The sudden change to “We must not liquidate Japanese corporate assets”...
The sudden change to “We must not liquidate Japanese corporate assets” - Why did we spend 4 years driving towards anti-Japanese sentiments?
Regarding Korean courts’ rulings on former mobilized workers, Korean president Moon Jae-in mentioned, “I don’t believe it is desirable for us to liquidate (the assets of Japanese corporations) as a compulsory execution” during his New Year’s press conference. Beginning from late last year, the courts have been moving forward with the process of liquidating (selling off) the seized assets of Japanese companies in response to the requests by the victims.. The president has now publicly come out as being opposed to that.
During Park Geun-hye’s administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a written opinion on the rulings of the former mobilized worker to the Supreme Court. The current ruling party attacked this as a “bargain" between the judicial branch and the former administration. Even though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did this to warn the Supreme Court that there is a risk that Korean-Japanese relations could suffer catastrophic damages, the ruling party attacked this as an improper interference in judicial proceedings. They even went so far as to put former chief of justice of the Supreme Court, Yang Seung-tae, under arrest. President Moon, in the New Year’s press conference in 2019, said, “The government must respect the judgment of the courts and cannot interfere”. However he has changed his attitude suddenly in just two years. The members of the Democratic Party traveled to Japan and said that “the forced mobilization issue should be sealed shut in its current state. We’re sure the Supreme Court has no desire to bring about a catastrophe”. They claimed that, when the previous government expressed their opinion, it was a crime, but now they are openly applying pressure to the courts.
President Moon also said that it is important to seek a diplomatic solution before the liquidation. That diplomatic solution was in fact the Korea-Japan agreement during the Park administration. The Moon administration abandoned this international agreement to press further with anti-Japan sentiments. While singing the “Jookchang-ga (Song of Bamboo Spear)”, they began attacking non-existent Pro-Japanese group. But now, ignoring the court’s rulings, they have started to seek a diplomatic solution. President Moon, the very person who abandoned the 2015 Korea-Japan comfort women agreement, said that he recognized it as an official agreement between two countries. What was the meaning of the whole thing that the government has been doing for the past four years? It was simply an instrument of domestic politicking, with no plan or foresight.
The current administration, until now, attacked all attempts to seek a diplomatic solution between Korea and Japan as “Pro-Japan faction” and “local Japanese” for their collaboration with Japan during colonial days. The reason why they suddenly changed their attitude is, in order to invite Kim Jong-un to the Tokyo Olympics to do another South and North Korean show, the administration must first restore its relations with Japan. There is no doubt that the new Biden administration, which values collaboration among Korea, the US, and Japan, has had some influence. Japan is certainly aware of the plainly obvious underlying intentions behind these actions. There is no greater shame.
The Chosun Ilbo Editorial (January 21th, 2021)