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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 August 22 - 28  > Ogata in Seoul talks with South Korean parliamentary committee chair on return of Korean cultural asset
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2007 August 22 - 28 TOP3 [JCP]

Ogata in Seoul talks with South Korean parliamentary committee chair on return of Korean cultural asset

August 22, 2007
National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Kim stressed the need to have the cultural asset that was registered as UNESCO’s Memory of the World return to Korea. Ogata said that he strongly believed in the historical significance of the return of the documentary heritage.

On August 20, Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Ogata Yasuo and House of Representative member Kasai Akira, in South Korea at the invitation of the Committee for Return of the Royal Protocol, visited the National Assembly and held talks with Kim Won Ung, chairman of the Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee of the National Assembly and co-representative of the committee.

At a House of Councilors Committee meeting in May, Ogata called on the government to return the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty (Uigwe) which Japan had plundered from Korea during its colonial rule. Ogata also exchanged views on this issue with Korean representatives who visited Japan.

Uigwe is a collection of Royal Protocols of the Korean Dynasty with writings and pictures, part of which is now in the possession of the Japan’s Imperial Household Agency.

Kim expressed his gratitude to Ogata for taking up this issue in the Diet and his continuous cooperation. Referring to the relations between the two countries, including the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea, Kim stressed the need to have the cultural asset that was registered as UNESCO’s Memory of the World return to Korea.

Kim was accompanied by Sohn Bong Suk, who had written the draft resolution demanding the return of the Royal Protocols that the National Assembly adopted last December, and Lee Hwa Young, South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union secretary. Both assembly members talked about the importance of the return of them and how it will positively affect the relationship between the two countries.

Ogata said that he saw the Royal Protocols at the Imperial Household Agency before visiting South Korea, that it recorded the funeral of Queen Min of Korea who was assassinated by Japan at Gyeongbokgun (where he visited before their meeting), and that he strongly believed in the historical significance of the return of the documentary heritage.

Referring to other historical issues that remain unresolved 62 years after WWII and the U.S. congressional resolution on Japan’s wartime sex slavery issue, Ogata explained the JCP’s history and its stance on war and peace.

Kasai spoke about changes in the Japanese situation taking place after the House of Councilors election in July. He also said that the JCP was founded in 1922, the same year that Japan stole the cultural asset from Korea.
- Akahata, August 22, 2007
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