The first Korea-Japan Agreement (第一次日韓協約)

The First Korea-Japan Agreement was an agreement signed between the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire (Joseon Dynasty) during the Russo-Japanese War on August 22, 1904. With this, the Korean government had to appoint recommendees of the Empire of Japan as their governmental officials in finance and diplomacy.

The representative of Japan at that time was the envoy extraordinary Gonsuke HAYASHI and the representative of Korea was the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chi-ho YUN.

Although it was in the middle of the Russo-Japanese War, by the time this agreement was signed, the battle on the Korean Peninsula had ended and Korea was virtually under the rule of Japan. However, Gao Zong (Korean Emperor) was not satisfied and sent a secret agent to Russia. On March 26, 1905, the secret letter from the Emperor of Korea to the Russian Emperor was found out by Japan. And then, he sent secret agents to Russia and France in July and to the USA and the UK in October. In response to these actions, the Japanese government decided that the Korean Empire had no intension of abiding by the agreement which ruled that the Korean Empire was to discuss any diplomatic matters with the Japanese government; the Japanese government began asking for the Second Korea-Japan Agreement so that they could totally control the diplomatic rights of Korea.

Full Text

The Korean government shall appoint a Japanese national whom the Japanese government recommends as the financial advisor to the Korean government and all financial matters shall be consulted with this person before implementation.

The Korean government shall appoint a foreigner whom the Japanese government recommends as the diplomacy adviser of the Korean government and all the diplomatic matters shall be consulted with this person before implementation.

In the event that the Korean government is to decide on signing an agreement with another country or to decide how to deal with any diplomatic matters such as giving privileges, disposition and signing contracts with foreigners, they shall consult the Japanese government beforehand.

Gonsuke HAYASHI, Envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, as of August 22, 1904
Chi-ho YUN, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as of August 22, 1904