See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Negotiation files reinforce Japanese govt arguments against Seoul

Trade talks between the two sides have resulted in no movement.

Written by

Updated: August 6, 2019

Amid the accelerating deterioration of Japan-South Korea relations, the Japanese government is intensifying its arguments against the South Korean Supreme Court ruling involving former requisitioned workers that triggered the current situation.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry has cited records from negotiations between the two countries on the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems Concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Cooperation and insists that it is clear the ROK court ruling violates the bilateral agreement and contravenes international law.

The agreement, which was concluded in 1965, stipulates that the issue of compensation claims has been “completely and finally resolved.”

However, the South Korean Supreme Court ruled in October last year that the right for compensation for former requisitioned workers was not considered to be covered by the agreement, based mainly on the unfairness of Japanese colonial rule, and ordered a Japanese company to pay compensation.

As the South Korean government is not honoring the agreement and has also been increasingly critical of Japan’s measures to strengthen export controls, the Japanese Foreign Ministry decided to disclose on July 29 records from negotiations that clarify the position of the South Korean side at the time the agreement was reached.

According to the records, Seoul presented an eight-point outline of claims against Japan during negotiations. Repayment and compensation for the requisitioned South Korean workers were among some of the claims. All eight items were recognized in the agreement, providing the basis for the $300 million in grant aid paid by the Japanese government.

According to records from negotiations that took place on May 10, 1961, a South Korean representative said that it was only natural to demand substantial compensation for the mental and physical sufferings that were inflicted by forcible mobilization, in relation to compensation for damages incurred by requisitioned workers.

It is clear that South Korea has been seeking a way to justify claims for money that the ROK court ruled were not covered by the agreement.

The records also confirm Tokyo asked Seoul whether it would seek compensation for individual former requisitioned workers. Seoul replied that the claim would be made as a state and that it would make domestic payments to the extent necessary as a domestic measure.

In addition to the records of the negotiations, the Japanese Foreign Ministry has unveiled a translation of documents released by the South Korean government on the discussions of a joint committee between the public and private sectors, which was established in 2005 under the then Roh Moo-hyun administration. The committee had determined regarding the $300 million Japan paid under the agreement, that comprehensive consideration was given to the right of the claim to be made by the South Korean government as a state. It also determined that careful consideration was given to the fact that the funds were intended to resolve the issue of damages to compensate for the forced mobilization [of former requisitioned workers], among other issues.

In fact, the Roh administration concluded that it would be difficult to ask for additional compensation from Japan, and provided additional assistance to former requisitioned workers on behalf of the South Korean government.

At the time, President Moon Jae-in was a civil affairs secretary of the Blue House and a member of the committee.

The documents had been available in the past through information disclosure requests. However, the Foreign Ministry decided to publicize them to provide accurate information about the issue.

“The precedents of the International Court of Justice and other entities show that the history of the drafting of international treaties can be to a great extent referred to,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official.Speech

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress

By The Statesman
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

More changes friendly to foreign investors on way in China

China is courting more FDI as their cash reserves run lower. China will roll out more measures friendly to foreign investors, including further removing business restrictions and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses, to foster a more enabling business environment and attract overseas investment. The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Meeting participants decided to open up more areas. Restrictive measures outside the national and FTZ negative lists on foreign investors’ market access will be consolidated. Restrictions will be lifted on the business scope for those foreign-invested banks, securities companies and fund management firms that are already operating in China. Policies on foreign investment in the automobile industry will be refined, including giving equal treatment in market access to domestic and foreig

By China Daily
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 

By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

S. Korean, ASEAN officials look ahead to special summit and stronger regional ties

Korea has increasingly look to Southeast Asia as an export destination and regional partners. Ahead of the highly anticipated summit in Busan next month between the leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, top officials from participating countries gathered in the southern port city Wednesday and voiced high expectations for the future of the relationship between South Korea and the ASEAN nations. South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam, ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea U Thant Sin said they looked forward to the upcoming summit, calling it a steppingstone to stronger South Korea-ASEAN ties and to economic prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula. “In the past 30 years, the relationship between South Korea and ASEAN has grown to an astonishing degree. Trade volume rose 20-fold and human e

By The Korea Herald
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

BOK slashes key rate to record-low 1.25%

The government hopes to stimulate a stagnating economy. South Korea’s central bank on Wednesday cut the country’s key interest rate to 1.25 percent, reflecting the sluggish economic growth, low inflation and declining exports. Its second rate cut in three months — to the lowest ever level — is in line with the global trend toward monetary easing. “We have cut the base rate considering the lower-than-expected growth outlook and low inflation,” said Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol in a press conference.The BOK’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Board decided to lower the base rate by 25 basis points from 1.5 percent that it had set three months ago. The move paralleled the US Fed Reserve’s decision last month to lower its key interest rate to the 1.75-2 percent range, down 25 basis points from the previous 2-2.25 percent range. The BOK board cited contractions in trade, sl

By The Korea Herald
October 17, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

We will never abandon people of occupied Kashmir, says Army chief during LoC visit

The army chief said that the Pakistan army will fulfil its role no matter the cost. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa while visiting troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday vowed “to never leave Kashmiris alone” in their fight against Indian oppression. “Kashmiris in IOJ&K are bravely facing Indian atrocities under continued siege. We shall never leave them alone and play our rightful role at whatever cost”, said Gen Bajwa. Gen Bajwa’s remarks followed a briefing of the “deliberate targeting of civilians” by Indian troops and the response by Pakistan’s armed forces. A day earlier, at least three civilians died and eight others were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after Indian troops resorted to “indiscri

By Dawn
October 17, 2019