The Korea-Japan Agreement (Ulsa Five-Point Treaty) was forcibly concluded by the Japanese imperialists on November 17, 1905.
The treaty Japan used as a “legal ground” for its military occupation of Korea was an illegal, invalid, and fraudulent document it fabricated and unilaterally made public in wanton violation of the demands and principles of international law.
The illegality and invalidity of the treaty lie in that it had been concluded by force.
At the time Hirobumi Ito came to Korea as a special envoy of the Japanese king on a mission to force the treaty on the feudal Joseon government. He conveyed a “personal letter” of the Japanese king to Korean Emperor Kojong, which arrogantly said that as he sent a special envoy to keep peace in the East, the latter would take appropriate measures under his command.
At the same time, huge Japanese imperialist aggression forces began to be deployed in the Seoul area on the order of Hasegawa, commander of Japanese forces in Korea, with the result that Seoul was, in fact, placed under their control.
Ito visited the Korean imperial palace again on November 15, 1905 to meet Kojong. He informed the Korean emperor of the original plan of the brigandish treaty and forced him to unconditionally accept it. As Kojong was not willing to agree, Ito threatened him saying that the plan was definite with no room for correction and therefore, his rejection would leave his country in a more disadvantageous position than concluding the treaty.
Kojong decisively rejected his demand. Japan hurled huge armed forces into Seoul to create a terror-charged atmosphere, while staging military drills involving the infantry, artillery and cavalry.
A council in the imperial presence was held at the imperial palace on November 17 to discuss the treaty and it decided to reject its conclusion.
Upon hearing the news, Ito rushed into the palace and forced the cabinet ministers who were returning home after the meeting to agree to sign the treaty. He threatened them, demanding they reply yes or no one by one. Prime Minister Han Kyu Sol said no and he was taken out to another room. Ito ordered to kill him if he was stubborn.
As seen above, Japanese imperialists are the heinous enemy of the Korean people who fabricated the treaty and turned Korea into their colony in a brigandish way unprecedented in modern history.
The illegality and invalidity of the Ulsa five-point treaty also lie in that it was a fraudulent document that failed to follow the ratification procedures.
For example, China Gazette, evening paper, referred conclusion of the treaty, in its telegraph from Seoul reported on November 18, that the Japanese minister affixed government seal to the “agreement” by himself and declared that it was signed, and that it was really concluded by fraud and deception.
A German diplomat, who was in Seoul at the time, also said in his report to his country dated November 20, 1905 that the imperial palace was teeming with Japanese troops and that seals of some ministers were stamped by the Japanese.
The Ulsa five-point treaty could come into effect only when it was examined and approved by Emperor Kojong, sovereign of the then feudal Joseon dynasty. But, it had neither signature of the emperor nor the seal of the feudal Joeson dynasty. Instead, it bore the seals of Foreign Minister Pak Je Sun and Hayasi, Japanese minister in Seoul.
The treaty was also imperfect in the forms of document.
On November 26, 1905, immediately after the fabrication of the treaty, Kojong telegraphed a US special envoy who returned to Washington that he declared the Ulsa five-point treaty invalid as it was forced under military threat and confinement and that he had never approved nor will approve it. He also issued a secret order to wage an anti-Japanese righteous volunteers’ movement.
In this way, the Japanese imperialists stripped the feudal Joseon government of its diplomatic rights and imposed misfortune and sufferings on the Korean people for over four decades.
Still today they have not yet shown remorse for their crime-ridden past and apologized for them. Instead, they are misleading the public opinion arguing that Tok Islets, an inalienable part of the Korean territory, belong to Japan. They also visit the Yasukuni war shrine regularly, insulting many people who had suffered from immeasurable misfortune caused by them and creating an atmosphere to revive militarism.
Recently the Japanese authorities committed such a despicable act of excluding kindergartens of Korean schools from the “programme for free education and upbringing of children”.
The Korean people always remember the heinous crimes committed by Japan, their sworn enemy, and are determined to surely settle accounts with them.