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‘Japan Could Return Korean Culture Properties This Year’

‘Japan Could Return Korean Culture Properties This Year’

Posted October. 25, 2010 11:29,   


Japan says it could return Korea’s cultural properties taken under Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, including royal protocols of the Joseon Dynasty.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara told Korean reporters who visited Japan at the request of the Japanese Foreign Ministry Friday, “Japan intends to return them by year’s end if possible.”

On news reports predicting potential obstacles to the return of the cultural properties by year’s end, including bilateral negotiations on the selection of items to be returned and a parliamentary review that could delay the process, he said, “We’re making efforts to determine the scope of books with sincerity.”

“Four treaties were submitted to an extraordinary session of the Diet, and we strongly wish to create treaty bills, submit them to the Diet, and hand over cultural assets to Korea at an early date.”

In an Oct. 8 news conference, Maehara said, “We’ll return them as early as possible.”

The Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun said Oct. 17, however, “Tokyo cannot return them by year’s end,” based on comments from Japanese officials. The report spawned a flurry of differing predictions on the timing of the return.