- Press Releases
MOFA Spokesperson’s Commentary on Japan’s SOC Report on the Implementation of Follow-Up Measures regarding the Inscription of Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on World Heritage List
- The Government of the ROK expresses its regret over the contents of the Progress Report and the non-engagement of Japan in dialogue -
1. The Government of the Republic of Korea expresses the following position concerning the State of Conservation Report on the implementation of follow-up measures regarding the inscription of the sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, submitted by Japan, and posted on the UNESCO World Heritage Center’s website on 2 December 2019.
ㅇ At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee(WHC) in July 2015, the Committee recommended that the Japanese Government prepare an interpretive strategy for the presentation of the property which allows an understanding of the full history of each site. In response, the Japanese representative stated that “there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions...in some of the sites” and declared that “the Government of Japan is prepared to incorporate appropriate measures into the interpretive strategy to remember the victims.” However, the current progress report, as well as the one preceding it, does not include the implementation of the follow-up measures promised by the Japanese side. The Government of Korea expresses its regret at this lack of concrete measures by Japan.
ㅇ Moreover, the Korean Government expresses its disappointment over the fact that notwithstanding Decision 42 COM 7B.10 adopted at the 42nd session of the WHC in June 2018 which encouraged dialogue between the concerned parties, and in spite of continued requests from the Korean Government, a major concerned party, for initiating a dialogue, the Japanese Government has shown no willingness to engage in dialogue and instead has chosen to prepare and publish the current progress report without any consultation with the Korean Government.
2. The Government of the Republic of Korea urges Japan to faithfully implement the follow-up measures to remember the victims that Japan promised to the international community, and it furthermore urges the Japanese Government to engage in dialogue on this matter. END.