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Antoine Rasata comments

Posted in: S Korea protests over Japan's virus travel restrictions See in context

Even Korean newspaper claims that the Korean government's quick and loud response to Japan's entry restrictions on Korean citizens and anyone traveling from Korea to Japan, due to the coronavirus epidemic, is raising some eyebrows given that it has not taken any retaliatory action against the more than 100 countries imposing similar or stricter measures:

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/03/120_285789.html

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Posted in: Moon calls for 'peace economy' with N Korea; slams Japan See in context

@samit basu

That newspaper may be the biggest anti-regime one but what it's saying it's completely true and a lot of people here will agree according to most of comments here.

Surprisingly, Korea Times, a newspaper that doesn't hesitate to write articles in favor of Korean government stance and that advertising Japan boycott movement , wrote an article criticizing the way Moon Jae In administration handle the rift.

https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=272887&utm_source=dable

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Posted in: Moon calls for 'peace economy' with N Korea; slams Japan See in context

Apparently, some Korean newspapers don't agree with Moon:

http://english.chosun.com/m/svc/article.html?contid=2019080601243

"Has Moon Left the Planet?

August 06, 2019 13:43

President Moon Jae-in in a Cabinet meeting on Monday claimed that Japan's economic superiority is largely due to its "domestic market" and that South Korea will easily catch up with it if it forms a "peace economy" with North Korea. Moon for some reason feels that Japan's fresh export curbs "once again confirm the need for a peace economy" with North Korea. There have been rumblings in conservative circles that Japan was able to ambush South Korea by removing it from a list of preferential trade partners because the Moon administration was obsessed with North Korea and dropped the ball in the diplomatic spat with Japan. Now it is becoming shockingly clear how true that is. The financial markets are reeling, but Moon sings about pan-Korean peace and prosperity, even though there is no realistic prospect of international sanctions against the crackpot country being lifted for years to come.

Of course cross-border economic cooperation will one day benefit the economy, and peace on the Korean Peninsula will erase the "Korea discount" that has hampered the stock markets due to the security risks. But even when that day comes, the initial benefits will not be vast for South Korea, which is among the world's top 15 economies, because it will have to foot the bill for getting North Korea, one of the world's poorest countries, shipshape. It is safe to say that the North is about a century behind South Korea, and even its exaggerated GDP figures are about those of a mid-sized city in the South. What can North Korea offer other than cheap labor? And is the North Korean dictator willing to embrace South Korean capitalism? Seeking to overtake a world-leading technological powerhouse by cooperating with a basket case is pure fantasy.

At any rate, inter-Korean economic cooperation is a distant illusion. How can Moon even think up such far-fetched notions at a time when the economy and businesses face an immediate crisis? After that peculiar outburst, many wondered if Moon has completely lost touch with reality, and they are now having to worry about the president when he should be the one worrying about the public. Who will steady the rudder?"

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Posted in: U.S. willing to hold 3-way talks with Japan, S Korea next week See in context

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."

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Posted in: Concerned citizens criticize Japanese gov't over worsening ties with S Korea See in context

Actually the Korean government should have been criticized for its pitiful negotiation skill on the 1965 treaty.

It seems like a lot of people has forgotten what happened on January 17th 2005 when formers forced labors forced Korean government to declassify some documents:

According to this Korean newspapers Chosun Ilbo which is, of course, a pro-Korea one:

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

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

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

"Declassified documents Could Trigger Avalanche of Lawsuits

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."

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Posted in: Is Japan’s tourism industry sustainable? See in context

I guess the current boycott Japan movement in Korea is easing the burden of over tourism in Japan.

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