Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea
In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty. The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that South Korea agreed to demand no compensations, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty.
The documents also recorded that the Korean government originally demanded a total of 364 million dollars in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period, at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person. However, the South Korean government used most of the grants for economic development, failing to provide adequate compensation to victims by paying only 300,000 won per death in compensating victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977.
The documents also reveals that the South Korean government claimed that it would handle individual compensation to its citizens who suffered during Japan's colonial rule while rejecting Japan's proposal to directly compensate individual victims and receiving the whole amount of grants on the behalf of victims.
As the result, there have been growing calls for the government to compensate the victims since the disclosure of the documents. A survey conducted shortly after the disclosure showed that more than 70 percent of Korean people believe the South Korean government should bear responsibility to pay for those victims (ibid.). The South Korean government announced that it will establish a team to deal with the appeals for compensation, although "It has been the government's position that compensation for losses during the Japanese occupation has already been settled".
Japanese officials had reportedly not been in favor of the South Korean government disclosing the documents because they were concerned about repercussions the disclosure of such diplomatic documents would have on bilateral normalizations talks with North Korea, who reportedly wants more than $10 billion as compensation for its share. Japan has generally refused to pay damages to individuals, saying it settled the issue on a government-to-government basis under the 1965 agreement.
The 1965 Treaty of Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea also declared that:
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1. In this Convention, the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Optional Protocols, 1963
Article 31 (Inviolability of the Consular Premises)
1. Consular premises shall be inviolable to the extent provided in this
2. The authorities of the receiving State shall not enter that part of the
consular premises which is used exclusively for the purpose of the work of
the consular post except with the consent of the head of the consular post
or of his designee or of the head of the diplomatic mission of the sending
State. The consent of the head of the consular post may, however, be
assumed in case of fire or other disaster requiring prompt protective
3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, the receiving
State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the
consular premises against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any
disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.
4. The consular premises, their furnishings, the property of the consular
post and its means of transport shall be immune from any form of
requisition for purposes of national defence or public utility. If
expropriation is necessary for such purposes, all possible steps shall be
taken to avoid impeding the performance of consular functions, and prompt,
adequate and effective compensation shall be paid to the sending State.
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961
1. The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the
receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head
of the mission.
2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate
steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or
damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or
impairment of its dignity.
3. The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property
thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from
search, requisition, attachment or execution.
Under international law, consular and embassy grounds are regarded as sovereign territory of the country in residence.
However, China said its police had acted within terms of the Vienna Convention obliging it to protect consular property.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said: ''Under the spectre of the international fight against terrorism the Chinese guards took away people
without identity who illegally entered the Japanese consulate-general.
"It was totally out of consideration for the protection of the consulate personnel. It is in line with the relevant international laws."