SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

Cho_Suil “Korea-Japan relations are increasing chaos?!” (Part 2)


“Korea-Japan relations are increasing chaos !? ” (Part 1)



[It is a key to have private exchanges of our voices from both countries.]



I summarize chief events of the last year (2018).



・April 27, 2018 : Moon Jae-in, the President of the South Korea and Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of the North Korea had summit talks. They crossed the military demarcation line between the two countries at Panmunjeom (板門店).  

・June 12:Kim Jong-un and the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump had summit talks at Singapore.

・October 30:Supreme Court of the South Korea passed the judgement on Nippon Steel Corporation to pay one hundred million Won per person to four conscripted workers who were said to have been forced to work during the Pacific War.

・November 21:The Korean government declared to dissolve “Reconciliation and Healing Foundation”.  This foundation was established in July, 2016 based on the “Comfort Women Agreement” (December 28, 2015).

(The year 2019)

・March 25, 2019:Daejeon City District court approved “Application for distraining of two trademark rights and three patent rights properties of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries” which was submitted by “Citizens’ Association with The Workers Corps Harmoni (grandmothers)”.

・June 28-29, 2019:The G20 Summit was held in Osaka. But there was no summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Moon Jae-in were not materialized.  

・June 30:The U.S. President D. Trump visited South Korea after the G20 Summit in Osaka. He walked across the military demarcation alone and came back to the South together with Kim Jong-un. And, Moon Jae-in joined. News of pleasant talks among those three tops amazed the world.

・July 4:Japanese government invoked a measure which strengthen controlling export of semiconductor materials to South Korea and decided to exclude South Korea from “White Country”.

・August 22:The South Korean government announced the termination (destroy) of GSOMIA (Korea-Japan Military Information Protection Agreement) which has been  signed on November 23, 2016).



Is it necessary for our considerations about the events mentioned above and recent situations between Korea and Japan, which are said to be “Crisis of 1965 System”?



The agreement was signed on June 22, 1965 and entered into efficacy on December 18, 1965, “The Treaty on Basic Relations between the Republic of Korea and Japan (Basic Treaty of Korea and Japan)”, “Properties of Property and Claims” Between the Republic of Korea and Japan on the Resolution and Economic Cooperation (Korean-Japanese Claims Agreement), “Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea on the legal status and treatment of Korean citizens residing in Japan (Japan Korean Legal Status Agreement).



It is also necessary to consider the reasons why the interpretation is controversial over claims between states and between individuals. On August 27, 1991, Mr. Yanai Shunji, the then Chief of the International Legal Affairs Bureau, the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs, has explained that “both countries have confirmed that rights to claim were solved perfectly and finally” and “both countries abandoned, each other’s, our national rights to claim which based on peoples’ right of claim.”  At the same time, Mr. Yanai explained “it does not mean individual right to claim are lapsed in the meanings of civic laws”. On February 26, 1992, he answered, at the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, “it does not deny people, as a Korean citizen to raise such claim to Japan”. I think personally that Mr. Yanai’s answer is correct. But it does not seem to be correct in the Japanese Government. It is because the Korean Supreme Court declared that individual rights to claim are still alive and right to claim by the government is not included in the Agreement.



The point may be there is not official conversation through diplomatic channels. Of course, it goes without saying that both governments, which have to consider a lot of things like the relations and interests, now and future, have to be very cautious to behave carelessly at first. However, on individual basis, we have to keep interchanging without reading the facial expressions of each other. I think it is important to bring up such persons who can understand each other and can express their own opinions regarding the Korean-Japanese relations exactly. It would be my assignment to accomplish, as a bridge between the two counties hereafter.



[The Preamble to the Constitution of Korea and Japan]

The Preamble to the Constitution of Korea


The Preamble to the Constitution of Japan

 (I feel there is full of spirits of pursuing for peace)



We, the Japanese people act through legitimately elected delegates in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited this horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution, Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people, This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions、laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.



We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all people of the world have the right to live in the peace, free from fear and want.



We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of potential morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.



We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.



I think it the same in the point that both countries want everlasting peace. And we must cooperate together “not to have the horror of war again” and “to keep peace, to eliminate forever ‘autocracy and slavery’ and ‘oppression and intolerance’. There are a lot of problems pending between Korea and Japan to be solved through diplomatic channels and I do hope they establish the systems which they can talk openly and freely



And, we must endeavor to establish solid system and understanding, on the private level, in the exchange of culture, sports and educational fields so that such systems would not be discontinued by political dispute.



SGRA Kawaraban 612 in Japanese (Original)



 Cho_Sull / Fellowship from Japan Society for Promotion of Science



Translated by Kazuo Kawamura

English checked by Sabina Koirala