March 23, 2010 12:57
The Japanese colonial administration drastically reinforced security around the prison in Lushun and set up a temporary court within the prison while Korean independence fighter Ahn Jung-geun was held there, recently discovered documents show. Ahn assassinated Japan's first resident-general in Korea, Hirobumi Ito.
Ahn shot Ito dead in Harbin, Manchuria, on Oct. 26 1909 when Korea was on the verge of annexation after being forced to sign in 1905 the Eulsa Protectorate Treaty, which deprived it of its diplomatic rights. Friday marks the 100th anniversary of Ahn's execution at the prison.
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said Monday it obtained the documents written by then Japanese authorities in charge of the Lushun prison. They contain the order for Ahn's execution and detail special scrutiny he underwent before his death.
The ministry searched the archive of diplomatic records at Japan's Foreign Ministry last month with the help of other experts under Japanese freedom-of-information legislation and brought photocopies of the documents back to Korea.
"The reason the Japanese colonial government reinforced security after Ahn's imprisonment was probably to prevent his remains from being taken away by Koreans and buried in Korea because it feared his grave would become a rallying point for the resistance," a ministry official said. "Although the documents unearthed contain a lot of information that was already known, it shows that the Japanese government lied about not having the relevant records."
Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Kim Yang said in a press conference, "It is time to shift the direction of our efforts to excavate Ahn's remains. We urge Japan to change its attitude."
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