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Documents, photos revealed on Japan's forced conscription of Korean laborers, local sex slaves Updated: 2017-08-14 12:01:03 KST

Documents testifying to the brutality of Japanese colonial rule over Korea -- including conscription into forced labor and sexual slavery -- continue to come out.

On Sunday, the National Archives of Korea announced it's to reveal almost 6-thousand written and photographic records showing the circumstances of conscription in Korea in the 1930s and 40s.
These 5-thousand documents and 1-thousand photos were contributed by a Korean Christian center in Japan, initially collected and produced by Eidai Hayashi -- a Japanese journalist well known for his studies of Japan's wartime atrocities.
Among them are newspapers published at a Japanese coal mine from 1944 to 1945, one of which records that of almost 2-thousand Koreans forced to work at the mine, more than 11-hundred escaped, not being able to withstand the harsh treatment there.
Another paper describes a fire that killed 20 people at a mine that use Korean conscripts.
Photos include those of the much-debated Hashima Island -- a symbol of Japan's industrialization but also where hundreds of Koreans were forced to labor at undersea coal mines.

Meanwhile, a cultural research institute in Korea has disclosed documents from the late 1930s that show police officers in Japan were appalled by the recruitment of sex slaves from their own country, which they viewed as the kidnapping of women.
In one of the documents, a police official near Osaka reports to his superior that he investigated three men suspected of kidnapping women by promising them food and money if they'll meet with soldiers.
The official also leaves the names of the three suspects.
But he later gets a reply saying that what he thought was kidnapping is a conscription policy and that the military and embassy are involved.
If the so-called "recruitment" appeared unseemly to the Japanese police, many say it would have been far worse for the Korean women it targeted.
The Japanese government has often claimed there's no evidence to prove that conscription and sexual slavery were forced upon Koreans.
But there are thousands upon thousands of records bearing witness to the reality of Japanese rule at the time, and more still coming out.
Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.
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