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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 27 - March 5  >  Osaka temple holds ceremony to return remains of forced labor victims to S. Korea
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2019 February 27 - March 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Osaka temple holds ceremony to return remains of forced labor victims to S. Korea

February 28, 2019
Toukokuji Temple in Osaka on February 27 performed a ceremony to return to South Korea the remains of 74 Korean victims of wartime forced labor in Japan. The ceremony took place in relation to the centennial anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement.

During the war, many Korean people were forcibly taken to Japan to work as forced laborers.

The recently returned remains were recovered together with the remains of about other 130 Korean forced laborers between 1958 and 1979 in Okayama Prefecture by a civil group led by Buddhist Priest Osumi Jitsuzan who died in 2000 at the age of 95. Toukokuji Temple with its historical background related to the Korean Peninsula had taken custody of the remains of the 74 deceased Koreans who were all unclaimed.

At the ceremony, Kim Hung-gul, head of a South Korean civil organization, the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC), delivered the opening speech. Kim expressed his appreciation for the return of the remains and his hope that the remains of North Korean forced labor victims will also be returned to their homeland.

The Toukokuji chief priest paid tribute to the late Osumi and said that it is necessary for South Korean and Japanese people to remember the historical facts behind the remains of former Korean laborers.
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