South Korea’ s backward legal consciousness

Asahi Geinou, a Japanese weekly magazine, got an exclusive interview with Mr. Kato who was the former bureau chief of the Japanese Sankei Shinbun for Seoul. He was unlawfully arrested by the South Korean government only for a reason of reporting on S.Korean president’s scandal. The case is now becoming an international issue because the government obviously violates freedom of the press and human rights in this case. “Reporters Without Borders” also blamed S.Korea and call for the release of Mr. Kato quickly. At present、everybody knows that S.Korea is a repeated offender of the international law. Also at the Inchon Asian Games held in S.K recently, various unfair determinations or injustice by S.Korean staff in the games were revealed and they became major controversies. I wonder why the international bodies admits such country as S.K to hold so many international events?
The following is an excerpt from the article of Asahi Geinou. I think I translated this into English as accurately as possible, but I am still an English lerner, sorry if there’s mistranslation.

  Korean protesters threw eggs at Mr. Kato’ car.   766448

Kato decide to file a damage report 765451

The protesters kicked two people with Abe and Kato’s masks766472

The former bureau chief of Sankei Shinbun for Seoul discloses information about the “S.Korea’s irrational suppression”
posted on Posted on October 28, 9:56 AM

Tatsuya Kato, the former Seoul bureau chief of Sankei Shinbun, was indicted by the prosecutor’s office of South Korea on a charge of defamation against S.Korean president. Amid concerns about his safety, we got an exclusive interview with him. The interview has pointed out the reality of the odious suppression from both the government and people of S.Korea. We accuse strictly the behavior of the outrageous “autocratic government” that treads on free-speech laws and trample on human rights.

“The court renewed the period of the ban on Mr.Kato’s leaving S.K for 3 further months”——–On 14th October, the prosecutor of S.Korea made the determination for Tatsuya Kato who was the former Seoul bureau chief of Sankei Shinbun. The prosecutor first made the decision to ban Kato from leaving S.K on 7th August. This was as “punishment” for his signed article about the president Park Geun-hye published in Sankei Web on 3 of the same month.
The president Park went missing on the day of accident of the ferry in April. On 3rd July, S.Korea’s newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported in its column, that the reason for her disappearance from public was “meeting a married man secretly” The man was Chong Yunfei, 57 years old, who was the president Park’s former secretary. After that he divorced with his wife, and allegedly he gave all his property to his wife in return to keep her mouth shut about any matters that she knew during their marriage.

Quoting these reports from the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, Mr. Kato wrote an article as the following

“President Park Geun-hye went missing on the day the ferry sank..Who was she with?”

The report was not written in Korean, but Japanese, and only published in Japan.
A S.Korean conservative group, however, sued him for libel against the President. On receiving the lawsuit, the South Korean prosecution concluded on 8, that Kato had written a false report. then decided to put the accused on a house arrest and to extend the period during which he was to be prohibited from leaving the country, on account of defamation under laws regarding the promotion of the use of telecommunication networks, the protection of information, and other issues.

“Everyone who goes against the president Park will face a criminal charge ”
About this kind of behavior of S.Korea govt, Genki Fujii, a Japanese scholar of international politics, said, seemingly shocked, ” S.Korea has proved by itself that it was not a democratic nation. It’s not always true that a country with the electoral system is a democracy because North Korea or former Soviet Union held formal elections. The most important factors of democratic nation is that the law, but a dictator, rules over the county. Also true democracy can never exist unless it has a free press. This case has probably exposed the fact that S.Korea is not an advanced country, and the country ended up lowering itself ”

In Seoul, there have been frequent demonstrations where protesters dragged around those who put on the face masks as Kato or Japanese prime minister, Abe. Some of them even forced these masked men to bow themselves to the ground or kicked them as a performance. Under the cruel crackdown against Kato from both the government and people, could his own safety be assured?
—– Kato replied to this question by himself through the press bureau of Sankei Shimbun.
He said, “Everyday, several protest groups hold the demonstrations for a short time (normally one or two hours, but three hours at longest) in front of the ground-floor entrance of the Kyung hyang Worldnet’s building in Seoul, in which the branch office of Sankei is located. They once tried to set fire to a life-sized straw figure with my picture, and fought with the restraining police.
It surely represent the situation Kato is in that we have to interview him in writing due to concerns about wiretapping.(…)

When Park Chung-hee, Park Geun-hye ‘s father, was the president of S.Korea, the Sankei Shimbun and South Korean government were tightly bonded with the common goal of anticommunism. However, after the Cold War ended, S. Korea started to take Sankei as its enemy. There was even an action to dismantle Sankei’s office in Seoul when one of Sankei’s group businesses published the controversial “New Textbook on History” in 2001. The action against Kato this time exceeds the case in 2001. Kato’s first trial is scheduled on Nov. 15. The authorities has extend the period of Kato’s interdiction to leave the country two times. Now there is the possibility that the restriction would continue “indefinitely” as the trial lasts long. 
“Barring me from leaving this country is an action to limit an individual’s free will and against human rights,” Kato said. “I have told the prosecutors many times to lift the order because I have no intension to flee or abandon evidences, have sincerely accepted voluntary interrogations, and evidences are already secured,” he continued. “Still, the order has not been removed.
It is said that S.Korean govt puts pressure even on unrelated members of the bureau of Sankei shinbun.

A Sankei reporter said,
“At first, the South Korean Government made a secret proposal, ” If you apologize to us here, we will settle out of court” or ” We want you to correct the article.” When the Japanese government released the Kono statement at S.K govt’s earnest request, they took advantage of it on the world stage. Once Sankei complies with their demands. it will be just a matter of time before S.Korean govt pushes propaganda as ‘The Sankei went down on its knees before S.Korea!’ So we absolutely can’t allow ourselves to approve their request. Now, I suspect that our office phones are picked up calls by the authorities of S.K because we heard a strange noise while on the phone. Besides, it seems that it has a tail on not only Kato himself but also another Sankei correspondent for Seoul who is not involved in the case.”
The Sankei shinbun and Mr. Kato face for a pride of the press against S.Korea. Genki Fujii says with anger “North Korea abducted many Japanese citizens, also this case is like an abduction by S.Korean govt”

However Mr. Kato says thoughtfully “I don’t think my situation right now is ‘strictly restraint,’ but I feel much pain about the current situation that I sometimes can’t get in and out of my office because of demonstrations by Koreans or can’t still assume my new duties as a member of editorial board of city news, in charge of Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the North Korean abduction issue.”
Originally, though the case is the matter of defamation, S.K govt targeted only at Mr. Kato who just quoted the articles which S.Korean media wrote earlier, while the media was not accused of any crime. We hear that a lot of S.Korean reporters are frightened by the matter now.
A reporter of a major S.Korean media testifies as follow..
“It’s true that the president Park has someone special and who is Mr. Chung. Also her secret mmeeting with him is true. Personally speaking, I object to charge against Mr. Kato. If we tolerated such an unjust govt’s act like this, sooner or later my turn would come. S.K will be right back on the military regime track “(…)

Korean people who are hitting two persons wearing masks of Mr. Kato of the Sankei newspaper, and Japanese Prime Minister Abe in a demonstration.

S.Korea Harasses a Critic by Refusing Entry

No freedom of speech in S.Korea

On 27 July, Ozonfa(呉善花), who is a critical writer and a professor at Takushoku University, naturalized in Japan from S.Korea, was refused entry to S.Korea. She said when she arrived at Incheon Airport in S.K., she was stopped at immigration and was denied entry. The immigration officer refused to answer the reason for the denial, no matter how many times she asked. She had to turn straight back into Japan. She was just trying to attend her relative’s wedding ceremony there.
Ozonfa is known in Japan for her severe criticism against S.K’s perceptions of history. She said that the S.K. govt shouldn’t have done such deeds if they thought they were civilized.
S.K. has denied 3 Japanese Diet members entry to the country without any cause before. They only planned to view Takeshima(Dokdo) from Ulleungdo(鬱陵島).
It is said that S. Koreans cannot say good things about Japan without risking their lives. People who praise Japan or Japanese, if only a little, could be roundly accused by the public. They get anti-Japanese education from a very young age. Parents teach their children “you can do everything to defeat Japanese”. They made a specific legal rule to punish people who cooperated with Japan during the colonial period.
The only sure thing is that S.K. is still neither a civilized country nor a democracy.

Ms.Ozonfa appeared on a Japanese YouTube video program by Channel Sakura after the incident.

(Hereinafter, a partial transcript of a conversation on the video. not verbatim translation)

Ozonfa says ..
I asked many times why I could not enter S.K., but the immigration officer said “We can’t say anything about it. We only obey orders from above” repeatedly. I was absolutely disgusted with S.K’s response to me. My name seems to be on a blacklist of the immigration office.

Satoru Mizushima, who owns the Ch. Sakura TV and a social commentator, says ..
It’s a serious diplomatic problem. S.K. has often broken the international rules. Even though it proclaims itself a democracy with freedom of speech, it didn’t allow an innocent foreigner into the country. According to the NHK news, the S.Korean authorities said they couldn’t tell the real reason for the exclusion to anybody but her. However, Ms.Ozonfa said she heard nothing from them. S.K. broke a rule also in a soccer match between Japan and S.K. in the East Asian Cup recently.

Yuichi Maeda, a film analyst and a commentator of Ch. Sakura, describes the outline of the soccer game case..
In the Japan-S.K. match in the East Asian Cup held in Seoul on 28 July, the S. Korean supporters displayed a huge banner that read, “People who forget their history do not have a future”, using the game to get publicity for their political claim about a historical issue. They also held up a big banner showing a portrait of An Jungun who assassinated Hirobumi Ito, the first prime minister of Japan.
I wonder why they dared to do such things? It is clearly a regulatory violation of FIFA to make a political claim at an international soccer match.

Mizushima says..
S.K. also has made a fuss by holding up a sign with slogan over territorial issues with Japan in the socer game of Japan and S.K. in London Olympics. They seem to have not come to be able to observe the rules, worse still, S.K. was the host country for this East Asian Cup…
The point of this time incident is that the S.Korean media also excoriated her with the govt. What’s going on in S.Korean journalism?

Kazuo Ijiri, an ex-professor at Takushoku University says..
I would say from my experience that the S. Korean media have neither neutrality nor objectivity, besides never even being reasonable. Whether personally or as a nation, they couldn’t give a reaction in a rational way. So, no matter how rationally the Japanese side deal with the Koreans, they could not communicate acceptably with S. Koreans. It’s absurd.

Ozonfa says..
The most possible reason for refusing entry into S.K is my verbal critical activity because that’s all I’m doing now. If so, S.K. is not a civilized country. The thing they did to me is nothing but suppression of free speech. The right to freedom of speech is a minimum requisite for a civilized country. If it really were civilized, at least one media must have criticized the govt’s suppression of free speech against me. However, now they do nothing other than harass me intensely. The S.K. people should feel shame at the conduct by the govt this time as a member of the international community.

Mizushima says..
I don’t think Prof.Ozonfa does mean to write something bad about S.K but only analyzes the problems of S.K in a non-emotional manner as a journalist. Japan also has its strengths and weaknesses, but every Japanese can criticize Japan’s weaknesses openly and sharply.

Ozonfa says..
The S. Korean media or people are criticizing me without deeper knowledge about me. They are not qualified to be journalists. They hate me because I wrote the truth about S.K. However, even if I wrote what the S. Koreans don’t want to hear, the govt should not act like this. That is not what a civilized nation does. I just want to advise the Koreans on what they really need.

Mizushima says..
Korea these days looks odd. For instance, they try to even violate the Japan-S.K Basic Relations Treaty signed between both parties formally by dredging up the compensation issue already settled. They are also refusing to return the Buddha statue to Japan, which was stolen from a Japanese temple by the Korean theft ring, against the international rule. I feel Korea is getting worse rapidly.

Ozonfa says..
The South Koreans see anything only for sentimental reasons especially in relation to Japan. So no matter how true or right things Japanese people say, they are not even going to listen to that. That is a crying shame. First, I want S.Korean intellectual people to be open to others’ opinions. The govt, people, media, anything and everything have a strong anti-Japan sentiment there, so they developed this sort of inappropriate behavior by democratic people. I feel hopeless seeing that nobody responds with sharp criticism to the attitude of the govt toward me. For North Korea it may be possible, but I can’t believe this happened in S. Korea.

Mizushima says..
This could be a big disadvantage to S.K as the world would regard S.K as a country that can neither understand common sense nor follow the international laws. Some Koreans hang the “People who forget the history have no future” sign at the East Asian Cup, but the slogan suits S.K better (sigh), and if they keep on acting like that, they would really have no future.

Kazuo Ijiri says..
Now S.Korea seems to become a totalitarian country in the direction of anti-Japan.

Ozonfa says..
Although each country should be able to have each historical perception, there is only one for S.K and it trys to mold the other country’s one into their own liking. This is the history issue that the SKrean side has. I guess that for S.Kreans, denying me entry to S.K means to denying Japan, .

Mizushima says..
I suspect the decision may be an order from the president. That means it is the will of the nation. This is a major problem. We cannot leave this issue unsettled as Japanese. We are going to make an appeal to our govt or ruling lawmakers.

Ozonfa says..
As the S.Korean public are feeling significant insecurity either socially or economically, they maybe concentrate on anti-Japan activities for getting out of the insecurity. I would like the korean knowledgeable persons to handle Japan-Korea disputes more calmly and carefully. I also would like to say Japan should relate with Korea at a distance.
The Korean govt violated my freedom of expression evidently. Some day anybody against Korea will not be able to enter into S.K. It couldn’t change under such circumstances and there is no future in S.Korea. I want Korea to be a nation where the people with different views can exist together.

(sorry if mistranslation)

the U.S. ‘s annual report about China


A new age where people cannot criticize China’s autocratic manners for fear of its economic and military power seems to be just around the corner.
It pretended to be asleep when it was weak and poor, but has moved ahead with built-up arms and doesn’t even try to hide its ambitions with its increasing economic development. China is trying to bring last century’s barbaric and egocentric views of the state into the world again today where people have been overcoming these faults in one way or another through the experiences of two world wars. I don’t think the world should allow China to continue such deeds.

The Baseline of China around Senkaku is the breach of international law

7 May, 2013 Mainichi Shinbun

On May 6th, the U.S. Department of Defense released its annual report about the military force of China.
The report points out that “in September 2012, China began using improperly drawn straight baseline claims around the Senkaku Islands, adding to its network of maritime claims inconsistent with international law.” over the Senkaku islands in Okinawa Prefeture. It has adopted a negative stance consistently on taking a particular position over the issue of territorial rights, but accordingly the report states that China’s behavior was unjustified.
On September, the Chinese govt set its own baseline to show China’s sovereignty over Senkaku and submitted the material to the UN as a countermeasure to Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Although the Japanese govt doesn’t accept it, China’s public ships, such as those used for marine patrol, have violated Japanese territorial waters in the surrounding sea repeatedly since then. The Japanese and U.S. governments agree on the position of, “We stand against any unilateral action by force, which tries to change the existing state”, and continue to monitor China’s comings and goings.
(The rest is omitted)

An excerpt from Annual report to Congress of th US

The Chinese government maintains that its maritime rights extend to virtually the entire South China Sea and often illustrates this claim using a “nine-dash line” that encompasses much of the South China Sea area. At the same time, Beijing is ambiguous about the precise meaning of the nine-dash line; to date, China has not clarified the meaning of the nine-dash line or its legal basis. In April 2012, Chinese maritime law enforcement vessels and Philippine coast guard vessels engaged in a protracted standoff at Scarborough Reef, after the Philippine Navy attempted to conduct a fishing enforcement action against Chinese fishermen.
Although overt tensions between China and the Philippines subsided by year’s end, both sides continue to claim jurisdiction over the reef. Chinese law enforcement vessels have maintained an almost continuous presence ever since.
In November 2012, China also added a map which contained the nine-dash line to all of its new passports. This action elicited negative responses from other nations in the Asia-Pacific region. China’s increased reference in official government materials to the nine-dash line is a source of concern to its neighbors and other nations because, at a minimum, it creates an impression that China is not merely claiming all the land features within the nine-dash line, but it may also be claiming a special sovereign status of all the water and the sea-bed contained therein.
China claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands (what the Chinese refer to as the Diaoyu Islands) in the East China Sea, territory also claimed by Taiwan and Japan. In April 2012, the Governor of Tokyo announced plans to purchase three of the five islets from private Japanese owners. In response, in September 2012, the Government of Japan purchased the three islands. China protested the move and since that time has regularly sent maritime law enforcement ships (and, less often, aircraft) to patrol near the Senkakus to protect its claims; this has included regular Chinese maritime operations within 12nm of the islands. On September 25, China published a white paper entitled, “Diaoyu Dao, an ’Inherent Territory’ of China.” In addition, in September 2012, China began using improperly drawn straight baseline claims around the Senkaku Islands, adding to its network of maritime claims inconsistent with international law. In December 2012, China submitted information to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf regarding China’s extended continental shelf in the East China Sea that includes the disputed islands.

Why Koreans not follow the international rule?

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)