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Korea under Japanese rule facts for kids

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Japanese Korea

1910–1945
Seal
Seal of the
Government-General
of Korea
Korea (dark red) within the Empire of Japan (light red) at its furthest extent
Korea (dark red) within the Empire of Japan (light red) at its furthest extent
Status Colony of the
Empire of Japan
Capital Emblem of Keijo (1925–1945).svg Keijō (Gyeongseong)
Common languages Japanese (official)
Korean
Government Monarchy
Emperor  
• 1910–1912
Meiji
• 1912–1926
Taishō
• 1926–1945
Shōwa
Governor-General
 
• 1910–1916
Terauchi Masatake
• 1916–1919
Hasegawa Yoshimichi
• 1942–1944
Kuniaki Koiso
• 1944–1945
Nobuyuki Abe
Historical era Empire of Japan
• Japanese protectorate
17 November 1905
• Annexation treaty signed
22 August 1910
• Annexation by Japan
29 August 1910
• March 1st Movement
1 March 1919
• Sōshi-kaimei order
1939
15 August 1945
Currency Korean yen
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Korean Empire
Soviet Civil Administration in Korea
United States Army Military Government in Korea
Today part of North Korea
South Korea

Between in 1910 and 1945, the Empire of Japan placed Korea under Japanese rule or Japanese occupation. Joseon Korea had come into the Japanese sphere of influence with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, and a complex coalition of the Meiji government, military, and business officials began a process of integrating the Korean peninsula's politics and economy with Japan. The Korean Empire (proclaimed in 1897) became a protectorate of Japan with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905; thereafter Japan ruled the country indirectly through the Japanese Resident-General of Korea. Japan formally annexed Korea in 1910 in the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, without the consent of the former Korean Emperor Gojong, the regent of the Emperor Sunjong. The Japanese Empire had established the Korean peninsula as a colony of Japan administered by the Governor-General of Chosen based in Keijō (Gyeongseong) which governed Korea with near-absolute power.

Japanese rule prioritized Korea's Japanization, accelerating the industrialization started by the Gwangmu Reform of 1897-1907, building public works, and fighting the Korean independence movement. The public works included developing railroads (Gyeongbu Line, Gyeongui Line, Gyeongwon Line, etc.) and improving major roads and ports that supported economic development - Korea experienced an average GNP growth-rate of 4.2% during the 25 years between 1912 and 1937.

Japanese rule over Korea ended on 15 August 1945 upon the World War II surrender of Japan, and the armed forces of the United States and the Soviet Union occupied this region. The division of Korea separated the Korean Peninsula under two governments and different economic systems, with the northern Soviet Civil Administration and the southern United States Army Military Government in Korea. In 1965 the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea declared that the unequal treaties between Japan and Korea, especially those of 1905 and 1910, were "already null and void" at the time of their promulgation.

As of 2021 the topic of Japanese rule remains controversial both in North Korea and in South Korea, and the negative repercussions continue to affect these countries. Such negative repercussions include:

  • the industrialization plan to solely benefit Japan
  • the exploitation of Korean people
  • the marginalization of Korean history and culture
  • the environmental exploitation of the Korean Peninsula
  • the status of Japanese collaborators, subsequently dubbed Chinilpa

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