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Title UNESCO resolution urges Japan to tell world of forced labor history
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  • Date 2021-12-03 13:49:32
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군함도 관련 일러스트

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee on July 22 unanimously adopted a resolution expressing ''strong regrets'' over Japan's failure to take promised follow-up measures to inform the world of the history of forced labor at Meiji Industrial Revolution sites. The world cultural body also urged faithful implementation of the measures. (Yonhap News)

 By Yoon Sojung

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee on July 22 expressed ''strong regrets'' over Japan's failure to fulfill follow-up measures it promised related to the 2015 designation of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution facilities. The committee unanimously adopted a resolution urging Japan to fully implement the measures.

 The resolution was adopted on July 22 at the 44th annual session of the World Heritage Committee, slated for July 16-31 via videoconferencing in Fuzhou, China, where approximately 1,300 people from 21 countries are expected to attend.


The resolution expressed the committee's ''strong regrets'' over Japan's failure to take follow-up measures it promised in 2015, when 23 industrial sites from the Meiji era, including the coal mine on Hashima (Battleship) Island, were designated UNESCO World Heritage.

 The committee urged Japan to fully consider ''measures to allow an understanding of a large number of Koreans and others brought against their will and forced work under harsh conditions, and the Japanese government's requisition policy.''

 Since its opening in Tokyo in June last year, the Industrial Heritage Information Centre has faced international criticism because of an exhibition there that denies Japan forced Koreans and others to work on the island. Instead, the center features testimony from a former island resident claiming that Koreans were treated equally to Japanese.


For this reason, UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites formed a joint team to inspect the center last month and wrote a 60-page report on their findings. The results were reflected in the committee's resolution.

In the decision, the committee ''requested Japan to submit by Dec. 1, 2022, to the World Heritage Centre an updated state of conservation report of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by World Heritage Committee at its 46th session in 2023.''

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release, ''This decision holds significance in that the international community explicitly confirmed that Japan has not yet implemented the Committee's recommendations and its own commitments made at the time of inscription in 2015, and strongly urged its full implementation.''

 ''The Korean government, in close cooperation with the related authorities, will be watching concrete measures to be taken by Japan, such as improvements in the Tokyo Information Centre, and will continue to urge Japan to fully implement the Committee decision at an early date.''


[source] https://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/History/view?articleId=201394&pageIndex=1

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