Japan Halts Plans to List Slave-Labor Site with UNESCO

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    January 21, 2022 12:10

    The Japanese government has slammed the brakes on plans to list another site where Koreans were mobilized as slave labor during World War II as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Thursday.

    Last month, Japan said that it would try to register a historic mine on the island of Sado in Niigata Prefecture on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

    Tokyo appears to have made the decision due to fierce opposition from Korea and China, which reduces the chances of its bid succeeding, according to the daily. 

    An exhibition at the historic mine on Sado Island in Japan

    The Japanese Foreign Ministry persuaded the Niigata Prefecture government and the prime minister's office that Japan could lose credibility in the international community if it pushes ahead with the listing application in the face of opposition from neighboring countries.

    It also worries that Japan could be accused of double standards because in 2015 it successfully amended UNESCO regulations to stop it from reviewing applications for the Memory the World documentary list if any member opposes in response to China's attempt to list records of the Nanking Massacre and sexual slavery by Japan.

    But the Japanese government has not given up the plan altogether and will try again after 2024, the daily added. 

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