Japan Hands Over Records of Forced Labor Victims

      August 27, 2010 12:44

      Japan has sent the Korean government the death records of some 5,600 Koreans who died during forced labor at Japanese firms and mines in colonial times.

      "Last Thursday, we received from the Japanese government burial and cremation permits containing the death reports of some 5,600 Korean laborers," an official with a commission investigating forced labor said.

      The permits were issued by local governments based on death notices. They include not only basic information like the name, permanent address, date of birth and gender but also their occupation, work site, and date and cause of death.

      The permits run to a total of over 4,000 pages, the largest batch of records on forced Korean laborers the government has yet received from Tokyo.

      "The handover can be said to be the first practical step since Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged to support the return of cultural properties and remains" in his Aug. 22 apology for colonial rule, a commission official said. "The records are important in certifying the damage inflicted by forced labor, paying compensation, notifying families and establishing the identities of those subjected to forced labor."

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