Occidentalism
Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Korean war criminals cleared of war crimes

November 12th, 2006 . by Matt

Robert from the Marmot’s Hole has reported that Korean war criminals serving in the Imperial Army during WWII have been ‘cleared’ of war crimes by a government commission in Korea.

A Korean government commission cleared 83 of 148 Koreans convicted by the Allies of war crimes during World War II.

The commission ruled that the Koreans, who were categorized as Class B and Class C war criminals, were in fact victims of Japanese imperialism.

Of the 148 Koreans convicted of war crimes, some 23 would eventually be executed.

Excluded from redemption were high-ranking officers and MPs suspected of voluntarily collaborating with the Japanese; Some 86 names were looked at overall; a judgment on the other three will follow investigations by local government bodies.

The commission ruled—now get this—that the Korean war criminals, who “unavoidably” became POW camp guards to avoid the Japanese draft (read: they volunteered as POW guards to avoid fighting at the front), were saddled by the Japanese with responsibility for the abuse of Allied POWs, and hence had to suffer the “double pain” of forced mobilization AND becoming a war criminal.

It gets better—the head of the commission said analysis of military prosecutor records, recently obtained from British state archives, on 15 Korean POW camp guards “confirmed” that they were convicted of war crimes “without clear evidence.”

See, the Japanese rightists are correct—the Tokyo Trials were unfair!

This seems like an attempt to frame Korean participation in the war effort as one that was purely forced. Even using the word ‘collaborator’ does not seem right, as the majority of those Koreans involved in the war effort would not have known any other government but the government of the The Empire of Great Japan. It is silly to call these kinds of people collaborators, especially since there were no other sides to take (unlike the violent resistance in Israel by the Arabs, for example).

Japan had to accept the verdict of the Tokyo trials as a condition of independence from the occupation authorities. It is interesting that Korea is undermining the credibility of the trials by suggesting that not all of the verdicts were just.


17 Responses to “Korean war criminals cleared of war crimes”

  1. comment number 1 by: GarlicBreath

    Koreans were sadistic during WW2 and even worse during the Korean war. A bunch of Mengele’s.

  2. comment number 2 by: tomato

    It is interesting that Korea is undermining the credibility of the trials by suggesting that not all of the verdicts were just.

    I guess they don’t really care about consistency as long as it serves to glorify them or immunify them from the bad. In a way, it is consistent that as long as it’s Korea-Mansei and anti-Japan, it’s good no matter what the process of thinking is.

    BTW, what authority does the Korean commissions have in clearing the war criminals? Did they ask the forgiveness of US, China or Australia? I bet not! Mansei!

  3. comment number 3 by: Travolta

    This is really sickening. I hope some of the vicitms who suffered under those criminals or their family members had a chance to give their side of the story. Somehow I doubt it though. The fact that such a ridiculous and illogical “commision” was even thought up is blatant racism and an unbelievable lack of fairness. I am really furious about this one. It shocks me that a government or even a group of people in a supposedly democratic, “first world” nation can even THINK in this way.

    Shame shame shame. This was done at the tax payers expense and is surely going to be used to further “prove” Korea has always been a victim and that they are a special people and everyone should hate Japan etc. etc. Racism Racism Racism.

  4. comment number 4 by: Errol

    Travolta Said:

    November 13, 2006 at 3:02 am

    I am really furious about this one. It shocks me that a government or even a group of people in a supposedly democratic, “first world” nation can even THINK in this way.

    I’m neither furious nor shocked. Noh Mu-hyeon paid some of his mates to recover some chaemyeon. He’s a winner both ways. His corrupy mates have some money funneled to them and Korea has newly minted some chaemyeon.

    Two of my relatives were POWS including one who died on the Burma Railroad. The survivor said, “That was war and these things happened.” But of course they didn’t really happen according to this commission.

    My dominant feeling is sadness not rage or incomprehension that anyone could believe such a result. Fortunately, many Koreans know that this is just another case of Korean self deception.

    Look at all the money wasted on Kaesong, Keumgangsan and the various FEZs. These things only exist to produce jobs for Noh’s mates and the illusion for the more gullible Koreans that Noh’s government is doing something positive about loss of chaemyeon as Japan’s vassal, loss of chaemyeon as the vassal of the USA and loss of chaemyeon as China’s economy booms.

  5. comment number 5 by: sqz

    Treaty of Peace with Japan

    Article 11

    Japan accepts the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan, and will carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan. The power to grant clemency, to reduce sentences and to parole with respect to such prisoners may not be exercised except on the decision of the Government or Governments which imposed the sentence in each instance, and on the recommendation of Japan. In the case of persons sentenced by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, such power may not be exercised except on the decision of a majority of the Governments represented on the Tribunal, and on the recommendation of Japan.

    名誉回復の為には、SF講和条約第十一条を遵守する必要があります。
    Anyone has to observe SF peace treaty Article 11 for honorary recovery.
    韓国政府は何ヶ国の承認を得たのですか?
    How many countries did the Korea government get approval?

  6. comment number 6 by: ponta

    Hankyoreh

    Class B and C war criminals were classified as such because of their rank in the Japanese military or for committing other acts during the war.

    This is not true. Class A crimes are crimes against peace, Class B crimes are conventional war crime, namely , violations of the laws or customs of war and Class C war crimes are crimes against humanity.

    Explaining the rationale for its findings, the commission said that the 83 men suffered “double hardship” for first being forcibly conscripted by the Japanese and then later forced to bear criminal responsibility for Japanese abuses against Allied POWs”We reviewed records on 15 of these men found in the British national archives,” said commission head Yi Se-il. “We discovered that they were found guilty without any clear evidence.”

    This is a fishy explanation.
    In case of Britain court, there were 918 defendants, among them, 56 were Koreans. Among the victims, 550 were civilians, 32 were western civilians, 227 were pows, 38 were Indian pows, 71 were civilian pows. There were 281 cases of death sentences.
    p77/p153/BC criminals
    The trials were about , e.g. Sook Ching massacre and Death Rail way That is, they were about the cases before 1943. But the forced conscription for Korean people began in 1944.

    It is surprising even the leftist newspaper, Hankyore does not know of the war and does not criticize the commission. Japanese leftist newspaper like Asahi would fiercely criticise it if that happened in Japan.

  7. comment number 7 by: kojibomb

    I remember watching a TV show about this when I was in Korea this year… there were 2 Korean war criminals living in Japan talking about this. They said that they had no choice to join the army because they would have to anyway… forced, and if they join by themselves… they would get a lot of money to support their family… etc… A lot of these people could not even go back to Korea because they will be sworn and cursed by other Koreans for joining the Japanese military.

    In the end of the show, ummm they were happy that the Korean govt declared them as victims… and not war criminals…

    hmmm i forgot what the show was called… it broadcasted on that Korean independence day?… one that is known well for pokjujoks doing all these illegal things all over SK…

    I think Korean govt started to clear Korean war criminals of war crimes because these actual war criminals and their family members annoyed the SK govt and Japanese govt that they were innocent. Some even might be innocent… i think… and some are just acting along…

  8. comment number 8 by: tomato

    kojibomb,

    Actually, Japan introduced the draft at the very end of the war, and the war ended while they were training. So the Korean soldiers are really volunteers. Maybe they joined for economic reasons, but if they start counting that in as forced, it’s kind of going too far, isn’t it?

    Also, the ones held resposible for war crimes are most likely officers, lot of them graduating from military academies. If Koreans believe these people were forced, they’re crazy…

    And Japan will probably never officially renouce the war crime tribunals (it’s obvious that such will lead to international isolation), but it is paying their families a good amount of veteran pensions. As for Korean veterans, the Korean government should be responsible, because the Japanese government paid handsomely to the Korean government for that purpose. I heard the Korean government used the fund for development purposes, and is trying again to get the money from Japan…so it likes to keep Japan as the “evil one”. But it was the Korean government that cheated on its people, and it is unfair to say that Japan is indifferent to the sufferings of its former citizens(=Koreans).

  9. comment number 9 by: kojibomb

    Also, the ones held resposible for war crimes are most likely officers, lot of them graduating from military academies. If Koreans believe these people were forced, they’re crazy…

    yes… even past SK president the famous Park Chung Hee graduated from Japanese military academy and fought for Japan… obviously.. not forced… but.. whoknows… some of them might be telling the truth…

    and… some of the war criminals were those soldiers who looked after American and etc POWs… I heard from somewhere that most of these people were Koreans.. and got accused of being war criminals… Maybe these people are the victims whom SK govt is talking about.

    but it is paying their families a good amount of veteran pensions

    yes… even some shrines are do dedicate Korean soldiers.

    I heard the Korean government used the fund for development purposes, and is trying again to get the money from Japan

    Just like how NK gets money from charities and other countries and uses it to make/buy weapons… but… for good causes.. i guess

    hmmm i wonder how Taiwanese people are taught at schools about Japan. I think Taiwanese people are like 50/50… hate or love Japan. People who hate Japan usually have problem with being colonized… while People who love say things about economic developments. Do they learn about the both advantages and disadvantages at school?

  10. comment number 10 by: natto

    I wonder if what is written here is ture…? Basically, it’s extracts from books written by a Hong Konger/Australian/French authors as well as other story and picture that say Koreans were more violent and cruel than Japanese in the war. Hope someone would kindly translate them into English because other things written in the post is also interesting.
    http://bbs.enjoykorea.jp/tbbs/read.php?board_id=teconomy&page=2&nid=2502546

    By the way, Has anyone here read any of the following books linked below? I haven’t read any of them but if it’s ture, Korean people should stop playing the victim and blame all on Japan. I think Koreans should accept the fact that you are not victem but rather perpetrators.

    ★中国人に・・・
    ■中国人SHA EIKOUの著書「日本軍は香港で何をしたか」から抜粋
    最初の数日間は平穏無事で、日本軍の姿は全く無かった。
    ところがある日、突然五、六人の動物のような兵隊が現れ、麻雀をしていた四人の女優を強姦した。前述の女優は日本軍の馬を管理する男達に暴行されたが、この男達は韓国人であった。(中略)香港占領期間中、多くの韓国人が日本の軍服を着ていたが、一般の日本人よりも背が高く、日本の正規軍よりも凶暴だった。この時、民家に乱入して婦女暴行を働いたのは、殆ど日本人の手先となって悪事を行なった韓国人であった。
    当時、香港住民は日本軍よりも韓国人を激しく憎んだ。
    http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4784503420

    ■1923年9月16日、大阪の海軍の通信所の電報
    中国各地で傍受された日本国籍を与えられた韓国人の道徳の無い行動が、中国や世界でニュースに取り上げられ、ヨーロッパで反日宣伝の材料になっている。
    注意が必要であり、充分な取り調べが必要であると考える。

    ■中国人が描いた絵「日本の軍旗を自慢する韓国人が中国人を殺す」
    ※服に「韓国人」と書いてある。

    ■映画「The Bridge on the River Kwai」
    アカデミー賞を受賞。
    日本では「戦場に架ける橋」の名で上映されました。
    この中で、日本軍が捕虜のイギリス人をリンチする話が出てきます。
    実は、この収容所でイギリス人をリンチした人間は殆ど「韓国人」でした。
    しかも「民間人」でした。
    戦後148名が罪に問われました。

    ★フィリピン人に・・・
    ■日本の登山趣味を持つ医師の述懐から抜粋。
    登山では仲間の信頼関係が大切だ。
    韓国、フィリピン、日本の3人で風雨の中、登頂する寸前の事だった。
    休憩のときAN(安)が韓国人である事を知らないフィリピン人が言った。
    「日本の占領下で最も残虐だったのは韓国人だった。赤子を投げて銃剣で差したのも彼らだった。皆がそう信じている。」一気に遭難しそうになったパーティを必死で支えながら、私は山下将軍の亡霊を見たような心境だった。その後も各地でこのような話を聞いた。 愛国者であったAN(安)の気持ちが心配だった。
    http://www.net-ric.com/advocacy/datums/95_10irohira.html

    ★オーストラリア人に・・・
    ■オーストラリア人ケニス・ハリスンの著書「あっぱれ日本兵」から抜粋
    ※日本軍の捕虜となったオーストラリア兵の証言を抜粋
    その日の最後に、韓国人に会わされた。韓国人は(日本人と比べて)大型で、顔は平たく、知性で劣り、日本人が与えた屈辱を我々に転嫁した。どんなに試みても、彼らと本当の人間関係を作る事は出来なかった。体罰では、日本兵よりも彼ら(韓国人)を遥かに恐れた。
    http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4425946316/ref=pd_sim_b_1/250-1884881-1191406

    ★占領地域全体で・・・
    ■PARIS MATCH記者、A・スムラーの著書「日本は誤解されている」から抜粋
    ※フランスの雑誌「PARIS MATCH」
    日本人戦犯の責任を軽減するつもりはないが、占領地域で最も嫌われたのは、日本国籍を持っていた韓国人だった。
    ※殆どが民間人です。(軍属・入植者)
    http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4531080548/249-1372373-3521946

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    It is fine to divert the attention to other things but i think this argument runs far deeper than an old man who cant remember! You have done a good job to trivialize the argument…

    Nobody is trivializing the argument. It is only that you have been missing the point .
    . All that is claimed is that we should not make history a political issue, we should not make history a source of the hatred and that to move on, the agreement in interpretation is not necessary;though; it might be desirable.
    .
    There might be always people who have resentment.
    But this 94 yr vet and other vet show the possibility that we can move on.
    We can move on if we so choose.

    We can study history as much as as we want. And we should. History provides deeper understanding of Human being and society. We can delve into the atrocity of Japanese , Koreans, Chinese, Americans, etc Yes I know some Japanese soldiers committed horrible crimes. The criminal might have been me, I might have just followed the order.The victim might have been me. I might have been beheaded, the skelon left in the jungle..And I also know some Koreans set up the site especially for Japanese atrocities , with photos and captions, some of which are fake. Historians keep studying and reinterpreting the history with backed up evidences in wider perspective.. And historian can even agree to disagree. They can publicize the points of the dispute. I want to learn it. I want Korean people to learn it. (BTW Korea bans pro-Japanese site) But there is no history seen from God’s point of view. Even if there is, that is not necessary for people to move on. And if politicians used it to makes younger generation who was not involved in the historical events in question hate each other , that would be sin. I don’t think you are insisting this, but I disagree with you in that to move on the agreement in interpretation is necessary.

    Notice that Japanese government has been consistent in that she holds that she caused a great suffering on Asian nations.
    There might be some disagreement in the details of the “suffering”, but Japanese government admits it. If you want the agreement in every detail, I think that is impossible demands.

    Japan apologized to Korea. Which other country apologized the former colonized nations?
    She compensated to Korea, Which country compensated to the former colonized nations? She set up the fund for the former comfort women. German has never apologized and compensated to the women they recruited for the prostitute.
    China and Korea demand that Japan put the word into action.
    Japan has shown it by not engaging the war .
    (‘It is Korean and China who have massacred civilians after WWⅡ)

    What else can we do to move on? What exactly is the mutual understanding that you say is necessary to move on? To move on, for instance, does Korea want to impose the specific groundless interpretation satisfying Korean victim mentality ?Is that what you mean by not diverting the attention? Does Korea want , for instance, make young Japanese kneel down in front of the former comfort women and apologize as a proof of the mutual understanding? Why is it that they don’t move on? the lack of mutual “understanding” or will to hate?

  12. comment number 12 by: Errol

    Further to my comment that this is just a way of giving money to Nohmates’ cronies.

    Errol Said:

    November 13, 2006 at 3:47 am

    Look at all the money wasted on Kaesong, Keumgangsan and the various FEZs. These things only exist to produce jobs for Noh’s mates and the illusion for the more gullible Koreans that Noh’s government is doing something positive

    From pretend-jobs

    to Noh-job.

    For those who can’t read the Korean in the first link (note an online English version doesn’t exist) it’s noting that about 150 000 people sat the exams for lower-rank public service positions on October 1 2006.

    The Chosun Ilbo ran and editorial the day before headlined: Let public sector bubble pop

    Part of the text read: According to the Korea National Statistical Office, 260,000 people, nearly half of the 530,000 job-seekers, are preparing to become either teachers or civil service workers. This is mostly because there are not enough “decent” jobs. At the top 30 conglomerates and financial companies, 270,000 positions disappeared over seven years after 1997. The jobless rate for the youth is more than 7 percent and more than 120,000 people have given up finding jobs.

    However, hundreds of thousands of people flocking into the public sector is a problem in itself. In advanced countries, public sectors keep decreasing so the talented youth is encouraged to flock to the private sector. But it is the other way around for us. The major reason for this is that people want to get a job where they do not need to worry about being fired once they have been hired.

  13. comment number 13 by: Errol

    Further to my comment that this is just a way of giving money to Nohmates’ cronies.

    Errol Said:

    November 13, 2006 at 3:47 am

    Look at all the money wasted on Kaesong, Keumgangsan and the various FEZs. These things only exist to produce jobs for Noh’s mates and the illusion for the more gullible Koreans that Noh’s government is doing something positive

    Noh is just trying to buy support. Giving Noh-jobs to his old mates and pork-barrelling the public sector. From pretend-jobs to Noh-job.

    For those who can’t read the Korean in the first link (note an online English version doesn’t exist) it’s noting that about 150 000 people sat the exams for lower-rank public service positions on October 1 2006.

  14. comment number 14 by: usinkorea

    One of Occidentalism’s points is one I’ve made on the issue of Koreans “collaborating” with the Japanese for a long time: whole generations of Koreans grew up knowing nothing but control by Japan. You cannot expect whole generations to sit on their thumbs as adults waiting for Korea to somehow gain independance before they start trying to do something to put food on the table and get ahead in the world – the only world they have known – regardless of who controls the strings.

    But, in the complete overhauling of history that South Korean society likes to do, everyone is pictured as either having dreadfully opposed the bastard Japanese occupiers — or — collaborated with them – with the collaborators being on 5% of the population and 95% in the “resistance”. It is so clearly a false picture – but it is the one they want to be the official history.

    Now, the fact these generations had only known Japanese rule does NOT excuse the brutality they inflicted on people elsewhere.

    And if we were to go into Manchuria – go to where Korean business people and on down the chain to managers and laborers – went to set up factories for the Japanese (and themselves) – factories that ended up feeding the Japanese war effort —— and we were to take a look at how the Korean-Koreans treated the mix of people from different tribal ancestry (even Korean stock) up there in the sweat shops — we’d also get a not so rosy picture of a good number of the actions of a good number of Koreans as part of the Japanese Empire.

    But again — the only version Korea wants to hear about is how everyone resisted the Japanese except a few bad apples. And if you force them to look at reality, they can wipe it away by saying the Koreans had no choice – just like the did with this war crimes stuff.

  15. comment number 15 by: Two Cents

    kojibomb,
    I don’t understand the argument of “They said that they had no choice to join the army because they would have to anyway… forced, and if they join by themselves… they would get a lot of money to support their family… etc…” Do you mean to say that conscripted soldiers got no pay while volunteers did? Soldiers got paid \19 yens/month, conscripted (forced) or not.

    usinkorea,
    I don’t know if Koreans got to behave so arrogantly in Manchuria. One reason Koreans wanted to take on Japanese-style names was because that way, the Chinese could not look down upon and take advanatge of them. The Chinese (who were the majority in Manchuria) had no respect for Koreans who they had regarded as people of the vassal state throughout history. One of the most common tactics by the Chinese at the time was to contract a piece of waste land to the Koreans to cultivate, and once the Koreans had turned it into arable land, scrap the contract and rob the land. The maltreatment of Koreans (then Japanese) in Manchuria and Northeast China by the Chinese was somewhat of an embarassment for the Japanese government whose duty it was to protect the rights and properties of its citizens.

    I agree with your overall line of reasoning. It’s always someone else besides the Koreans they blame. And if it turns out that there can be no room for doubt that some Koreans were involved, they’re always labeled traitors. It might be interesting to see how Koreans will reshape history once they have united. Will the soldiers who fought with the US (UN) against the Norks in the Korean War be allowed to rest in peace as heros or will their honor be stripped from them for being anti-Korean collaborators who helped prolong the unification?

  16. comment number 16 by: Two Cents

    tomato,
    Although Koreans were not conscripted as soldiers until 1944, they were conscripted as civilian personnels in the war zones (軍属) from very early on in the war. That is why a situation like the below occured.

    http://www.ksyc.jp/kobeport/news09.htm
    だから捕虜収容所というのは、具体的には朝鮮人部隊だといわれるくらい、トップに日本人将校が一人いて、その下に下士官が一人か二人いて、あと全員が朝鮮人軍属なんです。
    “So a POW camp was almost literally a Chosun-jin (Korean) unit, with a single Japanese officer supervising it, and one or two Japanese officers of a lower rank working under him, and the rest were all Korean civilian personnels.”

  17. comment number 17 by: tomato

    Two Cents:

    Oh, I didn’t know. Thanks.
    So it’s kind of like Ukrainian Capos in Nazi concentration camps.