The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
South Korean court says stolen statue must be returned to JapanBy KIM TONG-HYUNG SEOUL, South Korea
©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.
Login to comment
A South Korean court in favor of Japan
There are so many statues in Japan, why Japan really need more.
more important things in life to worry about....
This is another perfect example of S.Korean propaganda at work for years trying to get its way, until you counter with facts and the truth.
The idea that Korea is always right, always the victim. And Japan always the barbarian/pirate, looting Korean goods.
This fake narrative is being pushed all the way to 1910.... How did Japan get a hold of Korea? Big battle between Japanese and Koreans? No. The answer is No.
Russia wanted Manchuria and Korea, Japan protested such invasion and aggression in it's own backyard. Huge battle between Japan and Russia both on land and sea, with Japan the victor of such battles. No Korean soliders participated in defense of Korea, all up to Japan to defend Korea losing over 150,000 Japanese soliders.
Since 1910 to 1945, Japan invested huge amounts of money/resources in Korea, developed Korea from backwards poor country, with very little infrastructure, roads, hospitals, energy generators, food supplies.
Japan is not perfect and made mistakes, but so is your South Korea and North Korea.
I have little concern for childish squabbling between nations. Nationalism of this sort is immature and regressive.
This time South Korea seems to be serious about mending ties with Japan. Hence the court ruled in favor of Japan. Independence of judiciary is not known in Korea.
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.
Reclaiming stolen property is not nationalism. It's a legal right.
Likely overturned in the Supreme Court.
At the gun point of Japanese troops surrounding the palace. You sign this annexation document or "else". Some brave ministers refused and chose "else", but not enough. Even the King refused to sign the document.
In Korea, judiciary has a complete freedom unlike Japan and verdicts are unpredictable.
This case will be appealed to the Supreme Court, where the majority are liberal judges.
We will see what happens.
They always find an excuse to attack japan especially in small things like this that people don’t even image existed!
Indeed, this statue was stolen from the Korean Buddhist temple first in 1527 and finally made it home.
like quarrelling siblings, Japan and Korea have to let the past go and move on with their lives.
Just share it.
Nobody has any rights to anything especially nations unless conditions allow and each party agrees, we dwell to long on this type of thing, when it’s in fact meaningless to our daily lives.
There are a few problems with this.
1) There is no evidence it was stolen. It might have been, or it might have been sold or gifted, etc. We don’t know. The only instance of theft that we have evidence of is the one in 2012.
2) As the Court says, there is no evidence that the Korean temple claiming it is even the same temple that might have owned it in the 14th century. The Japanese temple has had documented possession of it for 500 years in contrast.
3) Its idiotic in the extreme to be adopting the legal position that all people have to do is say, without evidence, “Hey, thats mine, I think somebody must have stolen that 500 years ago” to claim ownership of something that has been owned by another country since antiquity.
4) We have international laws and precedents about the return of stolen cultural property. This instance wouldn’t be covered by any of that.
The idea that Korea is always right, always the victim. And Japan always the barbarian/pirate, looting Korean goods."
Not sure whats so hard to understand - SK court ruled the statue was stolen fromJapan and must be returned, (just like the other one was ) the thieves were arrested and prosecuted. No need for anti Korean whining in this case just because some monks disagree with the court.
Stolen artefacts and Japan...
Well, give it back..
The South Korean courts until now have been utterly biased against Japan, ruling against even South Koreans who spoke out about the truth concerning the Comfort Women , like Prof Sara Soh.
Under Presidemt Yoon's agenda of correcting the SK-JPN relations that his predecessor destroyed for the sake of the security of his country. te Soiuth Korean courts will now have take the objective legal position that they are supposed to take. It's hardly surprising that any court in any country would take the argument "it was likely taken.." as being without merit.
With an appeal pending likely to drag things out for years, I'll refrain from celebrating the Japanese statue's return until it is safely in the Japanese temple.
Which could be years away or sadly never.
Because it was stolen and it belongs to Japan.
I am quite sure your feelings on the matter would be different if the shoe was on the other foot!
Well, sounds like the court made the right decision, even IF it can indeed be proven that it originally belonged in SK. It's good that the Japanese government can likewise agree that ownership of something for more than 20 years "peacefully" then belongs to that nation, especially in admitting it to South Korea. :)
Good for S. Korea, Honorable Court Honorable Judge. It was stolen by thieves therefore it must be returned to Japan. Now as for the first ""theft"" that has to be settled in courts too.
This ruling will be overruled. The law of possession for an item that was stolen centuries ago by Japanese pirates? The Japanese temple should be embarrassed to display such a thing.
Of course Japanese pirates and invaders have a long history stretching back to 16th century Ming China (if not sooner) so thousands of stolen items remain in Japanese private homes, museums and temples.
And yes, the British Museum should return those parts of the Parthenon it stole from Greece centuries ago.
If it's already established that it originated and belongs to South Korea then it must stay
The statute was made and Korea and owned by Koreans exore making its way to Japan.
How and when did it come to be in Japan ?
Japan should not wait for the courts to decide, decide to relinquish the claim now
Awa no Gaijin
I advise that you don't just blindly believe everything you read or have been taught by Japanese history books !
Japan's justification of invading Manchuria/koreas isn't a just one.
Just a greedy expansionism and cruel dominance
Furthermore it led to ww2.
Their spiritual guru, the Buddha abandoned all worldly things. So if these monks and 'Buddhist leaders' were true to their faith why would they care so much about the return of a statue? It's another sign of the materialistic times.
There isn't any evidence that it was stolen by pirates, its just pure conjecture.
This is just incorrect. Japanese pirates existed UNTIL the 16th century, there is not continuous history of Japanese piracy since that century, the whole bloody country was closed off to the outside world from the beginning of the 17th century for Christ's sake. And Japanese pirate activity in Korea, as opposed to China, ended much earlier than that. Japan also had legitimate trade relations with Korea in the 15th and 16th century.
Yeah, I tend to agree. Because we have a very detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the removal of those marbles by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and can therefore judge the merits of the case and in my opinion that leads to a conclusion that their return is the right one (others disagree). That isn't the case with this statue which we have no evidence whatsover concerning the manner in which it was removed.
Whatever the courts decided, how about, in the interests of more friendly Japan-South Korea relations and cooperation, and Buddhist solidarity why not share custody? Why not 5-year (or some auspicious Buddhist-themed length of time) stays in the respective temples? Yeah, probably not.
"Justice delayed is justice denied"
Perhaps the Japanese monks should have just taken it back as soon as they knew its stolen location And let it be adjudicated later while they owned it...and put under lock and keY
Why do you think the Supreme Court would hear an appeal on this case when it's not a constitutional case? IF it was to rule on an appeal, it certainly may overturn the Daejeon High Court's ruling because, as you say, the SC justices are more liberal, but there is no legal grounds on which the Supreme Court should accept a petition for an appeal.
Korea has a legal tradition of three trials for every case unless both side decides not to seek appeals going back 500 years.
This is why even if you are not found guilty on first trial, you must still go through trial twice more if the prosecution doesn't give up and appeal.
This case will be decided by the Supreme court.
Just as we thought some calm waters ahead for the reconciling nations, watch this get hot. Let the screaming and finger pointing be renewed and start all over again.
That's really a difficult case for court to judge. Korea's Supreme Court decided on the ruling as it did, citing Japanese civil law which reportedly says: "a person or entity may acquire ownership of property that didn't originally belong to them if they possess it for at least 20 years." Does Japanese civil law apply ubiquitously to a case in Korea and other countries?
If so, all the artifacts the British Museum possesses must be returned to their original countries in consonant with Japanese civil law short of time conditions.
The lawyers must love cases like this.
All aboard the gravy train.
No, of course not. But since the act at the heart of this case happened in Japan, the question of whether or not the temple in Tsushima had legal ownership of the statue was an issue that the court had to resolve by looking at Japanese law.
There is nothing unusual about that, in cases involving cross-border disputes Courts in one country often have to refer to the law of another country. This doesn't mean that the other country's law applies in that country.
That's really a difficult case for the court to judge. The Daejeon High Court decided on the ruling as it did, citing Japanese civil law which reportedly says: "a person or entity may acquire ownership of property that didn't originally belong to them if they possess it for at least 20 years." Does Japanese civil law apply ubiquitously to a case in Korea and other countries?
If so, all the artifacts the British Museum "possesses" will not be returned to their original countries in consonant with the Japanese civil law.
Answer is still no, see my previous comment.
Since when have buddhists been so materialistic, it's only yet another statue of a buddha.
@rainyday You know your Asia pirate history and I will give you a tactical win there as I responded a bit quickly. Japan in the 16th century was trying to repair relations to the then-blocked-to-Japan China because of earlier Japanese pirate problems. Money flows from the China market.
Big picture Japanese pirates harassed the coasts of both China and Japan. As recent as the 20th centuries Japanese armies robbed both China and Korea of valuable cultural objects. I will simply say that Japan needs to reflect on that history and act accordingly.
Way to attach yourselves and your hearts to material objects, “Buddhists” of both countries.
Under Japanese civil law, a person or entity may acquire ownership of a property that didn't originally belong to them if they possess it "peacefully and openly" for at least 20 years.
All these Youtubers going to be coming to Japan and claiming they own vintage Skylines out in the countryside, and saying they got them for free because of this.
Thank you, though I'm not really looking for tactical wins or anything, I just think the facts are important in informing our opinion on issues like this.
Yes, but that is not relevant to the case at instance which involves Japan and South Korea.
Yes, and anything which Japan took during its 20th century wars of aggression against those countries absolutely should be returned, but this statue was clearly not taken as part of that.
Yes, fair enough, but I don't see how that should affect Japan's approach to this case, which literally involved a group of thieves breaking into a rural temple and stealing a statute which had been there for at least 500 years and which there is zero evidence to suggest that it had come into that temple's ownership through any wrongdoing. What is the Japanese government supposed to do, just say "Hey yeah, just come over here and steal anything that you subjectively think should be yours and we won't utter a peep of protest"? Just because Japan did many bad things to Korea throughout its history, which is true, doesn't mean that the Japanese side in any dispute is always wrong.
First, I would find very improbable that Budha would approve making statues of him. Second, would find that Budha would not approve temples and monks to fight about ownership, possession of earthly, material things! It is very regrettable that supposed spiritual leaders decided to appeal to third parts, unmistakable evidence of lack of wisdom to solve an issue that could be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the essence of their faith, learn to share, to resign the sole ownership of something made by man, material matter, an image, statue - why not to share it periodically and make this an example of partnership, solidarity, union, solidarity?
It is Korea'S! It should stay in Korea.
Just like all the looted artifacts stolen by European countries! They should all be returned!
Statues of Buddha were made by men, not Buddha. Do not worship images.
・Religion on the Korean Peninsula changes every time the suzerain changes
・Yi Dynasty Korea adopted Confucianism, rejected Buddhism for a long time, and destroyed Buddhist statues.
・Buddha statues that escaped destruction flowed overseas. Japan's Tsushima had a monopoly on trade with Yi Dynasty Korea.
It is quite a nuisance that South Korea doesn't inherit its own history correctly.
Rule of law on example.
Stolen national artwork is being returned around the world these days.
In many situations, it was better for the world to have that art taken by stable cultures, put on display and cared for all these years, sometimes centuries. But once the location where the art was stolen becomes stable, it needs to be returned.
I'm thinking about the British Museum and some other Museums around the world that need to return art to the place of origin. Another alternative is to lease the priceless objects for 50 yr time frames, to remove the issue until stability can be reconsidered again.
Hopefully, places with war have taken steps to get their artwork out of war zones already. Leased to reputable museums, not private collectors, never to be seen again.
True followers of Buddhism may think the teaching of the Buddha will not change wherever the statue may be. Let the mundane world keep rowing as to where it should belong, they may think.
Colonial powers of the past must be watching this closely. The UK looted so many treasures from around the world like those from China and Greece, for starters. The UK did a lot of ransacking and looting. Just check the old Summer Palace of Beijing.