287,292 Pages

A copy exhibited at National Museum of Korean Contemporary History

The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea (Japanese: 日韓基本条約 (Nikkan Kihon Jōyaku?); Korean: 한일기본조약, 韓日基本條約, Hanil Gibon Joyak) was signed on June 22, 1965. It established basic diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

As Korea was not a signatory state of the Treaty of San Francisco, it was not entitled to the benefits of Article 14 which stipulates the reparations by Japan. However, by the provisions of Article 21 of the treaty, Korea was entitled to be an authority applied to Article 4 of the treaty which states the arrangement of property and claims.[citation needed]

The Treaty was the fruit of the "Korea–Japan Talks," a series of bilateral talks held between South Korea and Japan from October 1951 to June 1965[citation needed] in order to normalize diplomatic ties. Over that period of 14 years, a total of seven talks were held.[citation needed]

In his 1974 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Eisaku Satō explicitly mentioned the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea. He described "the guiding spirit of equality and mutual advantage and the realistic approach of seeking to establish friendship with close neighbors" as significant aspects of the extended negotiations which produced this bilateral agreement.[2]

Treaty provisions[edit | edit source]

This diplomatic agreement established "normal" diplomatic relations between two East Asian neighbors. The original documents of this agreement are kept respectively by Japan and Korea. The treaty is drafted using English, Japanese, and Korean, and each is considered authentic. In case of a "divergence of interpretation," the English-language version shall be deemed authoritative and prevailing.[3]

The 1965 Treaty also declared that:

It is confirmed that all treaties or agreements concluded between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of Korea on or before August 22, 1910 are already null and void.[4]

Settlements[edit | edit source]

With the Treaty, the agreements between Japan and Korea concerning the settlement of problems in regard to property and claims and economic cooperation was also signed. Japan provided South Korea with $300 million grant in economic aid and $200 million in loans together with $300 million in loans for private trust, a total of $800 million as "economic cooperation".[5] The official policy of Japanese governments has been that, in regard to war-time property issues and individual claims for compensation, such issues were settled completely and finally by this agreement.

The 1965 Treaty Article II:

1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.

Use of loans and grants[edit | edit source]

The loans and grants provided to South Korea were used for the following projects. Pohang Iron and Steel Company used $88.68 million loan and $30.8 million grant, a total of $119.48 million, 23.9% of $500 million loans and grants.[6][7]

$200M loans
Project Expense (M$) %
Construction of Pohang Iron and Steel Company 88.68 44.3
Construction of Soyang Dam 41.22 20.6
Bringing up small business 22.23 11.1
Improvement of railway facilities 21.16 10.6
Maritime development project 8.17 4.1
Construction of Gyeongbu Expressway 7.24 3.6
Expansion of long distance telephone service 4.19 2.1
Dredging operation 3.29 1.6
Others 3.82 1.9
Total 200.00 100.0
$300M grants
Project Expense (M$) %
Korea Exchange Bank: Purchase of raw material 132.82 44.2
Development of agriculture water 30.84 10.3
Construction of Pohang Iron and Steel Company 30.80 10.2
Introduction of fishing vessel 27.17 9.1
Construction of maritime training vessel 13.47 4.5
Weather forecast facilities 6.38 2.1
Power transmission and distribution facilities 3.66 1.2
Cartography of rural area 3.20 1.1
Others 51.66 17.3
Total 300.00 100.0

Compensation[edit | edit source]

There has been a constant call from the South Korean public (and to some extent, Japanese with left or liberal political leaning) that Japan should compensate Korean individuals who suffered from Japanese colonial rule. Also, the 1996 U.N. resolution by Commission On Human Rights recommended that Japan accept legal responsibility and pay compensation to individual victims of Japanese military sexual slavery, known as "comfort women".[8] The Japanese government has refused to do so, arguing that it settled issues on a government-to-government basis under the 1965 agreement. The Korean government has argued that the 1965 agreement was not intended to settle individual claims against Japan for war crime or crimes against humanity as shown by documents presented during the negotiations specifically excluding claims for personal injuries incurred by Japan's violations of international laws.[9]

In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty. The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that the Japanese government actually proposed to the South Korean government to directly compensate individual victims but it was the South Korean government which insisted that it would handle individual compensation to its citizens and then received the whole amount of grants on behalf of the victims.[10][11][12]

The South Korean government demanded a total of 364 million dollars in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period,[13] at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person.[14] South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty.[12]

Most of the funds from grants and loan were used for economic development,[15] particularly on establishing social infrastructures, founding POSCO, building Gyeongbu Expressway and the Soyang Dam with the technology transfer from Japanese companies.[16] Records also show 300,000 won per death was used to compensate victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977.[14]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Oda, Shigeru. "The Normalization of Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea," The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Jan., 1967), pp. 35-56.
  2. Nobel Peace Prize, Eisaku Sato, Nobel laureate lecture, "The Pursuit of Peace and Japan in the Nuclear Age," December 11, 1974.
  3. Hook, p. 492., p. 492, at Google Books
  4. Hook, Glenn D. (2001). Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics, and Security, p. 491., p. 491, at Google Books
  5. Ishikida, Miki Y (2005). Toward Peace: War Responsibility, Postwar Compensation, and Peace Movements and Education in Japan. iUniverse. p. 21. ISBN 0595350631. https://books.google.com/books?id=5xM0AFEAmc4C&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&hl=en. "Japan provided South Korea with $300 million in economic aid through products and services and $200 million in loans with products and services over the next ten years (1965-1975), together with $300 million in loans for private trust. In exchange, South Korea renounced all rights to request reparation and compensation." 
  6. "대일청구권 자금 쓴 기업들, 징용피해 지원은 ‘나몰라라’". The Hankyoreh. May 30, 2012. http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/society_general/535413.html. 
  7. 청구권자금백서. Economic Planning Board. December 20, 1976. http://content.archives.go.kr/next/archive/viewArchiveDetail.do?archive_event_id=0022738457. 
  8. "Report on the mission to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the issue of military sexual slavery in wartime". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160106201925/http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G96/101/23/PDF/G9610123.pdf?OpenElement. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  9. Lee, Sue R. (2014). "Comforting the Comfort Women: Who Can Make Japan Pay". pp. 509–547. http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jil/vol24/iss2/4/. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  10. Documents show Seoul agreed to compensate its citizens over Japan's colonial rule Mainichi January 17, 2005[dead link]
  11. "Compensation for Colonial Victims Is Not Just a Legal Problem," Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005
  12. 12.0 12.1 "S.Korea discloses sensitive documents". UPI.com. 17 January 2005. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2005/01/17/SKorea-discloses-sensitive-documents/UPI-38131105952315/. 
  13. "Declassified Documents Could Trigger Avalanche of Lawsuits," Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Seoul Demanded $364 Million for Japan's Victims Updated Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine.," Chosun Ilbo January 17, 2005
  15. "Seoul ready to launch panel on Korean victims of colonial rule," Koreaherald February 11, 2005
  16. Jong sik Kong Korea Was Most Efficient in Utilizing Japanese Reparation, Dong-a Ilbo, JANUARY 19, 2005.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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