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Johnsen, Nikolai (2022) 'The Sado Gold Mine and Japan’s ‘History War’ Versus the memory of Korean Forced Laborers.' The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 20 (1). p. 5686.

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Japan has nominated the Sado Gold Mine for UNESECO World Heritage inscription despite South Korean opposition due to Japan’s refusal to recognize the role of wartime Korean forced labor at this location. Japan’s previous industrial World Heritage inscription is criticized for similar denials of forced labor history. In this way, the Japanese government has embarked on a “history war” against Korea and the memories of the wartime victims of forced labor. In addition to providing victim testimony, historical sources and local and Korean research reveals that Mitsubishi forced Korean laborers to work in deadly conditions in the Sado mines. Korean forced laborers were taken to Sado Island where they faced racial discrimination and abuse. This article explains why Japan chose to worsen relations with Korea by nominating the Sado mines for World Heritage inscription while concealing the use of forced Korean labor and examines evidence of forced labor at the site.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Japan World Heritage, UNESCO, Korean forced labor, Sado gold mine, colonialism, 佐渡金山
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
SOAS Doctoral School
ISSN: 15574660
Copyright Statement: Articles at The Asia-Pacific Journal are published under a Creative Commons license. Permission is granted to forward electronically to others and to post Asia-Pacific Journal texts for non-commercial purposes following Creative Commons guidelines, provided they are reproduced intact and the source indicated and linked
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 17:35

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