Why Korea can not obey the international rule? It just may not be a civilized country yet? They should return the Kannon statue to the Kannonji as soon as possible. This is clearly a violation of UNESCO treaty. The follow article is from the Sankei Shinbun on 14 March, 2013.
The Buddha statue theft,”stop cultural exchanging with Korea ”
Angry Tsushima, rising anti-korea
The problem of the Kannon bodhisattva(50.5cm tall) stolen from Kannonji in Tushima City, Nakazaki prefecture, increasingly undermines relationship between Japan and Skorea. Though the stature was found in Korea the Korean court has issued an interim injunction to restitution. The Buddhist world of Korea claims “The stature was looted by Wako(Japanese pirates who frequented the coastal seas of Korea and China from the 13th to the 16th century)”, but according to this theory, the most part of antiquities or Buddha stature from Korea can just regarded as a target for restitution. Now tremendous anger toward Korea surged in Tsushima that has built bridges between the two countries.
pay no heed to the history of anti-Buddhist
“It takes a lot of nerve to steal such a religious object that Tsusima people have preserved with a great care, and then they are not going to return the statue to the temple by quibbling.. This is similar way that N.Korea kidnapped Japanese people from it’s territory, isn’t this? We can only say it’s like a so-what attitude of a person who does wrong” said Tanaka, the priest of Kannonji…
Many Buddha statures made in Korea in 7th to 14th century, but the Buddha-smashing happened everywhere in Korea because Korea’s Yi dynasty established in the end of the 14th century set Confucianism as a state religion. According to legend Japanese brought the discarded Buddha statures back to Japan Being unable to stand by and watch any longer.
Temples in Tushima own dozens of Buddha statues of the age of Unification Silla, but most have burn marks or deficits. Also the statue of Kannonji, seems to be made in the Busokusa temple in the first half of the 14th century, is imperfect, without halo. The Busokusa temple was abandoned temporarily in the Yi dynasty
period. so the statue appear to bring to Tsushima during this period.
However, the Buddhist world of Korea stubbornly insists that it was stolen. On March 14 and 15 some monks of the Busokusa temple came to the Kannonji from Korea with a letter saying “We hope that the Kannon bodhisattva will return to it’s origin(the Busokusa temple) soon” and a cheap souvenir doll similar to the Kannon as substitute for real one.
Violation of UNESCO treaty
Tsushima City has invited Korean dance company and held the parade of the Korean envoys who were members of a diplomatic mission of the Joseon Dynasty. But the festival organizer Yamamoto Hiromi said “They insulted us by talking such nonsense! We would better cancel the festival” A man who live in the Koami villedge with the Kannonji said “We all get angry largely because we have worshipped the Kannon as a God for hundreds of years. Tere are some people saying that they don’t want Koreans to visit here because they are unpredictable.”
Also the other case in the past.The Buddhist scripture “Large Wisdom sutras(大般若経)”, important cultural properties, housed by the Ankokuji temple in Iki City, Nagasaki prefecture was stolen in 1994,
a scripture closely resembling it found out in Korea the next year. Foreign Ministry of Japan requested Korea to conduct an investigation of it since the Ministry thought it was strongly suspected of being the stolen one, but Korean govt reject it and surprisingly it designated the scripture as a national treasure of Korea!
It is clearly stated in Japan‐S.Korea Basic Relations Treaty and Economic Cooperation Agreement, that “claim right of property and rights have been solved completely and ultimately” . So it is violation of UNESCO Ban Treaty of the Illicit Export and Import of Cultural Property that Korea rejects to return the stolen statue to Japan…(The rest is omitted)