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`Japanese Killed Koreans for Resisting Cannibalism`

Posted October. 08, 2010 07:51,   


Koreans who were forced to work by the Japanese military at Mili Lagoon in the Marshall Islands around the end of World War II were massacred for rejecting cannibalism, a Korean government study said Tuesday.

A committee probing Koreans who were forced to work at home and abroad under Japanese colonial rule said it studied survivors` testimonies and Japanese government documents from 2006. This culminated in a report on Korean resistance at the lagoon and the ensuing crackdown by Japanese soldiers.

The report said some 1,000 Koreans were forced to build military facilities for the Japanese, such as an airfield in the lagoon, in early 1945. After supply routes were cut due to a blockade by U.S. submarines, the ensuing food shortage led to the Japanese resorting to cannibalism, and Koreans who refused to eat human flesh were killed.

A survivor testified that Koreans ate what they thought was whale meat brought by Japanese soldiers to the lagoon in early 1945, but that the corpse of a Korean whose flesh was cut on a nearby deserted land was found a few days later. Koreans who found that people went missing learned that Japanese soldiers killed them, ate the meat, and gave it to Koreans.

Some 120 Koreans staying on Chelpong Island at the lagoon tried to lure seven of 12 Japanese supervisors to the woods to kill them and then surrender to U.S. forces. The resistance plan was discovered the following day, however, and Japanese soldiers on nearby Luk Nok Island killed around 100 Koreans with machine guns.

An expert on the committee said, “Though proving that cannibalism occurred at Mili Lagoon is difficult, it can be seen as fact based on situational documents and testimonies.”