Liquidating Past Crime is Inescapable Legal and Moral Obligation of Japan

It is 75 years now since the defeat of Japan which had plunged Korea and other Asian countries into the horrifying sea of blood by resorting to the aggression, wars and colonial rules, thus having inflicted untold misfortunes and pains upon them.

Japan had occupied Korea in 1905 with huge aggression forces, and throughout the 40-plus-year-long colonial rule, it arrested, imprisoned and massacred the innocent Koreans in an unbridled manner, and plundered immeasurable volume of resources and treasures of our country. Japan went to the length of attempting to totally obliterate the Korean nation off this planet by dispossessing the cultural heritages created by the Korean nation over 5, 000 years, and eliminating even family names and given names of the Koreans and the Korean language.

The physical, material and mental damages inflicted upon the Korean people by the Japanese imperialists during the occupation were unprecedented in the history of humankind in terms of their brutality, viciousness, scope, and content.

Outstanding among them are the crimes whereby the Japanese imperialists slaughtered more than one million Koreans, forcibly drafted more than 8.4 million young and middle-aged Koreans into the slave labour, and forced 200, 000-plus Korean women into sexual slaves. These are the super-large crimes against humanity to which no statutory limitation can be applied whatever the passage of time.

After its defeat, Japan should have made a new start first by liquidating its blood-stained past.

However, far from compensating for all those sufferings and damages inflicted upon the Korean people, Japan did only add to its past crime by obstinately resorting to the policy designed to distort the history, obliterate the sovereignty and the rights to development and existence of the DPRK and realize its ambition of reinvasion.

This clearly speaks to the fact that an unliquidated crime will beget another one.

The longer the Japanese authorities struggle to put off liquidating its past over the decades and centuries, the more the disgrace and crime to be saddled with by the descendants of the war criminal state will build up.

Japan should bear in mind that even if generations change and centuries pass by, it will never be able to dodge its legal and moral obligation to make full apology and total reparations to the Korean people for all of its past crime.


Cha Hye Gyong

Researcher of Institute for Studies of Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea