[KS] Joint statement on the annexation by Korean and Japanese intellectuals

Michael Shin mds71 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Jul 27 19:29:39 EDT 2011

Dear All,

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  
East Asia.

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
Robinson College
Grange Road

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