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Japan forcibly mobilized 120,000 Koreans as laborers: panel

All Headlines 15:03 January 30, 2009

SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 120,000 Koreans were forcibly mobilized as laborers under Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in the early 1900s, a state investigative committee said Friday.

Historical records have shown that Japan drafted hundreds of thousands of Koreans to work at coal mines and military facilities or serve as sex slaves in and outside of Japan in the later years of its 1910-45 colonial occupation of the peninsula.

The Truth Commission on Forced Mobilization under the Japanese Imperialism of Republic of Korea, run under the prime minister's office, said that it has so far confirmed that 118,520 Koreans were forced into labor in Japan during the colonial era.

In 2006, the commission began the process of verifying a document produced by the South Korean government in 1957 that recorded some 285,000 names and addresses of those that were known to have been forced to work for Japan.

"We're still continuing with the process but it is highly likely that many of the remaining 166,000 were also forced to work for the imperial Japanese government," an official at the commission said.

The commission also said that since April 2005 an additional 220,000 people have been reported as being mobilized by Japan during colonial rule.

odissy@yna.co.kr
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