"Battleship Island" off Nagasaki Photo: WIKIPEDIA
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Locals to deny forced labor by Koreans at coal mine now UNESCO site

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Japan cannot stop repeated Korean nonsense. It is because we do not have a strong military. It is necessary to have a strong military to keep the dignity of our country.

-38 ( +17 / -55 )

I think its about time to move on from history. can we stop the nonsense about NK abductees, comfort women and Yasukuni shrine? This 50 year ago nonsense should not be the headlines of 2017 news every day

-5 ( +23 / -28 )

I think its about time to move on from history

In the current age, many people enjoy being outraged. Just look at the pleasure many take in participating in Twitter witch-hunts.

7 ( +25 / -18 )

Common islanders are unlikely to know what was really taking place. In Japan at the time, people didn't/couldn't question authorities. Why doesnt the govt look to the records from mine operators and other better sources? This whole attempt seems fishy to me.

The German civilians living outside the walls of the Buchenwauld concentration camp refused to believe mass extermination was taking place there....until the Americans showed them inside, and the civilians were shocked. Fortunately, the Americans filmed it. Japan's records on such behavior, by contrast, were mostly destroyed: deliberately.

14 ( +34 / -20 )

Outside of Japan, it's a historical fact. Sadly in Japan due to revisionist teaching in schools and out right lies by politicians who's families profited by using slave labor, the story now contains unicorns, rainbows. Reality is darkness and a very bleak future for the workers there. I've met people used as slave labour, captured Allied soldiers they had it hard but saw these Korean workers and felt pity for them. When your starving beaten on a whim, to see another persons circumstance and feel pity says a lot.

7 ( +31 / -24 )

Those phantom "likes" bots...

This is obviously the next stage of revisionism by Shinzo Abe and Co. Anyone unprepared for this is a fool. Run fools run...

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

Common islanders are unlikely to know what was really taking place. In Japan at the time, people didn't/couldn't question authorities. Why doesnt the govt look to the records from mine operators and other better sources? This whole attempt seems fishy to me.

The island was THE most densely populated place on the planet higher then present Hong Kong and all male was working in the mines with the Koreans.

How could they NOT KNOW what was going on?

Stop fooling yourself.

7 ( +23 / -16 )

When the island was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2015, Japan promised South Korea to exhibit the history of such workers.

So basically, the Government lied through their teeth, having no intention to do so.

Unesco status should be rescinded, forthwith.

0 ( +22 / -22 )

Wow slow it down lad. I am up for punishing this revisionist scum and all, but is that piece of fine land at fault it is being governed by ungrateful, inhumane imbeciles? Why punish it by removing it from UNESCO, when you can remove those imbeciles just like 100 years ago... did not work that time though...

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Been to the Island and seen much if it in the tour and in reports in it.

Even the locals lived in poor housing and were worked hard, but they were separated from the Koreans.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

I don't know the truth of "Battleship Island", but why should I believe boys (and girls) who constantly "cry wolf" (politicians, bureaucrats, academic prostitutes etc.)?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

One day, before I die, I'd like to see this government humbly acknowledge some wrongdoing...any wrongdoing. It could probably bring the powers that be down.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Been to the Island and seen much if it in the tour and in reports in it.

Even the locals lived in poor housing and were worked hard, but they were separated from the Koreans.

I doubt it since that mine had been closed and the island abandoned for more than 50 years and no islanders are living there any more.

There are no signs that saying anything on that island. One more thing the pay on that island was 5 times higher then average on the mainland.

Again stop fooling yourself.

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

"

Wow slow it down lad. I am up for punishing this revisionist scum and all, but is that piece of fine land at fault it is being governed by ungrateful, inhumane imbeciles? Why punish it by removing it from UNESCO, when you can remove those imbeciles just like 100 years ago... did not work that time though..."

seen a doctor recently?

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Who are the " locals " = ex mine owners, / supervisors, guards ?.... not enough detail.

As said above Nazi,s and even ordinary Germans were unwilling to admit / sometimes unaware of the conditions" in their camps until the Soviets snd Allies liberared those places and showed the evidence ..photos, film ....is there no such hard evidence in this case ? If not,why not?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Tokyo and Seoul have been at odds over the definition of forced labor.

Funny stuff.

Work a prisoner of war to death? "Sorry, didn't happen. We know nothing."

Work a paid slave to death? "That's a 500,000 yen fine. Please stop it. Pretty please".

These people just live in some bizarre alternative reality. The mental acrobatics needed to maintain this false construct of history is truly astounding. No wonder they all seem so angry, all the time.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

@JeffLeeToday 07:47 am JST

Common islanders are unlikely to know what was really taking place. In Japan at the time, people didn't/couldn't question authorities. Why doesnt the govt look to the records from mine operators and other better sources? This whole attempt seems fishy to me.

Are you showing a bit too much resistance over even the POSSIBILITY that it didn't happen?

4 ( +14 / -10 )

How dare people of Korean and Japanese decent who lived on the island at that time say there was not forced or slave labor! I am outraged that this is not commensurate with my agenda....

They're willingly saying it didn't happen so this has nothing to do with revision.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

necessary to have a strong military to keep the dignity of our country.

It’s necessary to have a strong mind and respect for others to keep the dignity of “our” country. Acknowledging mistakes is the first step in maintaining dignity. Lying and refusing to face the truth destroys your dignity; regardless of how big or strong your military is.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@Schopenhauer

dignity and pride are not the same thing!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

What a pathetic little country this is. The 2020 Olympics will be a smoke and mirrors exercise unseen since the Berlin venue in 1936.

0 ( +18 / -18 )

dignity and pride are not the same thing!

Military has nothing to do with neither dignity nor pride. It’s brute force, the strongest bullying the weaker. That’s all.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Dango bongToday  07:32 am JST

I think its about time to move on from history. can we stop the nonsense about NK abductees, comfort women and Yasukuni shrine? This 50 year ago nonsense should not be the headlines of 2017 news every day

Who exactly is holding your finger to your mouse and forcing you to click on headlines for stories you don't want to read every day? That is why you're demanding the censorship of news you aren't interested in, isn't it?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Went to the island 2 years ago. I say that if the Japanese government is going to take this attitude, the UNESCO status of Gunkanjima should be rescinded.

This year we’ve seen similar antics over the erection of “comfort women” statues in San Fransisco etc. Revisionism has to stop.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

Makes you realize just how honest and courageous Germany has been and how shamefully weak, disingenuous, deluded, and dishonest Japan continues to be.

2 ( +19 / -17 )

What a disgusting and pathetic move. This warrants removal and deregistration from UNESCO.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

The Island is preserved as it used to be when people lived there.

Visit yourself before claiming I said things I never did, there is also plenty video footage available of the living conditions.

Next you will claim Alcatraz is also different from what it was.

Over and out.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The Japan bashers are out in full force today.. it's pretty sad when the highlight of your day is to wander over to a website and make accusations against Japan, go live somewhere else if you don't like Japan.

It's hard to believe that you choose to ignore people who were there and lived there tell you with sincerity that they were not forced to do labor.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

This is from the Japan Timers, 18 Feb. 2017 (full quotation follows):

"In 2015, Tokyo said it would take steps to ensure visitors to the island understood that many Koreans and others were brought to the island and forced to work under what it described as “very harsh conditions.” Tourist brochures mention their plight, and guides remind visitors that it was not only Japanese who toiled below ground and sometimes died."

12 ( +16 / -4 )

@Christopher GlenToday 11:35 am JST

This year we’ve seen similar antics over the erection of “comfort women” statues in San Fransisco etc. Revisionism has to stop.

Let's not get confused at the sequence of historiography. Before the 80s, comfort women is not a thing, which distinguishes it from Nanking. This None or Insignificant status was "revised" by Asahi. Whether you think this revision is justified or not, the fact is that in the comfort women case, the idea they were there came later, and thus it is the revisionist position.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

When the island was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2015, Japan promised South Korea to exhibit the history of such workers.

This is quite a common pattern for the Japanese government to lie on an international and national front. The Olympic bid, The IWC, Fukushima meltdowns, tuna catch quotas, the comfort women and Minamata, just to name a few. Why should anybody be surprised they want to change this particularly dark part of their history as well?

4 ( +16 / -12 )

If you have to deny something then, either there is something to deny, or a transparent believable explanation is required. Simply saying "no it didn't happen" just won't do.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

“When the island was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2015, Japan promised South Korea to exhibit the history of such workers.”

seems the solution here here is quite simple; delist it IMMEDIATELY as a UNESCO world heritage site. And delist all further sites if such nonsense from Japan is ever heard again. While we’re at it, I hope this also gets the attention of the IOC and other world events committees Japan is appealing to under the guise of being a welcoming nation.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

Cybernetic Tiger: “The Japan bashers are out in full force today..”

You could quite the article and you’d call it bashing, friend. This is the most common attempt at deflection when you cannot Jude from the facts.

Two questions: what did Japan promise? What are the locals doing here?

Oh, and keep in mind if you answer honestly, you’re “bashing”. :)

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

and Seoul have been at odds over the definition of forced labor.*

Surely there is a better way to resolve these issues...

But since that's the path they've chosen they'll only continue digging themselves into a deeper hole... Both nations...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Shinin ni Kuchi nashi"  (The dead cannot speak)  Here people are arguing things they did not experience. If the people who lived at that time can revive and speak, they can tell us true stories. Opinions here are untrustworthy.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

"Shinin ni Kuchi nashi" (The dead cannot speak) Here people are arguing things they did not experience. If the people who lived at that time can revive and speak, they can tell us true stories. Opinions here are untrustworthy.

And this attitude right here is why no one outside Japan can believe in whatever lukewarm 'apologies' performed by government. Using the 'dead can not speak' excuse is mind numbingly ridiculous seeing as theres miles of historical evidence that are literally a google search away.

This absurd revisionism of history is absolutely disgusting. A true indication of 'true colors shining through' Shame!!!!

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Do they have the statute of limitations in Korea? It seems they do not have the concept of the statute of limitations. As time passes, things become difficult to prove. For this reason, human beings came up with the rules of time limitations. It is Wisdom of God given to human beings to avoid futile and endless strifes.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Its easy. That didn't happen, Koreans were treated equally.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

As time passes, things become difficult to prove. For this reason, human beings came up with the rules of time limitations. It is Wisdom of God given to human beings to avoid futile and endless strifes.

(Sigh) Does one need to explain the obvious? Okay. Thats why we have historical record. And like Ive said over and over, the Koreans only desire absolute acts of contrition akin to the German model after the holocaust. Thats it. Plain and simple.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese Government may seem charitable from the outside, but on the inside they're both selfish and above anything else cynical in any kind of matters. Only putting Japan First, even if it involves lying and spreading lies about other countries.

Japan's trustworthiness has recieved a heavy blow, and I'm not sure that's something Japan can easily rebuild. I did not expect these kind of actions from a proud and pre-historically honest country!!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

why a third of them stayed there?

According to the Korean historians, approximately 670,000 Koreans, were conscripted into labor from 1944 to 1945 by the National Mobilization Law.[37] About 670,000 of them were taken to Japan, where about 60,000 died between 1939 and 1945 due mostly to exhaustion or poor working conditions.[38] Many of those taken to Karafuto Prefecture (modern-day Sakhalin) were trapped there at the end of the war, stripped of their nationality and denied repatriation by Japan; they became known as the Sakhalin Koreans.[39] The total deaths of Korean forced laborers in Korea and Manchuria for those years is estimated to be between 270,000 and 810,000.[40]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Japan

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Schopenhauer: “Do they have the statute of limitations in Korea? It seems they do not have the concept of the statute of limitations.”

so... we should forget history, and there should be a limit on it... when recognizing the historical significance of a site? Do you even understand your desire to white wash history and be selective when remembering is contradictory to be euphemistic?

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Wallace Fred: great link! Of course, the oxymorons who want this “historical” site recognized and renege on the conditions for having it done will just turn their gaze away and blame the victims.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

The article doesn't make clear whether the testimony of former islanders is the only information to be published by the government as a record of forced labor. I'm left wondering how much of this is just clickbait. Information from all sources deserves to be published. That would include former residents, but hopefully much more than that.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

 Roh is one of more than 10,000 Koreans forced into labour in brutal conditions more than 60 years ago by Aso Mining

Aso family, of which Taro Aso is a top japanese politician who sits next to Abe. so it is just normal behaviour. move along.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Pretty much every man was subject to forced labour at the time. Conscription meant that men (Korean or Japanese) had to provide their labour for very dangerous work in the army or navy.

If conscription is acceptable to some extent, is there really any material difference with being sent down a coal mine to perform another dangerous task?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Yeah, the Koreans all lined up & volunteered to work in a hell hole on a god damned rock that just sticks out of the ocean, sounds like PARADISE to me, sign me up, how do I get there, I don't need to be paid, cant wait to meet all those sex slaves(I mean willing prostitutes that will also willingly flock there)!!

Japan is delusional in its constant denials of its nasty past. Hell even regular Japanese men/women were treated like CRAP back in the 1930-40s by THEIR own govt, you would think they wouldn't so willingly cover up & white wash their own history, truly mind boggling, now wonder Japan can never admit things even close tot he way Germany has done!

Carry on lying to yourself & the world Japan, but in case you didn't know we CAN see through your lies......

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

The Island is preserved as it used to be when people lived there.

Visit yourself before claiming I said things I never did, there is also plenty video footage available of the living conditions.

Next you will claim Alcatraz is also different from what it was.

Again not knowing what oneself is talking about.

The buildings on the island were never restored and mostly are condemned from entry due to damage from nature. Even if they were restored since the mines were operated until the 60's there would be nothing left that would have been a reminisces of the war.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

According to the Korean historians, approximately 670,000 Koreans, were conscripted into labor from 1944 to 1945 by the National Mobilization Law.[37] About 670,000 of them were taken to Japan, where about 60,000 died between 1939 and 1945 due mostly to exhaustion or poor working conditions.[38]

The first sentence says it all. LoL

[38]"STATISTICS OF JAPANESE GENOCIDE AND MASS MURDER". Retrieved 15 February 2016.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Triring: "The first sentence says it all. LoL"

Actually, you're right, the first sentence of this story DOES tell it all -- that the government who promised to point out the fact that Koreans were forced into slavery to work there in order to get UNESCO status is going to declare it is a lie now that they have the status.

Thank you for pointing that out.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Smithy, you're missing the part of the supposedly self claim KOREAN historians are the ones that are claiming it in 2016.

No one believes these fools besides the ignorant and the blind wanting to spite the face by cutting off their nose.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Just what does the granting of UNESCO status mean for the island ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The only ones who still have a problem with what Japan did 70 years ago are:

-the Chinese autocrats and the goons working for the regime.

-some messed up Koreans, most of them brainwashed by North Korean propaganda (without even knowing it)

-the Westerners too quick to forget that the imperialist white men caused 10,000 times more mayhem in the last 500 years than the Japanese ever did in their pathetic 15-year attempt to become a colonial power.

-the occasional japantoday commenters with too much time in their hands between two eikaiwa classes (get a life)

7 ( +13 / -6 )

No one believes 

Sure whatever keeps you snug in the night.

Information on Korean deaths under Japanese occupation is difficult to uncover (Korea was not invited to participate in the War Crimes Trial). We do know that 5,400,000 Koreans were conscripted for labor beginning in 1939 (line 119), but how many died can only be roughly estimated. Apparently Koreans were better treated than were laborers from other countries, but still their work hours, food and medical care were such that large numbers died (even Japanese coolies forced to work in other countries were so maltreated that many died). This is clear from the 60,000 Korean laborers that died in Japan out of the near 670,000 that were brought there in the years 1939 to 1945 (line 119a). To estimate what the total Korean death toll might be, I give the forced labor death rates for Koreans and Chinese in Japan and forced laborers from or in Indonesia (lines 119b-121). With these as the upper bounds, my reading of Korean history for this period suggests a possible range in the Korean death rate of 5 to 15 percent, with a mid-estimate of 7 percent. These should be conservative rates, given that near 9 percent died in Japan where work conditions can be assumed better than in Korea or Manchuria; and that the rates are much less than half those for China and Indonesia. Even at these low rates, however, the forced labor toll for Korea comes to 270,000 to 810,000 dead in seven years.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE5.HTM

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Oh Jesus.

And you know that following a public admission of x, y or z, endless demands for more compensation will ensue. Is there no end? The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children, etc., etc.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

PonchDec. 10 10:04 pm JST

Wow! That's some ignorance right there...

"Japanese and Koreans were treated the same way in the coal mine."

There you have it from someone who was there. Both Koreans AND Japanese were forced into slavery - many until their deaths. Not too far removed from what we see in the workplace today. The main difference being, the Koreans were often separated from the Japanese (I imagine they had lighter duties, right) and their nightmare continued for longer then Japanese...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It doesn't really matter what these "locals" claim: the fact is that both Japanese and Koreans were forced to work down the mines, i.e. both nationalities were subjected to forced labour. The people doing the work have said themselves that they were forced to work, so some old fool saying "it didn't happen" has no merit whatsoever.

Let's look at the statements made by the "locals". One says "I believe Korean people were not forced to do dangerous work". Well, I believe he is incorrect. Evidence trumps "belief" every time. The other guy says "Japanese and Koreans were treated the same way in the coal mine.". This I can believe: both peoples were worked like dogs with no concern for their safety or well being. These days Japanese people are worked to death in offices, but the sentiment of the managers has hardly changed.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Japan must've been fighting off the Koreans wishing to work underground, in dangerous conditions, on an island in the middle of nowhere, to aid Japan which colonised Korea.

What were the banners like?

'Come and work in Japan's best Hellhole in the Middle of Nowhere'

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

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