South Korea Can Keep Buddha Statue Stolen From Japan, Court Says

New York Times

Sekko Tanaka, a Buddhist monk on the Japanese island of Tsushima, in 2013, holding a photograph of a Buddha statue that was stolen the year before. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

SEOUL, South Korea — A court ruled Thursday that a South Korean temple can have a Buddha statue that was stolen from a Japanese temple in 2012, on the grounds that it had been taken from Korea centuries earlier by Japanese pirates.

Japan called the ruling “regrettable” and urged the statue’s return. The dispute is being closely watched by both governments, whose relations are often roiled by historical disputes.

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