SDHF Newsletter No.246 Gunkanjima (Battlehsip Insland) No.2 edit 7-24
Gunkanjima (Battleship Island): A World Heritage Site Soiled by Korea
–Another distortion of history, akin to the “comfort women”
By Matsuki Kunitoshi
Series No.2: Part 1: Chapter 1, Chapter 2
July 26, 2019
In July 2015, the former coal mining facility of Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), located southwest of the Port of Nagasaki, was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Property.
When it was made known that Gunkanjima’s facilities were included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Korea opposed this, arguing that Korean workers were forced to work in an inhumane environment. Their opposition was strident and persistent. They produced much propaganda that allegedly showed Korean workers in misery. Included was a photo that allegedly demonstrated abused Korean workers at Gunkanjima. However, an expert examined the photo and found that it was a photo from the Asahikawa Newspaper, dated September 9, 1926. The photo was of Japanese workers at a construction site.
Regrettably, as always, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs took a very compromising attitude towards Korean pressure. To appease Korea, Japan’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged the use of “forced labor” to the Committee on World Cultural Heritage at the time of Gunkanjima’s inscription. Koreans were no less appeased by these words. Rather, they were further encouraged to attack Japan, on the ground that the Japanese government acknowledged the use of “forced labor”.
The Koreans turned up their propaganda campaign. As introduced in No.1 of this series, they produced a film Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), which is nothing but lies and fabrications. Towards the end of the film, Korean “mobilized workers” and “comfort women” take up arms and overcome the Japanese soldiers. The Koreans then escape to freedom from Gunkanjima by boat. This is really laughable, as at the time there were only two police officers in one koban on the entire island—there were no Japanese military personnel.
The film was not only promoted in Korea but worldwide. The film was advertised in the US, for a week, with the help of the Times Square billboard in New York City.
Questions are welcome.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact