Okada says no more relics to go to Korea

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Okada says no more relics to go to Korea

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said yesterday that Japan will not include additional Korean cultural heritages when carrying out its promise made in a statement by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Aug. 10, Asahi Shimbun reported.

In an apology for Japan’s colonial rule of Korea, Kan said that Japan will return royal documents from the Joseon Dynasty taken during its colonization of Korea.

According to Asahi, in a meeting with the governing Democratic Party of Japan, Okada mentioned a request from Seoul to return other cultural heritages.

Okada said, however, that Japan owes no other liability because matters over other Korean cultural heritages in Japan have already been resolved.

Japan has claimed that the Treaty of Basic Relations, which Korea and Japan signed in 1965, nullifies any claim by Korea to retrieve its cultural heritages taken by Japan.

Kan’s statement said that the heritages to be returned to Korea will be those taken by the Joseon Governor General’s Office, the highest Japanese authority during the colonial period, and kept by Japan’s Imperial Household Agency in Tokyo.

A local study found that 61,409 cultural assets taken out of Korea are being exhibited throughout Japan.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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