Korea under Japanese Rule
The Korea’s colonial period spans a time frame of 35 years from 1910 to 1945 until Japan was defeated in World War II. It started with the Eulsa Treaty also known as Japan-Korea Protectorate treaty which is signed between Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire on 17 November 1905 by the influence of Russo-Japanese War. This treaty effectively made Korea a protectorate of Japan. Immediately after that, on 22 August 1910 the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty was signed, which officially unveiled Korea’s colonial period.1 The impacts of the colonial period on Korea can be discussed in three different aspects, namely infrastructure development, economics, education and culture. “Koreans have always thought that the benefits of this growth went entirely to Japan and that Korea would have developed rapidly without Japanese help anyway.” Japan brought modern facilities to its colonies, is that colonialism or modernization? 2 In late 19th century, Korea was still an isolated pre-industrial society with most foreign trades prohibited. During the early times of Korea’s colonial period, the Japanese government concentrated on investing transportation infrastructures such as roads, railway systems and port facilities in order to extracting and moving resources quickly across the border.1 “From the late 1920s and into the 1930s, particularly during the tenure of Japanese Governor-General Kazushige Ugaki, concentrated efforts were made to build up the industrial base in the Korean peninsula, especially in the areas of heavy industry, such as chemical plants and steel mills, and munitions production.”3 Moving production lines closer to the raw materials cuts the transportation cost and therefore making the products more profitable. However, under Japanese rule, all the Korean resources were utilized only for the Japanese. By the end of the colonial period, most of the resources extracted in Korea were used to support Japan’s war machine. During the...
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