S. Korea protests Japan's bid to inscribe war-linked mine as UNESCO heritage

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SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Friday protested against Japan's repeated bid to include its war-linked mine in the UNESCO heritage list, renewing diplomatic rows between Seoul and Tokyo over historical issues.

South Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement that it regrets the Japanese government resubmitting the nomination of "Sado Island Gold Mines" for the inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The ministry noted that Japan has not fully implemented the follow-up measures relevant to the inscription in 2015 of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution sites, saying the Sado mine has a similar background as that of the sites.

South Korean historians say thousands of Koreans were forced by Imperial Japan into heavy labor for the gold and silver mine on Sado Island, which was turned into facilities to manufacture war-related materials during World War II. The mine was shut down in 1989.

The Japanese government resubmitted a recommendation letter Thursday for the controversial mine to be listed as a UNESCO heritage, after the initial letter, delivered in February last year, was called incomplete.

In the initial letter, Japan reportedly excluded the 20th-century wartime past from the mine.

The South Korean ministry said it urges Japan again to first implement the follow-up measures that it has pledged and the World Heritage Committee's repeated decisions at an early date.

South Korea will continue efforts together with the international community, including UNESCO, so that the full history which includes the painful history of people who were forced to work during wartime can be reflected, the ministry added. Enditem

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