South Korean government to fight for Japan's sincere efforts to tell the 'full history' on its Hashima Island

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Video Discription: Japan's Hashima Island was given World Heritage status in 2015.
Contrary to how the Japanese government promotes it, the site was a prison for Koreans forced into hard labor.
While Tokyo promised to outline all aspects of the so-called battleship island, their implementation report was heavily criticized.
It will be put to evaluation this week.
Lee Ji-won reports.

Japan's report on its progress so far in telling the "full history" of Hashima Island will be scrutinized this week by the World Heritage Committee at their annual session held this year in Bahrain.

Known as a "state of conservation report," the document was submitted last year, and covered efforts related to Japan's world heritage sites of the Meiji Revolution period,... including Hashima Island, also known as "Battleship Island."
During the Second World War, between five hundred and eight hundred Koreans were forcibly taken to Hashima to work in coal mines for little or no pay and hardly any food.
When Hashima was listed as a world heritage site in 2015, Japan had promised to publicize the island's true history, which would include setting up information centers and commemorating the victims.

The World Heritage Committee is expected to publish its analysis of Japan's progress report on Wednesday.

The review's first draft strongly urges Japan to do its best to address Hashima's full history, but many South Koreans are saying that it does not clearly deal with the loopholes in Tokyo's reports.

In fact, Japan's progress report fails to include either of the phrases "forced labor" or "brought against their will,"... phrases Japan itself had used back in 2015.
Instead it says simply that there was a large number of people from the Korean Peninsula who "supported" Japanese industry.
The committee's first draft also does not address Japan's plans for the information center, which would be located in Tokyo, over a thousand kilometers away from Hashima -- a gesture seen as insincere.
Even worse, the center is to be set up as a "think tank," which could be used to portray the facts as a matter of opinion.

A South Korean foreign affairs official said the government has been firm that it cannot accept Japan's 2017 report, and that it has raised the issue with UNESCO, its advisory committee ICOMOS, the member states, and even with Japan.

"The official added that Seoul will make sure the World Heritage Committee correctly addresses the issue this time, so that Japan's next implementation report, due at the end of 2019,... will be properly amended and evaluated in 2020.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News."


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