[KS] Joint statement on the annexation by Korean and Japanese intellectuals
mds71 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Jul 27 19:29:39 EDT 2011
As someone who's been collecting signatures in Europe, I'd like to
provide some background about the joint statement that Ned Shultz
brought to your attention earlier today.
Last year, to mark the 100th anniversary of Japan's takeover of Korea,
intellectuals from both countries issued a statement declaring the
annexation to be illegal and calling for the recognition of this as a
step in moving toward a genuine reconciliation. The movement began in
Dec. 2009 when Dr. Kim Young-Ho, a former professor and former
Minister of Industry and Energy in the Kim Dae-Jung administration,
gave a lecture in Tokyo in Dec. 2009. He met with Wada Haruki,
Okamoto Atsushi (editor in chief of the journal Sekai), and a few
others. Kim proposed the statement, and the others agreed, creating
an organizing committee with 20 scholars on each side.
Since this was soon after the DP took power in Japan, the Japan side
thought it would be a good opportunity to press the government to
issue an apology and proposed getting 100 signatures on both sides.
Wada Haruki wrote the draft, and the Korean side made revisions to
it. The statement was issued to the public on May 10, 2010. But it
continued to gain momentum, and by July, the Japan side collected
about 500 signatures, surprising the Korean side. Of course, it
didn't achieve the original goal of influencing the Naoto Kan
administration, but they continued their efforts and expanded to
China, getting 20 signatures.
In early 2011, the organizers of the statement began to collect money
to donate to Japan for disaster relief, and the Korean side proposed
holding a one-year anniversary event - to which the Japan side
agreed. For this event, they wanted to get signatures from scholars
all over the world to draw attention to the issue and to disaster
relief. They also want to highlight their belief that achieving
closure toward Japanese imperialism is a key to maintaining peace in
If anyone in Europe is interested in signing the statement, please
send your name and affiliation to me.
Dr. Michael D. Shin
Lecturer in Korean Studies
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