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Johnsen, Nikolai (2021) 'Katō Kōko’s Meiji Industrial Revolution - Forgetting forced labour to celebrate Japan's World Heritage Sites - Part 2.' The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 19 (5).

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Abstract: This article is the second in a two part-series. Part 1 introduced Katō Kōko as the pivotal figure behind the World Heritage inscription process and the controversial historical narratives of “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.” Using Hashima Island as an example, part 1 criticised Katō’s omission of the history of Korean and other forced labor, and discussed the significance of Katō’s historical revisionism in the Industrial Heritage Information Centre in Tokyo. Part 2 explores Katō's leading roles in several heritage related bodies in Japan. This allowed her to present historical evidence selectively and to interpret it to support her celebratory narrative of the Japanese industrial revolution while denying the relevant history of foreign forced labor. Her official roles were critical in creating platforms for neo-nationalism that legitimate radical historical revisionism. Katō’s cooperation with UNESCO is demonstrably dishonest and she should be removed from her heritage related roles in order for Japan to honour its commitment at the time of World Heritage inscription to acknowledge the history of Koreans and others who were forced to work at these sites during wartime.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
SOAS Doctoral School
ISSN: 15574660
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2021 12:41

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