Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty

Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty

Overview
The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 and the Korean Empire
Korean Empire
The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

 in 1910. Negotiations were concluded on August 20, 1910. The document was signed on August 22, 1910.

The treaty was proclaimed to the public (and became effective) on August 29, officially starting the period of Japanese rule
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

 in Korea. The treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 had eight articles, the first being: "His Majesty the Emperor of Korea makes the complete and permanent cession to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

 of all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea".

In modern Korea, the treaty is also commonly called "Hanil Hapbang Neugyak (한일 합방 늑약)", which simply means a coerced (and hence invalid) treaty ("neugyak") of Korea's annexation to Japan.
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Encyclopedia
The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 and the Korean Empire
Korean Empire
The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

 in 1910. Negotiations were concluded on August 20, 1910. The document was signed on August 22, 1910.

The treaty was proclaimed to the public (and became effective) on August 29, officially starting the period of Japanese rule
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

 in Korea. The treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 had eight articles, the first being: "His Majesty the Emperor of Korea makes the complete and permanent cession to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

 of all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea".

In modern Korea, the treaty is also commonly called "Hanil Hapbang Neugyak (한일 합방 늑약)", which simply means a coerced (and hence invalid) treaty ("neugyak") of Korea's annexation to Japan. The event itself is also called "Gyeongsul Gukchi (경술국치 庚戌國恥)", which means "the humiliation of the nation in 1910". The day it happened, August 29, is remembered today as "Gukchi-il (국치일)", that is, "the day of national shame".

Legality


The legality of the Treaty was disputed by the exiled Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was the partially recognised government in exile of Korea, based in Shanghai, China, and later in Chongqing, during the Colonial Korea.-History:...

 as well as the modern Republic of Korea; a position which was also adopted later by the Allied forces
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 that occupied the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. While the treaty was affixed with the national seal of the Korean Empire, Emperor Sunjong of Korea
Sunjong of Korea
Sunjong, the Yunghui Emperor was the last emperor of the Joseon Dynasty and Korean Empire in Korea, ruling from 1907 until 1910.He was the fourth son of Emperor Gwangmu. Crown Prince Yi Cheok was made Emperor Yung-hui when the Japanese forced the abdication of Emperor Gwangmu and his reign ended...

 refused to sign the treaty as required under Korean law. The treaty was instead signed by Prime Minister Lee Wan-Yong
Lee Wan-Yong
Lee Wan-Yong was a pro-Japanese minister of Korea, who signed the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty, which placed Korea under Japanese rule in 1910....

 of Korea and Resident General
Governor-General of Korea
The post of Japanese Governor-General of Korea served as the chief administrator of the Japanese government in Korea while it was held as the Japanese colony of Chōsen from 1910 to 1945...

 Count Terauchi Masatake
Terauchi Masatake
, GCB was a Japanese military officer and politician. He was a Field Marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army and the 18th Prime Minister of Japan from 9 October 1916 to 29 September 1918.-Early period:...

 of Japan.

The 1965 Treaty of Basic Relations
Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea
The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea was signed on June 22, 1965 to establish basic relationship between Japan and the Republic of Korea .-History:...

 between South Korea and Japan declared that

It is confirmed that all treaties or agreements concluded between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of Korea on or before August 22, 1910 are already null and void.


Due to ambiguities in the wording in the language, Japan interprets the above clause to mean that the 1910 Treaty was still valid until the signing of the 1965 Treaty, whereas both South and North Korea interpret the clause to mean the treaty was already null and void at the surrender of Japan
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

, an interpretation which is upheld in the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 text, of which the final paragraph of the 1965 Treaty agrees should be used in case of any conflict of interpretation.

The role of the American government under President Theodore Roosevelt in facilitating and agreeing to the Japanese annexation of Korea as well as the racial biases that underpinned that annexation receive serious consideration and documentation in The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley. In the book, Bradley describes how then Korean King Gojong had accepted a US–Korea Treaty in 1882 which, in part, read [i]f a third power acted unjustly or oppressively with either country, the United States or Korea promised to exert their "good offices, on being informed of the case, to bring about an amicable arrangement, thus showing their friendly feelings". A similar conclusion was reached by Homer B. Hulbert in his book, The Passing of Korea; Hulbert had been sent by Emperor Sunjong as his ambassador to Washington, DC and The Hague to protest the Japanese annexation in 1910. [Roosevelt had, in fact, left office in March, 1909.]

All the while Roosevelt had said "I should like to see Japan have Korea". Bradley maintains that the Korean government labored under the misunderstanding, which the Americans fostered, that the country had the support of the Americans when, in fact, their fate had already been sealed.

In 2001, an academic examination of the legality for the Korea annexation by Japan from 1910 to 1945 which was titled A reconsideration of Japanese Annexation of Korea from the Historical and International Law Perspectives
was held at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. The conference was held 3 times, namely on January, April and November and related scholars of history and international law participated from the R.O.K. (South Korea), D.P.R.K. (North Korea), Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

Movement-related


There is a recent movement in both South Korea and Japan to make the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty invalid in today's context under Tokyo University's emeritus professor, Haruki Wada (和田春樹).

On June 23, 2010, 75 South Korean congressmen suggested to the Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Naoto Kan
is a Japanese politician, and former Prime Minister of Japan. In June 2010, then-Finance Minister Kan was elected as the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and designated Prime Minister by the Diet to succeed Yukio Hatoyama. On 26 August 2011, Kan announced his resignation...

 to nullify the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty legally.

On July 6, 2010, Korean and Japanese progressive Christian groups gathered in Tokyo's Korean YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

 chapter jointly declared that the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty was unjustified.

On July 28, 2010, approximately 1000 Korean and Japanese scholars petitioned to the Japanese Prime Minister that the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty was originally nullified and demanded apology led by the Japanese spokesperson, Haruki Wada.

See also


  • Annexation
    Annexation
    Annexation is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity . Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size...

  • Eulsa Treaty
    Eulsa Treaty
    The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905, also known as the Eulsa Treaty or Japan–Korea Protectorate Treaty, was made between the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1905. Negotiations were concluded on November 17, 1905....

  • Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1907
    Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1907
    The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1907 was made between the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1907. Negotiations were concluded on July 24, 1907.-Treaty provisions:The treaty provided that Korea shall act under guidance of Japanese resident general...

  • Unequal Treaties
    Unequal Treaties
    “Unequal treaty” is a term used in specific reference to a number of treaties imposed by Western powers, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, on Qing Dynasty China and late Tokugawa Japan...

  • List of Korea-related topics
  • Korea under Japanese rule
    Korea under Japanese rule
    Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

  • Japan–Korea relations

External links