politics

Japan to push controversial mine for UNESCO World Heritage

46 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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a strong push by powerful ultra-rightwing historical revisionists in his governing party.

pressure from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters, who are known for their efforts to whitewash Japan's wartime past.

We should fight back with facts," Abe said 

Honest Abe at it again. Facts are not something he or his supporters are know for understanding as they clash with their unicorn and glitter version of history.

policy chief Sanae Takaichi told a parliamentary session this week that the issue is "a matter of Japan's honor."

That’s a scary view, that perpetuating a falsehood is a matter of honour.

11 ( +35 / -24 )

Kishida's government previously considered delaying the nomination but apparently reversed itself after facing growing pressure from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters, who are known for their efforts to whitewash Japan's wartime past.

Kishida now what needs to be prioritized, Abe and his supporters on the other hand.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

This is kind of like the USA recommending the plantations in the south for UNESCO world heritage. Goes on to show how insane right-wing people took over the Japanese government.

9 ( +33 / -24 )

Had no idea that Japans Technical Trainee Assistance program had such a long history.

12 ( +33 / -21 )

I have a great idea. If they want to do this, then they can PAY some kind of ROYALTIES to those that may still be alive or their families...in addition to what they may already be receiving. That's a deal Japanese can understand.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

I have been to this mine and saw nothing about Korean slaves working here. Or if there was it was not easy to find. Perhaps it should get  UNESCO World Heritage FOR these Koreans.

2 ( +23 / -21 )

...apparently reversed itself after facing growing pressure from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters, who are known for their efforts to whitewash Japan's wartime past.

This, the real reason... to whitewash Japan's wartime past. And the Japanese wonder why the Koreans complain so much. No remorse whatsoever.

7 ( +31 / -24 )

The town and prefectural sites praise the Sado mine for demonstrating outstanding mining technology development before and after industrialization, once becoming the world's largest gold producer before its closure in 1989. There is no mention of its wartime use of Korean laborers.

Time for generalizations but Japanese want the best of both world with their dealings internationally:

Honor out accomplishments, especially vs. other Asian nations but do not look too closely at the history.

We are victims and have been discriminated against but we are better and have a superior culture (especially versus those other Asian nations).

The Sado mine, like Gunkanjima, needs to recognized for its scenic wonders, its history recognized, and like similar sights in Europe the victims need to be compensated.

Japan wants the recognition for its crafts and scenery but wants its slave labor history buried.

3 ( +21 / -18 )

This won't go anywhere because the rule change of unanimous consensus also applies to UNESCO World Heritage program since last year according to a Japanese foreign ministry official.

Abe then can blame Koreans for Sado mine's failure to get listed to drum up support for his political agenda and a possible comeback.

Certain Japanese nationalist here was claiming that rule didn't apply to World Heritage program but it does. So it's impossible for Sado mine to be listed as a World Heritage site, that's 100% certain.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/da9e274c690dc673072a6ed7bc6f6d58a56a0532

小野日子外務報道官は26日の記者会見で、政府が「佐渡島の金山」を国連教育科学文化機関(ユネスコ)の世界文化遺産に推薦するかについて、推薦前に「当事者間の対話」を促す指針が世界遺産委員会にあると指摘した。

ユネスコの世界の記憶(世界記憶遺産)については21年4月、日本が主導して加盟国の反対がある限り登録されない「異議申し立て制度」が導入された。世界文化遺産の指針もそれを受けて採択されたもので、政府内には「整合性のある対応をするべきだ」との意見がある。

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

His protégé and party policy chief Sanae Takaichi told a parliamentary session this week that the issue is "a matter of Japan's honor."

Now that he is not PM, Abe is even more dangerous than before. He can say or do anything he wants without the constraint of having to be questioned on it.

Scary protégé waiting to take over.

2 ( +21 / -19 )

Japan and its FETISH for UNESCO. Stupid.

Now that he is not PM, Abe is even more dangerous than before. He can say or do anything he wants without the constraint of having to be questioned on it.

Scary protégé waiting to take over.

very true!!

1 ( +26 / -25 )

I don’t understand why people covet UNESCO World Heritage designations so much.

16 ( +26 / -10 )

In other headlines, “Japan will watch…” but with UNESCO, Japan will “push”. - Get on with the more important priorities at home and stop with incessant need to showcase to the world. The influx of foreigners and International tourism in Japan is STILL halted and not a priority.

12 ( +24 / -12 )

Historians say Japan used hundreds of thousands of Korean laborers

Is there a need to hedge it like this? This makes it look like it's up for debate. You wouldn't write, "Historians say Britain colonised India."

9 ( +25 / -16 )

Auschwitz is a world heritage site, too, so a mine in Japan that used slave labor in the past would be no problem as long as the full truth be told, and there's the rub: the LDP is only adept at putting lipstick on the pig of history and to meet UNESCO standards omitting mention of the mine's darker days won't pass the smell test. Kishida is clearly still in thrall to his old oya bun, but he needs to get Abe off his cloud and close the history book on him so Japan can move forward to a brighter future. LOL.

6 ( +21 / -15 )

The town and prefectural sites praise the Sado mine for demonstrating outstanding mining technology development before and after industrialization

Over to Canadian lecturer and historian W. Donald Burton,

https://www.routledge.com/Coal-Mining-Women-in-Japan-Heavy-Burdens/Burton/p/book/9781138094864

Between the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and the beginning of the war mobilization boom in 1930, collieries in Europe and America embraced new technologies and had long since been excluded women from working underground. In Japan, however, mining women witnessed no significant changes in working practices over this period. The availability of the cheap and abundant labor of these women allowed the captains of the coal industry in Japan to avoid expensive investments in new machinery and sophisticated mining methods;, instead, they continued to intensely exploit workers and markets intensively, making substantial profits without the burdens of extensive mechanization.

One of the most surprising facts I've ever read was that something like one in seven Japanese women worked in a mine in 1900, most of them underground. They weren't doing tea ceremony, wiping the toilet everyday, or all the important things we are told traditional wives must do. They were hewing coal. Do people who visit Gunkanjima learn this? One of Japan's biggest ever strikes was at the Miike coal mine in Kyushu when they mechanized, laid thousands of miners off, and decided to crush the union. This happened in 1960, long after most First World mines will have mechanized.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Sado mine for demonstrating outstanding mining technology

I'm not surprised the far right Japanese 'leadership' are so unwilling to accept how nasty their Imperial military was throughout the failed empire's attempts to control larger parts of Asia. An example of the empire's failures can be found today in North Korea.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

I don’t understand why people covet UNESCO World Heritage designations so much.

That designation has helped preserve some spots that might have been turned into resorts for the privileged few.

Japan TV MBS has a great show sponsored by Canon that showcases many of the sites.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The right wing Kishida and his Nippon Kaigi affiliate take this as a matter of honour,but ignore the many human right and racist instance took by their government.

Absolutely disgusting.

I regret every day of my life that I made this country for ten years my home.

Glad I found a wife but also glad we didn’t make kids here so we can return back to my home next year.

Nippon Kaigi is bringing this nation back to the Sakoku era.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

CrickyToday  06:43 am JST

a strong push by powerful ultra-rightwing historical revisionists in his governing party.

pressure from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters, who are known for their efforts to whitewash Japan's wartime past.

We should fight back with facts," Abe said 

Honest Abe at it again. Facts are not something he or his supporters are know for understanding as they clash with their unicorn and glitter version of history.

policy chief Sanae Takaichi told a parliamentary session this week that the issue is "a matter of Japan's honor."

That’s a scary view, that perpetuating a falsehood is a matter of honour.

You nailed it!

I could’t have say it better.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Japan to push controversial mine for UNESCO World Heritage

I'm surprised they haven't pushed for Abe's house to UNESCO yet to be a WHS.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

I'm sure it will get approved by JAPANESCO.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

I vote to inscribe the LDP as World Heritage for offering great insight into Prehisto-Showa ways of thinking. The Ruins of Abe are of particular interest.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

This samurai mentality is as dangerous for the world as Chinese and NK communism/dictatorships

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

It’s wasn’t just Koreans. There were Japanese political dissidents too.

I’ve been there. There isn’t a single plaque, notice, or any kind of recognition of the people who were forced to work, abused, tortured, and who died. Nothing.

8 ( +23 / -15 )

This is kind of like the USA recommending the plantations in the south for UNESCO world heritage.

How were the pyramids in Egypt built?

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

A place worked for 400 years by Japanese people, but because Koreans were involved for 40 or 50 of those 400 years, we shouldn’t recognize the place for its archeological and cultural significance?

It’s almost like the Koreans have a boilerplate pre-written with which they can oppose anything Japanese.

A sensible response would be to evaluate the site on its merits and then tell an honest history of it. Dozens, if not hundreds, of heritage sites have histories tied to slave labor, genocide, or other cruelty. That’s not a disqualifying factor. Often, it’s part of what makes the heritage site so vitally important.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

@mikeylikesit,

It isn’t just the fact that the Koreans object to it being named a UNESCO site,it is the fact that Japan whitewashes anything unpleasant or sweeps it under the rug.

Rose-tinted glasses much.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

Seriously the 4,000yo old pyramids are being equated with this? I guess if you think Japan is 4,000 years behind the rest of the world.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

How were the pyramids in Egypt built?

Sad to have to explain your little false equivalence trick to you. The mines aren't some artifacts from several millenia ago where the victims are long forgotten. The children of the Koreans that were put to forced labor or raped under the guise of "comfort women" still live today. And besides, no one denies how the pyramids were built. Do the Nippon kaigi cultists accept that there was slave labor used within the mines?

1 ( +16 / -15 )

It is not a false equivalence when you compare monument building and infrastructure in other countries around the world to what Korean forced labour did in Japan. After all, it is not the only country guilty of this. It is more of a faulty narrative from Korean API to spread guilt and condemnation. It is important for the media outlet Japan Today to not censor this piece. The LDP needs to continue the push to make this mine a World Heritage site.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

mikeylikesit, you probably missed the part about Gunkanjima where South Korea gave approval since the Japanese representatives promised to tell the whole story. Right after the approval they then went back on their word leading to the UNESCO committee requesting them to keep their promise. I doubt Korea would be against making the mines a World Heritage Site if the whole story were to be told. But as they showed with Gunkanjima they'll likely only share part of history with visitors, so you can hardly blame South Korea for their stance.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

OK, no more Korean tourists, and maybe Chinese tourists.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

South Korea should deregister it's own 昌德宮 Changdeokgung from World heritage site as it was built on real slave labors under Korean traditional slave system

0 ( +15 / -15 )

RodneyToday  10:08 am JST

This is kind of like the USA recommending the plantations in the south for UNESCO world heritage.

How were the pyramids in Egypt built?

It's going off topic, but

https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/were-the-egyptian-pyramids-built-by-slaves/#:~:text=Contrary%20to%20popular%20belief%2C%20it,pyramids%2C%20nearly%204%2C500%20years%20ago.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/11/great-pyramid-tombs-slaves-egypt

No slaves, it seems.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

How were the pyramids in Egypt built?

Built by people who died thousands of years ago. Do you or anyone on this planet know any of these people personally? Can anyone recall the pyramids being built? Jesus.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Back on topic please.

Kishida still be under the thumb of Abe. And his cabinet are also all Abe loyalists. They had a choice to get away from all this baggage but can't leave

0 ( +13 / -13 )

This is in extremely poor taste.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

For those who read Japanese, the actual situation for Korean(-Japanese) miners conscripted during war

by a Korean professor

https://catalog.lib.kyushu-u.ac.jp/opac_download_md/1807618/p063.pdf

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Japan lost WW2 but now they want to play the victim. The Japanese empire and the IJA Imperial Japanese Army left a very bloody legacy throughout Asia.

These were fanatical terrorists who actually believed that their emperor was a god. Anyone defending the Japanese of those days simply does not understand how utterly evil the Japanese were or they wish for Japan to create another IJA to terrorize the world once more. Given the sneak attack strategy of samurai mentality that is highly likely.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

@able,o45,

Great comments.

i couldn’t agree with you more.

I think Nippon Kaigi isn.t all that far behind China as a threat to world peace.

The bigwigs pride in Japan is a huge threat to the balance of power in the Asian-Pacific area.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Nippon NationToday  12:18 pm JST

It is not a false equivalence when you compare monument building and infrastructure in other countries around the world to what Korean forced labour did in Japan. After all, it is not the only country guilty of this. It is more of a faulty narrative from Korean API to spread guilt and condemnation. It is important for the media outlet Japan Today to not censor this piece. The LDP needs to continue the push to make this mine a World Heritage site.

The failed, pathetic premise that 'other countries did too' only other countries aren't pushing a UNESCO world heritage site. You're unable to stick to the topic which is Kinzan and the only lame ploy you have is this. And it wasn't just Koreans, there were many Japanese too. But you conveniently ignore this. There's no reason for Korean to spread guilt and condemnation. That is a lie. What happened is a fact. But then again right wingers like you aren't concerned about facts. You're just concerned about covering up to save your faces. No truth, no honor. Just weakness and lies.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Kishida's decision... reverses his earlier, more cautious stance after a strong push by powerful ultra-rightwing historical revisionists in his governing party.

> Kishida's government... apparently reversed itself after facing growing pressure from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters, who are known for their efforts to whitewash Japan's wartime past.

Big hats off to Mari Yamaguchi for writing this in an AP article.

Why is the US pandering to the decendants of the ultra-rightwing fascists they fought a war against? That war, which Abe and his cronies are trying to whitewash, liberated Korea and elsewhere at a huge cost in American lives.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

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