|政治|歴史|日韓関係|国際関係|<br>自虐史観から脱却して世界を見る |Politics | History | Japan-South Korea Relations | International Relations |
View the world away from a sense of self-denial history.
皇紀2,684年

Home
Japanese English Korean


Syngman Rhee, who was not on the Korean Peninsula during the Japanese colonial period: The founding of an anti-Japanese nation and the resurrection of Kim Gu’s ghost

2024-06-03  Category:South Korea

Syngman Rhee, who was not on the Korean Peninsula during the Japanese colonial period: The founding of an anti-Japanese nation and the resurrection of Kim Gu’s ghost

Photo by Unknown author (licensed under CC0 1.0)

I'm participating in the ranking.Please click and cheer for me.
にほんブログ村 政治ブログ 国際政治・外交へ 国際政治・外交ランキング

The person called Kim Gu

He is not often introduced in Japan, but do you know the man in the photo? His name is Kim Gu, and he was a member of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. After Japan lost the war, he fought with Syngman Rhee, who would later become president, over who should become president of South Korea. I would like to highlight that the former president Moon Jae-in and the current leader of the largest opposition party, Lee Jae-myung, are closely related to Kim Gu's ideas.

Syngman Rhee had no knowledge of the Japanese colonial period

The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was established in Shanghai in 1919, triggered by the March 1st Independence Movement that took place on the Korean Peninsula. It planned and orchestrated anti-Japanese riots on the Korean Peninsula from afar, but it was a mock government with no real governmental functions. Syngman Rhee was involved in the establishment of the Provisional Government, but the year after it was established, he lost in a factional struggle and was ousted, and moved to Hawaii. In the first place, Syngman Rhee participated in the distribution of documents calling for the abdication of Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire, was imprisoned, and after being released by amnesty in 1904, he defected to the United States and settled in Hawaii. In 1919, he participated in the establishment of the Provisional Government in Shanghai, but returned to Hawaii the following year, so in fact, Syngman Rhee experienced almost no Japanese rule at all and viewed Japan from an American perspective. Syngman Rhee returned to the Korean Peninsula in 1945 after the end of the war.

The Provisional Government was not recognized

Now, Kim Gu requested to return to Korea as the "Chairman of the Provisional Government," but the legitimacy of the Provisional Government was not recognized by the US government, so he chose to return to the southern part of the Korean Peninsula as an ordinary citizen. He then merged with the Central Council for Promoting Independence led by Syngman Rhee to form the National Association for Promoting Korean Independence and became its vice president. In other words, at this point, the Provisional Government that began with the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919 was not recognized as legitimate, and Syngman Rhee, who was supported by the United States, was on the path to founding the Republic of Korea.

Emotional anti-Japanese sentiment

Kim Gu was a staunch anti-Japanese, and in 1896, he became angry when a restaurant owner served Japanese merchant Tsuchida Josuke first, saying that priority should be given to the order of orders, not the order in which they were made. He then assaulted Tsuchida, beat him to death with stones and iron clubs, stole his money and valuables, and dumped his body in a frozen river without burying it. He was imprisoned and sentenced to death. He was later pardoned and his sentence reduced, but he managed to escape prison, participated in the March 1st Independence Movement, and set up something like a government in exile in Shanghai. An Jung-geun's son An Jun-seong, who assassinated Ito Hirobumi, visited Ito Bunkichi, the son of Ito Hirobumi, and apologized. An was angry and asked Chiang Kai-shek of China to kill An Jun-seong.

English subtitles

Kim Gu's claims were ignored

As the division of North and South Korea became decisive, Kim Gu developed his own theory, claiming that the Korean Peninsula would achieve unification through its own efforts, not under the influence of the United States or the Soviet Union, and met with Kim Il-sung of the North. However, the times were not like that at all, and Kim Il-sung did not pay any attention to them, nor did the United States. Later, when the Republic of Korea was established, they launched an opposition movement against the independent election in South Korea to decide the first president, but on August 15, 1948, the founding of the Republic of Korea was declared, and Syngman Rhee, supported by the United States, became the first president, and the following year Kim Gu was assassinated at his home. This is a rough history of Syngman Rhee and Kim Gu up to the founding of the Republic of Korea. The preamble of the current Korean constitution proclaims that it will inherit the legal lineage of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea established during the March 1st Independence Movement, and this is the legal basis for justifying anti-Japanese sentiment as a national policy, but looking at the history so far, the Korean people are probably completely unaware of the contradiction that the legitimacy of the Provisional Government was not recognized when the Republic of Korea was founded.

Right and left wing in South Korea

The Republic of Korea continued to be a dictatorship under Syngman Rhee, and although the Rhee government was overthrown by a democratization movement, a military coup led by Park Chung-hee led to a military dictatorship. Later, during the presidency of Roh Tae-woo, a declaration of democratization was made on June 29, 1987, including a direct presidential election. Due to this trend, conservatives in Korea are a political force that originated from the founding of the country by Syngman Rhee, and the left wing has the opposite nature. Within this, there is a tendency to be divided into right and left by economic factors such as prioritizing economic policy or social security. For this reason, the left wing has a communist nature and has tended to implement a conciliatory policy toward North Korea. Both are anti-Japanese in terms of the constitution, but in reality, Syngman Rhee founded South Korea through anti-Japanese means, and he purged pro-Japanese forces one after another.

On the other hand, although the left is anti-Japan, Kim Dae-jung visited Japan as a state guest, co-hosted the FIFA World Cup, lifted the ban on cultural exchange between Japan and Korea, and concluded a new Japan-Korea fisheries agreement in accordance with the revised international law regarding the Takeshima issue. After that, former President Roh Moo-hyun also visited Japan as a state guest as a left-wing president, but anti-Japanese movements in Korea became heated after that.

Conservative forces strengthening anti-Japanese tendencies

After President Roh Moo-hyun, two conservative presidents followed, but Lee Myung-bak is said to have remarked that the Japan-Korea currency swap was unnecessary during the currency crisis, infuriating former Prime Minister Aso, and landed on Takeshima during his term as president. Comfort women statues stand in a row, and the next former president, Park Geun-hye, is also a conservative president, but a comfort women statue has been erected in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan. It was during this period that comfort women statues began to be erected without any hesitation. Prior to this, the first Abe Cabinet in Japan made a cabinet decision to amend the Kono Statement, stating that there was no direct reference to the so-called forced abduction of comfort women by the military or government officials. Based on this, the 2015 comfort women agreement was reached.

Moon Jae-in reveres Kim Gu

After that, Moon Jae-in, who became president after the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, is a very troublesome person who has a completely different opinion from the left-wing forces so far. That is Kim Gu. Moon Jae-in has named Kim Gu as the politician he respects the most, and in 2019 after taking office, he took the incomprehensible action of holding a cabinet meeting at the Kim Gu Memorial Hall. And Lee Jae-myung, the current leader of the largest opposition party, also named Kim Gu as the politician he respects the most. Looking at it this way, the incomprehensible foreign policy of the Moon Jae-in era ironically becomes understandable. Kim Gu was a person who tried to exclude the United States and achieve the unification of North and South Korea through negotiations with the North. Moon Jae-in's policy has been to continue to move to eliminate the influence of the United States from the Korean Peninsula. The move to scrap GSOMIA can be said to be exactly that purpose. On top of that, he realized the US-North Korea-South Korea summit, suddenly made a statement at the UN that he wanted to end the Korean War, and Lee Jae-myung even made an absurd statement that Korea was divided because of the United States.

Kim Gu as a counterweight to Syngman Rhee

In other words, Kim Gu is symbolically positioned against Syngman Rhee as a counter-axis to conservatives. And the crucial point is that it is nothing more than Kim Gu's delusion, a fictitious history that was completely ignored by both the United States and North Korea, and it is ironic that the same result is occurring today. The problem is that half of the Korean people agree with this claim.

As for Kim Gu, the provisional government in Shanghai had no actual governance over the Korean Peninsula, and even after returning to Korea, its legitimacy was not recognized, and his independent unification route with the North was not appreciated by anyone, and there is no fact that he actually conducted politics and achieved any results. On top of that, it is Moon Jae-in and Lee Jae-myung who are inciting the people with the ultimate "what if" of what would have happened in Kim Gu's time. If we assume this fictitious history of Kim Gu, the founding of the country by Syngman Rhee would not have been established, which means that the very founding of the Republic of Korea would be denied.

Korea cannot return

In the last South Korean general election, the conservative ruling party suffered a major defeat. If this trend continues, it is certain that the next presidential election will see a left-wing president. For Japan, it is important to see that a left-wing president will simply be elected, but it is also necessary to understand that the government will be taken by a force that is plotting fundamental changes to the security issues on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia, which have been maintained by the Japan-US and Japan-Korea security alliances established after the war.