Category : 【 THE NEW KOREA 】::┣Chapter [IV] ~ [V] Tag :
CHAPTER IV GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
1. THE GOVERNMENT-GENERAL
Prior to the annexation of Korea--effected by the Treaty of August, 1910--the influence exerted by Japan upon government in Korea passed through two phases. The first of these may be described as a period of diplomatic advice, during which the Japanese Minister at Seoul, aided by a number of Japanese advisers engaged by the Korean Government, attempted to improve the deplorable condition into which the internal administration of Korea had fallen under native control. This period came to an end in November, 1905, when the JapaneseKorean Convention formulated a new relationship between the two countries.
This Convention introduced the second phase of Japan's influence in Korean government. It may be described as a period of administrative control and participation. In accordance with the terms of the Convention, Japan established in Korea, in February, 1906, a Residency-General, with subordinate Residencies at various points.The functions of the Residency-General were defined in a Convention signed in July, 1907. It was then provided:
(1) That the Government of Korea shall follow the directions of the Resident-General in respect of administrative reforms;
(2) That the Government of Korea shall not enact any laws, ordinances, or regulations, or take any important administrative measures without the previous approval of the Resident-General;
(3) That judicial administration in Korea shall be conducted independently of other branches of administration;
(4) That the appointment and dismissal of all high officials in Korea shall be made with the concurrence of the Resident-General;
(5) That the Government of Korea shall appoint, as Korean officials, Japanese subjects recommended by the Resident-General.
Under this arrangement considerable improvement occurred in the general administration of the country; but in two important matters the system failed of efficiency. These were finance, and the administration of justice.
In respect of the first of these Japan was confronted by the fact, almost universally overlooked, that whatever advantages may flow from administrative reform, and whatever economies such reform may eventually effect, these advantages and economies cannot be produced without increasing the initial cost of administration; in a word, that good government is cheap at the price, but that it cannot be had at a cheap price.
So far as justice was concerned the Korean system was such, both as to its procedure and its officials, that far-reaching reform appeared to be impossible unless its administration was placed in the hands of Japanese public servants.
In order to meet these difficulties Japan arranged for a loan, free of interest, estimated at ten million dollars, but actually reaching a total of thirteen million, for the purpose of stabilizing the Korean budget; and took over the administration of justice and of the prisons, whilst assuming the cost of these departments as a charge upon the Japanese Treasury.
The period of administrative control and participation was brought to an end by the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910. The circumstances which led to this step have been dealt with in the historical section of Chapter II.
Simultaneously with the annexation of the country the Government-General of Korea was established, on August 29, 1910. It was not, however, until September 30, 1910, that the Organic Regulations of the Government-General were promulgated by an Imperial Japanese Ordinance which made them effective as from the following day.
These Regulations provided for the appointment of a Governor-General, and of a Vice Governor-General; and for the erection of a Government-General to consist of the following six departments: Secretariat; General Affairs; Rome Affairs; Finance; Agriculture, Commerce, and Industry; and Justice. Provision was made for the executive, administrative, technical, and clerical services; and an annual budget was prescribed as the basis of the financial system.
The Organic Regulations have been amended from time to time as experience indicated the necessity. Before describing the organization of the Government of Korea as it now exists a few paragraphs may be devoted to the form it assumed at the end of the first year after the creation of the Government-General.
At the head of the Government was the Governor-General, who conducted public affairs through the instrumentality of two groups of offices--one classified as the Government-General of Korea, the other as Affiliated Offices of the Government-General. The organization of these two groups at the end of 1911 is exhibited in the following table:
PERSONNEL OF THE GOVERNMENT-GENERAL, 1911
|Department of General Affairs||13||116||129|
|Department of Home Affairs||26||140||166|
|Department of Finance||30||142||172|
|Department of Agriculture|
|Commerce, and Industry||23||66||89|
|Department of Justice||4||16||20|
|Courts, Police, Prisons||363||811||1,174|
|Land Survey Bureau||29||1,069||1,098|
|Hospital and Medical School||15||28||43|
|Bureau of Ancient Customs||6||8||14|
|Government Lumber Station||5||16||21|
|Government Coal Mine||2||5||7|
|Central Council||. . . .||2||2|
|Total, Affiliated Officers||979||6,123||7,102|
All the items in the foregoing table are, in a broad sense, self-explanatory, except "Central Council." This body was created at the time of the annexation, 1910, for the purpose of providing the Japanese Governor-General with a Korean advisory committee, which he could consult in regard to administrative measures. The Vice President and all members of the Council were chosen from the ranks of the Korean nobility, gentry, and officialdom. The president of the Council, the chief secretary, and the secretaries were chosen from the higher ranks of the Japanese officials attached to the GovernmentGeneral.
The members of the Council were given honorary official rank; but as they were not to be classed as Government servants, they were not included in the official figures from which the foregoing table was compiled. The actual number of Koreans in the Council at the end of 1911 was 71; and the Japanese staff of the Council consisted of one president, one chief secretary, one assistant secretary, and one interpretersecretary.