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Korean Attempts to Thwart Japan’s Bid to Win World Heritage Status
for
Meiji Industrial Revolution Sites



Last Update: July 27, 2015
Moguro Fukuzo

Koreans are con artists who often tell lies. They forget about faith and trust when seeking their own interest. (Arai Hakuseki, b. 1657 - d. 1725, a scholar and counselor for Tokugawa Shogun in the Edo Period)

Koreans rejoice when they successfully blemish the reputation of Japan and the Japanese. They do not even hesitate to tell lies in order to achieve the shameless ends.

No other events than their recent attempt to thwart Japan’s bid to win UNESCO recognition on Meiji Industrial Revolution Facilities were more typically exemplified to demonstrate the distorted mean character of Koreans that was discovered by a Japanese scholar almost 300 years ago.


Chronology of Events


May 20, 2015 S. Korean President Park Geun-hye called UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who was in Seoul to attend an education forum, to the Blue House and expressed S. Korean stance of opposing UNESCO’s approval on the sites, saying that it would create unnecessary feuds between nations.


June 12 S. Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se visited Germany to oppose Japan’s campaign to secure UNESCO World Heritage Status for Meiji industrial revolution sites. FM Yun met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to call for Germany to play an “active role to prevent Japan from concealing the fact concerning hard labor at its industrial sites."


June 21 In less than 10 days after he met with German Foreign Minister to express S. Korean opposition to Japan’s attempt to attain World Heritage status for Meiji Industrial Revolution sites, S. Korean FM Yun Byung-se visited Tokyo, and on the eve of the 50th anniversary of normalization of relations between Japan and South Korea, the two nations agreed to cooperate on obtaining UNESCO World Heritage Designation for sites in their respective counties. Korea sought to gain World Heritage recognition on the historic district of Baekje Kingdom.


July 4 Japan gave consent to UNESCO's approval on Baekje Kingdom sites while S. Korea expressed opposition to the recognition on Meiji Industrial Revolution Sites on the ground that the compulsory recruitment was made at some of the sites.

S. Korea broke the June 21 promise of joint cooperation on obtaining UNESCO World Heritage Designation for sites in their respective counties. The UNESCO committee deliberations on the Meiji Industrial Revolution Sites were postponed to the next day.

After being forced to make concessions to secure S. Korean approval, Japan obtained the UNESCO World Heritage Designation on the Meiji Industrial Revolution Sites on July 5.

The caption of the following TV says, "Korea betrayed immediately before approval"



July 6 Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declared that the wording “forced to work” expressed by the Japanese envoy in the UNESCO conference was used in the context of Requisition/Labor Conscription (for wartime public services), not forced labor in peacetime.

Note:
Labor Conscription on emergency (such as war, natural disasters, etc.) is completely legal and in compliance with international laws. As Korea was part of Imperial Japan during WWII, Labor Conscription Order was applied to Korea from September 1944 to the end of the war.

The number of the drafted workers from Korea was just 245 as most of the labor needs were satisfied by migratory workers from the poverty-stricken Korean Peninsula, who were lured by high salary.



Foreign media such as “The Telegraph” carried the news article titled such as “Japan forced labor sites received world heritage status.” Click the image to review the article.


Author’s Comment


The above incident of Korean “Betrayal” to our agreement has completely destroyed Japan - South Korea bilateral relationship. Do not underestimate Japanese people’s pride in our culture and history.

It seems South Korea had contemplated this dirty trick of trapping Japan from the very beginning of ICOMOS’s recommendation of enlisting Meiji Industrial Revolution Facilities as World Heritage Sites in early May. In the UNESCO conference held in Bonn on July 4, the Japanese envoy lost all bargaining chips when they gave approval to S. Korea’s Baekje Kingdom Sites in accordance with the previous agreement.
  Under intense pressure to secure Korean consent, Japan was forced to make concessions of using the wording of “forced to work” in the closing statement.

THIS IS THE KONO STATEMENT ALL OVER AGAIN.

Statements made under such treachery and pressure are of course null and void.

We Japanese hate such dishonest manipulation. All people who use such deception techniques are our enemies.

The United States may have an idea to keep the three-party coalition comprised of the US, Japan and South Korea against North Korea and/or Chinese dictatorship. However, Japan and the Japanese strongly resent the idea. South Korea constantly brings up history issues in their malicious attempt to disgrace Japan. How can you keep a nation who are hostile to you and who betrays you at the 11th hour as your coalition partner? Japan cannot get along with South Korea as Koreans are habitual liars and not trustworthy.

The United States and people of free democracies should choose either Japan or South Korea as their partner in the Asia-Pacific Region.



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