Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 16 - 29  > Gov’t PR center under fire for denial of wartime forced labor in its display of World Heritage sites
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 September 16 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov’t PR center under fire for denial of wartime forced labor in its display of World Heritage sites

September 19, 2020

A civil network working on the issue of wartime Korean forced laborers in Japan held a press conference on September 18 in Tokyo and criticized a government PR center for UNESCO World Heritage sites related to Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution by saying that exhibitions at the center deny Japan’s use of forced labor.

The facility in question, the industrial heritage information center opened in June in Tokyo’s Shinjuku with the aim of promoting PR activities about steel factories, coal mines, and other industrial facilities built in the late 19th Century during Japan’s industrial revolution era. Those on the World Heritage list are among them and constitute a major feature of the PR center.

At a time when these sites gained the UNESCO designation in 2015, the Japanese government promised to take measures to help the general public learn about the fact that under Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula, many Koreans were forcibly taken to work at steel mills and coal mines in Japan as well as the fact that during wartime, the Japanese government implemented a policy to make use of Korean forced laborers.

However, according to the Network for Research on Forced Labor Mobilization, the information center in its exhibitions and guided tour programs denies the use of Koreans as slave labor. The civil network demanded that the government acknowledge the historical fact. Other demands included collecting and displaying testimonies and records of Korean victims of wartime forced labor in Japan.

Nakamura Mitsunobu, secretary general of the network, said, “Japan’s industrial development was achieved by a large number of victims of forced labor. This fact should be passed down to future generations.”

Past related articles:
> Dialogue in sincere manner is important: JCP Kokuta in meeting with S. Korean parliamentarians [August 1, 2019]
> Shii as member of parliamentary union speaks on Korean 'forced laborers' with President Moon [December 15, 2018]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved