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Mines of discord between Japan and South Korea – News

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The oldest mines on Sado Island, off the northwest coast of Japan, began to be developed in the 12th century and operated until the end of World War II.

Japan believes that they deserve to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to their long history and remarkable pre-industrial heritage.

This year, Tokyo applied for the inclusion of three Sado gold and silver mines from the Edo period (1603-1867), when these mines were the most productive in the world and the work was done by hand.

But what Japan isn’t saying, and what worries Seoul, is that there were about 1,500 Korean workers in the Sado mines during World War II.

The specific position of these workers is highly questionable, with some claiming that most of them signed contracts voluntarily.

“Working conditions were extremely harsh, but the pay was very high, so many people, including many Japanese, were looking for work,” says Matsuura, a former director general of UNESCO, who backs the Sado mines’ bid.

Japan believes that the mines on Sado Island deserve inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to their long history and remarkable pre-industrial heritage.

credits: Charlie TRIBAGLO / AFP

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Japan believes that the mines on Sado Island deserve inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to their long history and remarkable pre-industrial heritage. credits: Charlie TRIBAGLO / AFP

there was discrimination

However, others argue that the terms of recruitment were tantamount to forced labor and that Korean workers were treated less favorably than Japanese workers.

“There was discrimination,” says Toyomi Asano, professor of Japanese political history at Waseda University in Tokyo.

The Koreans’ working conditions “were very poor and they were given the most dangerous assignments,” the researcher adds.

Several historical disputes dating back to the Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula (1910-1945) poisoned relations between Tokyo and Seoul for years, prompting a working group to cancel the UNESCO listing of the Sado mines.

Similar disputes have already existed between the two neighboring countries over the sites of the Japanese Industrial Revolution of the Meiji era (1868-1912), declared a World Heritage Site since 2015.

Last year, UNESCO urged Japan to take steps to make visitors aware that “large numbers of Koreans and others have been abducted against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions” in these places.

Japan “shouldn’t make the same mistake” on Sado, Matsuura admits. “We need to be more specific and honest about how the Korean workers lived and worked” in these mines.

The place began to receive tourists in the 1960s, when mining was running out.

There are still outdated and somewhat ominous reconstructions with rigid machine guns with spinning heads and mechanical arms that strike with a pickaxe.

Hideji Yamagami, a 79-year-old visitor from Japan, thinks the existence of Korean forced laborers should be mentioned.

“I did not know. I thought the Japanese had done all the hard work,” he told AFP.

Explanatory plaques at the site barely mention this, but detail other dark times at the site during the Edo period, when children, often poor and homeless, were forcibly recruited.

Professor Toyomi Asano hopes that if the site becomes part of the world heritage list, UNESCO will insist that the entire history of the Sado mines be presented at the site.

Japan “shouldn’t be afraid” to acknowledge part of its history, Asano says. “All nations have dark sides of their history,” he said.

*Sarah Hussein/AFP

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After the plane thaw found two corpses in the Swiss Alps

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After the discovery of the wreckage, two bodies were found in the melting ice of the Swiss Alps. Snowless winters and hot July temperatures are slowly revealing the secrets hidden in the Alps.

Two French climbers discovered the bodies on Wednesday while climbing the Chesgen glacier in Valais.

The bones were brought by helicopter for examination. Police say the DNA identification process “may take several days.”

The discovery happened next to a trail that hadn’t been used in over a decade, said Dario Andenmatten, director of the mountain hut in Britain, where many climbers start their ascents in the region.

French climbers were guided by an old map, which led to the discovery. One of the climbers claims that one of the bodies found was wearing “clothing from the 80s.” According to the report, the body was mummified and slightly damaged, “but nearly intact.”

Investigators estimate the death occurred “around the 1970s or 1980s.”

A week ago, a body was found next to the Stockey glacier, near the resort of Zermatt, on Monte Cervino, the most famous mountain in the Alps.

Police in the Alps maintain a list of some 300 people who have gone missing since 1925, one of which is billionaire supermarket chain owner Karl-Erivan Haub who disappeared in 2018.

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After a relatively snowless winter, the Swiss Alps have already experienced two heatwaves in the summer. In July, authorities advised climbers not to climb the Matterhorn due to abnormally high temperatures, which reached almost 30 degrees Celsius in Zermatt.

During the July heat wave, the height at which the water froze was a record 5184 meters compared to the normal summer level of 3000 to 3500 meters.

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Taiwan uses live fire in military exercises in response to China’s maneuvers

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The FBI raided Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago.

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The FBI conducted a massive operation to build Donald Trump in Mar-A-Lago in Florida, where the former US president moved after leaving the White House.

“These are dark times for our nation as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, overrun and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a president. United States,” Donald Trump said this Monday evening in a statement quoted by the American press in which he spoke about the police operation.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid was neither necessary nor appropriate.”

Neither Donald Trump nor the FBI, the US federal police, have explained why the authorities are enforcing the court order. The former president used a text in which he exposed the actions of the police to accuse the Democrats of persecuting him using the judicial system, and said that such an operation could only happen in a “third world country.” “They even broke into my safe,” Donald Trump said, comparing the case to the Watergate scandal.

According to The New York Times, citing two people familiar with the process, the investigation will focus on materials that will be taken to Florida after leaving the White House, including pages of classified documents. Trump was forced to return 15 boxes of materials requisitioned by the National Archives after he was threatened with legal action.

The U.S. is going through a tough time with the investigation into the Capitol invasion and Donald Trump’s attempts to stay in power by alleging fraud in the presidential election. In recent days, some members of the government closest to the former president have been called in with statements about interference in the process of passing power.

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