Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea
The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea (Japanese: 日韓基本条約 (Nikkan Kihon Jōyaku?); Korean: 한일기본조약, 韓日基本條約, Hanil Gibon Joyak) was signed on June 22, 1965. It established basic diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea.
The Treaty was the fruit of the "Korea–Japan Talks," a series of bilateral talks held between South Korea and Japan from October 1951 to June 1965 in order to normalize diplomatic ties. Over that period of 14 years, a total of seven talks were held.
In his 1974 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Eisaku Sato explicitly mentioned the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea. He described "the guiding spirit of equality and mutual advantage and the realistic approach of seeking to establish friendship with close neighbors" as significant aspects of the extended negotiations which produced this bilateral agreement.
This diplomatic agreement established "normal" diplomatic relations between two East Asian neighbors. The original documents of this agreement are kept respectively by Japan and Korea. The treaty is drafted using English, Japanese, and Korean, and each is considered authentic. In case of a "divergence of interpretation," the English-language version shall be deemed authoritative and prevailing.
The 1965 Treaty also declared that:
Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims
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With the Treaty, the agreements between Japan and Korea concerning the settlement of problems in regard to property and claims and economic cooperation was also signed. By this Agreement, problems in regard to property and claims between Japan and Korea has been settled completely and finally.
There has been a constant call from the South Korean public (and to some extent, Japanese with left or liberal political leaning) that Japan should compensate Korean individuals who suffered from Japanese colonial rule. The Japanese government has refused to do so, arguing that it settled issues on a government-to-government basis under the 1965 agreement.
However, in January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the 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.
However, the South Korean government used most of the grants for economic development, failing to provide adequate compensation to victims by paying only 300,000 won per death in compensating victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977. Instead, the government spent most of the money establishing social infrastructures, founding POSCO, building Gyeongbu Expressway and the Soyang Dam with the technology transfer from Japanese companies. This investment was named Miracle on the Han River in South Korea.
As the result of this revelation, there have been growing calls for the South Korean government to compensate the victims. A survey conducted shortly after the disclosure showed that more than 70 percent of South Koreans believe the South Korean government should bear responsibility to pay for those victims (ibid.). The South Korean government announced that it will establish a team to deal with the appeals for compensation, although "It has been the government's position that compensation for losses during the Japanese occupation has already been settled".
- Asian Women's Fund
- Lai Đại Hàn
- History of Japan–Korea relations
- Japan–Korea disputes
- Oda, Shigeru. "The Normalization of Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea," The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Jan., 1967), pp. 35-56.
- Nobel Peace Prize, Eisaku Sato, Nobel laureate lecture, "The Pursuit of Peace and Japan in the Nuclear Age," December 11, 1974.
- Hook, p. 492., p. 492, at Google Books
- Hook, Glenn D. (2001). Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics, and Security, p. 491., p. 491, at Google Books
- Documents show Seoul agreed to compensate its citizens over Japan's colonial rule Mainichi January 17, 2005[dead link]
- "Compensation for Colonial Victims Is Not Just a Legal Problem," Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005
- "S.Korea discloses sensitive documents". UPI.com. 17 January 2005.
- "Declassified Documents Could Trigger Avalanche of Lawsuits," Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005
- "Seoul Demanded $364 Million for Japan's Victims Updated," Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005
- "Seoul ready to launch panel on Korean victims of colonial rule," Koreaherald February 11, 2005
- Jong sik Kong Korea Was Most Efficient in Utilizing Japanese Reparation, Dong-a Ilbo, JANUARY 19, 2005.
- Hook, Glenn D. (2001). Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics, and Security. London: Routledge. 10-ISBN 0415240972/13-ISBN 9780415240970; 10-ISBN 0415240980/10-ISBN 9780415240987; OCLC 45583501
- Lundqvist,Stig et al. (1997). Nobel Lectures, including Presentation Speeches and Laureates' Biographies. 1971-1980. Singapore: World Scientific. 13-ISBN 9810207263/13-ISBN 9789810207267; 13-ISBN 9810207271/ 10-ISBN 978-981-02-0727-4; OCLC 186564406
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- Wikisource, Treaty text in English; Japanese; Korean
- Wikisource, Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning Fisheries
- Wikisource, Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation
- WIkisource, Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Legal Status and Treatment of the People of the Republic of Korea Residing in Japan