China Protests UNESCO Badge for Japanese Forced-Labor Sites

      May 15, 2015 12:21

      The Chinese government has announced its opposition to UNESCO listing 23 industrial sites in southern Japan where Asians were drafted into forced labor.

      Chinaese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Thursday that forced labor during Japan's occupation of neighboring country constituted "serious crimes."

      "The Chinese side opposes Japan's relevant application and we urge Japan to face up to and properly deal with relevant concerns," Hua said. "We also believe that the World Heritage Committee will properly deal with the relevant issue in a responsible manner."

      She added that Japan's attempt to list the sites with UNESCO world heritage sites ignores the issue of forced labor.

      The sites are industrial facilities built from the 1850s to the 1910s and include the old Shuseikan complex where the feudal lord of Satsuma Province ran steel-making, spinning and weaving, and ship-building businesses. But apart from being a proud record of industrialization they also have a darker history.

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