UNESCO panel seeks more details on Japan sites

NHK -- Jul 24
A UNESCO committee has requested that a Japanese facility dedicated to a group of World Heritage sites provide more explanation on former wartime workers from the Korean Peninsula.

A group of 23 industrial sites in Japan gained World Heritage status in 2015. People from the Korean Peninsula worked at some of the locations in the 1940s.

Japan's government set up the Industrial Heritage Information Centre in Tokyo last year to explain the historical backgrounds of those sites. The move was in line with a resolution adopted by the World Heritage Committee.

A report on the facility was published this month after a UNESCO mission inspected it last month.

According to the report, "the interpretive measures to allow an understanding of those brought against their will and forced to work are currently insufficient."

In response to it, the committee unanimously passed a resolution at a virtual session on Thursday.

The resolution says the committee "takes note with satisfaction" that Japan "has met a number of its commitments and complied with a number of aspects of the Committee's relevant decisions."

But the resolution says the committee "strongly regrets" that Japan "has not yet fully implemented the relevant decisions."

The resolution says the committee requests Japan to fully take into account "measures to allow an understanding of a large number of Koreans and others brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions, and the Japanese government's requisition policy."

The 23 sites are related to Japan's industrial revolution, which took place between the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Among them is the Hashima coal mine in Nagasaki City, southwestern Japan. It is also known as "Battleship Island" for its shape. - NHK