule is without prejudice to article 46.

Separation of powers within a high contracting party is irrelevant to the other high contracting party.

You obviously have no idea what Yamamoto-san is saying.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

In case you didn't know, Hatoyama is no longer Gov official (nor made this statement as JP official recognition at his time of Prime Minister), therefore, his recent comments are NOT from the "previous government". 

Re-read my previous posts. It gave multiple examples from previous governments all the way back to the 1990s, not just Hatoyama.

This recognition always had been JP gov stance ever since the treaty was signed in 1965 so prove me wrong if you can.

Obviously you have no idea what 'has gone through several permutations, and the current interpretation is' means, do you? This sure ain't mean that the government's stance has been consistent since 1965.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

Therefore, the agreement pretty much covers everything including frivolous lawsuits and its asinine court system that awards such claims.

Wrong. The whole treaty was made under the context that Japan’s annexation of Korea was legal. Japan ensured this was the case, such that they excluded ‘damages’ which are claims associated with illegal activities, and that is also why the funds were called ‘Economic Cooperation Grant’ and ‘Economic Cooperation Loan’. You can’t make reparations for claims that you are not admitting to. If claims arising from the illegal occupation have already been included in the treaty, then you are admitting that Japan’s occupation was illegal, and this contradicts Japan’s long held stance that Japan’s occupation was legal. One has to give. You can’t have it both ways.

What Abe is trying to do is bundle all claims into this treaty, which is very sly.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

What Japan basically saying is "Korean individuals can file their claims all they want, but this issue is already resolved between JP and SK by 1965 peace treaty. If you have a problem, go complain SK gov."

How does your statement above equate to what the previous governments were saying?

The Japanese government should go back to its judgment that as for the issue of laborers, the individual rights to claim damages were not completely and finally resolved in the 1965 treaty," said Hatoyama, who served as prime minister in 2009-2010

You say it's been resolved, previous governments said it wasn’t resolved. Even a five year old can tell they are not the same.

You’re adding your views to make not only a simple thing more complicated, but inconsistent with your previous government’s views.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

If such an interpretation was premised, Japan would not have paid so much money

Japan paid $300 million out of the $1.2 billion Korea requested. Japan also paid compensation (excluding ODA's and loans) to other affected countries for a total of less than USD 5 billion in current value. Compare this to what Germany has paid to date - EUR 99 billion.

Japan paid nothing for their rampage. In fact, Japan even managed to get reparations from US for Japanese POWs.

The moral of the story is, payment is relative. It's a lot to the Japanese, it's almost zilch to the outside world.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

Herein lies another problem for Japan under Abe's current rhetoric.

“The ruling by the Supreme Court of Japan [and the Japanese government] that the South Korea-Japan treaty means that the individual right to make claims exists but claims in court are unacceptable goes against international norms,” said Seita Yamamoto, an attorney who specializes in postwar compensation.

Abe is the one breaking international law. A state cannot restrict individuals from making claims in court. This is part of the Vienna Convention of which Japan is a signatory to, and which applies retroactively to all existing treaties.

Japan will lose the argument if it went to arbitration no matter what.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

LOOK I CAN CUT AND PASTE TOO

And yet you can’t even refute the Japanese government’s official stance prior to Abe that individual rights to claims have never been extinguished. Instead you stoop so low to mention the corrupt SK dictators prior to 1990s.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

There are so many Koreans who interpret the treaty too unreasonable, so Japanese people are amazed.

Did you read the above post? Then you should also be amazed at the Japanese politicians prior to Abe who had the same interpretations of the treaty as the Koreans.

Japan’s ex PM Hatoyama summarized it perfectly.

"The Japanese government should go back to its judgment that as for the issue of laborers, the individual rights to claim damages were not completely and finally resolved in the 1965 treaty," said Hatoyama, who served as prime minister in 2009-2010.

Hatoyama said that Shunji Yanai, then director of the treaty bureau at Japan's foreign ministry in 1991, told a parliamentary session at the time that the normalization treaty did not put an end to individual rights to damages.

"It was the official view of the Japanese government in the past, that (forced labor issue) was not finally and completely resolved by the treaty," he said.

Now be amazed at the Japanese politicians. If not, you're a hypocrite.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the 1965 treaty..........

It's amazing how so many Japanese believe in fabricated stories made by their government.

Those 1200 pages of unclassified documents also showed that the 1965 treaty only covered claims for property, wages etc. and not claims for inhumane acts such as rape, torture, human experiments, murder etc.

The SK government previously paid victims claims for property but not wages, the latter partly due to the fact that there were no employee records remaining (the Japanese taskmasters either burnt them or took it back with them when they surrendered). As a result, there was high moral risk because any one could forge fake employment. Despite this, there are currently several class actions by victims against the SK government to recoup lost wages, and none are claiming for these against the Japanese government nor corporations as per the 1965 treaty.

The South Korean Supreme Court rulings and the Comfort women agreement cover claims for inhumane acts and hence fall outside the 1965 treaty. The 1200 pages of unclassified documents revealed that during the negotiations, Japan insisted that the illegality of their occupation was not to be included in the 1965 treaty. As such, these claims were all excluded from the treaty.

That is why the Japanese government in 1991 admitted twice, through Yanai Shunji, in the Japanese Diet that an individual’s right to file a claim had not been terminated despite the 1965 bilateral agreements.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Shiina stated that the treaty "only waives the right to diplomatic protection but not individual rights."

In 1993, Mr. Tanba, Director General of Treaties at Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to the House of Councilors:

Our government has long been representing that the claims rights individuals may have are not waived directly by the effect of the Treaty.

In 2000, Mr. Fulushima, Member of the House of Councillors inquired

*What about Foreign Ministry's then Director General of Treaties Yanai's statement in 1991 that only the diplomatic protection was waived and that individual claim rights were not extinguished?*

Mr. Hosokawa, Director General of Civil Affairs of the Ministry of Justice, responded

We are all aware Mr. Yanai's answer, and we also agree with this statement.

Even last year, Taro Kono told reporters that a victim’s individual right to file a claim had not expired when Korea's Supreme Court verdict was upheld last year, but later changed his stance saying that Korea violated the 1965 bilateral treaty.

The Abe government and its herd of black sheep are crying foul about South Korea's Surpreme Court ruling, but the truth is the government already knows that individual rights to claim have not been extinguished.

If this went to ICJ now, Korea would win with a 99% probability. Several years ago, the probability may have been around 50%, but that's because 4 of the 9 presiding judges at the ICJ were all Japanese, and we all know how fair the Japanese judges are.

-26 ( +3 / -29 )

When will Jaian stop trying to break the San Francisco Peace Treaty by dropping its claims to the Kurils?

-33 ( +8 / -41 )

Wikipedia is not an appropriate source of information for adults.

-35 ( +8 / -43 )

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