Go to contents

China Asks Japan to Return Artifact

Posted May. 29, 2006 03:00,   


China is moving to ask for the return of the Balhae stone monument currently in Japan.

According to the Asahi Shimbun on May 28, Chinese historians have recently called for the exhibit and return of the Hongryojeongbi, currently held at the Japanese imperial palace.

The Asahi Shimbun noted that this stone monument contains information that the Chinese Tang dynasty and Korean ancient kingdom of Balhae were involved in a hierarchal system, where Tang bestowed the position of vassal to the Balhae king.

China’s Darien News published a feature on the stone monument in March, and introduced the opinion that “we should unite to ask for the return of the national treasure.”

The city of Resun also emphasized that a building should be built to exhibit the stone monument.

It is suspected that China has expressed its interest in the monument in order to gain an advantageous position in the Korea-China history talks.

The 3-by-1.8-meter monument was originally in Resun of Raoning Province, but the Japanese navy, victorious from the Russo-Japanese War, took the monument as war spoils in 1908 and bestowed it to the Japanese emperor. Resun was especially hard hit by the Russo-Japanese War. The monument is currently classified as “national property” in Japan, and is located at the Fukiage Garden in the imperial palace.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com