China, South Korea eye joint movie on assassin of Japan’s first prime minister


China and South Korea are mulling the idea of jointly producing a movie on Korean independence activist Ahn Jung-geun, who assassinated Hirobumi Ito, Japan’s first prime minister, in 1909.

According to Lee Sei-kee, head of a South Korea-China friendship association, famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou visited South Korea last year and met with Dankook University professor Kim Young-ho, who is an expert on Ahn.

Kim proposed that Zhang make a movie about Ahn, telling him that Ahn advocated peace in Asia, including Japan, although he detested Ito. Kim suggested such a movie be based on the concept that the three Asian countries strive toward peace, according to Lee.

Zhang was interested and asked the South Koreans to prepare scripts, Lee said.

China is willing to work with South Korea in pressing Japan to address history issues. In January, China opened a memorial museum dedicated to Ahn at Harbin Station in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China.

Besides being Japan’s first prime minister, Ito was also the first resident-general of Japan-controlled Korea. He was gunned down by Ahn on the platform of Harbin Station in October 1909.

Ahn was executed in March 1910, five months before Japan annexed Korea under a disputed treaty. Japan’s brutal colonial rule ended when it lost World War II in 1945.