로고

UNESCO expresses strong regrets to Japan on forced labor issue

By Hwang Ji-ye | 기사입력 2021/08/04 [08:01]

UNESCO expresses strong regrets to Japan on forced labor issue

By Hwang Ji-ye | 입력 : 2021/08/04 [08:01]

▲ Hashima Island called Battleship Island is an abandoned island of Nagasaki, Japan. While the island is a symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan, it is also a reminder of Japanese war crimes as a site of forced labour prior to and during the Second World War.


On July 12th, the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee released its report of inspection on Japanese industrial revolution sites registered on the World Heritage List. The committee expressed strong “regrets” to Japan about not keeping its pledge to convey sufficient information on forced labor. These sites include Hashima or Battleship Island, which is notoriously known for taking more than 800 Koreans for forced labor during the Pacific War. 

 

The Committee also requested Tokyo to fully take into account its recommendation and take “measures that allow an understanding of the large number of Koreans and others brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions,” as well as to have continuing dialogue with concerned parties, such as the Korean government. In response to this request, Japan is required to submit updates on the recent implementation by December 1st, 2022.

 

A Foreign Ministry official said, “It is not often that UNESCO uses such strong language. With the recent confirmation by the Committee that Japan has not been following up on its pledge, we are hoping that this time, with the warning, Japan will take appropriate measures.” 

 

Controversies over Hashima Island began in 2015 when the island and 22 other sites of the Meiji Industrial Revolution were included as UNESCO World Heritage sites in July of the same year. South Korea expressed strong discontent because of the inhumane treatment of approximately 63,700 Koreans who were taken against their will and forced to work in 11 of the sites, including Hashima Island. Encountering Korea’s opposition, Japan acknowledged that the forced labor of Koreans did occur on these sites during the 1940s and pledged that it would implement follow-up actions to remember the victims by establishing an information center.     

 

However, the promise made by Japan was not realized. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee together with the International Council on Monuments and Sites conducted an investigation of the information center over three days starting on June 7 this year and found that Japan was not offering sufficient information. The World Heritage Committee pointed out that Japan had not fulfilled its pledge to commemorate the victims and was not informing people of the forced labor issue.

 

After the inspection, the World Heritage Committee published a report and said that it “strongly regrets” that Japan has “not yet fully implemented the relevant decision.” It added that the center was not offering sufficient information to be acknowledged as “adequately serving the purpose of remembering the victims.”

 

64th Edition of Weeklymonday (August 2, 2021) 

  • 도배방지 이미지

Photo News
이동
메인사진
“Korean June Huh wins 2022 Fields Medal”
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
광고
광고
광고