Japan’s Crime Related to “Ordinance on Mining in Korea”

Early in the 20th century, the Japanese imperialists militarily occupied Korea (1905-1945) and plundered a large quantity of its underground resources by enacting various unjust laws.

Among them is the “ordinance on mining in Korea” which was cooked up to monopolize the mineral resources of Korea.

Japan which had long sought to control the mining industry of Korea promulgated the “law on mining industry” in 1906 to lay a legal foundation for the exclusive development, ownership and management of mines. As a result, the Japanese owned 69% of mines, mining districts and placers in operation in Korea by 1909.

They intensified the plundering of underground resources from the outset of the 1910s. Between 1911 and 1917, they made a survey of mineral deposits to prepare the basic data for taking the underground resources of Korea, and in December 1915 they concocted the “ordinance on mining in Korea” and enforced it from April the following year, thereby paving a broader way for monopolizing mining.

The ordinance stipulated that the mining right shall be granted to the first applicant, except those over particular areas or minerals, that foreigners other than the Japanese could not get a mining concession and that such a right which had been owned before was still valid even though the new ordinance would come into force. This shows that the act was designed to legally protect the mining right seized by the Japanese previously.

Through the introduction of the ordinance, Japan provided favourable conditions for the inroads of its capital and by taking advantage of this it plundered massive quantities of underground resources of Korea.

During its occupation of Korea, it shipped away nearly 400 tons of gold, 17.98 million tons of iron and lots of other minerals such as lead, zinc, nickel and magnesite.

Japan that committed innumerable crimes against the Korean nation should be fully aware that the statute of limitations does not apply to such criminal acts and make an apology and reparations for them.

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