VANK, targeting the world’s largest petition site (change.org) with 400 million subscribers, is announcing to the international community about the resurgence of Japanese neo-militarism that threatens peace in Asia, including the Rising Sun Flag issue and the distortion of Japanese textbooks. Together with people around the world, we are promoting diplomatic activities to prevent Japan’s history distortion.
Not only informing the history of Korea abroad, VANK’s Global Petition is also an international diplomatic activity in which Korean youths take the lead in solving global problems that occur around the world, such as by bringing together Asians to address racism and hatred in the West. With the worldwide known petition site, anyone can easily inform people around the world of Korea’s position and gain cooperation and support from the international community, even if it is not through famous overseas broadcasters and media. In addition, if you search for the relevant petition topic on a global portal site such as Google, the search results will be quickly exposed to promote the related topics to people around the world.
In 1907, the Korean Emperor Gojong secretly dispatched a special envoy composed of Yi Sang-seol, Yi Jun, and Yi Wi-jong to the second Hague Conventions held in the Hague, the Netherlands to help the international community understand the illegality of the Eulsa Treaty(Japan-Korea Treaty of1905), which was forcibly signed by Japanese imperialism and to inform the restoration of Korea’s sovereignty. VANK’s Global Petition is an international diplomatic activity like the 21st century envoy to the Hague. We look forward to your active participation in VANK’s Global Petition that moves toward changing the world!
<How to Join the Petition>
– Click on the petition link below, and Click on the ‘Sign this petition’ button. Then type your name and e-mail address. Very Simple!
Issues about Korea
Have you heard of Jikji?
Jikji was printed in 1377 at Heungdeoksa Temple in Cheongju, Korea during the Goryeo dynasty (918~1392), and is the world’s oldest existing book printed with movable metal type.
Jikji was listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register on September 4th, 2001.
In order to be listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register
it is required to have integrity, originality, and irreplaceability,
have the global importance in time, venue, human, subject, and theme value,
and to be a case that contributes to the emotional attachment of a particular community to the records, or to the current communal identity and social cohesion.
UNESCO decided to register Jikji as it meets this standard,
and the reasons for registration are as follows:
“Jikji is the world’s oldest existing book printed with movable metal type that has had a great influence on the spread of printing culture and human history.
Accordingly, it was recognized as a documentary heritage that had a worldwide influence, and currently only one copy is kept in France, so the rarity was largely considered in its selection as a UNESCO Memory of the World.
In addition, Jikji and the Gutenberg Bibles are the world’s oldest surviving Eastern-Western book printed with movable metal types, the greatest heritage that has revolutionized the documentary culture of humankind. It was recommended to be listed in the spirit of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.”
Where can we meet Jikji, a rare Memory of the World that has had global influence?
At this moment, we cannot directly meet the human experience and anguish embodied in Jikji.
The National Library of France, (Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF) does not allow Jikji to be exhibited anywhere in the world, and Jikji is kept in its storage without being exhibited at the BnF.
Jikji, created in the Goryeo Dynasty in Korea, was brought to France by French diplomat Victor Collin de Plancy at the end of the 19th century, and was later sold to a collector and was donated to the BnF.
What is all known about Jikji is that in 1972, Dr. Park Byeongseon, a researcher at BnF found Jikji, which was mixed with books from other countries, and was submitted to a book fair held in Paris.
France is completely blocking the opportunity for the humanity to encounter Jikji, to learn from it, and to lead to new challenges and creativity.
We want to properly study the value of Jikji, a UNESCO Memory of the World, and as a future generation, we want to learn and engage in creative activities.
Furthermore, in consideration of the emotional attachment that Koreans have to the record of Jikji and the fact that Jikji contributes to the formation of the identity of the Korean community, we believe that it is necessary to keep and properly study it in Korea.
Therefore, we request the French Government and the BnF of the following:
First, the French government and the BnF should properly study and display Jikji.
Second, France should return or lend Jikji to Korea so that Koreans can encounter and understand the roots of their culture.
On October 29th, a Chinese company Papergames Inc. launched a new mobile styling game ‘Shining Nikki’ in Korea. Commemorating the launch, the company started its first event on November 4th by selling Hanbok items, traditional Korean clothing, simultaneously in Korea and China.
Regarding this event, Chinese internet users argued that Hanbok is a Chinese culture, such as a ‘Chinese Ming Dynasty Costume’ or ‘Hanbok is a costume of ethnic minority Koreans living in China’.
Regarding the incident, Papergames Inc. expressed its position on this issue as follows: “As a ‘One China’ company, the positions of Papergames and our country(China) are always consistent. We will actively fulfill our responsibility and mission as a Chinese company.” Just a week after the launch. the company deleted the Hanbok items and declared the withdrawal of the Korean business. It did not apologize for the demeaning of Hanbok and Korean culture.
The claim that Hanbok is a Chinese clothing ignores the cultural diversity and identity of other ethnic groups.
Although the cultures of Korea, China, and Japan in Northeast Asia have been influenced by each other, there are traditional and unique costumes that are distinguished by country. For example, in Korea, there is ‘Hanbok’. In China, there is ‘Qipao’, and in Japan, there is ‘Kimono’.
<Mexico City Declaration on Cultural Policies> in 1982 states:
- Every culture represents a unique and irreplaceable body of values since each people’s traditions and forms of expression are its most effective means of demonstrating its presence in the world.
- The assertion of cultural identity therefore contributes to the liberation of the peoples, Conversely, any form of domination constitutes a denial or an impairment of that identity.
Hanbok, a traditional Korean clothing, is a matter of Korean people’s identity and pride.
Nevertheless, the Chinese government is trying to control other countries and nations with ‘Zhonghua(Chinese) Nationalism(Zhonghua Minzuzhuyi, 中华民族主義)’ in order to reorganize the world order centered on China. China is trying to embrace all 55 ethnic minorities as one nation and is advocating ‘Zhounghua(Chinese) nation(Zhonghua Minzu, 中华民族) by clearing borders between ethnic groups, distorting facts, and not allowing opinions different from the distorted facts and going on a path to keep others silent.
Chinese netizens demand that Hanbok should not be described as a traditional clothing of Korea because it is influenced by China and is the clothing of the ethnic minority Koreans in China. We criticize China for interpreting and absorbing nations within today’s borders, and suppressing the unique traditions and expressions of other peoples. Preventing Korean traditional clothing from being called as Korean traditional clothing and claiming those to be ‘Zhounghua(Chinese) nation(Zhonghua Minzu, 中华民族)’s clothes, and deleting Hanbok are acts of denying and damaging the identity of other ethnic groups.
These kinds of China’s attitudes and actions did not start all of a sudden. The attempt to incorporate all of the history developed in the northeast region of China into Chinese history through the Northeast Project was launched in 2002 and it was its beginning. Since then, the length of the Great Wall has been increased based on today’s borders, and the heroes of other ethnic groups, such as Genghis Khan and King Gwanggaeto, are also claimed to be as ‘Zhounghua(Chinese) nation(Zhonghua Minzu, 中华民族)’. The remarks of Korean celebrities are also being attacked indiscriminately if they go against the feelings of the ‘Zhounghua(Chinese) nation(Zhonghua Minzu, 中华民族). Furthermore, the ethnic minorities in China are deprived of the right to learn the traditions and cultures contained in their mother tongue and to be connected with their roots.
<relevant Global Petitions>
* Stop Chinese government from distorting history of Goguryeo!
* Is the Great Wall of China a wall made of rubber band?
* Stop China’s cyber chauvinism which lynched a Korean celebrity!
* UNESCO, Save the mother tongues of ethnic minorities in China!
Meanwhile, Papergames Inc.‘s response abandoned its responsible management as a multinational corporation.
Papergames Inc. has declared that it only has the identity of a Chinese company. It is a multinational company as it has advanced into Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. As a multinational corporation, the company should have shown a responsible management attitude.
With the emergence of digital technology, new types of companies that exist internationally with no specific link to a country have emerged, so corporate responsibility management has become more important. It is because the control of the state became difficult. Multinational corporations must preemptively take measures such as protecting personal information, protecting consumers, and preventing violence and hateful contents. (Guideline For Multinational Enterprises : Responsible business conduct & digitalization, from OECD workshop, 4 November 2019)
However, the Papergames Inc. did not make any effort to mediate or resolve the conflict caused by Chinese netizens’ Korean culture disparagement and hate speech. The company just chose to shut down and withdraw their business a week after its launch of the game ‘Shining Nikki’.
Therefore, we demand the following to the Chinese government and Papergames Inc.
- The Papergames Inc. should apologize for disparaging Korean culture and Hanbok.
- The Chinese government should stop invading the cultures of neighboring countries and peoples.
- The UNESCO should warn the Chinese government that suppresses cultural diversity and the right to express one’s culture.
Despite the need to provide fair and accurate information based on the United States Department of State(DOS)’s vision and impact, the DOS’s home page displays incorrect information about Korea.
The DOS is one of the U.S. central administrative departments, carrying out all U.S. foreign relations duties, and is the same as the foreign ministry of other countries that directs diplomatic offices around the world.
Their vision states that on behalf of the American people they promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world.
The DOS serves as a key source of information through its home page, providing American citizens with things to keep in mind when traveling around the world.
As the DOS performs the above tasks, they need to provide more fair and accurate information.
However, the DOS is displaying incorrect information on the map of Korea on their official web site.
The eastern sea of Korea has a unique name called the ‘East Sea’, which Koreans have called for more than 2,000 years, but the DOS still marks only the ‘Sea of Japan’ despite years of request for correction to mark the eastern sea of Korea as the ‘East Sea’.
The ‘Sea of Japan’ is a remnant of Japanese imperialism, a partial name advocating for Japanese imperialism, and is a fallacy against the DOS’s vision to promote and prove democratic values.
The East Sea notation is not just a matter of naming for Koreans, but a matter of regaining the name of Koreans that was unreasonably taken away during the Japanese occupation(1910-1945).
During the colonial rule of Korea, Japan made Korean people impossible to speak Korean language or write Korean letters and forced them to use only Japanese.
At this time, Korean place names were changed to Japanes,e and the expression “Sea of Japan” was widely introduced to the international community and was fixed throughout the world.
In addition, the East Sea has been a place of living and worship for the Korean people, and sometimes has been a stage of history.
The name East Sea(Dong hae, 동해) contains the history, culture, and identity that symbolize Korea.
In the records of various documents and maps, the East Sea has not only appeared as a simple place name, but has served as an object to pray for the people’s abundance and well-being, the stage of history, the background of the folk tales, and the foundation of life.
Just as the first word of the first verse of the Korean national anthem begins with ‘East Sea(Dong hae, 동해)’, the East Sea is a symbol and history of Korea.
Also, the East Sea is still used as a number of symbols in various areas of life such as human names, geographical names and business names.
This is not the only error in the map on DOS web site.
The DOS has marked Dokdo, a Korean territory, as Japanese territory on its web site until 2018, and when you click Dokdo on the map, Japan travel information appeared on the screen.
As of 2020, the topography of Dokdo remains on the map, but there are no markings including the name, so Dokdo on the map appears to be nobody’s territory(terra nullius), not Korean territory.
Dokdo is a beautiful island of Korea where Koreans reside and is consisted of Dongdo(East island), Seodo(West island) and surrounding islets.
On the other hand, the ‘Okinotori Reef’, which is made up of two reefs that the Japanese government claims to be an island, is 1740km away from Tokyo, but they say that the administrative authority of the ‘Okinotori Reef’ belongs to Tokyo Metropolis.
This ‘Okinotori Reef’ is uninhabitable, and compared to Dokdo, it covers only about 1/20000 of Dokdo’s area, but the U.S. DOS map describes both reefs as islands with the name notated as ‘Okinotori-shima Is’.
The Japanese relentlessly arguing that the ‘Sea of Japan’ is an international name, and is constantly trying to generate international disputes, saying Dokdo is Japanese territory and that Korea is occupying the island illegally.
However, both the United States and Japan have known the truth of the East Sea and Dokdo for a long time, and the world’s view of the East Sea and Dokdo is also changing.
The DOS has remained silent about Koreans’ requests to correct the errors about the East Sea and Dokdo, but changes are already happening in the United States and around the world.
In 2014, a bill mandating the ‘East Sea’ and ‘Sea of Japan’ notation in the textbooks of Virginia State public schools passed a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives, and from 2017, the Virginia Department of Education has included the East Sea and the Sea of Japan together in all textbooks.
Also, in 2019, the New York State Department of Education issued an ‘Update Guidance for Sea of Japan/East Sea’ to all public school districts across the state, and recommends using the ‘East Sea’ and ‘Sea of Japan’ together when teaching students.
In 1999, the Japanese government distributed the following materials around the world to prevent the ‘East Sea’ from being marked. “97.2% of the world maps are marked as the ‘Sea of Japan’, and the map marked as ‘East Sea’ is only in Korea. Therefore, the ‘Sea of Japan’ is a common sense recognized by people around the world.”
However, 20 years later in 2019, more than 40% of the world maps mark the ‘East Sea’ either individually or side by side with ‘Sea of Japan’, with the efforts of Korean citizens and Koreans around the world.
In the World Health Organization(WHO)’s map of Korea, Dokdo, a Korean territory, was not marked on the Korean map, but was marked in the same color as Japanese territory on the map of Japan. However, through Koreans’ requests for correction of errors and through Global Petition, we have changed the WHO, which had been silent for seven months.
The WHO did not newly list corrected maps, but as a compromise on maps, it has deleted the maps in the introduction section of all countries, including Korea and Japan, and marked the national flags on the same section.
The DOS home page says that the information contained within is updated on a daily basis, and that the names and boundary representation are not necessarily authoritative, but the DOS is evading responsibility for errors in marking the East Sea and Dokdo of Korea that they have been neglecting.
In order for a country’s central administrative department to include facts about Korea on its official web site, it is of course necessary to check and determine the relevant records on such as Korean society, history and name, and then register the precise facts.
We demand the United States Department of State to correct the errors of the East Sea and Dokdo island of Korea, which are displayed on its home page, in accordance with the vision of DOS.
First, we request the DOS to mark the name of the eastern sea of Korea as the ‘East Sea’.
Second, we demand the DOS that the island located at the eastern end of Korea be marked as ‘Dokdo’.
Do you remember the Jews who died of Holocaust?
The Jews were ordered to ‘go inside the shower room to get a shower’.
The Jews were delighted to take a shower after a long time and headed towards the shower room.
However, no water came out of the shower.
Instead of water, gas came out of the shower, and the Jews were suffocated by gas without knowing anything.
The systematically planned genocide happened not only in Germany.
Do you know the Korean victims of wartime forced labor that died in the vessel, Ukishima?
Japan’s loss of WWⅡ, August 1945
The civilians of wartime forced labor were ordered to ‘board the ship to your home’.
More than 5,000 laborers boarded the Ukishima bound for Busan with the hope that they could finally return to their homes.
However, the Ukishima didn’t head toward Busan.
Willing to avoid criticism from the international community for wartime forced labor, the Japanese government planned a systematic genocide when sending back civilians on the return vessel to Joseon(Korea).
The Japanese government ordered the crew to annihilate and commit suicide, not to repatriate the conscripted workers.
According to an investigation report prepared at the request of the Allied Forces, there was a record that there was a crew demonstration arguing that Japanese crews could not give their lives because of Joseon people(Koreans), and there was a record that the chief of staff of the Navy had commanded the crews to give up their lives.
The captain and crew, who were instructed, changed to the route along the coast, not heading toward Busan.
The reason was to guide it to the coast of Maizuru Bay, where there were many mines, to disguise it as an accident.
On the way down the coast, the vessel stopped off the coast of Maizuru Bay, Japan, and the Japanese Navy escaped. The vessel soon exploded.
Three consecutive explosions happened inside the vessel.
Most of the Koreans aboard the ship died as they were
Since then, the Japanese government had not conducted any investigation to probe the truth and did not lift the ship for nine years after the sinking.
In order to hide the evidence of the sinking by explosion, the Japanese government concealed the evidence by separating and selling scrap metal after the salvage.
This corresponds to the slaughter of civilians, which was carried out thoroughly from the initial plan to concealment under the initiative and plan of the Japanese government to erase the brutality of forced conscription.
This is an international misconduct in violation of the Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide(a.k.a. Genocide Convention).
Japan insists that this incident is simply an accident caused by a United States military mine, so it is not a national misconduct.
However, Japan cannot explain
Why the vessel changed its route,
Why the crews were ordered to annihilate and commit suicide,
Why the Japanese Navy was able to predict an explosion and escape from ‘the unexpected accident’,
Why there were inside explosions,
Why the Japanese government passively conducted investigation to probe the truth where more than 5,000 civilians had died.
The bereaved families of the victims of Ukishima vessel requested apology and compensation by the Japanese government. They partially won the first trial, but lost in the subsequent appeal and the final appeal.
Now we request the international community to conduct investigation to probe the truth.
First, the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) should investigate the actual conditions in regard to the genocide of civilians of forced conscription that Japan intends to hide.
Second, the UNHRC should conduct investigation to probe the truth of the Ukishima incident.
Have you heard of the Humboldt Forum?
The Humboldt Forum is a museum that will open in 2020. It was created with the intent of breaking the conventions of colonialism to otherize non-Western cultures and to dominate academic perceptions.
The museum says it will showcase relics from non-European continents and countries such as Africa, America, and Asia, with intense reflection on the past colonialism.
We would like to ask the Humboldt Forum.
What kind of exhibition could express your reflection on colonialism and imperialism at your museum?
The Korean Pavilion is only one-tenth the size of the Chinese and Japanese Pavilion, and while the Chinese and Japanese Pavilion exhibit thousands of artifacts, the Korean Pavilion only accounts for 100.
In addition, the curator in charge of the exhibition at the Humboldt Forum’s Korean Pavilion said, “Korea has no ancient heritage because it was a tributary or colony of China and Japan from the 16th century to 1945.”
The curator follows the logic of Imperialist Japan to justify Korean colonial rule with prejudice against Korean culture.
After all, is the Humboldt Forum trying to display an exhibition that focuses on the culture of imperialism and preaches the logic of imperialism?
Are you trying to intend to divide the superiority of culture with imperialism, treat culture with prejudice, and ultimately justify imperialism?
Do you intend to display an exhibition that forgets that all cultures are sum of the experience and knowledge of a society obtained by responding to its own environment, and that they have their own value and reason to exist?
We request that you look into the reasons to exist and the values of Korean culture with an unbiased eye that can properly embody the spirit of the Humboldt Forum.
It is true that Korea in the 16th century was the Joseon Dynasty, and there was an international order centered on the Qing Dynasty at that time.
However, despite the international order centered on the Qing, Joseon had been actively responding as an independent country, creating a unique and independent culture and history.
King Sejong the Great of the Joseon Dynasty invented our own character ‘Hangul’ for Koreans, saying, “Our own words are different from China…”
The time zone of Joseon was different from that of China, and the ‘sundials and water clocks’ were invented to match the time zone of Joseon with King Sejong’s order.
By observing the celestial bodies based on the sky of Seoul, the calendar ‘Chiljeongsan’ that fits our sky was also invented.
Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945.
Japanese imperialism tried to destroy the culture of the Korean people, but the Korean freedom fighters 100 years ago tried to preserve the originality and creative spirit despite the Japanese imperial repression.
Even in colonial Joseon, there was ‘Ahn Chang-ho’, who took the lead in Korean education, saying, “it is Koreans who will change Korea. Leave it to Koreans themselves, not Japan, to reform Korea.”
There was ‘Jun Hyeong-phil’ who collected Korean heritages that Japanese imperialism carelessly excavated and damaged by investing all his possessions.
There was ‘Yun Dong-ju’ who wrote down the agony of a colonial intellectual in Hangul..
During the March 1st Movement, there were 2 million unnamed Koreans who resisted Japanese imperialism.
We would like to ask again.
Is there no culture in Korea that has a meaning to reflect on imperialism and colonialism?
What exhibits are needed to reflect on imperialism and colonialism?
We request the following:
First, Do not interpret Korean history in Chinese and Japanese history, but research and interpret Korean history and culture independently.
Second, for the exhibition of the Korean Pavilion, reflect the research results of Korean historians, and in particular, actively interpret Korean history in accordance with the purpose of the Humboldt Forum.
* 「Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society」, 2015
“Member States should encourage museums to actively interpret and disseminate knowledge on collections, monuments and sites within their specific areas of expertise and to organize exhibitions, as appropriate.”
The museum is a French national anthropological museum that mainly exhibits 300,000 artifacts from Asia, America, and Oceania, which is enjoyed by foreigners visiting Paris as well as the Eiffel Tower.
By the way, the museum distorted Korea, which has continued its 5000-year history and splendid culture, into Chinese territory, and installed exhibits that marked the East Sea which Koreans have called for thousands of years, as Sea of Japan,
Most shockingly, the museum rejected the legitimate request of the Korean NGO VANK for pointing out these issues and politely requesting rectification, which hurt many Koreans.
In the case of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, which has a reputation as the representative museum of human history in France, from an anthropological perspective, they should know how anti-human history conduct it is to mark the territory of one country, which is a symbol of national sovereignty, as the territory of another country to give recognition as a colony.
Besides, the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac should be aware that the East Sea notation to Koreans is not just a matter of sea names, but a matter of human history to recover the name of Korea that was unreasonably stolen during the Japanese occupation. This is because the meaning of place names for Koreans contains the history and identity of Koreans.
When Japan colonized Korea, it made Koreans unable to write and speak Korean language and forced them to use only Japanese. For this reason, changing the notation Sea of Japan into the East Sea for Koreans is to clear up the remnants of Japanese imperialism and to restore the identity of the Korean people.
Therefore, we demand that the Northeast Asia map displayed in the museum divide the part which marks Korea as Chinese territory into Korean territory and Chinese territory, and change the notation ‘Sea of Japan’ in to ‘East Sea.’
Every year, 15 million high school students are wrongly taught of Korean history.
Errors about Korea are neglected in the World History textbooks of the SAT test, which is taken by 2.2 million people worldwide, and the World History textbook of the AP test, which is taken by 300,000 people every year in the United States.
The SAT World History textbooks published by Kaplan, Barron’s and Princeton Review misrepresents the history and geography of Korea.
Typical errors are as follows: “The Tang dominated Korea.”, “In the mid-seventh century, the Silla dynasty drove out the Han and controlled the entire Korean Peninsula.”
Despite the existence of independent states on the Korean Peninsula, the maps of the Han Dynasty and the Mongolian Empire used in textbooks contain errors of including the Korean Peninsula on these maps.
Even in the most recent World History Prep textbook published in 2019, the first sentence that describes Korea is “The Allied victory over Japan in the Second World War brought an end to Japanese colonial rule over Korea, which had been formally established in 1910.” And There is no explanation of Gojoseon ~ Korean Empire throughout the book.
Various errors are neglected in AP textbooks as well as SAT textbooks.
The AP World History textbooks published by Princeton Review, McGraw-Hill, and Barron’s misrepresent the history of Korea.
Typical errors are: “In 668, the Chinese withdrew from Korea in exchange for an arrangement that made the Silla vassals of the Tang and required them to pay tribute. After the Tang withdrew, the Silla united Korea.”, “Under Emperor Xuanzong, the T’ang expanded Chinese territory into parts of Korea.”, “Korea had its own independent and powerful dynasty, but in order to maintain the appearance of cordial relations with their powerful Chinese neighbors, the Koreans became a vassal-state of the T’ang.”, “In 1876, Korea realized China was weak and declared its independence.”
One textbook even states that Hangul, the unique characters of Korea, is derived from Chinese ideograms.
These examples are all obvious errors related to Korea that have been described as facts in SAT and AP textbooks for many years.
Although many errors about Korea have been neglected, they have not been corrected for years.
If such biased and misleading statements about Korea in textbooks that are taught to American high school students and to students who want to go to college in the United States continue to be neglected in the future, it will result in terrible outcome to the identity of the Korean Americans of the future generation.
Moreover, it may harm the coexistence and mutual respect of many ethnic groups and races in American society, and may lead to misunderstandings about Korean Americans and their history.
We believe that the College Board and SAT, AP publishers are responsible for the problems mentioned above.
Accordingly, We VANK request the College Board and SAT, AP textbook publishers to review the errors related to Korea and verify facts based on reliable information, correct the errors actively.
Have you heard of Republic of Korea’s marine resource Sector 7, which may be lost in our apathy?
In 1968, the sector was investigated by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea that “it is likely to have the world’s richest petroleum resources. However, the exploration and development have been suspended until now due to Japan’s refusal to develop a joint development treaty with Japan.
However, experts poinot out that when the treaty ends in 2028, it is highly likely that more than 90% of the Sector 7 will be owned by Japan, and then Japan will independently develop the marine resources. In this situation, the Chinese government is also claiming ownership of the Sector 7.
We must gather the public’s interest in Korea’s maritime resources and ask for the support and cooperation of people around the world.
Based on this, we must ask the Japanese government to comply with the treaty and to build experiences of cooperation and peace together.
Accordingly, VANK initiates a Global Petition for the implementation of the Japanese government’s compliance of the treaty on the Sector 7.
VANK is promoting a global campaign to recover Korean cultural heritages that were illegally smuggled out during the Japanese occupation period.
According to the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage(NRICH) Korea, it is estimated that there are about 172,000 cultural assets that have been taken out overseas.
Among them, with the exception of diplomacy, trade, and gift, about 30,000 pieces of cultural assets are believed to be illicitly stolen.
First of all, VANK would like to publicize the issue of the “Ogura Collection” , displayed in the Asian Gallery of Tokyo National Museum, which is notorious for being an illegal stolen cultural assets.
The reason VANK is launching a global campaign for the retrieval of cultural properties from overseas is to spread international public opinion on cultural assets that were smuggled out and to develop the issue of looted cultural properties into a global issue.
Through this petition, VANK hopes to raise awareness of the problem of smuggled out cultural properties around the world, and to raise awareness of the governments and citizens of countries that stole cultural properties in the past will return the treasures they brought from Korea.
The Chinese government’s elongation of the Great Wall is worsening as years go by.
The National Administration of Cultural Heritage(国家文物局) had announced the length of the Great wall as 6,000 km in the mid 2000s and as 8,851 km in 2009, and then extended it to 21,196.18 km in 2012.
Even as of 2020, China is distortedly promoting worldwide that the Great Wall had extended to Pyongyang of the Korean peninsula.
The fortresses of the Goguryeo Kingdom(37 B.C.E. – C.E. 668) and Balhae Kingdom(C.E. 698 – 926) from Korean history is now being included in the Great Wall of China.
The Chinese government has been making a distorted claim that, based on the current border, all fortresses within its territory are parts of the Great Wall of China, and through this, China is trying to make Goguryeo and Balhae into Chinese history.
Once the project to expand China’s history and geographic boundaries, including extending the length of the Great Wall, is completed, China will justify its invasion of foreign territories, which will serve as a momentum to expand its hegemony into neighboring countries.
Accordingly, VANK intends to create “World Peace” by notifying the world about China’s history distortion.
On the information board of the cultural heritage site in front of the Gwanggaeto Stele in Jian City, Jilin Province, China describes it incorrectly as “The monument of the Chinese nation(Zhonoghua Minzu)”.
Likewise, China has been promoting to the world that “the history of Goguryeo belongs to China”, also known as the Northeast Project.
The Northeast Project is a major research project promoted by Chinese government in 2002-2007 to turn all the history that took place within the Chinese border into Chinese history. Even though this project ended in 2007, the operation to impute the history of Goguryeo as to one of Chinese ethnic minorities or China’s history is now ongoing. The project distorted Goguryeo-era territories into Chinese lands in maps of major world history textbooks, museums and historical sites around the world.
VANK informs the world of China’s history distortion, and tells the world of the reality of the Northeast Project.
VANK aims to stop historic and territorial hegemony of China with people around the world through a Global Petition.
VANK is in progress with a Global petition to inform UNESCO member states around the world about the issue of the largest bronze ware remains on the Korean peninsula concealed under the Legoland development.
Could the international society admit it if Stonehenge of the United Kingdom, Parthenon of Greece, the Pyramids in Egypt, the Colosseum of Rome were demolished to make way for a Legoland?
The Legoland is being built after demolishing a Jungdo historic site, one of the most remarkable prehistoric sites in the Republic of Korea. The Total amount of relics that have been excavated so far is 9,000 prehistoric relics, 1,266 prehistoric house sites, and 149 prehistoric tombs. The Jungdo heritage site in Republic of Korea is one of the most remarkable prehistoric site in the world. Damage to culturla property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind, since each people makes its contribution to the culture of the world. If the construction of the Legoland is continued, therefore, the world-class prehistoric relics that have not been found yet will be destroyed without excavation.
The culture and beliefs of humankind in the Jungdo site are deliberately destroyed by the short-sighted development policy, and we are on the verge of losing the important opportunity to see, hear, and learn about expression and ideas of humankind. The international community recognizes the importance of the protection of cultural heritage and takes responsibility to fight against its intentional destruction in any form so that such cultural heritage may be transmitted to the succeeding generations. According to the UNESCO Declaration concerning the International Destruction of Cultural HEritage, the members of UNESCO should cooperate with each other and with UNESCO to protect cultural heritage from international destruction.
Accordingly, VANK is proceeding with a Global Petition for UNESCO headquarters and UNESCO member states around the world.
The U.S. CIA was established as an agency directly under the President of the United States in accordance with the National Security Act in 1947 after the World War Ⅱ, to collect information at the national level, and collects, analyzes, and reports information about foreign governments, businesses, and key people, and then reports it to each department of the U.S. government. The problem is that the basic information about Korea is incorrect on the U.S. CIA website, which emphasizes global credibility and accuracy.
The CIA marked the East Sea as the Sea of Japan alone, and Dokdo as Liancourt Rocks, and Dokdo/Takeshima in the description. Liancourt Rocks is a name that Japan promotes to third countries in order not to recognize Korea’s ownership of Dokdo and is derived from the French Whaling ship which discovered Dokdo in 1849. This is not the only error about Korea on the CIA web site. Even though Ulleung island’s jurisdiction is on North Gyeongsangbuk-do, the CIA is introducing it’s jurisdiction belongs to Gangwon-do, and it introduces Korean and English as Korea’s official language.
Due to the COVID-19, the world’s attention is focused on the WHO. Not only worldwide broadcasts and media, but each country’s authorities, educational institutions, and portal sites are also focusing on the WHO’s realtime data of the COVID-19. WHO, an international organization that is obliged to provide right information to the world, is providing wrong information regarding Korean territory Ulleung Island and Dokdo Island.
On the ‘Countries – Republic of Korea’ page of the WHO web site, Ulleung Island and Dokdo Island are missing on the map of Korea. However, on the page introducing Japan, the map includes Korea’s Ulleung Island and Dokdo Island. The map of Japan includes Japanese islands in detail(including many islands on the Pacific ocean, but on the other hand, Korea’s Ulleung Island and Dokdo Island of the East Sea being excluded on the map of Korea is deemed intentional.
If the WHO neglects this inaccurate map on the web site, it might provide distorted information about Korean territory Ulleung Island and Dokdo Island as Japanese territory to the people from all around the world who visit the web site to search for the information about the COVID-19. Accordingly, VANK launches a global petition campaign to correct distorted information on WHO web site.
In the Olympic Museum that opened on September 14th, 2019, colonial Joseon-born marathoner Olympic gold medalist Sohn Kee-chung and bronze medalist Nam Sung-yong are simply represented by their Japanese name and Japanese nationality even though 75 years have passed after the end of Japanese imperialism.
In response, we request the Japan Olympic Museum to correct the information of athletes Sohn Kee-chung and Nam Sung-yong.
This is not damaging Japan’s Olympic record and history.
It is a request to understand and sympathize the pain and disgrace experienced by the athletes who had lost their country, and to find the true history of the athletes’ own country and name. We hope the Olympic Spirit that the Olympic Museum seeks to realize is not a hollow will. Please do not forget that friendship, solidarity, and peace are feasible when there is understanding, empathy, and consideration for the surroundings. We ask the Olympic Museum and the Japanese Olympic Committee to truly practice the Olympic Spirit as a host country.
VANK is in progress with a Global Petition to inform the international community about the reality of the Japanese government that has distorted history of forced labor by Koreans in the Report of Warship island (also known as Hashima island) submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
In 2015, upon Japan’s registration of the Hashima island and 22 other Meiji modern industrial facilities in Japan to the UNESCO World Heritage committee, Japan has committed that they are ready to take steps to let people understand that in the 1940s during World War Ⅱ in several facilities, many Koreans and people from other countries were drawn against their will and forced to work in harsh environments. Accordingly, UNESCO advised that Japan prepare and faithfully execute an interpretation strategy to let people understand the entire history of each facility. However, the Japanese government is ignoring the recommendations of UNESCO and does not include measures to honor the victims or recognize forced labor of Koreans. In response, VANK seeks to disclose the Japanese government for utterly disregarding UNESCO’s recommendations and commitments made to the international community, and to inform the international community that UNESCO, which neglects irresponsibility for the Japanese government that ignores UNESCO’s recommendations, also has a problem.
VANK is in progress with a Global Petition calling for attention from the world over the distortion of textbooks by the Japanese government that started from 2020.
The Japanese government is spreading militarism to the Japanese youth through textbooks that glorify the war of aggression. In 2017, Japan’s Abe administration made a decision (upon by the Cabinet) to use the ‘Imperial Rescript on Education’, a symbol of militaristic education, as a school textbook, emphasizing loyalty to the Japanese Emperor. The content that denies the history of Japanese imperialist aggression is reflected in the textbooks starting from primary school textbooks in 2020, middle school textbooks in 2021, and high school textbooks in 2022. Representatively, the Japanese elementary school textbook, Nihon Bunkyo Publishing, 6th grade textbook denied the history of imperialist aggression by introducing that “the Russo-Japanese War gave people awareness and hope for independence in various Asian countries.” And also, the Tokyo Shoseki(a textbook company) published in the 6th grade textbook that “there was an incident where a large number of Koreans and Chinese were murdered in the Great Kanto Earthquake“, and a historical distortion was made that did not clearly reveal the subject of the incident.
Even the Tsukamoto kindergartners in Osaka, supported by the administration, prepare to sacrifice their lives for the Emperor while memorizing educational rules, a symbol of militarism. The Abe’s administration trains kindergarteners as militarist subjects who prepare for confrontation and war.
Distorted history textbooks teach war to the next generation of Japan. In response, VANK is launching a petition on the world’s largest petition site to urge Japan’s Abe administration to stop intervening in history education and to revise distorted textbook narratives in order to properly inform the international community of Japan’s reviving militarism.
Former United States senator Hiram Johnson said “The first casualty when war comes is truth”. There is a country that publicly distorts the historical facts of a war that broke out 70 years ago.
That is China.
BTS was awarded the ‘Van Fleet Award’ on October 7th and in the award acceptance speech, the leader RM stated as follows: “As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations share together and the sacrifices of countless men and women.”
Regarding this, the Global Times(环球时报), a Chinese state-run media, extensively reported that the Chinese netizens raised anger, saying “Why didn’t you mention China’s sacrifice in your speech?”
When talking about the sacrifices of the US troops who fought as United Nations Forces to help Republic of Korea(ROK) in the Korean War, it is irrelevant to anyone to discuss the sacrifices of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army(PVA), which had to be dealt with as the enemy in the War.
Even the Chinese netizens said: “BTS has insulted the dignity of China! BTS does not know the meaning of 抗美援朝戰爭(Kangmei Yuanchao Zhanzheng; Helping Democratic People’s Republic of Korea(DPRK) while fighting against the United States; the term that China uses when referring to the Korean War)”.
It is not only Chinese netizens who have expressed distorted opinions that are completely far away from the facts.
On October 23rd, while China held a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of its ‘participation in the War, 抗美援朝戰爭’, the Chinese president Xi Jinping said in the speech that “On June 25, 1950, the Korean civil war broke out, and the US decided to intervene by force in the civil war based on the concept of the Cold War, The great 抗美援朝戰爭 aimed to resist imperial invasion (of the US), defend China’s security, and stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
This speech also distorted the facts.
On October 25th, on the official Weibo account of the Communist Youth League of China(中国共青团) said in the form of a question-and-answer as the following: ‘In the Joseon(Korean) War, did Joseon(North Korea) invade Korea(South Korea)?’ – ‘No, It is a country’s civil war.’
On the same day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated at the regular briefing that the Joseon(Korean) War originally occurred between the two Koreas on the Korean peninsula, and it belongs to a civil war. The Joseon(Korean) War started as a civil war, but the US intervention changed the nature of the war.
In the same manner, the Communist Youth League of China’s opinion and the spokesperson’s briefing also distorted the historical facts.
The war that broke out on the Korean peninsula 70 years ago from today on June 25, 1950 was a war that began when the Korean People’s Army invaded the South and was not a civil war but an international all-out war.
The Korean War, which China calls the ‘抗美援朝戰爭‘, is a war prepared and started according to a war plan based on the solidarity of Communist ideas between Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Kim Il-sung.
The origin of the Korean War is also clearly revealed due to the declassification of the former Soviet Union’s confidential papers by Russia.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks can also be seen as defining all of the countries that supported Republic of Korea at the time as ‘countries that went along with the imperialist invasion (of the US)’.
Immediately after the outbreak of the war, the UN Security Council declared the communists’ actions as ‘violation of peace’, and decided to dispatch forces to Republic of Korea in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 83(S/1511). As it was decided by the UN Security Council to send forces to Republic of Korea, the participation in the war proceeded in a internationally legitimate manner.
In addition, Republic of Korea received support from 67 countries during the Korean war. Among the 67 countries, 16 sent UN Forces, 5 gave medical support, 40 provided supplies, and 6 supported post-war reconstruction. This is a recorded fact that anyone can know as Republic of Korea is listed in the Guinness World Records as an ally that received the most support from countries during a war.
Also, more than 500,000 people were recorded as war death/death, wounded, disappeared, POW among the United Nations Forces that fought in the war. The Chinese government, which defined the noble spirit and sacrifice of the Forces only as ‘imperialist aggression’, defamed the honor of all the UN Forces in the war.
In fact, China’s distortion of the Korean War began 70 years ago, right after the outbreak of the war. On June 27, 1950, two days after the outbreak of the war, the People’s Daily(人民日报), the Chinese Communist Party’s paper, spread a rumor that “The entire civil war in Joseon(Korea) has already begun[before June 25, 1950].”
Both the government and the private sector of China continues to distort historical facts. If we do not stop China’s history distortion on the Korean War now, their flagrant distortion of modern history will continue in the future.
Today, 70 years after the outbreak of the war, in order to preserve the noble spirit of those who sacrificed to protect us, and to prevent a movement to distort and interpret modern history in a direction that is favorable to China, all of us who tries to preserve the truth must come forward.
China is covering up the 67 countries who helped Republic of Korea during the Korean War as ‘Imperialist invasion’ and is trying to distort and conceal the truth about all victims of the Korean War. Please raise your voices of concern on China’s history distortion!
We request the following:
First, the Chinese government should stop distorting the facts about the Korean War.
Second, the United Nations should express concern to the Chinese government for distorting facts about the Korean War.
* List of 67 countries that supported Republic of Korea during the Korean War
(in alphabetical order)
United Nations Troops Support (16)
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
Medical Support (5)
Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden
Material Support (40)
Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico, Monaco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam
post-war Reconstruction Support (6)
Iraq, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Spain, The Vatican
<relevant Global Petitions>
* Stop Chinese government from distorting history of Goguryeo!
* Is the Great Wall of China a wall made of rubber band?
* Stop China’s cyber chauvinism which lynched a Korean celebrity!
* UNESCO, Save the mother tongues of ethnic minorities in China!
* We call on the Papergames Inc., a Chinese game company, to take on Multinational Corporate Social Responsibility!
Have you heard of the “Statue of Peace” in the city of Berlin?
The Statue of Peace was established in September 2020 at the intersection of Birkenstraße and Bremer straße in Berlin’s Borough of Mitte, led by the Korea Verband, a Korean-related civil organization. This is the third time that the Statue of Peace was installed in Germany, and it is the first time to be installed in a public place.
The Statue of Peace is not a diplomatic issue between Korea and Japan. It is of great significance because it criticizes the abuse of power as well as wartime sexual violence against women worldwide, and it contains values such as peace and gender equality. However, there is the only country in the world that strongly opposes this image of the Statue of Peace. It is Japan.
After the installment of the Statue of Peace in Berlin, the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said “I feel extremely disappointing of the installment of the Statue of Peace on the streets of Berlin”.
He also said “We know that the unveiling ceremony was held in downtown Berlin, and we will make an effort to remove it.” The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu called for the removal of the statue in a phone call with the German counterpart Heiko Maas.
Due to the Japanese government’s relentless pressure on the German government, the Borough of Mitte suddenly revoked the permit to install the Statue of Peace on October 7th and ordered its removal by October 14th.
We are enraged with the German government and Borough of Mitte’s decision to allow the removal of the Statue of Peace under the Japanese government’s pressure.
The statue is not a diplomatic issue between Korea and Japan, which the Japanese government has claimed as a cause for the removal.
The Statue of Peace symbolizes the universal human rights issue, and it is the aspiration and desire of all people around the world to hope that the issue of sexual violence against women in war will not be reproduced on this land again in the 21st century.
Above all, Germany had set an example for the international community with sincere reflection on Nazi war crimes.
The German President, Chancellor, Foreign Minister have set an example for the international community with sincere reflection on Nazi war crimes. Through this, even though Germany was a perpetrator of war, but through solving and settling the history of the Nazis, Germany is highly being respected and admired by many young people around the world, including Koreans.
However, the German government’s attempt to remove the Statue of Peace is a betrayal of the faith and trust of people all around the world. Above all, VANK believes that German government’s acceptance of the removal of the Statue of Peace through the Japanese government’s lobby is to deny the responsibility and reflection on the history of aggression that Germany has shown to the international community.
Therefore, we want to prevent the 21st century German government, which should take the lead in settling and clearing Japanese war crimes, from being used as an exoneration to justify aggression and hide war crimes by Japan.
Please raise your voice against the policy of accepting the removal of the Statue of Peace by the Borough of Mitte and the German government!
Please make complaint to the German government to join internationally publicizing the war crimes of Japanese imperialism, the same as those of Nazis!
The Chinese government has emphasized the centralized education of ethnic minorities in China, such as ethnic Koreans and Mongolians living in China to be assimilated into Chinese culture.
Because of this, ethnic minorities are deprived of the right to learn the traditions and cultures contained in their mother tongue and to be connected with their roots.
Beginning this September, ethnic Korean primary and secondary school teachers are required to teach Language and Politics from 2021 and to teach History from 2022 in pure Chinese.
The same policy applies to the Mongolians too.
In response, thousands of Mongolian parents and students protested saying “Our native tongue is Mongolian” and campaigned school strikes.
Over 130 Mongolians have been arrested in connection with the protests.
A Tibetan activist who campaigned for Tibetan language education has been sentenced to five years in prison in China for “inciting separatism.”
The Chinese government’s policy on ethnic minorities goes against UNESCO’s purpose of preserving cultural diversity.
UNESCO’s purpose of contributing to peace and security is best guaranteed when respecting cultural diversity.
– UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
“In fact, as UNESCO studies have shown, studying in a language which is not one’s own interferes with learning and increases inequalities.”
– Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on International Mother Language Day 2020.
However, UNESCO is silent about China’s policy on ethnic minorities.
VANK believes that UNESCO is condoning verbal annihilation of ethnic minorities in China which is against the purpose of the organization’s existence, paying attention to the Chinese government, which pays the most contributions.
Accordingly, through this Global Petition, VANK call for UNESCO to share its views on the Chinese government’s recent policy on ethnic minorities!
Also, we call on UNESCO to state its position as to whether it is a national organization serving the interests of China or an international organization serving education and human rights.
VANK aims to protect the lingual heritage of mankind and create a world in which cultural diversity is respected, by properly informing the international community of the problems of the Chinese government’s minority policy through this Global Petition.
In September 2020, a Spanish daily sports newspaper ‘Diario AS’ depicted eight rising stars of the Spanish Primera Liga in 3D caricature. The eyes of a Korean player Kang-in Lee and a Japanese player Takefusa Kubo were stretched. On the other hand, Joao Felix of Portugal and Ansu Fati of Spain, and other four were epxressed with round eyes. The gesture of tearing the eyes to the sides is a demeaning expression for Asians with relatively small eyes.
In addition, in the Amazon Prime documentary, there was a controversy over racial discrimination by treating Son Heung-min’s remarks as ‘Shouting’ when he had an argument with a fellow player. Accordingly, criticism continued among domestic and foreign soccer fans as an obvious racism reflecting the prejudice that ‘Asians do not speak English well.’ Eventually, the Amazon Prime Video rectified the subtitles after soccer fans’ complaints.
However, unlike the original documentary, the preview which was released on YouTube on September 11, has not deleted or modified the subtitle. The trailer has hit 2.4 million views as of 14th, and many fans are still pointing out Amazon’s racist behavior in comments and social media. Amazon Prime Video has not announced an official position or apology for this.
Accordingly, VANK is in progress with a Global Petition asking Diario AS and Amazon Prime Video to correct actions of racial discrimination toward Koreans. It is a big problem that Asian racial discrimination still exists in 2020 through leading foreign media. Rather than dismissing this as a simple mistake, it is necessary to proactively raise issues and publicize international controversy to prevent racial discrimination in media with a great impact and information dissemination power. If the international society neglects this situation, ignorance could justify and spread hatred and violence around the world.
Especially when handling sports, the media have the obligation to be aware of the values that sports intend to embody and to exert a positive impact, in compliance with the Article 10 of the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport. The media have the duty to be well informed of and realize the solidarity, mutual respect and understanding, and respect for people in sports.
We demand the media dealing with sports treat Asian athletes not as ‘different races’, but as equal beings of humanity. VANK demand the Amazon Prime Video and Diario AS to issue a correction and publish a formal apology for racism. VANK also request Amazon Prime Video and Diario AS to establish measures to prevent recurrence of racial discrimination and to develop an internal code of ethics related to the topic.
If we keep silent, hatred and violence that originated from ignorance and exclusion will expand further.
If we take action, we can disconnect ignorance and exclusion from turning int o hatred.
The Japanese government is planning to enforce an ocen discharge method to treat radioactive contaminated water of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
In an interview with the Japanese media on September 9, 2020, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kajiyama HIroshi said, “The there is a limit of the space due to the large number of water tanks that store contaminated water, and the government will take responsibility and make a decision”.
His remarks are interpreted as the meaning that Japan will enforce the ocean discharge method proposed by the government as a way to treat contaminated water despite domestic and international concerns.s
This is de facto policy of the Japanese government to dump the contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean despite fierce opposition inside Japan and around the world.
Above all, the Japanese government has siad that it will seek understanding from its neighbors such as Korea, but has not taken any action.
The Fukushima nuclear power plant had stopped operating after the explosion since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
However, the cooling water is still being injected into the reactor to cool the melted nuclear fuel.
In addition, external ground water flows into the nuclear power plant, generating more than 170 tons of radioactive contaminated water on average per day.
Tokyo Electric Power Holdings(TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, is storing contaminated water in the water tanks at the site of the nuclear power plant, but the water tanks are also expected to reach limit by August 2022.
The Japanese government is preparing for ocean discharge to treat radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant explosion.
Because it is the cheapest solution. However, even in a report released by Tokyo Electric Power Holdings(TEPCO), 72 percent of contaminated water exceeds the radiation threshold, and tritium among radioactive materials has not been purified at all.
It does not mean that there are not any ways that do not affect the environment.
The Japanese government is ignoring the possibility of building additional contaminated water storage tanks because of its high cost.
Japan is no longer trying to develop technology to purify contaminated water.
We are living on our only planet Earth. We need to be more cautious on irreversible decisions affecting the one and only Earth and the oceans without borders.
It is important to fully discuss the effects with neighboring countries that would be affected by the decision.
However, the Japanese government does not even listen to the opposition of its local communities, let alone the neighboring countries.
World citizens could not prevent the nuclear power plant accident, but we can n now avoid Japan’s deliberate discharge of radioactive water.
Therefore, VANK is in progress with the Global Petition to stop Japan’s deliberate discharge of Radioactive water!
In the petition, VANK demand the Japanese government to make every effort to deal with pollution sources within its own country and to transparently disclose information on the treatment of radioactive water and discuss its decision with neighboring countries. Also, VANK ask the IAEA to recommend Japan to come up with measures to treat contaminated radioactive water that the international community would deem safe.
More than 200,000 Chinese have committed indiscriminate cyber violence to the words of a celebrity in Korean entertainment show. What she had mentioned was “What about Mao as a stage name?”
The reason was that it was a challenge to China, saying that she despised Mao Zedong, their national hero.
‘Mao’ is one of the top 100 surnames commonly used by Chinese, and is also a common name in Japan.
It is an over-interpretation that her words depreciated Mao Zedong.
Even if this is not the case, it is obviously crossing over the line that Chinese people who claim to be “Xiao Fenhong” terrorizing social media accounts of other countries’ celebrities that did not have such intentions in their speech.
However, the above entertainment video clip has been deleted due to fierce criticism form Chinese who claim to be “小粉紅(Xiao Fenhong).”
“Xiao Fenhong” is a generation born after the 1990s, who received a lifelong “中华民族主義(Zhonghua(Chinese) nationalism)” education from the Chinese Communist Party, and is showing off the power of China online, as China has risen to the ranks of the so called G2.
Zhonghua nationalism is based on the idea that China is the center of the world and that the Zhonghua Minzu(中华民族, Chinese nationals) are superior to other nationals.
Based on Zhonghua nationalism, as a challenge to their nation, they are attacking indiscriminately and interpreting the expressions of others aggressively.
We oppose the chauvinistic attitude of attacking others in the name of nationalism, which is interpreting even the smallest parts of the expression in the most vicious or offensive way.
We oppose the hegemonic attitude of nationalism which have been showing off their power, coercively treating neighboring countries and people, and imposing lynch.
We are concerned about the situation where this attitude is tolerated and viewed as a virtue by the state and the government.
If we remain silent, this incident will not only be an anecdote but will be repeated in the future.
And “Xiao Fenhong”’s next target could be you.
Accordingly, VANK is trying to tell the international community about this problem in the world’s largest petition site.
We propose an amendment of the Olympic Charter Rule 50(2)!
What is the International Olympic Committee(IOC) for?
The Olympics, a place of harmony to confirm peace and solidarity of the people around the world, have been degenerated into a product by the IOC.
The IOC is arbitrarily interpreting and executing the Olympic Charter to suit the tastes of the sponsors of the Games in order to better sell the “product” named Olympics.
It is not an exaggeration. It can be verified by the attitude of the IOC interpreting the Rule 50(2) of the Olympic Charter.
Based on the regulation, the IOC is arbitrarily limiting freedom of expression.
The IOC does not care about the Olympic Spirit, silences any expressions that might be uncomfortable for sponsors, and allows for expressions that only sponsors would like.
To be more specific, the IOC banned the use of a badge on the chest in the sense of opposing racial discrimination based on this regulation.
Also, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, spectators wearing t-shirts printed with messages criticizing the government were kicked out of the Olympic stadium.
However, protests against racial discrimination or peaceful anti-government protests are acts of expression of peace, solidarity and mutual respect, and are consistent with the Olympic Spirit, so there is no reason for these acts to be banned.
In the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Dokdo, an indigenous island that belongs to the Republic of Korea, was banned from being marked on the Korean Unification flag as a political act contrary to the Olympic Spirit.
On the other hand, the IOC has shown a contradictory attitude, allowing Dokdo to appear as Japanese territory on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay map not being regarded as a political act.
What is worse, the IOC arbitrarily allows racist and xenophobic expressions against the Olympic Spirit.
The IOC has announced that it is allowed to bring the Rising Sun Flag into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadiums.
In order to prevent arbitrary interpretation of the IOC against the Olympic Spirit, VANK calls for more specific and restrictive provisions of the regulations.
On July 25, 2020, global telecommunications companies Amazon, Google and Wish announced that they would ban the sale of racist products. These companies have banned the sales of White-supremacist flags, neo-Nazi books and Ku Klux Klan merchandise, and also have changed their sales algorithms to prohibit the sale of racist products.
Amazon, Google and Wish have announced that it will no longer be able to purchase or sell the above items on each platform, and that they will ban items that violate the policy and strengthen relevant policies to take appropriate action in the event of a violation.
Accordingly, these companiese have imposed a ban on the sale of the German Nazi flag, Hakenkreuz. However, these companies have not stopped selling the Rising Sun Flag, the flag of Japanese war crime.
As the Hakenkreuz represents extreme totalitarian fascism for Europeans, the Rising Sun Flag is also a symbol of extreme fascism for Asians.
Amazon, Google and Wish should recognize that the Rising Sun Flag, which has engraved a painful history for Asians, was used with criminal acts, and is as condemnable as the Hakenkreuz of the Nazis.
VANK is launching a Global Petition demanding that Amazon, Google and Wish, which operate global e-commerce platforms, to take a total ban on the sale and sitribution of Rising Sun Flag related products.
Have you heard of the Unit 731, the Asian version of Auschwitz?
The Japanese Unit 731 was launched in August 1936 under the name of “Kanto Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department Headquarters” as a secret unit of the Japanese Army. The Unit 731 is a biological warfare unit that killed at least 10,000 casualties by spraying plague virus midair or releasing the cholera bacteria into the wells. They conducted inhumane biological experiments to make these biological weapons. It is estimated that at least 3,000 Korean, Chinese, Russian victims were sacrificed in this place.
This is an anti-human rights crime, a serious human rights violation committed in the name of the State during the war. However, after Japan’s defeat, Japan has abandoned its obligation to remember the crimes against human rights.
To be more precise, Japan chose to thoroughly cover up the traces of crime. Instead, Japan handed over the biomedical research results to the United States government, and was promised to overlook the brutality of Unit 731, and not a single member of the Unit 731 was stood at the court for war-crimes trial.
Even though testimonies and photos of victims and participants have been released, the Japanese government still denies the existence of human experiments, and they claim that they have no obligation to disclose related information.
The Japanese government committed anti-humanitarian crimes against international human rights law, and has the duty to disclose relevant information and preserve archives under the provision of 「Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity」
Accordingly, VANK request the Japanese government to disclose related information regarding the Unit 731, and to meet their duties to preserve. VANK also demand the United States government to reflect on the concealed actions that aided and abetted the anti-human rights crimes, and to urge Japan to disclose information.
Through this, VANK will inform the international community so that cirmes against human righst such as Japanese Unit 731 will not occur again.
What if the German chancellor makes a vow ‘not to start a war’ in front of Adolf Hitler’s grave?
We can see this happening in the 21st century Asia. Three times a year, the Japanese prime minister and politicians are visiting the Yasukuni Shrine and making offerings. They say “it is a pledge focused on ‘not to start a war”.” But we cannot believe what they say. The Second World War criminals corresponding to Adolf hitler lies buried at the Yasukuni Shrine. 14 A-class and a thousand B and C-class war criminals who started the Pacific War, the Nanjing Massacre and the Second Sino-Japanese War are apotheosized at the Yasukuni Shrine and they are deified as ‘Gods.’
Nobody would accept worshiping at a shrine to glamorize war and to commemorate war criminals, as a vow not to start a war. Rather, it makes more sense to interpret these acts as an oath to justify the wars of the past and to dream the revival of imperialism.
We demand the Japanese politicians to immediately stop worshiping at the Yasukuni Shrine. Also, we request Japanese politicians not to head towards the Yasukuni Shrine, but to visit and commemorate those victims of the Japanese imperialism, such as Koreans, chinese, and Filipinos.
The tragedy of Auschwitz had begun with hatred and the Nazi’s war crimes begun with racial discrimination. The efforts by people around the world to avoid repetition of unfortunate history by remembering Nazi crimes are now in danger of being lost.
In Berlin, Germany, April 26th 2020, Five German youths on the subway mocked Korean couple who were wearing masks as “Corona”, “Happy Corona Day”, and sexually harassed the couple and spat on them. Upon receiving the report, the Berlin Police officers plausibly admonished the perpetrators and let them go, then rather told the victims “This much is not racist. You have to endure it because you are colored people.”The Berlin Police officers are ‘spreading’ racism in the form of ‘conniving,’ As the fear and danger of the COVID-19 is being prolonged, the hate crime towards Asians are increasing.
But the Berlin Police that should judge these racist crimes are reacting passively, and because of this, racial discrimination such as foul language and assaults towards Asians cases are not decreasing. VANK believes that if Germany, the most influential country in Europe neglect the racist crimes towards Koreans, all Koreans lives in Europe could be jeopardized. Accordingly, VANK launches a global petition campaign asking for a thorough investigation and an official apology of the racial discrimination crimes against Koreans.
As the corona virus, the new epidemic that originated from China in 2020, spreads throughout the world, racisim and aversion against Asians are spreading. Above all, the media who were supposed to stop racism and hate crime of the public opinion, are actually aggravating the situation. Even though all the epidemic did not begin in Asia, some media in the western world describe Asia as if the virus were of origin and Asians were virus carriers
On February 1st, 2020, the well known German weekly ‘Der Spiegel’ described the new corona virus as ‘Made in China.’ Der Spiegel had put the title “Corona-Virus: Made in China” on the cover of the weekly paper, highlighting a phrase that may arouse hatred towards Chinese people. VANK is conducting a global petition campaign targeting organizations spreading the racial hate virus around the world, such as the German ‘Der Spiegel’, Danish daily ‘Jyllands-Posten, and French local press ‘Courrier picard.’ Stop the spread of discrimination and hatred to Asians due to the corona virus crisis! Those of you who participate in the petition are the vaccines against the ‘racial hatred virus.’
VANK is in progress with a Global Petition requesting the coorection of the part marked “Chinese New Year” on the official UN Social Media stie and stamps issued by the United Nations.
The Lunar New Year is a holiday celebrated by Asian people, and it is a problem that the United Nations restricts Asian countries’ festivals(holidays) to be Chinese holidays. Above all, it can give the recognition that the United Nations is blatantly supporting China’s cultural hegemony, which should control conflicts and disputes between countries around the world and understand and respect different cultures among UN member states. This is a conspicuous disregard for Asians such as Koreans, Vietnamese, and Filipinos. in which they have different cultures from China for the ‘Lunar New Year’ holidays. Above all, the United Nations describing the holiday only as ‘Chinese New Year’, not ‘Lunar New Year’ in English language is ignoring the cultural diversity and unique identities of Asian people, who have different ‘Lunar New Year’ cultures. It also violates the UN spirit of understanding and respecting the cultures and histories around the world. Because of the information provided by the United Nations, the ‘Lunar New Year’ holidays is imprinted as ‘Chinese New Year.’ This is fostering conflict by spreading incorrect awareness across the world by conspicuously disregarding Asians countries such as Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines, which are member states of the United Nations with different cultures from China.
Even though each country has different cultures and traditions in their respective countries, international organization such as the United Nations defying different cultures and traditions only as Chinese culture is against the trend of respecting the unique culture and identity of countries in the globalization era of the 21st century. It is also an obstacle to world peace, where we respect each other.
VANK is on progress with a Global Petition calling for the attention of the International Olympic Committee and the international community on the radiation issue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The host country announced that the agricultural products produced in Fukushima are safe. and that it will provide meals with Fukushima-produced agricultural and marine products to athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics. However, agricultural products from Fukushima are cultivated alongside radioactive soil that is neglected throughout Fukushima. In aquatic products such as catfish and brown trout from Fukushima, cesium is detected more than three times the standard value, and the WTO determined that the import restrictions on Fukushima seafood in 2019 were justified.
However. Japan also decided to run the games adjacent to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. They set a baseball and a softball field 70 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear water plant, and only 20 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear power plant as the Olympic torch relay route. More than 30 years after the accident, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine is still an uninhabited area within a 30km radius. The Olympics is a sports festival for athletes around the world. The most basic premise of the Olympic Ideology of improving the mind and body through sports and contributing to the realization of a peaceful and better world is the health of athletes and participants. Accordingly, VANK demands the following for the health of athletes and spectators in accordance with the Olympic Spirit and the Article 2, Clause 10 of the Charter. First, the IOC must request that Japan bans the use of agricultural and marine products from Fukushima, in order to protect the health of athletes. Second, the IOC must request that Japan not use stadiums that are close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclelar power plant. Third, the IOC should request that Japan be transparent in releasing all of its radiation safety test results. This petition is for the safety and health, survival and peace of us, Koreans and Japanese, Asians and global citizens, and even for our next generation!
Vank is on progress with a Global Petition calling for cooperation and participation from people around the world in banning the use of the Rising Sun Flag when cheering in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Despite the fact that the Rising Sun Flag is the flag of the Japanese military of the past, and a symbol of Japanese imperialistic war of aggression, the Japanese government recently announced that it would allow the Rising Sun Flag when cheering during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Just as Hakenkreuz represents fascism, which is extreme totalitarianism to Europeans, the rising sun flag is also a symbol of extreme fascism used in Japans’ realization of imperialism. Therefore, the Japanese government’s use of the Rising Sun Flag during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics means that it will reproduce the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Germany, which used the Olympics for political propaganda purposes. VANK believes that the International Olympic Committee should strongly warn the Japanese Olympic Committee for violating the Olympic Charter that no form of protest or political, religious or racial propaganda is allowed in the Olympics. However, the IOC is keeping silent and is supporting the use of the Rising Sun Flag in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Therefore, VANK believes that only gathering global public opinion to ban the use of the Rising Sun Flag, which is recognized as a symbol of Japanese militarism and imperialism, can move the IOC and prevent Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee from allowing the support for the Rising Sun Flag.