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Korea's Last Princess Urges Japan to Return Artifacts

2013/03/02 | 948 views | Permalink | Source

The last princess of Korea, Yi Hae-gyeong, will soon send a letter and urge the Japanese government to return a headpiece and armor that belonged to the royal family of the Joseon Dynasty.

South Korean Buddhist monk Hye Moon, who is working on the return of the royal artifacts, said on Friday in New York that Yi will send a letter with such demands to Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his foreign minister Kishida Fumio. A letter will also be sent to Zeniya Masami, executive director of Tokyo National Museum.

Hye Moon said that Yi intended to hold a news conference but decided not to for health reasons. The Buddhist monk however cited Yi as saying that the pieces must be returned for a desirable relationship between the two countries.

The artifacts were taken by Japanese businessman Okura Takenosuke during the Japanese colonial occupation of Korea, along with around one thousand other pieces. Okura's son had donated the pieces to the Tokyo National Museum in 1982, and they have been held there since.

Yi is the granddaughter of Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire who reigned from 1863 to 1907. She resides in New York.

Reported by KBS WORLD Radio Contact the KBS News: englishweb@kbs.co.kr

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