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Korea slams Japan for seeking UNESCO listing for sites of forced labor Updated: 2015-04-01 14:31:30 KST


Korea has reiterated its opposition to the possible listing of a group of Japanese industrial facilities on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday that the Meiji Industrial sites, where tens of thousands of Koreans were forced to work under Japanese rule in the early 1900s, should not be recognized as intangible cultural assets.


"To list these facilities, with their painful history of forced labor for Koreans under Japan's colonial rule, as a world heritage site does not correspond with the discipline and purpose of UNESCO."
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However, there are media reports that the International Council on Monuments and Sites -- or ICOMOS -- said Japan's industrial facilities are qualified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, upping Tokyo's chances.
ICOMOS, a non-government advisory body for UNESCO, held two rounds of meetings last December and this month to review the applications for new world heritage listings.
For Japan, the 28 sites, mainly located in Kyushu, are proud relics from its Meiji Industrial Revolution.
For Korea, they are painful reminders of Japan's colonial rule.
The final verdict will be released at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee in Germany this summer.
Twenty-one member countries, including Korea and Japan, will vote on the issue.
The sites need at least two thirds of the votes to be approved.

(Stand-up)
"And until then, the foreign ministry here in Seoul says it will continue its efforts to prevent the Japanese sites from receiving UNESCO recognition.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
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