Japan’s crime of ruling Korea by residency general 

February 1, 2023

It has been 117 years since Japan rigged up the Japanese residency general in Korea and enforced the colonial rule over its whole territory, flagrantly violating the sovereignty and dignity of Korea.

The Japanese imperialists fabricated the Ulsa five-point treaty by means of military threat and trickery in November 1905. The treaty was an illegitimately forged document without formal name, the signature of Korean Emperor Kojong and impression of the seal of state. Though illegal and invalid by international law, the Japanese imperialists announced the “regulations governing the organization of residency general and administration council” by royal decree No. 267 in December that year on the pretext of the treaty. On February 1 1906 they officially set up the Japanese residency-general in Korea in Hansong and appointed Hirobumi Ito as the first resident-general. 

They saw that a royal decree was issued to stop “free entry” into the imperial palace and Japanese police took charge of “guard” of the imperial palace and the emperor. And they prevented the Koreans from meeting the emperor without their permission. By doing so, they bound the emperor hand and foot and placed him under their control.

At the same time they assigned Japanese dispatched by the residency-general to all fields to ensure they directly ruled them. The resident-general was indeed the supreme ruler assuming all authorities including the legislative, judicial, executive and military power.

Directly under the authority of the Japanese king, the resident-general possessed the power to suspend and abrogate laws or treaties related to the issues of foreign relations in Korea, to detain the Korean people by issuing the order of the residency-general, to order the use of force and others. In a word, he exercised an absolute authority with no limitations at all through the machinery for colonial rule like the residency-general.

The Japanese imperialists concocted the “law on mining mineral resources” in June 1906 on the pretext of “promoting public wellbeing” to plunder gold, silver, copper, coal and other underground resources en masse from Korea. They cooked up the “Korea-Japan fisheries agreement” in November 1908 to pillage its marine resources. In December that year they set up the notorious Oriental Development Company of Japan to seize the land of Korea and established the “Korean Bank” in October 1909 to completely hold the financial field of Korea in its grip and prevent the development of national capital.

They also announced the “ordinance on elementary school” in August 1906 to force colonial enslavement education and the “ordinance on private school” in 1908 to forcibly close down patriotic and anti-Japanese private schools.

They destroyed and looted a large amount of Korean cultural properties in the period.

Japan brought huge armed forces into Korea to support the rule by residency-general by force of arms. As a result, the Korean people were subjected to colonial slavery and Korea was reduced to a large prison.

Hirobumi Ito ordered Japanese army officers to treat Korean anti-Japanese righteous volunteers who stood in the way of rule by residency-general as the main culprits in local riots and mercilessly suppress them. Accordingly, they staged cruel “punitive operations” against the righteous volunteers’ units even in the remote mountain villages as well as major cities, setting on fire the villages in which the righteous volunteers stayed and unconditionally shooting to death all people who were connected with them.

At the same time, the Japanese imperialists forged the “memorandum on the trust of Korean judiciary and prison affairs” in July 1909 and arrested, jailed and killed anti-Japanese independence campaigners at random.

As seen above, the Japanese imperialists stamped out the national rights of Korea, turned Korea into a militarily occupied area by stationing large aggression forces in it and mercilessly cracked down on any slight anti-Japanese sentiment to bring about a total collapse of the Korean feudal state.

As the colonial fascist ruling system was established, they changed the Japanese residency-general in Korea into a government-general to maintain and consolidate it.

Japan left such deep scars on the Korean people that cannot heal forever. But instead of admitting its responsibility for the past crimes it had committed against the Korean nation as the invader and plunderer and making honest and sincere soul-searching for them, it whitewashes them and turns black into white not content with distorting and denying them.

However, it cannot cover up history and the day will surely come when it has to pay dearly for the sinful past.


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