S. Korea lodges complaint over Japan's distortion of forced labor history
Updated: 2020-06-15 17:08:23 KST
On Monday, South Korea's foreign ministry summoned the Japanese ambassador, Koji Tomita, and expressed deep regret over the irresponsible way Japan has handled the issue of forced labor in recording the history of the Meiji Revolution.
Earlier the same day, Tokyo had opened the Industrial Heritage Information Center.
Seoul said that the center's content completely distort historical facts
and it cannot help but feel "concerned and disappointed" about how the center has made no effort to commemorate the victims of forced labor.
Plans for the center go back to 2015, when Japan listed 23 places related to the Meiji Industrial Revolution as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
At seven of the sites, Koreans were forced to work without being fed or paid properly and therefore South Korea opposed their designation by UNESCO.
They were listed nonetheless.
But the World Heritage Committee advised Japan to take measures to make clear the "full history" of each site.
Japan's ambassador to UNESCO at the time said Japan will respond sincerely to the issue and remember the victims by establishing an information center.
But the center that opened Monday rather showcases data that deny forced labor and takes no measures to honor the victims.
"Seoul is urging Japan to keep the promise it made to South Korea and the international community when it listed the 23 sites as UNESCO World Heritage and also abide by the World Heritage Committee's decision that Japan should show the full history of the sites. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News."