靖国放火容疑者 韓国の引き渡し拒否は不当だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 7, 2013)
South Korean refusal to extradite Yasukuni arson suspect unjust
靖国放火容疑者 韓国の引き渡し拒否は不当だ(1月6日付・読売社説)

An unjust decision by the South Korean judicial authorities could seriously affect relations with Japan.

Japan's request to the South Korean government to extradite a Chinese suspected of setting fire to the Shinmon main gate of Yasukuni Shrine was turned down by the Seoul High Court, which called the arson attack a "political crime." The suspect is now back in China.

Beijing openly requested that the suspect be repatriated to China, arguing that he should be handled like a "political prisoner." The South Korean decision to comply with that request indicates the country shows more consideration to China than Japan.

It was natural for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to say: "South Korea effectively ignored the bilateral treaty on extradition. It is extremely regrettable and I would like to strongly protest."

The suspect was sentenced to 10 months in South Korea for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in January last year. During questioning, he reportedly confessed to setting a fire at Yasukuni in December 2011.


'Comfort woman' motive

Asked for a motive for the series of attacks on Japanese facilities, the suspect reportedly said his grandmother was a so-called comfort woman and he was angry over the Japanese government's views on history and its responses.

The Seoul High Court said Yasukuni enshrines war criminals convicted for leading a war of aggression and the shrine is a "political symbol" as it is used as a national facility and is visited by cabinet ministers and other people.

The court ruled that the arson attack on Yasukuni was a crime with the political purpose of changing Japan's policies. It turned down extradition on the grounds that the arson was tantamount to a "political crime."

This is a surprising ruling, as it equates the exoneration of an arsonist with absolving a person who commits a serious crime in the name of a political cause based on historical events. This is the same as saying that anything can be done to Yasukuni Shrine.

We are concerned that the court ruling may induce other people to commit similar crimes.


Gap in historical views

A huge gap exists in the views on historical events between Japan and South Korea. However, it is totally unreasonable to imply that arson is a political crime.

The South Korean judicial authorities have ruled on other historical issues.

In August 2011, the South Korean Constitutional Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the South Korean government to have failed to make an effort to solve the issue of compensation rights of former comfort women.

In May last year, the South Korean Supreme Court ruled that the individual compensation rights of former Korean laborers who were brought to work at Japanese companies during World War II were valid.

The issue of such compensation rights was settled "completely and finally" under one of the bilateral agreements concluded when bilateral relations were normalized. The Japanese government should continue to firmly maintain this position.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 6, 2013)
(2013年1月6日01時21分  読売新聞)

0 件のコメント: