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U.S. willing to hold 3-way talks with Japan, S Korea next week

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America, say it after you settled the problem with China first.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Time to tell South Korea that it needs to start acting like a responsible member of the US-JPN-SK strategic alliance. Instead of doing everything it can to disrupt it.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

@OssanJapan

Time to tell South Korea that it needs to start acting like a responsible member of the US-JPN-SK strategic alliance.

That's what Americans are trying to tell Japan, in case you are not getting the hints.

-15 ( +8 / -23 )

Japanese government repeatedly said the trade policy wasn't related to the wartime history. SK doesn't understand the essence of the matter.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Woo. Could it be the start of a pattern of Japan and South Korea collaborating to shakedown the USA? Now that would be historic.

Samit Basu, you need to get a reality check.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

There is no more important military alliance in Asia for the US than the US-JPN alliance. It is so solid that Japan is the only foreign forward position that US is willing to put a Carrier Group on a permanent basis.

"The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in Asia"

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1729086/us-japan-alliance-remains-cornerstone-of-peace-in-asia-commander-says/

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Pompeo, SK started it by making an unjust attack on Japanese companies, trying to get more money for an issue settled in 1965. If SK dont start following rules, kick them out of the Military alliance. As OssanAmerican states, the US-Japan military alliance is the strongest and most powerful in East Asia. No loss at all if SK is cut loose by Trump.

Pompeo and Trump will take Japans side. Trumps rapport with PM Abe is the best of any world leaders.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

go away yanks, none of your damn business!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

go away yanks, none of your damn business!

No doubt in my mind that the South Koreans started this latest firefight, but continuing to ramp it up really doesn't do anyone any good. South Korea was the country that went running to the Americans and Abe is one of Trump's best buddies, so the Yanks seem well placed to play a constructive diplomatic role in fixing things. In theory, at least.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The crux of the matter is that Abe is a golf partner, high in Trump’s sense of priorities, almost as high as people who give him parades.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

go away yanks, none of your damn business!

The USA are not going anywhere. This is their business. They put their life on the line every day to protect the lives of Japanese citizens, in the most dangerous place on earth. They are Japans number one friend in the world. Which is why I am certain they will take Japans side in this dispute.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@OssanAmerica

"The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in Asia"

I have to say, given the USA perpetual warring and destabilizing within Asia - going right back to the C19th - statements like that make me want to vomit.

For "peace and stability" read American dominance. For what, I am never quite sure. It's not an "alliance" because it was and is not a voluntary relationship between equals.

Now the Cold War hoax is over, do they even know why they are doing? For the day China decided to pull the economic rug from under US feet?

I tend believe it is actually about dividing and ruling Asia because a United Asia could wipe the US of the map, or at least send it back to the farms in the Mid-West.

The violent subbordination of Japan was just about wiping out the most likely successful economic threat before it had a change to fully evolve. And an Asia, even under Japan rather than with a Japan would have been a better option that what happened in the second half of C20th under the USA.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@OssanJapan

There is no more important military alliance in Asia for the US than the US-JPN alliance.

Not according to Trump.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g20-japan-trump/trump-says-unfair-defense-treaty-with-japan-needs-to-be-changed-idUSKCN1TU0AJ

Trump says 'unfair' defense treaty with Japan needs to be changed

“I told him, we’ll have to change it,” Trump told a news conference after a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Japan’s western city of Osaka.

“I said, look, if someone attacks Japan, we go after them and we are in a battle, full force, in effect,” he added. “If somebody should attack the United States, they don’t have to do that. That’s unfair.”

The only US ally in Asia that is guaranteed to intervene in case the US is attacked is the ROK.

It is so solid that Japan is the only foreign forward position that US is willing to put a Carrier Group on a permanent basis.

The carrier deployment in Japan is a decision of convenience.

Let me ask you this. Like the 7th fleet in Yokosuka, the 5th fleet is permanently based on Bahrain. So is the US alliance with Bahrain something special? Not really.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

If the US was to take sides it would way up who it can count on in a crunch. Who would help with the "heavy lifting" in Asia or elsewhere if called on by the US.

ROK would send troops or navy assets to help in a fight but with Japans Article 9 in the way, Japan could not. What is of more value to the US? An Allie who fights by her side when called on or an Allie with a pacifist constitution that stops that Allie from helping? Yes Japanese bases give the US a good location, but sometime you need someone who has your back in a fight.

Japan should not put too much faith in Abe's relationship with Chump as he goes hot or cold on people depending on the weather.

I am not saying the US will take sides. It wants to have it's cake and eat it too. But if push comes to shove, don't be surprised if Japan comes off second best in the US Asian friendship stakes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Peter14 Today  11:27 am JST

I have to agree you are right on this point, and there is another reason that the US might be tempted to side with SK - the simple fact the Koreans will be, on average, the more rabid ones if things don't go their way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

signaling possible U.S. intervention in helping improve relations between the two U.S. allies.

Where?  I don't see any signaling in his remark.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

OssanAmerica: "Time to tell South Korea that it needs to start acting like a responsible member..."

Yep, it's all 100% Korea, and Japan is the victim once again. Tell me, do you feel pride at living in a land that has so little ability to do anything and is constantly a victim? I mean, forget that that it can't take responsibility for its own actions and that it is a poodle nipping at the leg of the US.

In any case, I Don't see the point of this; SK will demand an OFFICIAL and honest apology -- like that Abe gave leprosy victims the other day with no big problem -- and Japan will just balk, say it did Nothing wrong in terms of trade (despite constantly lying on the issue), and say history never happened, then whine about being a victim.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

South Korea already accepted to support the US in Iran. This is obviously a defeat for South Korean people, involved in something that can hurt their national interests way more than Japanese export controlls. Japan could accept to support the US in Iran too. This is what the US really wanted from the two Asian Countries, that had only to find an excuse in front of their public opinion for this involvment in Iran. "The uncle Sam solved our trade dispute, so we have to help him". Some people in these comments cannot see the obvious.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope the the U.S. does mediate between South Korea and Japan. But I'm pretty sure both Japan and The U.S. will be on the same page. South Korea needs to stop trading with Iran.

1.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/the-price-of-us-iran-tensions-for-south-korea/

https://tradingeconomics.com/south-korea/exports-to-iran

https://theiranproject.com/blog/tag/iran-south-korea-trade/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If South Korea was to win this argument the result would be.

-Japanese companies assets sold.

-More victims coming to ask for compensation. Even the ones that should have been covered by 1965 aggrement.

-comfort woman deal 2015 already broken in 2018, they would want a renew comfort woman deal in future with more money, new apology from new PM.

How much help did paying compensation and giving apologies worked for the past several decades... It only made things worse between countries.

S. Korea solution is only short term until they start all over again.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Christopher Lowery: I read that article from the Diplomat too. It's impressive how much South Korea lost because of American sanctions on Iran. And now, South Korean government already accepted to be involved in the anti-Iran American coalition. Obviously, the South Koreans in this moment should protest against the US. The anti-Japanese feelings around stuff happened almost one century ago are fueled to distract people from their current submissive relationship with the US, that are ALWAYS the real winners in the silly South Korea and Japan bickering.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yes, it looks like South Korea did not foresee these circumstances. However, being a western Ally, they must have been warned many times in the past, not to put there trust in any arrangements dealing in natural resources when dealing with Iran. Their rates must have been very very, inexpensive. But now the real rent has come due. Peace.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Alex80: " The anti-Japanese feelings around stuff happened almost one century ago are fueled to distract people from their current submissive relationship with the US, that are ALWAYS the real winners in the silly South Korea and Japan bickering."

Yeah, because it hasn't been that way for.... 75 years +? I love how you guys whine that Korea won't stop on this topic and has been complaining for years, but then pretend it's all just a sudden "distraction" from events that have begun to transpite only recently. Which is it? You guys can't even agree on your daily excuses for victimhood.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

smithinjapanToday  12:50 pm JST

OssanAmerica: "Time to tell South Korea that it needs to start acting like a responsible member..."

Yep, it's all 100% Korea, and Japan is the victim once again. Tell me, do you feel pride at living in a land that has so little ability to do anything and is constantly a victim? I mean, forget that that it can't take responsibility for its own actions and that it is a poodle nipping at the leg of the US.

Putting aside good question you should ask yourself, It is too obvious Japan didn't ask for US help on this

isn't it ?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sorry Smith, but I agree with Showchinmono. If there is a country that has respected the international community, this country is Japan.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Mitsuo,You are having a laugh,right?Whaling,ivory,tuna,Amazon hardwood.....Japan only "respects the international community" for trade.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Someone is implying that South Korea submissive relationship with the US is something recent. I don't even.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

South Korea is occupied by the US for decades, and it needs a political tool to distract the public opinion from this and other problems. The anti-Japan tool is their card, obviously they can't complain directly with their current colonizer.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think it is easy to play as victim by using WWII narration. I understand the feelings of people who suffered it back in those days in every nation, but from the moment they use this narration as a way to demand money, privileges and other interests, I don't see they as victims.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Since some people here trusts only Korean media, I will link you this article:

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/07/356_272957.html

where they say clearly, even though it's just few lines, that siding with the Hormuz initiative, South Korea is known to have received Washington's "unofficial support" in the trade row with Japan.

Please, imagine to be a South Korean person who didn't want to be involved in the American mess in the Middle East. If they read these lines, they will think "oh, well, but America is helping us with the evil Japanese that are ruining our economy!!! So we must help them".

But if you read at least this article https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/the-price-of-us-iran-tensions-for-south-korea/ , you can see like supporting American interests against Iran hurt South Korean economy way more than any Japanese export controlls could do.

Indeed, American sanctions on Iran hurt heavily both Korean firms projects in Iran and the import of Iran oil. Read the article from the diplomat, and you'll see an impressive scenario.

Japanese export controlls on some materials will have a very limited impact on Korean firms, since the global demand of chips worldwide is already depressed as hell.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190725000620

Cutting the production of chips is more a consequence of weak market condition than any Japanese export controlls, that will be used as an excuse if the Korean companies profits will continue to plunge.

So yeah, if you people will continue to tell me that South Korea isn't using the anti-Japan card to distract people from American coercition in siding with Iran, sorry but you can't persuade me.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

from American coercition in siding **against*** Iran, I meant.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The United States is not going to "take sides", other than it's own. Questioning the value of JPN V SK to US interests is silly, SK is crucial for US operations on the Korean Peninsula, while JPN is crucial for US operations in all of Asia, with particular emphasis on the true adversary; China. The sheer difference in asset investment makes this obvious. The US goal is to keep the US-JPN-SK strategic alliance together, and the one country that has been doing everything it can to break it apart is SK. Neither JPN nor SK are of any real significance in the ME vis-a-vis Iran. The Obama administration leaned on SK hard enough to get the 2015 CW Agreement signed. And the US is going in knowing how the Moon administration trashed it's efforts.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

30 years or so ago, the ROK was almost a backwater country. Give it to Koreans ability to overcome adversity, they have hammer- tonged themselves into a modern country worth marveling about.

Now , whenever there is an emerging " superpower " ( so to speak ) and a receding " superpower " there's bound to be friction and bad blood. It has almost always been the case in real global superpowers ( current US and China ) and historically.

Japan hitherto having been the " superpower " in Asia , now , overtaken by China , could it also be worried that ROK is closing the gap and threatens its position in the world economic totem ? I know people will belittle ROK's economy vis-à-vis Japan's but ROK also has less than half of Japan's population but is an economic heavy puncher.

Since Japan and many posters here say the timing has nothing to do with the delisting and Japan is only exercising its prerogative. Asking if Japan is jealous of ROK and therefore wants to slow down its economic progress is a legitimate question. For it is possible but highly improbable that it will do that for no reason ,especially given that, Japanese companies are also hurting.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Korea economic superpower in Asia ( Not world ).

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Cogito ergo sum: honestly, that's not the case. Japan invested in South Korea for decades, and South Korea developed also thanks to this. Diplomatically, this was necessary in anti-communist key. South Korea relied on Japan for its own growth for years, and this created stability in the geopolitical order in East Asia. What changed completely the things, has been the growth of China. Indeed, China is progressively replacing Korean reliance on Japan economically. And this brought also a huge change in the diplomatic situation: South Korea became harsher towards Japan, and always closer to China. Now, China is suppling many industrial components to South Korea that only until some years ago, Japan supplied to South Korea. The fact that South Korea is dragged into Chinese sphere of influence, is basically behind the increasing anti-Japanese feelings in South Korea. Koreans feel they don't need Japanese anymore, so they think they can ask for further war compensation, despite the 1965 Treaty was basically made by the US. Japan can't accept Korean claims to open the war compensation problems over and over again, so it is finally reacting. The US are afraid because they know South Korea became closer to China very much. Hurting Iran is also a way to hurt China, so they are involving South Korea in the anti-Iran coalition.

Basically, everything is always about China/USA challenge in the region.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

P.S. My explaination is based on tons of articles that I read on geopolitical magazines these days, it's not a personal speculation.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@ Alex80

I first Thank you for being extremely civil , I wish all of us posters here would emulate you. While I see some good points in your observations, some I don't agree with but I'll take my turn and read more on the topics before commenting. Again, thanks for your civility.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To South Korea, it doesn't matter if Japan already compensated the Country, invested in it and given a lot of economic aid for decades. They see the 1965 Treaty like something that the US forced on them, while they weren't in the condition to decide personally. The anti-Japanese feelings were always present, also while South Korea got benefits from Japanese economic support and sharing of know how. South Korea always used these feelings as a political tool to distract from other problems, but this doesn't mean their view that they were never properly compensated by Japan is only a tool. It's what they actually think. The fact that China replaced Japan in terms of importance for South Korea, finally gave them the chance to be diplomatically always harsher with Japan. This is what happened in the last years.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Cogito Ergo Sum: if you want, you can read this long article that basically says what I wrote.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2141313/why-cant-japan-and-south-korea-get-past-their-battle-scars

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Alex80

I sure will. Thanks again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Alex80

I'm asubscriber of the South China morning post. I don't read everything for sure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a joke ???. Light the fire then try to put out the blast. Very normal for trump America.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Cogito Ergo Sum: you are welcome. I advised you that article because I found it well balanced enough.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More victims coming to ask for compensation. Even the ones that should have been covered by 1965 aggrement.

It's amazing how so many Japanese are blindly follow the government's rhetoric regarding this issue.

If you read the "Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation" made between Korea and Japan, the reparation included all claims for property including those raised at the individual level. But such properties only include confiscated land, gold, currency, machinery, resources etc. of individuals. That is, "Property".

Claims for damages made by individuals as compensation for inhumane acts such as sufferings, rape, torture, accidents, human experiments, murder, etc. are NOT even included. That is, "Damages".

Japan did not extinguish the rights of any individual (whether Korean or Japanese, it was bilateral) for these claims in the 1965 agreement. The agreement did not include this because the treaty would not have been ratified by the Diet if it included clauses extinguishing the rights of Japanese citizens.

As a result, 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 informed the Special Committee on the Treaty between Japan and Korea that the treaty "only waives the right to diplomatic protection but not individual rights."

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 case regarding the Korean Courts seizure of assets did not fall under the realm of the 1965 treaty.

The Abe government's stubborn stance and backtracking are all to avoid paying damages, not just to the South but to North Koreans. Just wait and see how the Japanese government will react after all the victims are dead.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@ vinarius

What a joke ???. Light the fire then try to put out the blast. Very normal for trump America.

This phenomenon is called The Hegelian dialectics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@yaponezyToday 12:06 am JST

I have analyzed both sides "rhetoric" and came to the conclusion that yours fall short. And yes I've actually read the agreement. The critical part says:

Article 2, Paragraph 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.

Any person can see that property is separated from "claims", and both have been settled. You might also ask yourself why the Japanese would sign anything that would have them pay money and still leave the Koreans with the effective power to claim more money in the future. Obviously, this is absurd and it is impossible to imagine of Koreans thinking this is a serious idea.

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.

There is no inconsistency between the two positions, though Yaponezy demonstrates his inadequate legal analysis ability even after repeated explanations. The right of a private citizen to file the claim is not the same as the government (by which I mean all three branches) having the competency to grant relief by depriving a foreign entity of its assets.

Remember, international law does not care how you explained things in your local legal system, only that your final result agrees with the treaty text.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Any person can see that property is separated from "claims", and both have been settled. You might also ask yourself why the Japanese would sign anything that would have them pay money and still leave the Koreans with the effective power to claim more money in the future. Obviously, this is absurd and it is impossible to imagine of Koreans thinking this is a serious idea.

The "claims" you talk about did not include "claim rights", the latter including compensation for damages.

The agreement applied to Japanese citizens as well. As mentioned previously, Japan did not extinguish the rights of any individual for these claims rights because the treaty would not have been ratified by the Diet if it included clauses extinguishing the rights of Japanese citizens.

That is why, I repeat:

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.

Foreign Minister Shiina informed the Special Committee on the Treaty between Japan and Korea that the treaty "only waives the right to diplomatic protection but not individual rights."

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.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@ Alex80

For some reason I can't find the body of the article. I clicked on the author's name but still nothing. I'll try via other sources or maybe I'm doing it from my hand phone and it's not capable. I'll try on a desk top later. Thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

yaponezyToday  01:04 am JST

Any person can see that property is separated from "claims", and both have been settled. You might also ask yourself why the Japanese would sign anything that would have them pay money and still leave the Koreans with the effective power to claim more money in the future. Obviously, this is absurd and it is impossible to imagine of Koreans thinking this is a serious idea.

The "claims" you talk about did not include "claim rights", the latter including compensation for damages.

Claim: (noun) a right to claim or demand; a just title to something: dictionary.com

Claim:(noun) a right to do something or to have something, especially because it belongs to you or because you deserve it: Longman dictionary

Claim: 請求権: in Japanese text of 1965 Treaty.

It did include "claim rights"

Individual rights can be settled or solved between 2 nations and the people even if individual rights to claim,

itself, as intrinsic right undetachable(not extingusihed or not terminated) from individuals.

Text of Treaty, List of 8 items, Agreed Minutes and wording of those fully covered any sort of claims or rights to claim. No need to specify what kind of claim rights they are. Period.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Claim rights, or right to claim, when substantiated through proper legal process or already considered as substantiated in law of property value become or already is "property", exactly speaking, "right" as "property"

(That's why such "right" is inheritable in Korean Law to the descendants.) which are specifically refereed to in the text of the treaty as " property, right, interest" in the article 2 , separately from " Concerning the claim" in the same article.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

*@*yaponezy

*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 

Except that he did not.

Why is everything that comes out of you guys twisted or distorted in some way?

The comments were made in "the Japanese government".

He voiced his opinion regarding the meaning of Article 2 of the Japan-South Korea agreement relating to a very specific matter in an Upper House Budget Committee meeting (August 27, 1991).

It was not an "official" statement and did not extend to how you are presenting it.

Post a copy of the complete and original minutes so that people can see what it related to.

He was also not the "foreign minister".

He was only the head of the Foreign Ministry's Treaties Bureau.

In 1992, the matter was further clarified.

‘with regard to substantive rights with legal basis, namely property rights, the Government of Japan nullified the property rights of the nationals of the Republic of Korea ... therefore Korean nationals are no longer able to claim against Japan these property rights with legal basis either as private rights or rights in domestic law’".

The complete opposite of what you are saying.

His comments have been taken out of context. They referred to issues of reparations claims related to the war between Japan and the Allied Powers and Japan pursuing state responsibilities of the Allied Powers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It reminds me children bickering

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@pacificwest

Still not convinced?

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.

It's not me that is saying the complete opposite. It's the Japanese government.

So why does the Japanese government say one consistent statement internally, and another statement "officially"?

Think laterally. It might be due to the floodgate of claims. No?

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

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

yaponezy and pacificwest, please stop bickering on these Korean stories. You're just going around in circles.

Japan is a "sovereign state?". Abe should sort out its disagreement with S.Korea, the US should keep its two cents worth out. The more the US gets involved, the more the chance of a continuation of the dispute. The US answer to any dispute is military.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Korean government and medias forgot the declassification of some documents about the context of the 1965 treaty.

Korean media mentioned it in 2005 but never mention anymore nowadays...

Declassified Documents Could Trigger Avalanche of Lawsuits

http://english.chosun.com/m/svc/article.html?contid=2005011761025

January 17, 2005 18:25

The Korean government on Monday declassified five volumes of sensitive documents that are expected to unleash a flood of lawsuits from victims of the Japanese colonial period.

The documents detail negotiations leading up to the normalization of ties between Korea and Japan in 1965, focusing on Korean demands for reparations.

An estimated 2 to 3 million victims and family members of victims of the draft, forced relocation to Sakhalin Island and other abuses during the 1910 to 1945 Japanese colonial rule could bring suits for compensation.

The declassified documents show that in the course of negotiations, the Korean government demanded a total of US$364 million in compensation for the 1.03 million people conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period.

They also reveal that Korean negotiators made a number of statements that could be construed as surrendering the rights of individual Koreans to sue the Japanese government.

The Association for the Pacific War Victims told a press conference Monday it would sue the Korean government for W300,000 compensation for war victims and seek renegotiation of the Korea-Japan Basic Treaty that was the result of the normalization talks.

The association said the Korean government claimed at the time 77,603 deaths resulted from conscription into the Japanese military. It plans to gather a group of plaintiffs from among the 69,051 victims it says were not compensated due to the government’s failure to properly publicize their rights.

It is also preparing to sue the Japanese government, claiming that some 230,000 Korean conscripts into the military and workforce were never compensated and must be given their wages, which are lying in a Y215 million account with the Bank of Japan.

The government will establish a team to deal with the expected aftermath of the documents' release including appeals for compensation.

"It has been the government’s position that compensation for losses during the Japanese occupation has already been settled, but we will make a final decision after considering the flow of petitions and public sentiment," an official at the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Compensation for Colonial Victims Is Not Just a Legal Problem

Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005 22:09

http://english.chosun.com/m/svc/article.html?contid=2005011761043

The Korean government has declassified explosive documents relating to the 1965 Korea-Japan Basic Treaty. They show that the government at the time had originally demanded US$364 million in compensation for some 1.03 million Koreans forced into labor or military service during the Japanese occupation.

Based on that disclosure, the bereaved families of victims have demanded compensation from the government.

At the time of the normalization talks, the government intended to "assume the responsibility for compensating individuals after resolving all claims including individual ones on a lump sum basis. Propriety by item, criteria and methods for individual compensation will be worked out."

But in 1975 the Korean government closed the matter by paying a total of W2,570 million only to the relatives of 8,552 citizens who died in forced labor.

"Since it received the claims fund after it sought compensation for 1.03 million victims, the government must compensate the remaining 1 million-plus victims," bereaved family members of the victims demand.

The government, citing several reasons, takes the position that legal compensation is difficult to implement. To begin with, the government says, though it demanded individual compensation in the course of the negotiations, this was a negotiating strategy in its effort to win sufficient reparations from Japan.

The government also claims that it has no legal responsibility to compensate individuals because Japan paid the fund in the name of economic cooperation, and because a formula for the use of the funds prepared at the time makes no mention of individual compensation. If victims of forced labor are compensated, the government says, there arises a problem of equitable treatment of other victims in the independence struggle. In addition, there is a practical problem: no documentary record is available in the country to identify victims of forced labor.

But this is not a matter to be addressed from a legal point of view only. We must find a formula for compensating the victims one way or another.

During the normalization talks, the government hurried negotiations along in a bid to secure foreign capital needed for economic development, and it used the claims fund to push ahead with large-scale economic projects like the Seoul-Busan expressway and Pohang Iron and Steel. In other words, it sacrificed the compensation of individual victims on the altar of economic development.

Under the circumstances, that was unavoidable and for the benefit of the entire population. But now the government should endeavor to resolve the matter from a different perspective.

Japan meanwhile holds that its responsibility for compensation ceased with the settlement of negotiated claims, and our government has left a document acknowledging this. But the Japanese government, instead of insisting that, legally speaking, its responsibility toward Asian countries has evaporated, should reflect on its moral responsibility. That is what a lasting political solution must be based on.

Victims of Japanese Imperialism React to Documents' Release:

http://english.chosun.com/m/svc/article.html?contid=2005011761038

January 17, 2005 21:09

In the press conference venue at the Zelkova Tree Café in Anguk-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul on Monday, 79-year-old Kim Kyeong-seok, head of the Association for the Pacific War Victims, took the microphone with a shaking hand.

"With the money we were sold for in the Korea-Japan Basic Treaty of 1965, we built Pohang Iron and Steel (now POSCO), highways and raised small and medium businesses. So now it's time to pay us back. It's also time to add interest. Victims of the Pacific War are dying today, and they will die tomorrow. We make this request while we are alive, even if just for a little while longer."

Kim led the class action suit filed against the Foreign Ministry to declassify the explosive documents so they can obtain compensation for their losses. As an 18-year-old he was dragged away into forced labor for Japan.

In 1991, he sued Japan's NKK Steel for damages, finally receiving Y4.1 million eight years later. It was the first time that a victim of the war had received compensation from a Japanese company. "I went back and forth to Japan hundreds of times. Each time they told me that all talks had concluded with the Korea-Japan Basic Treaty. I wanted to know what had concluded and why, so I filed a lawsuit to have the documents released.

"After many ups and downs, this is a beginning. But we mustn't be satisfied with this. You don't know how hard we'll have to fight, since there is nothing but this terrible treaty… Frankly, all I want is a little so-called compensation to buy just one box of medicine."

"I'm full of emotion that the documents have been partially released, but the contents of those documents are terrible... It's like an agreement to steal. We're going to have to fight this for many days. The nation mustn't turn its back on its people." Kim was overcome by emotion and unable to go on as elderly listeners wiped away tears. Then an elderly woman in a red vest took the microphone. She was 83-year-old Lee Ok-seon, a former Japanese "comfort woman."

In a quiet voice, she said, "Compensation? I don't know much about this. All I know is that when I think about what I went through, how I was tormented by Japanese soldiers, I can only cry." She said, "Many comfort women died of diseases or were massacred all at once, but the Japanese government might say it never happened... If we are discarded by Japan and Korea ignores us, in whom are we to believe?"

81-year-old Kwak Ki-hun, a nuclear bomb victim, said, "Looking at the contents of the document, it would appear the Korean government's negotiating skills were quite pitiful... Other nations are going to Japan and getting sufficient compensation. We, too, must claim our rights and set a good example for the world."

6 ( +6 / -0 )

How much compensation did the US pay to survivors of the nuclear bombing and the use of Japanese civilian casualties for experimental purposes?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Time to tell South Korea that it needs to start acting like a responsible member of the US-JPN-SK strategic alliance. Instead of doing everything it can to disrupt it.

Ah, the ant-South Korean, Japanese apologist stances we've all come to love.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

We are not anti-South Korea, we are pro-objectivity and reasonableness.

Objectively, both these activists and South Korean is general is being highly unreasonable and that's without the extremes of

people setting fire to themselves

people stabbing themselves in the stomach

people cutting off their own fingers

activists hammering pheasants to death and throwing them over the embassy wall,

activists tearing live piglets in half,

as has happened in the past.

The Korean government needs to take on board the mental instability of its citizens and stop provoking them, and allowing NGOs to provoke them, to self harm and national harm, by extensively fabricating and exaggerating history* and continuing on these claims.

(That's a polite way of say, "lying").
2 ( +3 / -1 )

MIA for three and half years and was shocked to see how absurd the Korean side's arguments have become.

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.

This is Korea's domestic problem. PERIOD.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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