Friday, June 02, 2006

Tokyo's good deed

During the period of their colonial rule, the Japanese treated the Koreans so brutally and inhumanely. I think the most humiliating to Koreans was to force them to change their names since one’s name symbolizes one’s roots and ancestry. Today, I’m delighted to read this article that the University of Tokyo has agreed to return to Korea 47 volumes of the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty that a colonial official took out of the country in 1913.

1 comment:

austin kim said...

It is welcoming news to hear that the Japanese are returning the Korean annals. But in my opinion, to title the editorial as "Tokyo's good deed" gives more credit to Japan than they deserve. Any Korean property stolen during the occupation period should have been returned way back not after more than 50 years. I found one specific part of the editorial rather disturbing; "One more thing of particular note is that both the Japanese and Korean university officials demonstrated wisdom in opting for a form of "donation," making the return part of an academic exchange and cooperation program between the two schools. In that way, they could minimize political inference and pressure in the negotiations." The return of Korean work should not have been labeled as a donation and definitely not a demonstration of wisdom. It is simply a rightful return of work that clearly belongs to Korea. If anything, the Japanese should apologize for stealing an important works of Korean history. However, the word apology does not seem to be in their dictionary as they have yet to apologize for the inhumane acts of sex slaves (comfort women). I believe formal apologizes for their clear mistakes during the occupation period deserves the title "Tokyo's Good Deed"