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Korea, China and Japan agree to make joint efforts to protect copyrights of cultural content
  • August 31, 2021

Korea, China and Japan agree to make joint efforts to protect copyrights of cultural content

Updated : 2021-08-31 09:03


By Kwak Yeon-soo

The culture ministers of Korea, China and Japan adopted a declaration calling for the promotion of cultural exchanges among the three countries, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the cultural and creative sectors.

The three-way meeting between Korea's culture minister Hwang Hee, China's culture minister Hu Heping and Japan's culture minister Hagiuda Koichi, has been held annually since 2007. Last year's event was cancelled due to the pandemic. This year, the three ministers met via video conferencing on Monday.

The Kitakyushu Declaration, endorsed at the ministerial meeting held online, calls for jointly holding arts and cultural events during the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Beijing.

The declaration also stated that the three Asian countries will strengthen their partnership among state-funded cultural institutions and museums. The ministers agreed to make joint efforts to protect their copyrights of cultural content as well as to cooperate in developing the technology needed for content creation and distribution.

Sharing the view that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a stagnation in the tourism sector, the three ministers discussed ways safely and gradually to revive tourism activities. They also stressed the importance of safeguarding tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

"At the meeting, we reaffirmed the importance of cooperating in the cultural fields despite the COVID-19-driven crisis. If Korea, China and Japan make joint efforts for cultural growth in East Asia, we will be able to lay a strong foundation for cultural prosperity in the post-pandemic era," Culture Minister Hwang said after the meeting.

During their meeting, the ministers also selected three host cities called the "Culture Cities of East Asia 2022" which will host a variety of cultural and artistic events. The aim is to improve relations between the three countries. The cities selected were Gyeongju in Korea, Oita in Japan and China's Jinan and Wenzhou.

The trilateral meeting, however, did not address sensitive topics, such as cultural content copyright infringement or distortions of history.

Tensions between Seoul and Tokyo have risen since Japan attempted to gloss over the history of Korean forced labor on Hashima Island, also known as Battleship Island, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and has continued to make territorial claims to Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

Korea's cultural spat with China has also been growing more intense, as some Chinese netizens have falsely claimed as theirs Korean cultural heritage, such as kimchi and hanbok (traditional Korean dress). As a result, anti-China sentiment has emerged among the younger generation in Korea.

However, 2021-2022 marks the "Year of ROK-China Cultural Exchange," while 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.