Protests as Japan and S. Korea restore ties

Thousands of students in Tokyo and Seoul protested against the normalising of ties between Japan and South Korea, two East Asian countries with a history of bad blood.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Lee Dong Won signed a treaty with his Japanese counterpart, Mr Etsusaburo Shiina, on June 22, 1965, in Tokyo, capping 14 years of on-off negotiations.

This allowed for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, which had been colonised by Japan from 1910 to 1945.

Seductive steps
“But when I wore it for the first time I could hardly walk. Then I understood why girls in sarong kebaya walk seductively in short steps.”
MRS MOKHLESS M. GOBBA, wife of the acting consul-general of the United Arab Republic (later Egypt) in Singapore, on her mistaken impression that women in sarong kebaya were “naughty”

On the day the treaty was inked, more than 10,000 students threw rocks at riot police on the streets of Tokyo.

In Seoul, 7,000 students were joined by hundreds of opposition politicians as they demonstrated against the signing of the treaty. Nearly 600 protesters were arrested and 44 policemen were injured in Seoul.

South Korean students accused their government of making humiliating concessions for the agreements signed in Tokyo and demanded that these not be ratified by the legislature.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Protests as Japan and S. Korea restore ties'. Subscribe