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Johnsen, Nikolai (2021) 'Katō Kōko’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Forgetting forced labour to celebrate Japan's World Heritage Sites - Part 1.pdf.' The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 19 (1).

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Abstract: Katō Kōko is the pivotal figure behind the World Heritage inscription process and the controversial historical narratives of “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.” Several of these industrial sites used Korean as well as Chinese and Allied POW forced labor during wartime, and Japan agreed to present narratives of the victims forced to work at the sites when they were inscribed as World Heritage in 2015. The plans for the Industrial Heritage Information Centre for these sites officially agreed to document the remembrance of these victims, but a July 2021 UNESCO/ICOMOS report stated that the Centre conveys a message that no one was forced to work at the relevant sites. Katō Kōko, Managing Director of the Information Centre, was central in planning and collecting source material for its exhibitions. She is also UNESCO’s direct contact as Managing Director of the Information Centre. Katō has created celebratory narratives of Japan that actively deny the history of its forced laborers. With the backing of powerful Japanese politicians, Katō has put on a false performance of cooperation for UNESCO and related international stakeholders.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Japan World Heritage, Korean forced labor, Meiji industrialization, Tokyo Industrial Heritage Information Centre, Hashima/ Gunkanjima, Kato Koko, 加藤康子
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
SOAS Doctoral School
ISSN: 15574660
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2021 12:16

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