Korean independence outbreak beginning March 1st 1919

([S.l. :  s.n.,  1920?])



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I hare po^ated out to hla tji^t it struck me that if any ©ae was re¬
sponsible for the present trouble it was the Ministry of Education, that
the damonstrations were a proof that Japanese education in Korea was a
success for as far as one could judge education had brought about the
realisation in the minds of the Koreans that they were entitled to certain
prlvillegos which were at present denied them, that they were entitled
to have something to aay as to how they should be governed, and that they
should be given greater freedom. I said that it appeared to me that while
the Eorean authorities had taken great jjaina to raise the standard of edu¬
cation among the Koreans they themselves had not altered the systma of
government and control of the Koreans since -the time thpy annexed the
country. I added that instead of drafting the newly educated men into
the government service and making them the servants of the state the Japan¬
ese government had only grudgingly admitted a selected fe-«/ into its ser¬
vice. I ejcpressed the opinion that the reason, or one of the most import¬
ant of -the reasons, for the present discontent was due to the small part
the Japsuaese authorities had allov/ed the Koreans to have in the administra¬
tion of their oountry.

In answer to this, His Excellency frankly admitted that thdre was a
certain amount of truth in what I had said, but he pointed out that unless
minuto consideration was given to the subject too mich stress would be
laid by foreigners on this matter.

The aovernment, he said, had for a long time past been giving ccnsider-
Kttox able time and thought to thia qaestion but the ignorance of the old
sjyled officials and the youth of the newly educated ones and their lack
of experience made it impossible for the Government to place them in high
official positions. Looking, directly at me he asked: "Do you yourself
consider that after the short time they have been under our educational
system, which at the most can only he eight years, that any of these young
men are capable of carrying out the duties of any high official position?"
I admitted that I did not think thej' were capable of filling high offices
but that I considered that they should be given offices of less Importance
and allowed to progress up the official ladder.

His Excellency said that it was absolutely untrue to say that the
Koreans were given but few positions under the Government. Nearly all
a the country magistrates were Koreans. The men had not been given these
positions because the Government was of the opinion that they were not
fitted to fill them, because the Govemmont knew better.

The Koreans were given these offices because the Government was anxious
that the Koreans should take an interest in the government of the country,
and to encourage the younger generation to enter the government service.
He explained that the majority of these magistrates were so' ignorant of
their duties that they had to be supplied with trained Japanese clerks
to assist them to carry out their duties. The Government, His Excellency
stated, were also employing a large number of the younger men, and mors
would be employed as they became fitted for government service. He fran¬
kly admitted that these young Koreans v/ore not receiving as high a rate
of pay as the Japanese, and explained that this was because they had not
yet reached the educational standard. He said that before any Japanese
could enter Japanese government service ho had to pass a civil service
exanJtnation. At the present moment the Koreans were unable to pass this
examination, but measures were now being taken to give them the education
necessary for them to do so. When they did pass the examination it was
the intention of the Government to pay them at the same rate as Japanese
undertaking the same woii.

Referring to the present krouhle, His Excellency said that it was
mainly due to the profosaional agitators who had been working outside of
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