Korea is destined to occupy a position of constantly increasing importance with reference to the general problem of the Far East. Her geographical situation predetermines for her a future indissolubly linked with that of China, of Asiatic Russia, and of Japan, with two of which she has land frontiers, and from the third is separated only by a narrow strait. It is impossible to foresee any political, social, or economic developments in northeastern Asia in which Korea will not fill a rôle as significant as that of Turkey in respect of the Near East, of Egypt in respect of the British Empire, or of the Panama Canal Zone in respect of the United States.
The annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910 made waste paper out of bales of laboriously compiled reports and of ingenious predictions about Far Eastern affairs. It reflected, in brief, the determination of Japan to forestall any attempt which might be contemplated by China to reassert, and to make active, its former suzerainty over Korea, or on the part of Russia to secure in the Korean Peninsula a position of such dominance as would create the temptation, and furnish the instrument, to take the control of the country out of the hands of its weak, incompetent, and corrupt rulers.
Looking forward from 1910, one thing was clear where many things were obscure, namely that Japan, having decided to make Korea part of her Empire, would deem the permanence of her occupation to be a major element of her national policy, to be held intact, at whatever cost, against internal revolt or foreign intrigue.
In the field of international policy the Japanese annexation of Korea is perfectly suited to serve as a demarcating issue between two schools of political conviction--the imperialist and the nationalist--and according to whether the reader belongs to one or to the other of these schools, so will he convince himself that Japan has the "right" to rule Korea, or that the Koreans have a "right" to independent nationhood.
The common employment of the word "right" in this connection has done much to befog the actual matter in controversy between the imperialists and the nationalists, since the "rightness" of either doctrine when applied to a particular case can only be measured with reference to the particular circumstances.
The most extreme imperialist would balk at the suggestion that the United States should, on account of its great power and of its advanced social development, annex every backward and undeveloped country south of the Rio Grande. The most extreme nationalist would ridicule the idea that the "right" of the Australian aborigines to self-determination justified an effort to emancipate the island-continent from white rule. The pinnacle of absurdity would be reached if anyone should start a movement to restore the control of the North American Continent to the Indian tribes. Grotesque as these instances appear when viewed from the practical standpoint, they suffice to expose the fallacy of basing either an imperialist or a nationalist policy upon a principle of abstract right.
It is my purpose to examine Japanese rule in Korea as a concrete example of colonial administration, without reference to the legal or moral sanctions upon which it rests. The reasons for thus limiting the inquiry will be obvious to all serious students. I state them here in the hope that they will be accepted as valid by the general reader.
The annexation of weak countries by strong countries is a phenomenon which has persisted since the beginning of recorded time; practically every strong nation has practiced the habit.
The arguments for and against such a procedure have been stated and re-stated thousands of times in every country, and have been expressed in almost every language. They are familiar to, or accessible to, every person who will read this volume. I have nothing to add to them. A discussion of the moral, ethical, legal, political, social, and economic problems raised by an act of annexation, as such, is irrelevant to a presentation of the facts descriptive of a working system of colonial government, since the character of an administration is what it is, and can be fairly judged only on the basis of the data of its operation.
To combine a description of a colonial government with an essay on the moral quality of the imperialist principle would be to invite confusion of thought. Thus, in any given case, if the administration of an imperial government is found to be bad in fact, this badness will be used by nationalists as an argument against imperialism, whereas if bad administration is found in a popular government, nationalists will not tolerate any use of this badness as an argument against popular rule.
Conversely, with reference to good administration; if nationalists find that it exists in fact under a system of popular self-government, they will welcome the finding as a justification of that system; but if good administration is found in an imperial dependency, nationalists will not allow the finding to stand to the credit of the imperialist system; they will then shift the issue from the quality of the administration to the quality of the sanctions from which the government derives its authority.
In a word, to the nationalists good government is good government if it is self-government, and even bad government is good government if it is self-government--in the first case because both good government and self-government are good; in the second case because, under self-government, bad government will certainly lead to a demand for, and to the instituting of, good government. Thus, so runs the argument, bad selfgovernment is merely a passing phase in the evolution of good self-government.
This attitude of the nationalists is perfectly logical so far as it affects their desire for nationhood, since it enables them to use bad colonial administration as an argument in support of an independence agitation, and at the same time undercuts the position of those imperialists who seek to justify colonial rule by appealing to the visible evidences of what good colonial administration can do for the safety, health, cultural advancement, and prosperity of a colonial domain.
It is clear, then, that with reference to an accepted group of facts, a totally different evaluation will be made by a nationalist and by an imperialist. Japanese rule in Korea, and the opposition to it on the part of the Korean nationalists, furnish an excellent illustration of the point. The Japanese refer with pride to their road-building, to their great extension of educational facilities, to their effective protection of life and property throughout a country but recently overrun by bandits, to their rapid development of agriculture, trade and industry, to their technical training schools, to their scientific experiment stations which serve the farmer, the fisherman, the stock-breeder, and the manufacturer, to the enormous increase during the past fifteen years in every branch of production, with its connotation of increased employment for Koreans, to the constantly mounting number of Koreans appointed to the Government service.
The foregoing facts cannot be gainsaid, as will be proved by the data contained in subsequent chapters. But the Korean nationalists attribute to them a sinister significance. The roads, they say, are built solely for the purpose of facilitating the movement of Japanese troops; the educational system is nothing more than an ingenious scheme for destroying Korean nationality; the protection of life and property is merely an excuse for maintaining a large Japanese police orce; the economic development of the country is simply a device for swelling the profits of Japanese capitalists; the technical schools and the scientific bureaus have no other aim than to make Japanese rule profitable to the Japanese; the employment of Koreans in the Government service is an insidious form of bribery calculated to secure support for the Japanese occupation of the country.
The situation thus created is familiar to all students of colonial government. If the local administration builds roads, erects schools, and so on, it is wrong, because the motive is base; if it fails to do these things it is wrong, because it is the obvious duty of an imperial ruler to confer such benefits upon a dependency. So also in relation to developing the resources of a dependency; if the sovereign power invests money in the colony, it is wrong because all it amounts to is capitalist exploitation; if it does not invest money in the colony, it is wrong because the failure to do so reflects a determination to keep the people poor and weak in the interest of an easy domination; if it employs natives in the government service it is wrong because such a policy tends to weaken nationalist sentiment; if it fails to do so it is wrong because such a course discloses the purpose of making the colony the happy hunting ground of imperial officials.
To all colonial governors this is an old story.
All sincere and humane colonial governors--and none is more worthy of such a description than is Viscount Saito, Governor-General of Korea since 1919--are compelled to close their ears to the mutually destructive criticisms to which I have alluded, and must content themselves with carrying out from day to day measures designed to improve the general conditions of their dependencies.
The bulk of the present volume is devoted to a description of the administrative system of the Japanese in Korea, and to a statistical account of its results. The author feels it incumbent upon him to furnish his readers with a brief statement of the point of view from which he has approached his task.
During the past forty years he has lived about half the time in self-governing countries--England, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, and Denmark--and the other half in colonial dependencies--India, the British West Indies, the French West Indies, British and Dutch Malaya, French IndoChina, British Borneo, the Philippine Islands, and in a few scattered dependencies of various powers.
This experience has left him without any trace of prejudice in respect of forms of government, for he has seen government wisely and honestly administered under every form, and stupidly and dishonestly administered under every form; he has seen freedom cherished under a monarchy and destroyed under a republic, and vice versa; he has seen justice dispensed with an even hand under popular rule and under autocratic rule; he has seen judicial decisions bought and sold in self-governing countries and in the dependencies of imperial powers. In each class of territory he has seen, living side by side, persons content with their government (whilst favoring reforms in this or in that particular) and persons who are so discontented with the same government that nothing short of its complete destruction appears to offer an adequate guaranty of desired reforms.
When the strongly dissatisfied group exists in a sovereign state, its members become socialists of one kind or another, or communists, or syndicalists, or fascists, or anarchists, according to their individual temperaments; when the group exists in a dependency, its members create a party aiming at the achievement of independence from the sovereign state.
It is one of the most curious matters forced upon the attention of a student of comparative government that the chief object of the nationalist party in a dependency should be to obtain the status of an independent sovereign nation, since the obvious fact is that in most of the countries which already exist as sovereign states there are to be observed all the evil conditions for which a colonial independence party deems independent sovereignty to be the unfailing panacea.
If the opponents of imperially imposed rule could point to the self-ruled countries and say: "In these countries there are justice, toleration, honest and efficient administration, social equality, adequate protection of life and property, equal economic opportunity, and freedom from the exploitation of the weak by the strong, and of the poor by the rich," the argument against imperialism would rest upon solid foundations. But the anti-imperialists cannot say with truth that the kind of dispensation described above exists in any marked degree in the general category of self-ruled states; nor can they say with truth that, in whatever degree it does exist anywhere, this degree is higher in self-ruled countries than it is in imperial dependencies.
No informed person would be prepared to maintain that Spain, Mexico, the Central American Republics, Russia, Rumania, and Bulgaria --all of them self-governing, independent states --enjoy a superior general social condition, or are better administered, than Burma, Java, British Guiana, the Federated Malay States, Korea, and the Philippine Islands--all of them ruled as dependencies.
Self-rule and dependent rule each have inherent in them the possibility of misrule. In selfruled countries the danger lies in the dishonesty and incompetence of which partisan politics and political machinery are the supple instruments and the staunch defenders. As between the good of the country and the good of the party, the latter is usually--by the liberal use of patronage, and by the unrestrained employment of sophistical oratory--accorded in practice the leading position.
In dependencies the threat to good government comes from another source--the stupidity, the incompetence, or the arrogance of colonial officials. In the matter of corruption I am convinced beyond all doubt that, allowing for an occasional exception, the government of selfruled countries is much more corrupt than that of colonial dependencies, and that, in the latter, malversation in public office is of very rare occurrence. In the twenty-five years during which I have kept in touch with the dependencies controlled by the India Office and by the Colonial Office in London I have not heard of a dozen cases of graft on the part of non-native government officials above the rank of mere clerks.
There exists, of course, in each type of government an obligation to govern well. This responsibility is rooted in morals, and where moral considerations do not operate with sufficient force to compel the ruling authority to govern well, the promptings of expediency will usually suffice to dip the scale on the side of reasonably humane and efficient administration.
It seems to me that these two factors, morality and expediency, act with greater effectiveness in colonial dependencies than in self-governing countries, and this chiefly for two reasons. In self-governing countries the moral responsibilty is split up among thousands, or millions of voters; in dependencies it is centered in a single person, the Governor-General, the Governor, the Chief Commissioner, or whatever the title may be. In the former case every voter can shift the blame for bad government on to some one else's shoulders; each political party can shift it on to the shoulders of the other party, one branch of a legislature can make a gift of it to the other; both branches can leave it on the doorstep of the Chief Executive; the Chief Executive can hand it back to the voters with the comment that he is but the servant of the people, that they had demanded certain legislation, certain administrative measures, and that he had carried out their wishes; finally, the Chief Executive and the Legislature can combine to lay the blame upon incompetent or corrupt officials, who will presently be disciplined, reformed, dismissed, or denied re-election, as the case may be.
In a dependency the situation is totally different. A Colonial Governor, vis-à-vis his colony and his Colonial Office in the home country, occupies a position analogous to that of a ship's captain vis-à-vis his ship and his owners. He is directly responsible for the conduct of affairs; he takes the credit for success, he must accept the penalties of failure; he can never plead an alibi.
Furthermore, the Colonial Governor looks for his advancement to the distant authority of a Secretary of State at the national capital. Promotion and other rewards will depend upon the way in which he administers his charge. He is little likely to earn them if, from preventable causes, his territory fails to advance in its health, prosperity, and general social condition; he is almost certain to miss them if, in consequence of harsh and incompetent administration, the people rise in revolt against his rule, or sink into the apathy and sloth which are the assured products of prolonged misgovernment. Briefly, the success of his rule will be the measure of his personal success.
Since he is directly responsible for the conduct of his subordinates, and for the appointment of most of them, and has in addition the power of promotion and dismissal, his officials have every incentive to earn their own advancement by rendering such service as will redound to the credit of the Governor.
I do not intend to imply that a home government may not, even in modern times, be actuated by the base motive of ruthlessly exploiting a colonial dependency--the earlier history of the Belgian Congo is a case in point--or that in such circumstances the administration may not be as bad as the motive. But such a situation is, year by year, falling in the scale of statistical expectation because, international relations being what they now are, the influence of publicity being what it now is, and party tactics in home countries demanding, as they now do, a diligent assemblage of material on which to base attacks on the party in power, the ventilation of grave abuses in colonial administration presents a very serious political problem to the home government which is responsible for them or which tolerates them.
The other important factor, which has to be taken into account when estimating the probability of government being competently administered in a dependency, is one to which recent political events in Europe have imparted a striking significance. It is that as social and economic conditions increase in complexity under the combined influences traceable to industrial development, to the growing size of commercial and banking enterprises, and to the gradual substitution of the community for the individual as the unit of social progress, the problems of government are, day by day, becoming less amenable to political solutions--to legislative debate, long ballots, and the popular election of public officials --and more clamorous of solutions dependent upon highly expert technical knowledge.
The assumption that politics would be the competent and all-sufficient handmaid of social service was given authoritative currency through the propaganda associated with the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, and the fight for Parliamentary Reform in England. These movements were spread over a period of about a century and a quarter, roughly from 1760 to 1890, a period during which public sentiment was strongly averse to the idea of government regulation, and was totally blind to the possibility that Government might become, as it has since become, not only the trustee of social progress but also its most powerful instrument. What these revolutionary and reform movements were chiefly concerned with was, in fact, settling what Government should not do to people, not with what Government should do for people.
It is safe, indeed, to infer that the liberalminded statesmen of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would be horrified if they could witness the extent to which Government today intrudes upon everything, and regulates almost everything which happens to a citizen, or is done by him whilst he is moving from his cradle to his grave.
Whether or not Government should undertake its vast business of regulation and of social service is a question upon which opinions may well differ; but the obstinate adhesion to the belief that politics, whose life-blood is a mixture of contention, intrigue, and self-interest, can and will furnish the spirit, the knowledge, and the technique essential to the effective handling of social and economic problems is what has brought parliamentary government into disrepute in almost every country in which it is practiced.
The establishment of Fascism in Italy, the support which that principle is receiving in other countries, the adoption of the City-manager plan in the United States, the setting up, by the mutual consent of opposing interests, of "Czars" to administer the affairs of certain great American industries (baseball and the movies, for instance), and the recent dictatorship in Spain, are all in their essence revolts against the opento-all system of guidance and control.
If my observation has led me to believe that in countries where authority is vested in a small group of trained public officials there will, as a rule, be found a better administration of government than in countries where administration is subject to the influence of an uninformed and, ad hoc, unintelligent public, I do not from that belief infer that, because a country is ruled under a system of concentrated authority and of fixed responsibility, it is, therefore well governed.
So, with reference to Korea, there can be found in its history under Japanese rule instances of the abuse of power, of official incompetence, to some extent of corruption; but whether or not Korea has on the whole been well governed can be determined only from a study of the available data. From such a study, which has occupied me for more than three years, and of which the results are presented in this volume, I have formed the opinion that Korea is today infinitely better governed than it ever was under its own native rulers, that it is better governed than most self-governing countries, that it is as well governed as any of the British, American, French, Dutch, and Portuguese dependencies which I have visited, and is better governed than most of them, having in view as well the cultural and economic development of the people as the technique of administration.
CHAPTER II DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL
Korea (*) is a peninsula extending almost due south from Manchuria. Its area is approximately 85,000 square miles; its coast-line is about eleven thousand miles long, and has the peculiarity that on the west and south it is deeply indented and, for the most part, fringed with islands, whereas the east coast presents an almost unbroken front and has very few islands adjacent to it.
(*The Japanese have adopted officially the name Chosen, by which the Peninsula was known in ancient times. Throughout this volume ' Korea' is used, as being more familiar to the world at large.)
On the north, Korea is bounded by Manchuria, from which it is separated by the Yalu River, and by Asiatic Russia, which lies on the other side of the Tumen River; on the east by the Sea of Japan; on the west by the Yellow Sea; and on the south by the Korea Strait. The distance from Fusan, Korea's southeastern port, to Moji, the port at the southwestern entrance of Japan's Inland Sea, is only 135 miles.
The east coast of Korea has but two harbors of consequence--Seishin and Gensan--both in the northern sector, on the improvement of which the Government-General has expended more than five million yen. On the south and west coasts, however, Korea is well supplied with good ports. Of these the principal one is Fusan, at the southeastern tip of the Peninsula. Here the Government has spent more than thirteen million yen in providing modern facilities. A steamer runs twice daily to and from Japan, and passengers can transfer directly on the dock to a train of the South Manchuria Railway. This railway enables one to travel without changing cars as far as Changchun in Northern Manchuria and, with a single change there or at Mukden, to go to Peking, Dairen in Southern Manchuria, or to make connection with the Trans-Siberian. Thus, one can go by rail from Fusan to any point in Northern Asia or in Europe which is provided with a railroad.
The capital of Korea, Keijo (commonly called Seoul), is on the main line from Fusan, and is also connected by rail with the port of Jinsen (Chemulpo) on the west coast, and with Gensan on the east coast. Near the mouth of the Yalu is Shin-gishu, also on the South Manchuria Railway main line, which is becoming year by year an increasingly important depot for trade both by land and by sea. Other important ports on the west coast are Chinnampo, which serves Heijo, capital of the Province of South Heian; Kunsan, which is connected by rail with Ko-shu, the Provincial Capital of South Chusei; and Mokpo, which is the port for Kwo-shu, capital of the Province of North Zenra.
Korea may be described, topographically, as a country of constricted plains intersected by rugged mountain ranges. Along the east coast from north to south the mountains thrust themselves almost into the sea, and I have never seen a more beautiful or striking region than the Diamond Mountains, which lie to the south of Gensan. The whole of the east coast, so far as I saw it, presents an aspect of romantic wildness, which is enhanced by the extraordinary coloring of the soil and of the fantastically shaped crags and isolated pillars of rock. The soil is of a rich terracotta color, the unplanted portions furnishing a rich background for the brilliant green of the young rice plants. The rocks and crags, which in some places are bare, in others clothed with creepers, range in color between deep purple and rich yellow. It would not be a difficult undertaking to make the east coast of Korea into one of the most popular tourist resorts in the Far East.
The climate of Korea, generally speaking, runs to extremes both of heat and of cold. Spring and autumn are very short seasons, and the difference in temperature between day and night is very great, sometimes reaching 25 degrees Fahrenheit in places near the Manchurian border. This difference is not so great in the south of the Peninsula, since there the climate is somewhat modified by the surrounding ocean. The cold in winter fluctuates, there being frequent short spells of mild weather, so that the people describe the winter climate as "three cold and four warm."
The mean annual temperature in southern Korea is about 55° F., in central Korea about 52°, and on the northern border about 40°. The fall of rain and of snow is abundant compared with that of Manchuria and Mongolia, but scanty compared with that of Japan proper, being from thirty to forty inches a year in most places, gradually decreasing in the direction from southeast to northwest.
The following account of the seasons is abridged from Dr. J. D. Van Buskirk "The Climate of Korea, and Its Probable Effect on Human Efficiency," which was printed in the Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 10, 1919.
Like the rest of the temperate zone, Korea has four seasons. The winter is quite cold and in the northern part especially is severe. In the north, frost occurs in September or October; and for about five months the mean daily temperature is below freezing point on the Manchurian border. Streams are frozen over for the whole winter, and there are severe snow storms. The station at Chukochin reports temperature as low as 41° below freezing point, Fahrenheit. Seoul has over two months with the mean daily temperature below freezing, and, during a period of five years, averaged twenty-eight days a year below freezing point every hour of the day.
Summer is the rainy season. There are not such intensely hot days as are common in the United States, but the heat is continuous, so that the summers are more trying than in places in the United States having the same mean temperature. The highest temperature reported by the Government stations is 103.2° F. from Wonsan (Gensan), but this is exceptional. Taikyu, the Provincial capital of North Keisho-do has as a rule the hottest weather, its maximum going as high as 103° F. The coast towns in the south have less extreme heat, Fusan reporting a maximum of 91.5° F. and Mokpo 95.2° F. The humidity of the summer is high, and this, with the steady heat and the rains, makes the total effect of the summers quite depressing.
Spring and autumn are nearly ideal seasons in Korea. The winter ends and spring advances almost imperceptibly--no hot days followed by severe cold, but a gradual warming up, with bright sunshine, occasional rains, and for the most part gentle winds. There is in the southern part of the country, even as far north as Seoul, a distinct short season of rains in April. This furnishes an abundant supply of water to irrigate the rice fields and makes this an ideal region for rice-farming. The heat gradually grows more intense and the rains more heavy, and then summer has come.
The autumn is comparatively warmer than the spring, alike sunshiny and equable. There is a more distinct marking of the beginning of autumn than of any other season. The rains rather suddenly cease in September and there is a different feeling in the air. But autumn changes to winter so gradually that one hardly knows when winter begins.
The following data in regard to the population of Chosen are taken from the Annual Report on Administration of Chosen, 1922-1923 compiled by the Government-General, and issued in December 1924.
Under the old Korean Government no census, strictly speaking, was ever taken, or, if attempted, it was taken solely for the purpose of fixing the basis of tax assessment. The men in charge unscrupulously indulged in the vicious practice of falsifying their returns in order that they might fatten on the taxes paid by families which they had omitted to record in the official registers. The statistics compiled in this way were, of course, absolutely worthless. When Japan established its protectorate, in 1906, the Japanese police adviser to the Korean Government found this evil very detrimental to the smooth working of civil administration, and therefore caused instructions to be sent to each provincial police office to make an honest count of the entire population on a given date. This was, one may say, the first real census ever taken in Korea. As there were many difficulties to be overcome the count could not be made as accurately as was desired, but the results showed that the population had been very much underestimated. Hitherto the population had been put at something over five million; the new count proved it to be nearly seven million. A more careful investigation, made after the annexation of 1910, placed the total population at 13,313,017; and the estimated population in 1923 was 17,626,761. Of this total the Koreans make up something over 17,000,000, the Japanese nearly 400,000, all other races about 32,000. The ratio of females to males was 94 to 100 among Koreans, 88 to 100 among Japanese, and 13.7 to 100 among foreigners.
The following table shows the distribution of the population according to occupation.
Occupation Japanese Korean Foreign Total
and stock-farming 38,573 14,738,126 5.346 14,782,045
Fishing, and salt-
manufacture 10,775 213,266 25 224,066
Industries 63,999 358,205 3,517 425,721
Commerce, and trans-
portation 126,893 984,405 16,080 1,127,378
Public service, and the
professions 117,080 325,733 1,576 444,389
Miscellaneous 20,642 410,561 4,737 435,940
Unrecorded 8,531 177,843 848 187,222
386,493 17,208,139 32,129 17,626,761
It is thus seen that slightly more than 80 per cent of the entire population of Korea is dependent for its subsistence upon direct use of land.
The exact number of Koreans living outside the Japanese Empire is not known, but the latest investigations put it at more than 1,500,000, the large majority of whom live in Manchuria and Siberia, and the remainder in China (chiefly in Shanghai), in the United States, Hawaii, and Mexico. For the protection of Koreans living abroad, particularly for those in neighboring Chinese territory, a special item was incorporated in the Korean budget for 1920; and the Governor-General, in co-operation with the Japanese consulates in Manchuria, is doing his best for their welfare by founding schools, hospitals, and monetary organs in important places, by sending doctors to treat gratis the sick in remoter parts, by encouraging the formation of Korean societies and giving them financial help, and by providing for the relief of poor Koreans in times of natural calamity.
Moreover, as the activities, open or otherwise, of agitators abroad were the first cause of the popular unrest in Chosen at the time of the Independence Movement, the Japanese authorities saw the necessity of controlling them, as well as of protecting law-abiding Koreans from the intrigues of the disaffected, by a more efficient method than had hitherto been employed. Accordingly, the Japanese consuls at Antung, Mukden, Kirin, and Chientao--all in Manchuria --were, in 1920, charged with the duty of acting as secretaries of the Government-General of Korea.
Little is known of the original inhabitants of Korea. When the Chinese statesman, Ki-tze, invaded the country in the twelfth century, B.C., he found the Peninsula occupied by cavedwellers living in a state of savagery. The race as it exists today is clearly of Mongol stock, but it presents points of difference from both the Chinese and the Japanese. The general consensus of opinion among foreign residents is that the Koreans are an amiable and intelligent people quite capable of responding to education and to other measures designed to foster social progress. I may add that neither in Korea nor in Japan proper did I encounter any anti-Korean feeling. On the contrary I met many Japanese who were eager to enlarge upon the admirable features of the early Korean culture and to express their appreciation of the contribution which Koreans had made to the art, religion, and philosophy of Japan itself, in the centuries preceding the accession of the Yi Dynasty, which, after more than five hundred years of misrule had reduced the Korean people to a cultural and economic condition deplorable in the extreme, and which came to an end when Japan annexed the country in 1910.
The first railway construction undertaken in Korea was a line of about 25 miles between Seoul and Chemulpo. A concession for this undertaking was secured from the Government of Korea by an American citizen, Mr. James R. Morse, in 1898. The selection of this particular route was due to the circumstance that the line would connect the capital of the country with the nearest deep-water port.
Whilst the line was still under construction it was bought by a Japanese company which carried the undertaking through and opened the line to traffic in 1902. The next line to be constructed was that from Seoul to Fusan, a port at the extreme southeastern tip of the Peninsula, about 135 miles from Moji, the nearest Japanese port. The concession for the construction and operation of this line was granted in 1898 to a Japanese syndicate which began work in 1901. The line was completed in 1904 and was opened to traffic on January 1, 1905, its length being 268 miles.
The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 gave a strong impetus to railway construction, and by the end of 1905 the total mileage had increased to 636. In the following year the Japanese Government purchased the lines from Seoul to Fusan, and from Seoul to Chemulpo, and took over the two lines (Seoul-Shingishu, and the Masan branch line) built by the Japanese military engineers, thus bringing the whole railroad system under government control and management. At the time of the annexation of the country by Japan ( 1910) the management of the railways was assigned to the Railroad Department of the Government-General.
From this time onward a steady increase has occurred in railroad mileage, and a great deal has been spent on improving the lines. Among the more important undertakings are to be noted the construction of an iron bridge, about 3000 feet long, across the Yalu River, connecting the Korean railroad system with that of the South Manchuria Railway Company; and the building of branch lines connecting the ports of Gensan on the east coast, Chinampo on the west coast, and Mokpo on the south coast with the main line running north and south the whole length of the Peninsula. Several other lines are projected as part of a general plan to provide Korea with an adequate net-work of standard-guage and light railroads.
The management of all the state-owned railways in Korea was, in 1917, entrusted to the South Manchuria Railway Company--an important and highly efficient Japanese Corporation. The terms of the arrangement are, in brief, that the Government makes the plans for new construction and improvements, and provides the capital for these purposes, while the Company is responsible for carrying out these plans, for the proper maintenance of the railways, and for their operation. With respect to the capital advanced by the Government since the annexation the Company must pay interest on it at the rate of 6 per cent, though the concession was made in 1921 that for the following three years it should pay interest at 4 per cent instead of 6 on the capital advanced in and after 1921. In the management of the railways the Company must work within the terms of the laws and regulations of the Government-General, which are, except in minor details, the same as those in force in Japan proper.
The general features of railway development during the ten years ending on March 31, 1922 are shown in the following table:★
RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT KOREA
Total amount of capital † Yen. 114,720,385 214,906,215
Construction and repairs ‡ Yen. 8,767,647 18,9.87,156
Passenger receipts Yen. 3,820,185 13,361,903
Freight receipts Yen. 2,816,482 11,454,094
Miscellaneous receipts Yen. 180,596 3,293,689
Total receipts Yen. 6,817,263 28,109,695
Operating expenses Yen. 5,012,712 21,629,879
Number of passengers carried 4,399,022 13,821,144
Tons of freight carried 1,105,362 3,331,381
Miles of line open to traffic 837 1,165
*The figures are for fiscal years, which end on March 31.
†Invested up to the year.
‡During the year.
Later figures are available for some of the foregoing items. Thus at the end of March, 1925, the mileage had increased to 1300, the number of passengers carried to 17,487,874, the receipts from traffic to 29,027,866, whilst the tonnage of freight carried remained practically stationary.
In addition to the state railways there are a number of short privately owned lines. At the time of annexation there was only one private line in operation, having a length of five miles. In 1914 the Government decided to subsidise such lines, on the principle of making up any deficit in profit below a certain percentage on the paid-up capital. Up to 1917 deficiencies were made up by subsidy to the point of 6 per cent. This was raised to 7 per cent in 1918, and to 8 per cent in 1919. This policy exerted a marked influence on private railway construction. By 1923 the length of such lines open to traffic had increased to 333 miles, whilst those under construction, or projected, totaled 1340 miles.
During the ten years 1912-1922 the number of passengers carried on private railways increased from 156,523 to 1,995,259, and the tonnage of freight carried from 4161 to 536,650, including baggage. During the same period the paid-up capital of these undertakings mounted from less than 200 thousand yen to more than 26 million.
Prior to the establishment of the GovernmentGeneral, 1910, there were not fifty miles of good road in the whole country, almost all travel and transportation being done on narrow, deeprutted tracks. In the interest of cultural and economic progress the Government-General laid out a project for constructing a net-work of good roads throughout the length and breadth of the Peninsula. The first part of the programme provided for the construction, over a number of years, of about 8000 miles of first- and secondclass roads, the cost to be borne by the general revenue of the country, and of about 7000 miles of third-class road, to be paid for out of local taxation. Of this programme there had been carried to completion by the end of 1923 between 60 and 70 per cent of the proposed road-mileage --more than 5000 miles of first- and second-class roads and a little under 5000 miles of the third class.
The classification of the roads is made according to the width--24 feet or more for the first class, not less than 18 feet for the second, and not less than 12 feet for the third. Of the total mileage now open to traffic, about 4000 miles can be used by automobiles.
The most recent issue of the Annual Report on Administration of Chosen is that covering the year ending on March 31, 1923. It deals as follows with the question of street improvements.
Towns in Chosen for the most part contain narrow, dirty, and crooked streets, causing great inconvenience to communications and to sanitary and firebrigade arrangements, and naturally hindering their development, so of late years much has been done for their improvement by straightening, grading, and widening existing streets, and by constructing new ones as circumstances required.
Keijo ( Seoul) is the capital of Chosen and quite different in scale and plan from other towns, so it was decided to conduct street improvements in it at national expense. Forty-three of its streets were selected for improvement, of which thirteen were completed at a cost of three million yen in the eight years from 1911 to 1918. The most important of these were made from 72 to 90 feet in width and provided with sidewalks. Where the traffic is heaviest the macadamised surface is tarred. Other roads were made not less than 48 feet in width, thus bringing about an extraordinary change in both the appearance and traffic-efficiency of the city.
The second programme takes in nine streets, the budget estimate for which is 3,400,000 yen spread over six years from the fiscal year 1919, and this is still in course of execution. Chosen being still in the first stages of modernization in many ways, it was highly necessary to lay down a permanent plan for street improvement in towns of importance and promise, so the Government-General incorporated in the budget for the fiscal years 1921 and onward an item for investigation regarding town-planning, and started work on it in four large cities--Keijo, Fusan, Taikyu, and Heijo.
There are now nine towns marked out for street improvement, including the principal seaports and provincial centers. The expenditure for this is to be defrayed out of local revenue with some assistance from the national treasury, and work in each is going on actively as a four to seven year enterprise.
A proper sewerage system is a very necessary aid to sanitation, so it was decided to carry on its establishment side by side with street improvement. On this work the city of Heijo was pledged to spend 580,000 yen in eleven years, Keijo 1,600,000 yen in seven years, and Taikyu 150,000 yen in five years. Part of the money thus allocated is provided by the national treasury and part by public bodies.
In order to insure regular maritime communication, both coastwise and foreign, the old Korean government found it necessary to subsidise local steamship lines. This policy was adopted by the Government-General at the time of annexation, and has been continued down to the present time. At the beginning of 1923 it was granting an annual subsidy of 1,144,371 yen, distributed among 126 vessels of a total tonnage of about 20,000. The contracts under which these subsidies are granted prescribe the routes to be followed, the number of voyages to be made, and the time-schedule to be maintained. In 1923 there were eighteen routes, of which four connected Korea with Japan, North China, and Vladivostock, the remainder linking up the various Korean ports with each other.
Postal, Telegraph, and Telephone Communications--
Prior to 1876 there was nothing in Korea which could be dignified by the name of a postal service. In that year, however, the Japanese Government opened a post office at Fusan, when the port was opened to foreign trade, and later, as Japanese settlers became more numerous, the number of post offices was gradually increased. At first only ordinary mail business was done; but as early as 1880 money orders were made available and a postal savings system started. To these services a parcel post was added in 1900. In the meantime the Korean Government had, in 1896, engaged a Japanese adviser in the Communications Department and organized the post office on modern lines. An agreement was concluded in 1905 by which the postal service of Korea was placed under the charge of the Imperial Japanese Government; but in the following year the control was transferred to the newly-established Residency-General. When Korea was annexed to Japan in 1910 a Communications Bureau was created in the Government-General, and to it were assigned the control and management of all postal, telegraph, and telephone business. In 1923 the permanent staff of the communication services numbered nearly 11,000 employees, with several thousand temporary workers engaged as occasion demanded.
As illustrating the rapidly increasing use made of the communication services it may be noted that between 1910 and 1923 the number of pieces of ordinary mail delivered in Korea advanced from 53 to 174 million, the number of parcels delivered from less than one million to more than two million and a half, the number of offices available for postal, telephone, or telegraph service'from 395 to 739, and the number of telephone calls from less than 25 million to more than 82 million in the year.
There is a steadily growing resort to the Post Office Savings Banks. In 1910 the total amount deposited by Japanese was 3 million yen, and by Koreans 200 thousand yen; in 1922 these figures had grown to 17 million and 2,750,000 respectively.
Wireless apparatus was installed in 1910 on the Government signal-inspecting ship, and at three lighthouses; but the service has not yet been opened to the general public.
A brief account of the relations between Korea and Japan in modern times will suffice to give the reader the broad facts pertinent to a consideration of the situation as it exists today.
In 1894 Japan declared war on China, largely for the purpose of settling once for all the international status of Korea, about which there had existed for centuries a dispute which constantly threatened the peace of the Far East. During more than two thousand years Korea had been alternately independent, and under the suzerainty of China, or of Japan. She had been repeatedly invaded from the north--by China, under both the Chinese and Manchu dynasties, by Mongols, and by nomadic tribes--and in 1592 the Regent of Japan, Hideyoshi, attacked Korea with an army of 300,000 men, as part of a project for the conquest of China. These various invasions and raids, together with the prevalence of piracy in Korean waters led the Korean authorities to adopt and to enforce with the utmost rigor a policy of absolute national seclusion, a policy which was followed for several centuries and was enforced with great rigor. It was from this circumstance that Korea became known throughout the world as the Hermit Kingdom. History has proved that this attitude of no-intercourse cannot be indefinitely maintained. In the case of Korea the matter was complicated by the question of the Chinese suzerainty. Was Korea a vassal state of China, or was she not? The answer made by Korea and China was at one time yes, at another time no. Thus, whenever it suited the purpose of the Koreans to claim the protection of China, the plea was made that the suzerain must defend the vassal; when, however, China sought to make its suzerainty effective for some purpose of her own, the Korean argument was that the suzerainty was a mere figment, the annual tribute being paid solely on sentimental grounds in perpetuation of an ancient custom which had completely lost its practical significance.
Conversely, when Peking saw some advantage to be gained by insisting on the living force of the suzerainty the point was made very clear to the Koreans; but when, as occurred from time to time--as, for example, when French and American punitive expeditions attacked Korea in 1866 and 1871, respectively--foreign nations sought redress from Korea for wrongs done to their citizens, China disclaimed any kind of bond with Korea which made her responsible for the latter's acts.
No country had more reason to be irritated by the posture of Korean affairs than had Japan. In 1875 a Japanese war-ship was fired on by a Korean shore-battery without the slightest provocation. The Japanese at once captured the fort, and seized all the arms and ammunition in it. Tokyo decided that the occasion was favorable for bringing to an end the equivocal relationship between Korea and China. General Kiyotaka Kuroda was sent to Korea as Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, charged with the task of concluding a treaty between Japan and Korea. This compact, known as the Treaty of Kwangha, was signed in 1876. It provided for the mutual opening of ports, for mutual permission to trade, and for the formal recognition by Japan of the independence of Korea. It is from this date that an account of Japanese-Korean relations, in modern times, may take its departure.
In 1880 a Japanese Legation was established at Seoul, and it was hoped by sober-minded Japanese statesmen that with direct representation at the Korean capital the relations between the two countries would assume a more friendly tone. These hopes were not destined to be fulfilled. There existed at the time a long-standing rivalry between a party headed by the King of Korea's uncle, the Tai Wen Kun, and the rich and powerful family of the Mins, of which the Queen of Korea was a member. In this domestic quarrel China intervened on the side of the Mins, sending troops into the Peninsula for the purpose of suppressing a revolt started by the Tai Wen Kun. For years Korea was the scene of coups d'état and of insurrections, in the course of which the Japanese Legation was twice attacked --once in 1882 by a Korean mob aided by Korean soldiers, and once in 1884 by Korean and Chinese troops acting in co-operation. On each occasion the Japanese Minister, with his wife and children, had to seek safety in flight.
The constant intrusion of China upon the field of Korean domestic affairs is what led up to the Chino-Japanese War of 1894-5. Japan had recognized the independence of Korea in 1876, by the Treaty of Kwangha; and there was, of course, a reciprocal obligation on the shoulders of Korea to repudiate the Chinese suzerainty. Notwithstanding this, the Korean Government, in 1894, asked China to send troops to Korea to put down a formidable rebellion. Early in June the Chinese force arrived, and the Japanese immediately countered by sending a military guard to her Minister in Seoul, and, a little later, by despatching to the Peninsula a force of some 5000 troops. The situation thus created was difficult in the extreme. The Japanese were not prepared to recognize the Chinese claim that Chinese troops were in the country as the defenders of a Chinese dependency; but they suggested that the Chinese and the Japanese should act together in restoring order and in initiating such reforms as should conduce to the future peace of the country. This proposal was rejected. In the meantime China had moved an army of about eight thousand troops to a point on the Yalu, near the Korean frontier. The Japanese Minister brought the matter to a head by delivering an ultimatum to the Korean Government in respect to its failure to live up to the terms of the Treaty of Kwangha. This was on July 20th; three days later the Japanese occupied the palace and, virtually, made the King prisoner.
Japan declared war on China on August 1st, actual fighting having taken place a few days earlier, both on land and at sea. The details of the fighting are of no interest in the present connection. Japan was completely victorious, the extent of her triumph being testified to by the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. So far as Korea was concerned, Japan carried her point, the recognition of the absolute independence of the country.
Shortly after this the Queen of Korea was murdered under circumstances for which no terms of condemnation could be too strong. The facts are relevant to the relations of Korea and Japan at the time, for the murder had a very important influence upon the subsequent course of events. On October 8, 1895, a band of Korean and Japanese assassins, after long and careful preparation, entered the inner chambers of the Palace at Seoul and killed the Queen. Not only does the evidence establish it beyond doubt that one of the prime movers in this plot was the Japanese Minister at Seoul; but that evidence is supplied by the Japanese Judge of Preliminary Enquiry who investigated the murder. The findings of this judge make the most extraordinary reading. He describes the plot, names all the prisoners before him as having been concerned in it, states that its object was to murder the Queen, leads his conspirators to the outside of the palace, and continues: "About dawn the whole party entered the palace through the Kwang-hwa Gate, and at once proceeded to the inner chambers. Notwithstanding these facts, there is no sufficient evidence to prove that any of the accused actually committed the crime originally meditated by them . . ."; and then immediately discharges all the prisoners!
This is certainly one of the most disgraceful episodes in the annals of colonial rule. It is relieved by only one mitigating circumstance, namely that there is no evidence to show that any of the Government officials in Tokyo were concerned in the matter.
The murder of the Queen improved the general aspect of affairs, from the Japanese standpoint, by removing a woman who had been their bitterest and most unscrupulous opponent, and by increasing the influence of the Tai Wen Kun, who was supple to the Japanese intentions.
The conception undoubtedly entertained in Tokyo at the conclusion of the war with China was that, with the question of the Chinese suzerainty definitely and finally disposed of, Korea, reformed and strengthened by Japanese aid and advice, would serve as an effective buffer state as against China or Asiatic Russia, should either of them attempt to use the Peninsula as a base for operations against Japan. It is very doubtful whether the real independence of Korea could have been preserved even under the most favorable circumstances; and as time passed the circumstances became, from the Japanese point of view, as unfavorable as could be imagined.
A Japanese statesman called upon to defend the Korean policy of his country in the years following the Chino-Japanese War would present his case somewhat as follows.
In going to war with China, Japan had thrown her own fate into the scales. If she should suffer defeat--and when you fight a people which outnumbers your own by ten to one, and whose territory and natural resources present an equal disproportion, defeat is certainly a very serious possibility--she was prepared to suffer the consequences. That among these would have been loss of territory and the payment of an indemnity cannot be doubted.
If Japan secured a complete victory--as, in the event, she did--she expected to gather such fruits as she could compel her adversary to deliver as the price of a treaty of peace. Among these fruits was the cession to Japan of the Chinese Peninsula of Liao-tung. Before the treaty was signed, however, France, Germany, and Russia intervened, and forbade the cession to Japan of any territory on the Chinese mainland. It was impossible for Japan to offer any resistance to an ultimatum with such formidable backing: her victorious troops were withdrawn; the Liao-tung Peninsula was restored to China.
Within three years of the date on which the principle of an inviolate Chinese mainland had been used as the pretext for forcing Japan out of Liao-tung, the three defenders of China against Japanese "aggression" were all in comfortable occupation of various parts of the "inviolate" Chinese mainland--Germany in Kiaochow, on a 99 years' lease; France in Kwangchouwan, on a 99 years' lease; and, as a crowning triumph of international cynicism, Russia, on a 25 years' lease of the very Liaotung Peninsula from which she had been chiefly instrumental in ejecting Japan.
Although Great Britain had refused to take any part in the coercion of Japan, her conception of her own national interest led her to adopt the policy of occupying Chinese territory on lease. In the south she secured a 99 years' lease of 370 square miles on the mainland opposite Hong Kong, as an offset to the French lease of Kwangchouwan; in the north she leased the territory of Wei-hai-wei, 285 square miles, for so long a time as Russia should remain in possession of Port Arthur.
In what sense was Japan to interpret these manœuvres? Was it possible for her to see in them anything but a determination on the part of the great European powers to prescribe for and to enforce upon Japan a rule of conduct totally different from that by which they themselves would be bound; and which, if Japan should subscribe to it, would deprive her not only of every advantage attached to her geographical situation off the coast of Asia, but also of every further advantage which she might legitimately (according to the international code of ethics hitherto in force) expect to derive from her rapid development, from her strong and unifying sentiment of nationality, from her tireless industry, and from her heroic military qualities?
Was Japan, in brief, to accept the restrictions of a self-denying ordinance at the very moment when England had reached the climax of her territorial acquisitions in every quarter of the globe, when Russia and Germany were fortifying themselves on Chinese soil almost within sight of the Japanese coast, when France was reforming her administration, strengthening her garrison, and extending her control in Indo-China, when the United States had recently taken possession of the Philippine Islands?
To have yielded to such a preposterous demand would have constituted a betrayal of the Japanese nation in which no reputable statesman could conceivably have become an accomplice, since so to yield would have earned for the persons responsible the just execration of their own nationals and the just contempt of all men who esteem patriotism to be a virtue.
Thus, a hypothetical Japanese statesman. For my own part I am convinced that whatever chance there had ever been of Korea attaining independent nationhood, was destroyed when Germany, France, and Russia deprived Japan of the fruits of her victory over China, took those very fruits for themselves, and thus taught Japan the bitter lesson that if she wished to obtain a valid guaranty for her future security, to present to the world a valid sanction for her foreign policy, she must develop her own military strength.
This Japan proceeded to do. Prior to the Chino-Japanese War, Japan's expenditure on her army had, for a number of years, averaged less than seven million dollars; in 1903 the army estimates exceeded 25 million dollars. At the outbreak of the Chino-Japanese War Japan's navy consisted of about fifty vessels of a total tonnage of less than 75,000; at the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904, the number of vessels had increased to 160, the tonnage to approximately 300,000.
I was in the Far East during the years 1902-4. Everyone with whom I discussed the matter, from Lahore to Wei-bai-wei, was confident that war between Japan and Russia was inevitable unless one or the other of two highly improbable contingencies should arise--one that Japan should decide to acquiesce in Russia's obvious intention of making herself the dominating power in Korea; the other that Russia should reverse her historic policy of thrusting southward from the Trans-Siberian Railway until she found herself, at whatever cost of men and money, mistress of an ice-free port in northeastern Asia.
The Russian advance toward the north Pacific had been carefully planned and effectively executed. At the beginning of the twentieth century Japan saw her great rival occupying the Liao-tung Peninsula, in virtual control of the Chinese Province of Manchuria, and in possession of two of the most formidable naval and military bases to be found anywhere in the world-Vladivostock, within a few hours' steaming of Korea's northeastern boundary; Port Arthur, within a few hours of her southwestern boundary. That these fortresses were separated by the Korean Peninsula, that the former was ice-bound for six months in the year, that the latter was too small to serve adequately the naval and commercial needs of Russia in that quarter were facts to be set side by side with Russia's diplomatic pressure on the Korean Court, her intimate relations with the anti-Japanese party in Korea, and her efforts to purchase land in or near Korea's southern ports. There were a number of attractive possibilities: the excellent ice-free port of Masampo might be leased, thus giving Russia a naval base within two hundred miles of the Japanese coast; it might be feasible to secure control of the proposed railroad from Wiju, on the Manchurian frontier, for the construction of which a French company had obtained a concession, thus assuring an all-rail connection from northern Manchuria into the heart of the Peninsula; and other, similar, opportunities presented themselves.
During the summer of 1903 Japan decided that the time was ripe to make a definite stand against Russia's steady advance through Manchuria to the Korean border, and to put an end to the ceaseless intrigues by which, within Korea itself, Russian agents were preparing for the day when the Russian flag would fly over the palace at Seoul. Negotiations were opened with St. Petersburg with a view to reaching some agreement on the broad question of Russian-Japanese relations in the Far East. Between August, 1903, and February, 1904, ten different drafts of a proposed treaty were discussed; but the evasive and otherwise unsatisfactory character of the Russian proposals and counter-proposals convinced the Japanese cabinet that it was hopeless to look for a peaceful solution of the problem. Japan having, in defence of her Korean policy, fought the most populous nation of Asia would now, in the same cause, fight the most populous nation of Europe. On February 5, 1904, the negotiations were broken off, and a few days later war was declared.
From this point onward Japanese policy toward Korea stiffened. The first evidence of the new attitude was the conclusion of a Protocol between the two countries on February 23, 1904. Although Japan reasserts her guaranty of the independence and territorial integrity of Korea, it is agreed that ". . . the Imperial Government of Korea shall place full confidence in the Imperial Government of Japan and adopt the advice of the latter in regard to improvements in administration"; and, further, that "in case the welfare of the Imperial House of Korea, or the territorial integrity of Korea, is endangered by the aggression of a third power, or by internal disturbances, the Imperial Government of Japan shall immediately take such necessary measures as the circumstances require, and in such cases, the Imperial Government of Korea shall give full facilities to promote the action of the Imperial Japanese Government. . . . Japan may, for the attainment of the above mentioned objects, occupy, when the circumstances require it, such places as may be necessary from strategical points of view."
Another agreement, signed on August 22, 1904, makes it mandatory on the Korean Government to engage a Japanese financial adviser, whose advice must be heard before any financial matter is acted upon; and a foreign diplomatic adviser, recommended by the Japanese Government, without whose previous counsel no important matter concerning foreign relations is to be dealt with. The final article of the agreement reads: "The Korean Government shall previously consult the Japanese Government in concluding treaties and conventions with foreign powers, and in dealing with other important diplomatic affairs, such as the grant of concessions to or contracts with foreigners."
It is obvious that one effect of this agreement was to make Korea a protectorate of Japan, whilst leaving public authority to be exercised in the name of the Emperor of Korea. The next step taken in the course which led, finally, to annexation, was an agreement dated November 17, 1905. The preamble contains the significant provision that "the following stipulations are to serve until the moment arrives when it is recognized that Korea has attained national strength." The agreement provided that the external relations of Korea should in future be conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo; that Japanese diplomatic and consular officers should have charge of the subjects and interests of Korea in foreign countries; that Japan should assume responsibility for the execution of treaties already existing between Korea and other powers; that the Government of Korea should not in future enter into any act or engagement of an international character except through the medium of the Government of Japan; and that the Government of Japan undertakes to maintain the welfare and dignity of the Imperial House of Korea.
Article 3 completely changed the character of Japan's representation vis-à-vis the Korean Court. The envoy is replaced by a ResidentGeneral, having the right of private and personal audience with the Emperor of Korea, and the Japanese consuls are replaced by Residents, to be stationed at the several open ports and at such other places in Korea as the Government of Japan may deem necessary.
It is to be observed that in this agreement no mention is made of Korean independence, the fact being, probably, that by this time Japan realized the impracticable quality of a policy which on the one hand made her responsible for Korea's national status, and on the other left her with no sufficient authority in the country to prevent the occurrence of events which might at any moment involve her in the most serious international difficulties.
On November 22, 1905, the Japanese Government issued a declaration to the powers in treatyrelation with Korea, in which is presented a clear and frank account of her new Korean policy. The document runs as follows:
The relations of propinquity have made it necessary for Japan to take and exercise, for reasons closely connected with her own safety and repose, a paramount interest and influence in the political and military affairs of Korea. The measures hitherto taken have been purely advisory, but the experience of recent years has demonstrated the insufficiency of measures of guidance alone. The unwise and improvident action of Korea, more especially in the domain of her international affairs, has in the past been the most fruitful source of complications. To permit the present unsatisfactory condition of things to continue unrestrained and unregulated would be to invite fresh difficulties, and Japan believes that she owes it to herself and to her desire for the general pacification of the extreme East to take the steps necessary to put an end once for all to this dangerous situation. Accordingly, with that object in view and in order at the same time to safeguard its own position and to promote the well-being of the government and people of Korea, the Imperial Government has resolved to assume a more intimate and direct influence and responsibility than heretofore in the external relations of the Peninsula. The Government of His Majesty the Emperor of Korea is in accord with the Imperial Government as to the absolute necessity of the measure, and the two Governments, in order to provide for the peaceful and amicable establishment of the new order of things, have concluded the accompanying compact. In bringing this agreement to the notice of the powers having treaties with Korea, the Imperial Government declares that in assuming charge of the foreign relations of Korea and in undertaking the duty of watching over the execution of the existing treaties of that country, they will see that those treaties are maintained and respected, and also engages not to prejudice in any way the legitimate commercial and industrial interests of those powers in Korea.
Both in respect of foreign and of internal affairs the new arrangement proved to be unsatisfactory. So far as reforming the Korean system of administration was concerned two circumstances combined to make the task hopeless; the Korean officials were bound to listen to the advice of their Japanese advisers in the various departments, but they were not bound to follow it; and most of these officials were dishonest and grossly incompetent. The situation might have prolonged itself had it not been for a highly injudicious step taken by the Korean Emperor, in 1907, in direct violation of that article of the agreement of 1905 under which Korea pledged herself not to enter into any act of an international character, except through the medium of Japan. In July, 1907, there appeared at The Hague three Koreans who sought recognition as delegates to the Peace Conference, offering as their credentials a document bearing the seal of the Korean Emperor. When this news reached Japan it created a good deal of excitement, since it appeared to contain the threat that the whole Korean problem was about to be opened up again. Public opinion was seriously disturbed, and the press was almost unanimous in demanding a strong course of action. Such a course the Government decided to adopt.
At the time, Marquis Ito (a sincere friend and well-wisher of Korea) was Resident-General in Seoul. To him was sent Viscount Hayashi, the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, with authority to act in the circumstances, after consultation with the Resident-General. He arrived in Seoul on July 18. During his service as Resident-General, Marquis Ito had reached the firm conviction that Korean affairs could never be put in any decent state of order as long as the throne was occupied by the Emperor, who had shown himself to be wholly untrustworthy, and who, moreover, had done everything possible to hinder the progress of internal reform. Fortunately there had recently been appointed a new Korean Cabinet, composed of men who saw clearly that unless the Emperor and his Court should cease their pernicious interference with the conduct of Government, it would be impossible to save the Imperial House from the most serious consequences. The present crisis put in the hands of the Cabinet a weapon which they were glad to employ in the general interest of the country. Even before the arrival of Viscount Hayashi the Cabinet had urged upon the Emperor the advisability of abdicating in favor of his son. The day after the Viscount's arrival their arguments prevailed; and on July 17, the Korean Minister of Justice carried to the Resident-General the Emperor's announcement of his abdication. Shortly after the matter became generally known there was serious rioting in Seoul, precipitated by a mutinous regiment of Korean troops.
After a series of conferences between the Japanese Representatives and the Korean Cabinet, and between the latter and the new Emperor, an agreement was signed between Japan and Korea on July 24, 1907.
This agreement left the Imperial Korean House still on the throne; but it placed Japan in practical control of the administration of the country, by making the appointment and dismissal of all high officials in Korea dependent upon the concurrence of the Resident-General, by providing for his previous assent to the enactment by the Korean Government of all laws, ordinances, and regulations, and by binding the Government to appoint as Korean officials any, Japanese subjects recommended by the ResidentGeneral.
Having in view the general conditions of the country in the period after the new agreement, it is difficult to see how Japan could long postpone an act of annexation, unless she was prepared to face indefinitely the risks and inconveniences of an anomalous administrative system. A Treaty of Annexation was negotiated between the two governments, and was signed on August 22, 1910, by Viscount Masakata Terauchi, Resident-General, and by Yi Wan Yong, Minister President of State.
In the first Annual Report compiled by the Government-General, which succeeded the Residency-General, the subject of the annexation is thus dealt with:
The Governments of both Japan and Korea, exerting for more than four years, their utmost efforts in the way of administrative reform, and looking forward to the consummation of the desired end, the improvements and progress made were by no means small. But they failed to find in the Protectorate régime sufficient guarantees of the permanent welfare of the Imperial Family of Korea and of the prosperity of the people.
In spite of the fact that a number of pacificatory measures with regard to insurgents were put into effect, insurgents and brigands continued to appear in certain localities, and could not be put down. Escorts of police or gendarmes were often needed for officials, individuals, and letter-carriers, travelling in the remote interior or mountainous regions. Even a certain class of peaceful people, instigated by reckless agitators, were led to believe that Japanese revenue officers would carry away to Japan the money collected as taxes; and thus, frequently, they attempted to do injury to these officials. In the blindness of fury and inspired by short-sighted superstition and mistaken patriotism, a band of Koreans assassinated Mr. Durham White Stevens, a citizen of the United States, Councillor to the Korean Government, in March, 1908, in San Francisco, on his way to Washington on furlough. In October of the following year, Prince Ito, who had filled the office of Resident-General in Korea till June, was also assassinated by a Korean in Harbin Station, when he was on a visit to North China. In the following December, a Korean further attempted to kill Mr. Yi Wan-Yong, the Prime Minister of the Korean Government. Thus distressing conditions still existed in Korea, and uneasiness and anxiety often kept the Imperial Family of that country in a state of misery, while the Ministers of State had to be constantly escorted by armed policemen.
In these conditions the Imperial Government failed to find in the régime of a Protectorate in Korea sufficient hope of realising the improvements which they had had in view, despite the fact that many reform measures had been introduced for the benefit of the Korean people. Stability of public peace and order not being firmly established yet, a spirit of suspicion and misunderstanding still dominated the whole Peninsula, and the mass of people were burdened with anxiety. Most of the Japanese and foreigners in Korea had to confine their residence to cities, ports, or towns along the railway lines and could not enter the interior to engage permanently in business.
In order to sweep away evils rooted during the course of many years as well as to secure the wellbeing of the Korean Imperial Family, to promote the prosperity of the country, and at the same time to insure the safety and repose of Japanese and foreign residents, it had been made abundantly clear that, the Protectorate system being unable to achieve these aims, Korea must be annexed to the Empire and brought under the direct administration of the Imperial Government. There being no other way to attain the object in view, the Japanese conceived the policy of annexation as early as July, 1909. Even afterward the actual condition of affairs in Korea had continued to grow worse and worse, with no apparent hope of improvement. The assassinations of Mr. Stevens and Prince Ito, and the attempt to assassinate Premier Yi, mentioned already, induced certain classes of Koreans to tender to their Sovereign and the Resident-General a petition for annexation, so that the question became a matter of public agitation among officials as well as among the people of Japan. In fine the necessity of annexation grew day by day, and the measure was finally carried into effect on August 29, 1910.
That the aims set forth in the foregoing quotation have been pursued during the past sixteen years with a great, and in some directions with an astonishing measure of success is made evident in the body of the present volume. For the first nine years of the Government-General's existence Korea was administered under a system which, though it yielded many benefits for the Korean people, was applied with far too much military harshness and inflexibility. It was most unfortunate for everybody concerned that a rule of this character should have existed at the time when the extremely difficult and arduous work of organizing a new government was in progress. In such an undertaking the authorities could have found no more powerful ally than a spirit of friendliness among the people.
The measures taken to stamp out the Independence Movement of 1919, stupid, cruel, and unjustifiable as some of them undoubtedly were, accomplished their purpose. From that time onward Korea has enjoyed a period of internal tranquillity and of general progress for which the previous history of the country affords no remotest parallel.
Of the Independence Movement itself I have little to say in the present connection. The Independence Party contained many Koreans of excellent intelligence and education, inspired by a deep nationalist feeling. Whether or not the Japanese administration of the country had been so conducted as to justify an attempt to subvert it has no bearing upon the "right" of the Koreans to make the attempt. The "right" of revolt is inherent wherever Government exists, whether that government is of native origin or has been imposed from without.
Whenever such revolts occur those who take part in them fall into three groups--one is made up of men and women profoundly convinced that success will result in benefit to the general welfare, and who have no aim other than this; one contains those who, from selfish motives of personal advantage, wish to substitute themselves for those then in power; one is a nondescript rabble which welcomes the opportunity of fishing in troubled waters. Those who belong to the first group deserve and usually receive the respect which mankind pays to those who offer their lives and their property in support of an honestly held conviction; and of these sincere patriots the Korean Independence Movement contained an unusually large proportion.
It seems to me that there is absolutely no possibility of Korean Independence being reached by the road of revolt. The Koreans cannot drive the Japanese out of the country; and if the cause of Korean Independence were espoused by any nation powerful enough to create a serious threat to the Japanese occupancy, the first move made to carry out that threat would, without question, plunge Asia into war overnight, and would bring most of the balance of the world into the struggle within a month. There is one possibility, and one only, of an independent Korea. If at some future time the League of Nations, or some similar Association of Powers, should prescribe a universal surrender of all colonial dependencies to their native inhabitants, Korea would be one of Japan's contributions to the general settlement. Such a possibility is, of course, too remote to call for present discussion.
I found informed opinion both in Korea and in Japan divided on the question of what, short of independence, would be the ultimate status of the Peninsula. Two theories held the field--one that it will become an integral part of the Japanese political system, sending elected representatives to the Imperial Diet; the other that it will eventually be given Dominion home-rule within the Japanese Empire.
Speaking as a person in whom the idea of Korean Independence incites neither mental nor moral resistance I may express my belief that those Koreans will be doing their country the greatest service who co-operate with the Japanese in building up the cultural and economic conditions favorable on the one hand to the granting, and on the other to the successful use, of local self-government.
During the past year the news from Korea justifies the hope that a trend in this direction has already set in. To whatever extent it exists the credit is due chiefly to the humane and conciliatory attitude of Governor-General Saito toward the Korean people, and to the wise measures which, for more than six years, have been the fruit of an unstinting employment of his unusual energy and of his still more unusual administrative talents.
CHAPTER III SUMMARY
The internal administration of Korea has, for many years, been a matter of earnest solicitude to the Japanese. The dangers and annoyances associated with corrupt and grossly inefficient rule in a country whose southern coast-line is within a few hours' steaming from Japan will be obvious to those who have had occasion to study the causes of the Spanish-American War, and to those who, today, are hoping to see Mexico develop in such a way as to encourage the most cordial relations with the United States.
There exists, indeed, a certain type of mind to which the contagion of misrule conveys no threat to domestic tranquillity on the other side of a frontier, to which the circumstances of American territorial expansion, and of the extension of British rule in India, teach no lesson. Intelligent observers, however, are aware that bad government can be as poor a neighbor as bad health, that social unrest can cross a boundary line as readily as small-pox or yellow fever, that the "landgrabbing" of the English-speaking races, which followed the original conquest or settlement was due in large measure to the necessity of bringing within the national sovereignty a neighbor who, for one reason or another, was a menace to the national welfare.
In the case of Korea the menace to Japan arose from two main causes--first, that centuries of misrule had reduced the Korean people to a condition from which it was hopeless to expect that, through a popular demand for internal reform, Korea might lift itself into the rank of a State having sufficient wealth and sufficient power to maintain its independence; second, and as a consequence of the first, that, either by force or by guile, Russia or China might take possession of the Peninsula, thus creating a strategic situation which could not be tolerated by any person or party responsible for the national defence of Japan.
All available evidence tends to prove that for many years Japanese policy toward Korea was concerned chiefly with securing for that country the position of an independent sovereign State, and for herself the acceptance by the great powers of the principle that Japan's interest in Korean affairs was to be considered predominant, in the sense that England's special interest in Egypt, and that of the United States in Latin America, had received tacit recognition in the world's chancelleries.
In support of the first conception Japan declared war on China in 1894 and, in the Treaty of Shimoneseki, exacted the renunciation of China's suzerainty over Korea and the acknowledgment of that country's independence. In defence of the second conception Japan, having in view the Russian occupation of Vladivostok and of Port Arthur, the conversion of these places into two of the most formidable fortresses in existence, the extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway to the Korean frontier, and the persistent Russian intrigues in Manchuria and in Korea itself, fought the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905.
At the conclusion of the War Japan decided that in the interest of Korea, in her own interest, and in the general interest of peace and progress in the Far East, her power to influence the Government of Korea in respect of administrative reform, which had hitherto depended upon diplomatic procedure and upon the activities of several Japanese advisers in various departments, could be made effective only by establishing a Residency-General somewhat after the pattern of that set up by the British in the Federated Malay States, a system which had yielded the most beneficial results. This was done in 1905, and had the practical effect of making Korea a Japanese Protectorate. Under the original arrangement the results of the new policy were unsatisfactory, because it was not mandatory upon the Korean officials to follow the advice of the ResidentGeneral. This situation was remedied in 1907 by the conclusion of a Convention between Korea and Japan, under the terms of which the Government of Korea "shall follow the direction of the Resident-General in connection with the reform of the administration" and "shall not enact any law or ordinance, or carry out any important administrative measure, except with the previous approval of the Resident-General."
Three years' experience under the new system showed that it could not be operated successfully in face of the hostility, of the indifference, incompetence, or dishonesty of the Korean officials. In Korea, as elsewhere, divided authority and responsibility--the method of diarchy--led to little but social unrest and administrative impotence. Accordingly, under the terms of a Treaty signed on August 22, 1910, by the plenipotentiaries of the two countries, the Emperor of Korea made complete and permanent cession to the Emperor of Japanof all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea. A week later the Emperor of Japan issued an Imperial Rescript announcing the annexation and ordering the establishment of the office of Governor-General of Korea. From August 29, 1910 Japan has had full responsibility for, and full power in, the administration of Korea.
The Japanese proclamations issued at the time of the annexation were couched in conciliatory language, and the measures adopted when the transfer of authority was effected were well calculated to mollify public sentiment. The imperial house of Korea was liberally provided for, its dignity was preserved by granting to the exemperor and to other members of the imperial family the same privileges and honors enjoyed by princes of the imperial blood in Japan, peerages were conferred upon a number of Korean nobles.
An imperial donation of thirty million yen (fifteen million dollars U. S.) was made by the Emperor of Japan, of which about one third was bestowed upon Korean noblemen, meritorious public servants, scholars, indigent widows, widowers, orphans, and others, the balance, of something over seventeen million yen, being set aside as a permanent fund of which the annual interest was to be devoted to giving various forms of aid to Koreans. If the imperial donation to Korea was only equal to three-quarters of that which the United States had paid in respect of the cession of the Philippine Islands, it should not be overlooked that the American money went to the Spanish Government, whereas the Japanese Donation went to the Korean people.
The problems confronting the GovernmentGeneral of Korea were neither few nor simple. The purpose of the Japanese was to set up a thoroughly modern administrative system, to develop the natural resources of the country, and to foster trade and industry. The road to success was encumbered with every imaginable obstacle, The whole machinery of administration had to be planned, a complete civil service had to be created, a large staff of technical experts had to be engaged, a financial system had to be devised capable of yielding the revenue essential for the carrying out of the government's policy.
The situation presented but one favorable circumstance, the docile character of the mass of the Korean people. There was not, at the time of annexation, nor has there since arisen, any ground for serious anxiety on the part of the Japanese military authorities. It is, therefore, difficult for a foreign observer to understand why the Japanese Government should have made the rule that the Governor-General of Korea could only be appointed from the roster of officers of the army or navy. Experience proved that in this matter a serious mistake in policy had been made, and in 1919 the restriction was removed, the appointment being thrown open to civilians.
The selection of military officers for colonial governorships has been a common practice both of the Dutch and the British; but it is an objectionable procedure. History furnishes, indeed, instances in which the talent for conducting military enterprises has been combined with the talent for civil administration; but such instances are extremely rare. The task of administering the affairs of a colonial dependency is one which calls for a temperament totally different from that which goes to the making of a good military man. The success of a military commander, sound technical knowledge being assumed, will depend upon the extent to which he enforces discipline and exacts compliance with thousands of precise and inflexible regulations; his duties are to issue orders and to see that they are obeyed without argument or protest; he need give no thought to the feelings engendered by his administration.
A civil administrator, on the other hand, can only succeed if he adopts a policy of give and take, and carries it out in a spirit of compromise. A large proportion of his work is constructive in its nature, and needs, for its fruition, the goodwill of the people. What is necessary above all things is that the administrator's rule should bear the impress of urbanity and conciliation--the two qualities least to be expected in a military man.
From 1910 to 1919 Japanese rule in Korea, though it accomplished much good for the people, bore the stamp of a military stiffness which aroused a great deal of resentment, hampered the progress of reform, and was largely responsible for the discontent which culminated in the proclamation of Korean Independence by the leaders of the Korean nationalists on March 1, 1919.
The merciless severity with which the revolt was repressed shocked the public sentiment of the world. In Japan itself the indignation reached such a height that the government was compelled to find means of appeasing it. The GovernorGeneral of Korea was recalled, the rule excluding civilians from eligibility for that post was canceled, the new Governor-General, Admiral Baron Saito (now Viscount), though not a civilian, was recognized throughout the Far East as a man of high administrative ability, of generous and humane disposition, and of great personal charm.
The New Korea of which I write is the Korea which has developed under the wise and sympathetic guidance of Governor-General Saito. I may quote here a few paragraphs of an article by Bishop Herbert Welch, Resident Bishop, in the Korean capital, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The article appeared in The Christian Advocate of May 13, 1920, and the quotation derives particular significance from the circumstance that Bishop Welch has always been an outspoken critic of everything he has deemed to be blameworthy in the Japanese administration of Korea.
Referring to Baron Saito's assumption of the Governor-Generalship, Bishop Welch says:
A sharp contrast at once became evident with the methods and spirit of the preceding administration. The Governor-General himself was simple and unaffected in manner, genial, approachable, evidently anxious to know and to propitiate foreign opinion in the country. His advent was marked by the speedy disappearance of countless swords and uniforms. . . . His chief associate, Dr. R. Midzuno, the Administrative Superintendent, an official of high standing and wide executive experience, seemed to share with the Governor to a large degree the ideals of simplicity, directness and the permeation of the government activities by the civilian as contrasted with the military spirit. . . .
Meanwhile, on the Korean side the past year has unquestionably brought a further crystallization of opinion which is hostile to any Japanese government. The minds of many are fixed on complete national independence as the only goal, and they declare that they have no interest whatever in the question of reforms by the present or any Japanese administration. On the other hand many, including some of the most intelligent and far-seeing, are persuaded that there is no hope of speedy independence, and that they must settle down for a long period to build up the Korean people, in physical conditions, in knowledge, in morality, and in the ability to handle government concerns. . . .
It must be fully recognized that the Japanese government has by no means as yet won the hearts of the Korean people; rather they are further off from that today than fifteen months ago. . . . On the other hand, there are elements of decided encouragement. One of these I find in the character of the Governor-General, Admiral Baron Saito himself. He came to Korea last September with the possibility in his thought of declaring a general political amnesty-wiping the political slate clean and making a new start on the basis of a liberal and humane policy. He was met at the railway station in Seoul by a bomb thrown by the hand of a fanatic, an action which was promptly disavowed by representative Koreans, yet which could not but affect somewhat one's view of the situation.
Baron Saito, however, instead of taking a strong hand, as some would have justified him in doing under those circumstances, has continued of mild and friendly temper. I have implicit trust in his sincerity, and I believe that with time enough he will show the strength, even in spite of the difficulties which confront him in Korea, and of the backfire of criticism and opposition from the militaristic and bureaucratic groups in Tokyo, to bring to pass large things for the welfare of the Korean people. . . .
The foregoing paragraphs were written in 1920, when Governor-General Saito had only been a few months in the country. At the time of my own visit to Korea, in 1922, the GovernorGeneral had nearly completed three years of his tenure of office. He had latterly had the advantage of having as Vice-Governor-General, or Administrative Superintendent (the two titles appear to be used indiscriminately in the official documents) Mr. T. Ariyoshi, one of Japan's most expert and highly regarded civil administrators-a man whom, from my own observation, I know to be a tireless worker and sympathetic toward the Korean people.
The general consensus of opinion in Korea in 1922, except in so far as it reflected the feelings of the anti-Japanese extremists, was that Governor-General Saito had been animated by a sincere desire to rule Korea through a just and tolerant administration, that he had accomplished notable reforms, that in the matter of education he had ministered very generously to the cultural ambitions of the people, and that in regard to their political ambitions he had, whilst setting his face sternly against anything which could encourage the vain hope of independence, shown himself eager to foster local self-government, and to infuse into the personal relations of the Japanese and Koreans a spirit of friendliness and cooperation.
Discussing Korean affairs with a good many people--Korean, Japanese, and foreign, official and non-official--I found almost unanimous agreement on two points: one, that native sentiment had, in recent years, shown a continuing tendency to become less anti-Japanese; the other, that the remarkable increase in the country's prosperity had been accompanied by a striking improvement in the living conditions of the Korean people at large.
Writing now, four years after the date of my visit, and having in mind the most recent accounts of the state of Korea, I can express my conviction that there has occurred a steady and accelerating improvement in the general conditions of the country, in the administrative organization and personnel, and in the temper of the intercourse between the Koreans and the Japanese.
In the following pages I present a brief summary, under specific heads, of the salient features of Korean progress from the time of annexation down to the date of the latest available information. With reference to statistics it is to be noted that the official fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the year following. The unit of money is the yen, which has a par value of fifty cents, U. S., fluctuating, however, with the movement of the foreign exchange market,
Material Progress Production--
About eighty-two per cent of the total population of Korea depend directly upon agriculture for their livelihood. The area under cultivation increased from about 10,600,000 acres in 1912 to nearly 15,000,000 in 1923. (*When two or more crops are raised in one year on the same land the area is counted for each crop.) During the same period the estimated value of agricultural produce rose from 435,000,000 yen to 1,169,000,000 yen. A considerable proportion of the increases noted above was due to measures taken by the Government for improving the condition of the farmers. Among these may be named organization of various forms of agricultural credit, the reclamation of waste lands, the construction of irrigation works, the improvement of farming methods, and the introduction of new agricultural industries.
In respect of the first of these measures it may be noted that in 1912 the amount of outstanding agricultural loans was less than five million yen, and in 1923 was more than 134 million yen, a large part of the increase representing investment in agricultural improvements of one sort and another. As an instance of the introduction of new industries silk culture is an example. In 1910 the total value of Korean sericultural products was only 400,000 yen; in 1923 it had risen to nearly 26 million yen.
Closely associated with agriculture is forestry. Under native rule there had been an almost complete neglect of forest conservation, so that at the time of annexation there was a serious shortage of fire-wood and of building lumber. What was even worse was that the denuded mountain sides could no longer absorb the heavy rainfall of the wet season. This resulted in serious annual floods and in the loss of the land's natural supply of moisture. As early as 1907 the Japanese Residency-General had induced the Korean Government to undertake afforestation work; and in 1911 the Government-General issued its new forestry regulations. In the same year the Governor-General established an Arbor Day. Since annexation more than a thousand million seedlings have been planted for the purpose of re-establishing the Korean forests. The Government, further, encouraged the formation of Forestry Associations, and of these there were in 1925 three hundred and fifty, with a total membership of nearly a million.
The Government also interested itself in the development of the Korean fisheries. Measures were taken to improve the methods of fishing and of curing and packing aquatic products. Between 1912 and 1921 the value of the catch increased from eight million to forty-five million yen; the value of the exports of fresh fish from 138 thousand to over seven million yen; the value of marine products manufactured, from four million to twenty-five million yen; and the value of manufactured marine products exported, from less than two million yen to more than eleven million.
In the mining industry the total output was valued in 1912 at nearly seven million yen and in 1921 at over fifteen million yen. In the main group of metals and minerals the gold production shows a decline in value, other production a marked increase. Coal mounted from something over 500,000 yen to a little over three million, iron ore from 156,000 to nearly two million, pig iron from nothing to nearly five million, concentrates from 275,000 to nearly five million.
In regard to manufactures, commerce and industry progress was seriously hampered under native rule by the deplorable condition of the native system of currency, by the insecurity of life and property, by the lax or corrupt administration of law, and by the lack of governmental interest in the general question of development and in the advantages to be derived from scientific research in the various fields of industry. In each of these matters the Government-General has introduced wide-reaching reforms, of which the consequences can be observed in the following table:
TEN YEARS' GROWTH OF COMMERCE, MANUFACTURES, AND BANKING
(Values in thousands of yen)
|Exports by sea||20,985||207,280|
|Exports by land||* 356||10,996|
|Imports by sea||67,115||205,210|
|Imports by land||* 467||27,171|
|Total foreign trade||88,101||450,658|
|Paid-up capital of business corporations||103,720||1,083,551|
|Value of factory products.||29,362||166,414|
|Number of Koreans employed in factories||14,974||40,418|
|Number of Japanese employed in factories||2,291||6,330|
|Government expenditure for advancement of commerce and industry||2,932||8,797|
|Value of clearing house transactions||98,488||852,053|