Visitors on Tuesday flocked to some of the sites in Japan that have received UNESCO endorsement for World Heritage Site status.
Crowds, taking advantage of the Golden Week holidays, toured the sites, following Monday's announcement by a UNESCO panel recommending that 23 properties in eight prefectures be put on the its World Heritage list for their importance to Japan's industrial revolution and modernization in the Meiji era.
Japan currently has 19 sites on the World Heritage list.
The new list includes a coal mine on the Nagasaki Prefecture island of Hashima, known as Gunkanjima (battleship island) because of its shape, the Yawata steelworks in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, and the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.
However, South Korea on Tuesday criticized the selection of some of the sites, saying that Koreans were taken there as forced labor prior to and during World War II.
A resolution condemning the Japanese government’s attempt to list wartime facilities for conscripted Korean soldiers as World Heritage was passed by a parliamentary committee, the Korea Herald reported Tuesday.
“We strongly condemn Japanese attempts to list the wartime facilities as World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. We believe it constitutes a diplomatic provocation and poses a grave concern on the peace and stability of North East Asia,” the resolution said.
The decision on whether or not to grant World Heritage status to the 23 sites will be made in Germany in July.© Japan Today