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Japan industrial sites, Alamo get world heritage status

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By CHRISTOPH NOELTING and FRANK JORDANS

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Nice to see cooperation for a common goal between SK and Japan!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Glad Japan and South Korea solved the problem through dialogue thus avoiding a confrontation. It should contribute to the stable development of bilateral relations.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Shoot! Just as I was planning to visit Gunkanjima. :/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan supported South Korea's bid to get the Baekche Historical Areas registered without any comment, and South Korea returns the favor by politicizing the UNESCO concept obstructing Japan's bid. So typical really.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Funny that the Alamo should get WH-status at this point in time. The war Texas was fighting with Mexico was actually secession (Texas was a part of the newly independent country of Mexico). Texans wanted to split off from the Mexican country for several reasons, a primary one of which was to allow slavery which the Mexican government had recently abolished. Texas had strong support from other southern states, and after winning independence, Texas fully adopted all aspects of slavery and its trade into its constitution. So to hark "Remember the Alamo" is pretty much akin to flying the Confederate flag (I wonder if black Americans were able to get a provision like the South Koreans stating that they "were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions" for several decades in the state).

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I am so glad that "Gunkanjima" Fortress Island has been named to the UNESCO list of world heritage, even it is the negative heritage.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I knew someone was going to be a party pooper (no, I don't mean the Koreans - whose ancestors I understand decimated a nation allied with the Yamato dynasty centuries ago but I guess the Japanese decided it was "Kudaranai" to bring that issue up)! The Lone Star flag is not a symbol of racism or slavery! As for the reason why The Alamo was selected: "a living example of the interchange of cultures bringing together the indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and other influences that form South Texas today." Enuf said! PS: Only idiot neocon types side with dictators over people who wanted to lead lives free from conscriptions, harsh taxation and the right to exercise control over their own property (like the Old Families of Texas, non-Anglos who helped set up the Republic); actually maybe it is high time we extricated ourselves from those calling for war/conscriptions and harsher taxation etc while seeking to limit property rights unreasonably...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Congratulations to Singapore for getting its Botanical Gardens on the registry! Well done - just hope some chap's not going to start going around claiming "cultural genocide" because the English art of gardening has taken roots in Asia. No dampers please! It is a jolly good show and deserves a nice round of applauses!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ossan:

Japan supported South Korea's bid to get the Baekche Historical Areas registered without any comment,

Well, I don't recall reading anything about Japanese slave labour in Baekchae, so I can't think of any reason why Japan would be against it.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

South Korea took advantage of Japan's desperation of wanting this world heritage status.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@TexPomeroy:

By "other influences" is this how they could include the black African slaves into their "interchange of cultures"?

But yes, you are absolutely correct that the seceeding Texan citizenry of the time wanted "the right to exercise control over their own property", however what you failed to mention was that in this case, they considered human beings to be "property".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ironic that the Alamo gets in at the same time as the Blue and John Crow Mountains.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan WOULD have been fine if it HAD NOT tried to be sneaky about the sites history! Simple as that.

Japan has long tried to be sneaky wrt to history, even when MAKING history.

If Japan had been honest it would have not been an issue, but as we have all seen for 70yrs HONESTY is something Japan is reluctant to DO!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This is the first time ever Japan admits that they used forced laborers. Deal with it.

South Korea took advantage of Japan's desperation of wanting this world heritage status.

UNESCO heritage sites should tell the entire truth in history. Japanese like to hide , not just partial history that Japanese would like to only extoll.

The majority of Japanese convinced again that Koreans are not worth trusting. They keep lying.

The majority of the world are convinced again that Japanese are keep lying. Just ask the US POW's who were used as forced laborers in those islands. They would tell you, Koreans are not lying about Japan's horrible abuse of forced laborers.

Your own Japanese government has just admitted that there were forced laborers. Are you going to deny that too now? The UNESCO sites will now have to tell the history of forced laborers. I hope lots and lots of people go there to visit them and see the history of forced laborers.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Camnai, I take it that you find it "Ironic that the Alamo gets in at the same time as the Blue and John Crow Mountains" because of the "diversity" angle as well as the fact that the British colony developed thanks to the "property" brought over to the Caribbean under the "proslavery" Union Jack? BTW Texpomeroy when you say the Japanese did not bring up "Kudaranai" reference you intended a pun on "Kudara" and (now, having been wiped out - or is genocide the current word of preference - by the ancestors of today's Koreans) "nai" as in "no longer"?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks for listing all the sites and congratulations to them for getting recognition. No offence intended to them, but "World Heritage" is an impressive title for a fertilizer plant, the Fray Bentos factory, and the Forth Bridge. I'm sure they have their own importance, but the same title as the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids is stretching things a bit far. It reminds me a bit of those "you won't believe this amazing .... " clickbait links you see all over the Internet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The majority of Japanese convinced again that Koreans are not worth trusting. They keep lying.

I understand there's a huge anger on online Japanese sites. And you're saying majority of Japanese are convinced Koreans lied about forced laborers.

One more proof that Japan's empty apologies are totally worthless and Japan should be continued to be pressured into telling the truth whenever the chance arises.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Good for them the living conditions where bad even for the short-term workers.

Jaw many kids grew up these? This was not just a labour camp.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Virgo, JT was recently bought out by a right wing company Fuji TV lab. They delete anything related to truth now. JT isn't what it used to be. So many of my comments were deleted too. Watch and see if this comment doesn't get deleted too.

On another note, just glad to see they worked it out. If only Japan would repeat this reconcilliatory behaviour we could all be great friends. Not holding my breath though...

Moderator: Please do not post rubbish like this. Japan Today sets its own editorial policy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Papi

The economies of those municipalities are in bad shape that they wanted this regisration badly, but South Korea was blocking it. What can you expect Japan to do other than agreeing to SK's demand?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

tinawatanabe, Japanese media are now saying Japanese government never agreed to Korea's demands of the definition "Forced Labor". This is right after Japan got the UNESCO registration. Now that they got it, are they saying that agreement never happened? The Japanese government now says the forced laborers were not forced, but passive laborers.

http://www.sankei.com/world/news/150706/wor1507060028-n1.html

If this rightwing news story is true, Japan is truly a vile backstabbing nation. If Japan does not install a proper information to tell the entire truth about their UNESCO sites as agreed upon with Korea, then UNESCO should unregister the designation.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Gunkanjima's just an industrial ruin which they couldn't be bothered to knock down. I have to wonder about the value of UNESCO heritage status. At a time when no-one can stop Daesh vandals wrecking real, irreplaceable heritage in the Middle East, does it really help matters to protect an ugly mess like this island?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What Japan says is that it was the wartime requisition labour (like conscription).

It was mandatory for Japanese from the early stage, and Koreans were exempted from such labour until shortly before the end of the war.

It can be said that Japanese were forced to work at factories, against their will in a meaning. This occured in even European nations during the wartime. Other Koreans were migrant workers from the beginning. They came to Japan because the work might have been with high risk but well paid. There were also Taiwanese workers, but I read an article where they are talking about the work at that time with nostalgia.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Papi

Japanese media are now saying Japanese government never agreed to Korea's demands of the definition "Forced Labor".

Japan agreed to Korea's demand that Japan display the information of the laborers including Koreans. I don't know they agreed to the definition "Forced Labor".

If Japan does not install a proper information to tell the entire truth about their UNESCO sites as agreed upon with Korea, then UNESCO should unregister the designation.

Koreans are very good at lobbying, so anything is possible. Personally it's better SK unregister the designation than Japan has more trouble with SK.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They succeeded in the promotion of historic forgery.

Recently, South Koreans who worked at these Japan industrial sites facilities , received a refund of welfare pension. It was 199 yen. If the Korean people was a slave, they do not need to be subscribed to the welfare pension. They worked together with the Japanese. Here as the location of the migrant workers, it was popular.

Those korea fraud succeeded to the world. they keep that to deceives the world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Ossan America

Japan supported South Korea's bid to get the Baekche Historical Areas registered without any comment,

And would you know it. In feudal times Baekche is a fiefdom that cooperated with the Japanese invasion of Korea, apparently one of the nobilities was from there. It's also alleged to be one of the places the Japanese people hopped from to the present islands. Altruism ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most Americans think of the battle at the Alamo as an American-White vs. Mexican-Brown thing, but in reality fully 1/3rd of the defenders of the mission-turned-fort were Mexicans who did not want to be ruled from Mexico City, 1/3rd were immigrants from the United States, and 1/3rd were immigrants from Europe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/07/120_182261.html

Tina Watanabe,

The speech made by Japan's ambassador to UNESCO, Kuni Sato, during the World Heritage Committee (WHC) session in Bonn, Germany, on Saturday, clearly have on record (and on video), has her making the speech that Japan forced Korean laborers.

That is a fact. She is on video making that speech and her speech on video has been released to the world. Japan can't possibly deny this fact. But it looks like they are.

Unlike what Sankei newspaper reports, I think it's the Japanese government using their own water down language to describe the forced laborers to placate their own Japanese population who would never accept the fact that Japan used forced laborers in WWII. I think it's the Japanese media and the Japanese government is lying to its own people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How typical of the Japanese to lie like that. Beg South Korea for UNESCO recognition, acknowledge to the world that you used tens of thousands of forced laborers, make a sorrowful speech to westerners, and then go home and tell your countrymen that slaves wern't used and that Korean laborers were all volunteers.

Flip flop 180

This is the most juvenile, childish, idiotic and dishonest thing i've seen in a while. Its pathetic for one person to do this, but the government of a country doing this is just downright sad. How can any group of people be this two faced?

Oh well, its still a victory for South Korea. UNESCO has already adopted Japan's acknowledgement of using slaves into the sites official statement. No amount of denials at home will change what the rest of the world sees.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Scotland’s Forth Bridge, completed in 1890 to carry trains over the Forth River and still in use today.

I was wondering if this would have been listed... much more important to British readers than the Alamo... English engineering genius and excellent Scottish steel and steel workers :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WatchingStuff, you took the words right out of my mouth.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

WatchingStuff, It is Japanese that are deceived by SK again. Most workers were Japanese, Koreans (who were Japanese at that time) joined later. Those workers are under pension program.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yeah thats us my boss is so happy. Joy is not the word.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Papi, all the Japanese were forced to work including children and women at that time. Japan did not have enough food or weapon. It was a losing war. At school, nobody studied but forced to work. Japan was destroyed completely. Many Japanese were not only forced to work but killed. That's what Sato san meant.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Those workers are under pension program.

tinawatanabe, where do you even get these ideals?

They've never been paid, and they're certainly not under pension programs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Papi2013,

Wartime requisition labour is exempted from the forced labour in the international law. The Japanese ambassador said "forced to work", not forced labour, and it was the same for Japanese during the war, and of course, S. Koreans were Japanese at that time. As I said before, they were exempted from such labour first.

Also, as Ma Go stated above, actually South Koreans who worked at these industrial sites recently received a refund of welfare pension, although it was 199 yen according to the relevant calculation. It proves they were under pension program. I'm sure you would admit that there is no slave who is in such welfare program. After all, Koreans claims are full of contradictions.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

South Korea was trying to deceive the world and Japan. However, South Korea has been cheated of Japan! I found it! LOL

“Japan is prepared to take measures that allow an understanding that there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites,” this, large number Koreans and others who were brought against their will ,,,, in part of, ~ Large number Koreans and others who ~ Yes. There will also be included in many Japanese Of course. LOL They was "requisitioned workers" = "War Mobilization". 

Naturally, these facilities had already existed before the Second World War, In addition to the Koreans there, to stay many Japanese and Taiwanese, that was popular as Migrant location of high income. It will be described with emphasis. and. Since it was not in the prisoner camp, it will not be emphasis.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

from, http://www.mofa.go.jp/press/danwa/press2e_000010.html

After the inscription was decided, Japan made a statement in order to reaffirm its position that Japan, as a responsible member of the World Heritage Committee, will sincerely address the recommendations by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The statement articulated the recognition that the Government of Japan has held hitherto. There is no change whatsoever to the position that the issues relating to property and claims between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), including the issue of requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula, have been settled completely and finally by the Claims Settlement and Economic Co-operation Agreement of 1965, which was concluded on the occasion of the normalization of the relationship between Japan and the ROK.

Conclusion! South Korea was trying to deceive the world and Japan. However, South Korea has been cheated of Japan! "large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh" is "requisitioned workers" ! it was "War Mobilization of Countries that have lost the war".

This and the same thing was done in the United States and other. watch this! ↓ Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17 bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the "Flying Fortress," the B-17F http://www.geocities.jp/torikai004/pp-women1a35337r.jpg

US Mobilization http://www.history.army.mil/documents/mobpam.htm

This may need to correct the contents of the article. LOL

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let the records show what the Japanese delegation had issued in their speech at the UNESCO meeting.

“Japan is prepared to take measures that will allow for the understanding that there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites,” the Japanese delegation read out a statement after the registration was decided, based on its agreement with South Korea.

“Japan is prepared to incorporate appropriate measures into the interpretive strategy to remember the victims such as the establishment of an information center,” the delegation also said.

Read the rest here: http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002269035

The Japanese ambassador said "forced to work", not forced labour

How are those terms, not the same? Is this Japanese English double talk that we are so familiar with? If they were forced to work, they are forced labourers.

South Koreans who worked at these industrial sites recently received a refund of welfare pension, although it was 199 yen

Yes, how generous of Japan to give these "pensioners", the equivalent of about $1.50 and change. It's these type of cynical moves that makes the two countries grow apart. But seriously, I know of no Koreans who have accepted such ridiculous insulting offer. Even those Koreans who were not forced, many of them were fooled into work in factories, got worked to death, and were left unpaid. All subsequent class action lawsuits to get their pay, in Japanese courts have been dismissed. Japan also holds a huge fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars, a fund that grew out of unpaid Korean worker's wages, which Tokyo refuses to release. Granted these workers were not the forced labourers like the Koreans who worked in the UNESCO sites, but they should still be paid their back wages that were never paid. If Japan are not going to pay them, then they should also be considered forced labourers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's great that Japan and South Korea were able to come to an agreement. Additionally...

I, for one, am happy the Alamo got world heritage status. I'm not a native Texan, but I moved there at a young age, grew up there, and went through the education system there, from 1st grade through university. For all intents and purposes, and as to not lie by omission, I consider myself Texan.

Right now in the U.S. we're experiencing what many others are calling "outrage" culture. That means, if people are dissatisfied, offended, or upset at something, and are vocal about it enough, then they'll make a big deal about it and draw large negativity and media exposure on that issue or thing.

Right now, the "hot button" topics are homosexual marriage, the Confederate flag, and now in this very topic to my surprised discovery, the Alamo.

Why is the Alamo garnering hate? Texas did secede from Mexico. They did endorse slavery AT THAT TIME. But why is that surprising? Regardless of our personal views, open slavery was a cultural norm in the world up until the American Civil War Era.

Additionally, to my recollection of my Texas education, that's not the way "Remember the Alamo" was, or is currently, presented. "Remember the Alamo" is a slogan for a "300" (the Spartans) type of story. It's about how a smaller force defended itself against a much larger one who wanted to impose it's will on others.

Also, history's purpose isn't for us to judge it (though people often do, even myself). That won't change the past. History is meant to give us context in how civilizations were. How we, as a modern people, got to the point we are now, and give us a frame of reference for the future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

FernGully, well said! And as 1glenn notes, many living in Texas then did not want to live under fear of arbitrary conscriptions and harsh taxation foisted upon them by the megalomaniac dictator Santa Ana. BTW I am waiting for some people to start calling for removal of the Union Jack from the state flag of Hawaii so my British friends can be offended by these "outrage" mongerers too (well, the then-native Hawaiians did have a nice meal so they aren't complaining about Cook's arrival, I'm sure!).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tinawatanabe said: Most workers were Japanese, Koreans (who were Japanese at that time) joined later. Those workers are under pension program.

Exactly. As sure as the Korean "Comfort Women/Underage Girls" were professional whores who were paid better than Imperial Japanese officers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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