Japan Korea Annexation Treaty

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The Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty (Japanese: 日韓併合条約 Nikkan Heigō Jōyaku Korean: 한일병합조약 Hanil Byeonghap Joyak) was signed by representatives of the Empires of Japan and Korea on 22 August, 1910. It was proclaimed and came into effect on 29 August of the same year. This treaty officially began the period of Japanese rule in Korea, which lasted until the end of World War 2. In addition, it also meant the end of the Imperial dynasty of Korea.

Although Korean law required the treaty to be signed by Emperor Sunjong, he refused to do so and the treaty was signed by the Prime Minister, Yi Wan-Yong and the Japanese Resident General, Viscount Terauchi Masatake.

The Annexation Treaty was formally rescinded in the "Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea", signed between Korea and Japan on 22 June, 1965, which stated: "It is confirmed that all treaties or agreements concluded between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of Korea on or before 22 August, 1910 are already null and void."

Korea still commemorates the implementation date of 29 August, calling it "the day of national shame" (Gukchi-il 국치일).

Contents

Full Text of the Treaty

Treaty of Annexation

22 August, 1910

The Proclamation

Notwithstanding the earnest and laborious work of reforms in the administration of Korea in which the Governments of Japan and Korea have been engaged for more than four years since the conclusion of the Agreement of 1905, the existing system of government in that country has not proved entirely equal to the duty of preserving public order and tranquillity; and in addition, the spirit of suspicion and misgiving dominates the whole peninsula.

In order to maintain peace and stability in Korea, to promote the prosperity and welfare of Koreans, and at the same time to ensure the safety and repose of foreign residents, it has been made abundantly clear that fundamental changes in the actual regime of government are absolutely essential. The Governments of Japan and Korea, being convinced of the urgent necessity of introducing reforms responsive to the requirements of the situation and of furnishing sufficient guarantee for the future, have, with the approval of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and His Majesty the Emperor of Korea, concluded, through their plenipotentiaries, a treaty providing for complete annexation of Korea to the Empire of Japan. By virtue of that important act, which shall take effect on its promulgation on August 29, 1910, the Imperial Government of Japan shall undertake the entire government and administration of Korea, and they hereby declare that the matters relating to foreigners and foreign trade in Korea shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules:

The Treaty

His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and His Majesty the Emperor of Korea, having in view the special and close relations between their respective countries, desiring to promote the common wealth of the two nations and to assure the permanent peace in the Far East, and being convinced that these objectives can be best attained by the annexation of Korea to the Empire of Japan, have resolved to conclude a treaty of such annexation and have, for that purpose, appointed as their plenipotentiaries, that is to say, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan Viscount Terauchi Masatake, Resident-General, and His Majesty the Emperor of Korea Yi Wan-Yong, Prime Minister, who upon mutual conference and deliberation have agreed to the following articles:

  • Article 1. His Majesty the Emperor of Korea makes the complete and permanent cession to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan of all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea.
  • Article 2. His Majesty the Emperor of Japan accepts the cession mentioned in the preceding article and consents to the complete annexation of Korea to the Empire of Japan.
  • Article 3. His Majesty the Emperor of Japan will accord to their Majesties the Emperor and ex-Emperor and His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Korea and their consorts and heirs such titles, dignity, and honor as are appropriate to their respective ranks, and sufficient annual grants will be made for the maintenance of such titles, dignity and honor.
  • Article 4. His Majesty the Emperor of Japan will also accord appropriate honor and treatment to the members of the Imperial House of Korea and their heirs other than those mentioned in the preceding article, and the funds necessary for the maintenance of such honor and treatment will be granted.
  • Article 5. His Majesty the Emperor of Japan will confer peerage and monetary grants upon those Koreans who, on account of meritorious services, are regarded as deserving such special recognition. Article 6. In consequence of the aforesaid annexation the Government of Japan assume the entire government and administration of Korea, and undertake to afford full protection for the persons and property of Koreans obeying the laws there in force to promote the welfare of all such Koreans.
  • Article 7. The Government of Japan will, so far as circumstances permits, employ in the public service of Japan in Korea those Koreans who accept the new regime loyally and in good faith and who are duly qualified for such service.
  • Article 8. This treaty, having been approved by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and His Majesty the Emperor of Korea, shall take effect from the state of its promulgation.

In faith thereof:

Resident General Viscount Terauchi Masatake

Prime Minister Yi, Wan-Yong [1]

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