UNESCO to List Forced-Labor Sites in Japan

      May 06, 2015 11:53

      An advisory body to UNESCO has recommended 23 Japanese sites for World Cultural Heritage status, local media reported. They include factories where Korean forced laborers produced weapons and other materials for the Japanese war machine during World War II.

      According to NHK, the 23 sites date back to Japan's industrial revolution in the late 19th century. The facilities were used to power the Japanese war machine that invaded China and occupied Korea and forced Koreans to work in appalling conditions.

      The sites were recommended for heritage listing by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, or ICOMOS, but the Korean government and academics are perturbed.

      A government official here said, "Registering the sites merely as industrial heritage sites while ignoring the fact that they were involved in the enslavement of Korean workers goes against the principles of the World Cultural Heritage convention."

      The official pledged the government will use all its diplomatic resources to ensure that these concerns are addressed.

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