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Japan’s National Heritage Information Center fabricates history of forced mobilization

Japan’s National Heritage Information Center fabricates history of forced mobilization

Posted June. 22, 2020 07:48,   

Updated June. 22, 2020 07:48


The National Heritage Information Center recently opened in Tokyo, Japan has been criticized for distorting the history of forced mobilization of Koreans. The center is a space to introduce industrial heritage of the Meiji Era including the Battleship Island.

Japan acknowledged that it forced harsh labor on Koreans and promised to find measures to console victims when it listed industrial facilities including those for forced labor as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2015. But the center was filled with content that denies the history of forced labor.

“The Japanese government is fabricating and distorting the truth of laborers and labor conditions of the past despite its pledge to inherit the history of faceless people who laid a foundation for industries,” said administrator Hisamoto Kobayashi. “We need to request that changes be made to the exhibition at the World Heritage Committee.”

“The 42nd World Heritage Committee in 2018 called for talks with the countries directly involved, but the Japanese government ignored this request and pressed ahead with the establishment of the center,” said Mitsunobu Nakata, head of the Network for Research on Forced Labor Mobilization. “The committee for truth inspection requested reinvestigation of industrial labor in November, but the Japanese government only said it wouldn’t reinvestigate the matter as sufficient investigation has been conducted already. The Japanese government and the National Conference of Industrial Heritage have been denying the history of colonization and ignoring the resolution and recommendations of the UNESCO.”

Japanese experts participated in the seminar through a video conference platform with Korean experts.

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com