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One Hundred Years after Japan’s Forced Annexation of Korea: History and Tasks

Edited By See-hwan Doh

Korea and Japan must work together to open a new era for true peace and prosperity in East Asia. It is our reality, however, that the memory of the invasion, Japan’s forced annexation of Korea in 1910 and the scars of exploitation are still important obstacles to new relations between the two countries. Re-examining the history of the past hundred years, scholars and experts from Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States have sought to identify the fundamental causes of the historical issues between Korea and Japan, to review the measures developed to overcome these issues, and to provide a future-oriented outlook.
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Chapter V: Historical Justice and Awareness of Reconciliation

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← 348 | 349 →Joint Statement by Korean and Japanese Intellectuals: 1910 Korea-Japan Annexation Treaty Is Null and Void (Full Text)

On August 29, 1910, the Empire of Japan declared that it would obliterate the Korean Empire and annex the Korean peninsula into Japanese territory. We believe that it is critical to confirm the shared understanding among the governments and the peoples of Korea and Japan as to how the annexation was achieved and how to view the Annexation Treaty as we enter 2010, the hundredth year after the annexation. This topic is the core of historical issues, and the foundation for reconciliation and cooperation between the two nations.

So far, historians of the two countries have made clear that Japan’s annexation of Korea was the result of the Japanese government’s long-term policy of aggression, the Japanese military’s repeated acts of occupation, the murder of Empress Myeongseong, threats to king and government officials, and suppression of the Korean people’s resistance against such acts by Japan.

In 1875, Japan sent a warship to Kanghwa Island to attack the artillery unit there and occupy the region. In the following year, Japan sent a special envoy to coerce Korea into signing an unequal treaty and opening its ports. In 1894, when the Qing Dynasty sent troops against a massive peasant uprising in Chosun, Japan deployed a large army and occupied Seoul. Japan occupied the Kyongbok Palace and captured the king and the queen, and attacked...

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