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Suffering and Compromise:Korea and Japan Korea has had a long history with Japan. Japan has put Korea through a lot of conflict war and suffering but, they came to a compromise in the end here’s that story. Japan wasn’t a major participant during World War I but because the British were having a problem with Germany, as allies with the British, Japan decided to conquer multiple islands owned by Germany and a small part of China. Since Japan technically fought in the War the people representing Japan were present at the Paris Peace Conference in a seat of major powers. This was where Japan may have gotten the thought of racial superiority against other countries in Asia this especially showed during World War II. After World War I Japan was having severe economic depression and soon needed more natural resources Japan needed to become a colonizing nation to be able to stand against other Western Nations and Korea seemed to be a secure place for natural resources so that was when Japan called War against China for Korea beginning at 1894 to 1895. Even though China had a large Army and was suspected to win but Japan’s newly moderated forces swept thru the Chinese Army and got Korea’s independence.Going back to how Korea’s doing before World War. In 1876 Korea makes trade agreements with Japan and the United States everything was pretty peaceful between Japan and Korea until 1905 when Japan enters Korea to fight a war with Russia. Originally they were not there to attempted to take Korea but, while they were there they decided to conquer it. Japan ended up forcing Korea’s leaders to sign over the country. Koreans were pressured to learn and speak Japanese even as far as to change their names to Japanese names or characters. Innocent Korean women were tricked and forced to become prostitutes or just sex slaves for the Japanese soldiers these tricks were done by Japanese people but also other Koreans. These women were victims of repeated rape and were called comfort women. Lee Ok Seon was a former comfort woman who was willing to share her story with other people she said that it was late afternoon maybe sometime between 5 and 6 pm, Economic depression – “A sustained economic recession in which a nation’s Gross National Product (GNP) is falling and marked by low production and sales and a high rate of business failures and unemployment”Comfort Woman -A girl or woman forced into prostitution by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Lee Ok Seon was 14 years old when she was thrown into a car and taken to a so-called “comfort station,” in China where every day she was raped by Japanese soldiers and this continued on for about 3 years. The 86-year-old woman did not give any specific details as to what she experienced there but, she summarizes her experience in the “comfort station” in one sentence “It was not a place for human beings. It was a slaughterhouse.” She said she had no idea of if she was ever going to see her family ever again and in the end, she never did when she got out. We were often beaten, threatened and attacked with knives,” Lee Ok-Seon said. “We were 11, 12, 13 or 14 years old and we didn’t believe anyone would save us from that hell.” Many other women have a similar story but none got justice for it in the end. Many of the women thought it was shameful to have been a comfort woman so they never told their stories until decades later.Even though Korea had greatly suffered because of Japan they also benefited they had a massive growth threw out 1905 and 1910 they had electricity, running water, phone lines, radio, they also built railroads and had public school systems. Japan left a large mark on Korea good and bad. During 1910 Japan had another unequal treaty with Korea a treaty where Korea would be annexed into the Japanese Nation. Koreans tried to resist against Japan on March 1, 1919, one of the first independence movements in Korea it was at the capital city of Seoul and soon spread throughout the country. Before the Japanese finally suppressed the movement 12 months later, practically 2,000,000 Koreans had participated in the more than 1,500 demonstrations. Even more, protests starting breaking out when the Japanese started replacing Korean culture with their own. Japan seemed to have considered Korea its own colony when during World War II they used Korea land and resources for themselves.Korea land was used to produce timber, fish, rice, and heavy machinery. The annexation did help Korea’s modernization.    In World War II over 5.4 million Koreans were forced to migrate to Japan to work in labor because the Japanese soldiers were fighting. On December 7, 1941, a surprise military strike was made against the United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service as an attempt to eliminate some of the United States forces against Japan. This was when the United States declared war against the Japanese. In the year 1944, all Korean men were forced to join the Japanese military with no choice. But, in 1945 The United States dropped 2 bombs on Japan Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by the attack and Japan soon surrendered in the War.The United States then installed a new government inspired by The United States Government. During the World War II as disturbing as it sounds there were human experiments taking place in Japan it was called Unit 731, it was mainly the Chinese who had to suffer against those experiments but other Asians also did as well. The experiments went as far as to purposefully giving the humans frostbite to dismemberment and sexual assault. Since The United States placed a new government for Japan, Japan was no longer in control of Korea so they left Korea and went back to Japan but, almost as soon as they left whats considered North Korea today had communism for Russia wanted to take over South Korea. And started pushing back South Korea The United States started helping South Korea not wanting communism to take it over.The fighting continued for a while until then The United States decided to divide Korea into two parts. They decided to choose the 38th parallel line because it was about halfway between Korea so it wouldn’t be unfair. Roosevelt and Stalin decided and agreed on Korea’s independence and as said earlier all Japanese soldiers and control were gone. Japan and Korea came to an agreement after World War II in 2015 about comfort women the term not talked about a lot of the young women who suffered during the War. Korea and Japan have moved on since then. Japan did have an economic miracle between post-World War II era to the end of Cold War., Japan rapidly became the world’s second-largest economy after The United States. Seoul Korea also had an economic growth, today it has the fourth highest GDP as a city in the world. Korea has definitely improved when it comes to culture, technology, and even music. The issue of comfort women wasn’t addressed as of yet until more and more women started speaking out against what the Japanese soldiers did to them, then it was spoken about and a compromise was made.     On December 28, Japan and South Korea reached an agreement on how to take action on the “comfort women” issue. Under the agreement reached on December 28th, the Japanese government had agreed to contribute funds to comfort women fondation that was to be established by the South Korean government, to support the healing of comfort women. Those funds were taken from Japan’s national budget. Even though many people didn’t believe that the comfort women were telling the truth South Korea and Japan’s agreement still pulled through. In the 1990s, an attempt by the Murayama government to provide coverage for comfort women through the Asia Women’s Fund failed, mainly because of thee criticism within South Korea that the Fund was not official and for this reason could not be considered as “official” retribution.   

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