In 1905, the Japanese imperialists forcefully occupied Korea through the Korea-Japan Agreement (Ulsa Five-Point Treaty), initiating a period of oppressive rule that lasted for decades. The subsequent “governor-general administration” from October 1, 1910, became a brutal chapter in Korean history, marked by untold disasters, misfortunes, and suffering.

Under the guise of a “security law” and other oppressive legislation, the Japanese oppressors ruthlessly trampled on the rights of the Korean people, suppressing freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion. Even in the face of the Korean people’s anti-Japanese spirit following the March 1 Popular Uprising in 1919, the imperialists shifted to a deceptive “civil government” while intensifying their repressive machinery.

The brutal nature of their rule is epitomized by Terauthi, the first governor-general of Korea, who asserted that “Koreans should obey the Japanese law or die.” Employing deceptive slogans about shared descent and unity, the Japanese aimed to assimilate Koreans into subjects of the Japanese Emperor, stripping them of their language, names, and cultural identity.

Through coercive measures such as the “conscription ordinance,” “ordinance on labour drafting,” and “ordinance on student soldiers,” over 8.4 million young Koreans were forcibly drafted and abducted. The Japanese military rule subjected these individuals to slave labor, and 200,000 Korean women were tragically reduced to sexual slaves of the Japanese army.

Despite undeniable evidence of their past crimes, Japanese reactionaries attempt to whitewash their history, asserting that colonial domination brought civilization to Korea. This blatant denial of responsibility for crimes like abductions and sexual slavery is met with condemnation.

The Korean people, undeterred by such denial, remain resolute in seeking justice for the sufferings and misfortunes inflicted by the Japanese imperialists. The dark era of Japan’s oppressive colonial policies in Korea will not be forgotten, as the quest for accountability continues.

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