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Japan resubmits heritage recommendation letter for Sado mine to UNESCO

Diplomacy 14:29 September 30, 2022

TOKYO, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- Japan has submitted a revised version of a recommendation letter to UNESCO in a bid to have a former gold mine on Sado Island, a site linked to wartime forced labor, recognized as a World Heritage Site, the country's culture minister said Friday.

Seoul has strongly opposed Tokyo's related campaign amid longtime disputes between the neighbors over shared history.

The Japanese government handed in the "tentative" recommendation letter for the Sado mine to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Thursday, after the initial version, submitted in February, was called incomplete. It plans to submit a final version no later than Feb. 1, 2023, after consultations with the U.N. agency, according to Keiko Nagaoka, Japanese minister of education, culture, sports science and technology.

South Korea has strongly protested against the controversial bid, as thousands of Koreans were forced into hard labor in the mine during World War II.

In its initial UNESCO recommendation letter, the Japanese government effectively excluded its 20th-century wartime atrocity against Koreans.

This file photo taken Jan. 3, 2022, shows the former gold mine on Sado Island off Niigata, northwest of Tokyo. South Korea has called for Japan's retraction of a push to list the mine linked to wartime forced labor as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Yonhap)


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