Japanese Abbot Appeals for Return of Stolen Statue at S. Korean Court


Daejeon, South Korea, June 15 (Jiji Press)--The abbot of a Japanese temple appeared in a court in South Korea on Wednesday, appealing for the early return of a Buddhist statue stolen by a South Korean theft group in 2012.

At Daejeon High Court, the abbot, Setsuryo Tanaka, 46, claimed that the Buddhist statue belongs to the temple in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture.

The statue, currently held by the South Korean government, is a cultural property designated by the southwestern Japan prefecture. The Japanese government has been demanding the return of the statue.

Meanwhile, a South Korean temple has filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government, claiming its ownership of the statue. The temple argues that it is highly likely that the statue was taken by Japanese pirates in the 14th century.

In January 2017, Daejeon District Court accepted the South Korean temple's claim. The South Korean government has appealed the ruling to the high court.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press