Koreans join memorial service for wartime Chinese workers

About 60 people, including representatives of Korean residents' organizations, assembled at a Buddhist temple in Odate city in Akita Prefecture on June 30 to mark the 56th anniversary of the Hanaoka Incident, an uprising by hundreds of wartime Chinese workers at the Hanaoka mines in Akita Prefecture.

This year's memorial service was attended for the first time by representatives of two Korean residents' associations in Japan, the Korean Residents Union in Japan and the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan. This allowed this year's service to truly remember all foreigners who were taken to Japan as slave labor.

Nearly 1,000 Chinese workers participated in the 1945 uprising which took place just two and a half months before the end of WWII. All of the rebel workers were arrested and hundreds were tortured to death following their arrests.

Toward the end of WWII, the Japanese government forcibly took about 40,000 Chinese to Japan for slave labor at mines throughout the country. However, the government has refused to accept responsibility.

"No friendship will be established until the Japanese government admits the offense," stressed the representative of the association to safeguard the memorial of peace and friendship between Japan and China built at Hanaoka. (end)