Today in World History: August 30th

Following two treaties in 1905 and 1907 which established Korea as a Japanese protectorate and then dissolved its internal administration and affairs, the two empires signed the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910, in which the Japanese Empire formally annexed Korea and all its territories. Although the Korean Empire had only been established in 1897, Japanese influence over the peninsula was growing rapidly, and even the British Empire had begun suggesting the unification of the two by 1902. By 1905 the two had agreed to establish a protectorate, and an already semi-westernized Korea fell under Japanese rule. The legality of their 1910 agreement has been long contested, as the second and last emperor of Korea refused to sign the treaty, with the prime minister signing instead. Many argue that this voids the treaty, and it was a major obstacle in establishing relations between the two nations after the end of World War Two, and only in 1965 did the two sign a treaty that declared the 1910 treaty null and void. Today, many still question if Korea was ever legally annexed by Japan, with many activists rallying in both Seoul and Tokyo to argue for this position.


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