No statute of limitations applies to Japan's past crimes

Ordinance on student soldiers
Historical photo of 'student soldiers' circa 1943. (Pyongyang Times)

Among the heinous unethical crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists against the Korean people is the wrong related to the "ordinance on student soldiers".

After launching the Pacific War in 1941, Japan faced a shortage of troops as its battle fronts covered vast areas including China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Therefore, it concocted a vicious scheme to meet the manpower shortage by using middle-aged and young Koreans as cannon fodder while reducing its loss as much as possible in the war.

Accordingly, it enacted all kinds of draconian laws including the special act on Korean volunteers for the Japanese ground force and the ordinance on conscription to drive hundreds of thousands of Korean young people to battlefields.

Not content with that, the Japanese proclaimed the ordinance on student soldiers in November 1943 in order to draft young Korean students, according to which even those studying at universities, colleges and high schools were liable for conscription.

The enactment of the ordinance was part of the scheme for reinforcing its armed forces the Japanese imperialists hatched ahead of their defeat and constituted an unethical crime geared to getting rid of the educated class of the Korean nation.

However, the ordinance was met with outright rejection by Korean youth and students from the outset. Therefore, the Japanese police and military police forces arrested "evaders" and forcibly drafted students.

Due to the harsh enforcement of the act, lots of young Koreans were taken to the battlefields for aggression as cannon fodder and bullet-shields and met wrongful deaths on alien lands.

Japan's hideous unethical crimes inflicted a deep wound that does not heal on the hearts of the Korean people.

Nevertheless, the insular nation is embellishing its past crimes against humanity, far from being guilt-ridden, and worse still, it is giving spurs to its militarization in an attempt to realize the old dream of the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

The statute of limitations does not apply to past crimes that remain unredressed.

(Pyongyang Times - December 7, 2020)

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