Japanese crimes relating to marine resources plunder in Korea

May 26, 2023

The Japanese imperialists plundered large quantities of rich marine resources of Korea in the past century.

They shipped away marine resources in the form of poaching after concluding the aggressive, subordinate and unequal Kanghwado treaty in February 1876 by forcing the feudal Joson dynasty.

In June 1899, Japan dispatched to Korea Maki Bokuma, fisheries department director of its ministry of agriculture and commerce, to spy on the situation of coastal fishery.

Accordingly, Maki left Shimonoseki for Korea on June 12 with the secretary of legislative bureau, fishery engineers from each prefecture and associate engineers of the ministry of agriculture and commerce and returned to Japan after surveying the coasts in Pusan, Mokpho, Inchon, Wonsan and elsewhere in Korea. Afterwards, he convened a meeting of persons in charge of fishery and delegates of 13 prefectures and counties that were interested in fishing in Korean fishing grounds in Japan’s Fukuoka for plundering marine resources of Korea. The meeting decided to get each prefecture and county to set up a guild for fishing on the seas of Korea.

After that, in May 1900, Japan established an association of those guilds and set up its headquarters in Pusan to make it promote the plunder of Korean marine resources.

Its mission was to keep informed about and control fishing in Korean seas by each Japanese prefecture and county and encourage them to plunder larger quantities of marine resources there.

And its main tasks were to improve fishing boats and implements, protect fisherman, rescue them in distress, ensure their communications, depositing and remittance, supply materials needed by them, provide them with good offices for the sale of catch and medical service, survey fishing grounds and fishes, give them commendations and others.

All this was aimed at getting more plunderers to enter Korean fishing grounds by providing them with all conditions and protecting them.

In order to encourage Japanese fishermen to actively advance into Korean fishing grounds, Japan took a step to offer a large state subsidy to the association for five years from 1902.

And with an eye to switching the marine resources plunder in Korea from the stage of going out fishing to that of settled fishing, it proclaimed the law on fishing guild in foreign waters in March 1902 and reorganized the association into the fishing guild in Korean seas.

The guild executed the mission of the association and set up its headquarters in Pusan and its branches in Masan, Mokpho, Wonsan, Inchon and other areas of Korea.

After militarily occupying Korea, Japan passed and promulgated the law on fisheries in June 1911 and enforced it from April 1 the following year to ceaselessly plunder Korea’s marine resources on a large scale. The main purpose of the introduction of the law was to monopolize Korea’s fisheries market by suppressing the fishing of Korean fishermen and native capital and expanding the fishing rights of Japanese fishermen and capital.

Japan’s plunder devastated lots of Korean fishing villages and grounds and caused grave consequences to the development of the Korean fishing industry. 

It is only part of crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists in Korea.

Japan’s crimes can neither be erased even with the passage of time nor be buried into oblivion.

But the Japanese authorities persistently cling to the distortion of history far from making an apology and reparations for the past crimes. Denial and distortion of history are tantamount to piling up crimes.

The Korean people will never forget the crimes Japan perpetrated against them no matter how much time passes, but settle accounts with them without fail.


2023 © All rights reserved. www.pyongyangtimes.com.kp