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Gov’t scolds Tokyo on Unesco sites

Dec 06,2017
Korea expressed regret on Tuesday over Japan not taking proper measures to commemorate the victims of its colonial-era forced labor as part of its promised follow-up action after some of its modern industrial facilities were listed as Unesco heritage sites.

“The government expresses regret over the implementation report that Japan recently submitted as part of its follow-up measures on the world heritage listing of its modern industrial facilities,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The government urges Japan to take measures sincerely and swiftly as it promised with the international community to remember the victims of its forced hard labor,” it added.

Japan’s 23 modern industrial facilities were added to the Unesco World Heritage list in July 2015, of which seven were involved in its mobilization of forced labor from Korea and other Asian countries before and during World War II. They include Hashima Island, also known as Battleship Island, once a densely populated coal-mining site.

Korea voiced its protest against the listing as many of its people were forced onto the island in the 1940s. Unesco recommended Tokyo include a “full history” related to those facilities.

Japan vowed to acknowledge and commemorate the forced labor victims, but it recently submitted a report to Unesco, in which it said that it will install a promised information center in Tokyo, not in Nagasaki, where the facilities are located.