SDHF Newsletter No.263 Gunkanjima(Battleship) No.9
Gunkanjima (Battleship Island): A World Heritage Site Soiled by Korea
–Another distortion of history, akin to the “comfort women”
By Matsuki Kunitoshi
Series No.9: Part 4: Chapter 15, 16
January 29, 2020
Chapter 15 is titled ‘Mobilized workers were not “forcibly abducted”.’
It is clear that claims of “forced abductions” are nothing more than fairy tales, based on the simple fact that a great number of Koreans migrated to Japan before and during the War. As people in poor countries invariably migrate to rich countries, Koreans migrated to Japan seeking better jobs and higher wages.
A Korean girl born in 1929 in Cheju states the following in Life Stories of a Million People, published by Toho Publishers:
“Take me to Japan with you!” I shouted, excited and beside myself. I begged and begged, clinging to my uncle. [Omitted] I was so insistent that he finally gave in and said, “Oh, well, I will take you with me next time I go to Japan.” I was so overjoyed that I couldn’t sit still, and I ran up to the nearby hill and shouted at the top of my voice, “I’m going to Japan! I’m really going!” [Omitted] Hearing my story, everyone said with envy, “How wonderful! I wish I could go to Japan, too!”
Because of the Sino-Japanese War and the Greater East Asian War, there was a serious shortage of labor. Japanese immigration policy changed from a restrictive one to one that promoted “free recruiting” and “official good offices”, followed eventually by the order for mobilization.
Chapter 14 is titled ‘Korean workers earned a lot of money.’
Mobilized Korean workers were paid at the same level as the Japanese. Coal miner wages were \150 to \180 per month, including various allowances, and \200-\300 for those with a good work record. A salary of \300 was comparable to that of a colonel in the Japanese Army.
Some of the money earned by workers were sent to their families back in Korea. A human resources manager of a coal mining company at the time stated:
The company forcibly obliged Korean workers to send a part of their earnings to Korea. This amounted to \50 to \80 at the time. Fifty yen per month could buy a calf every month. Calves were then rented to poor farmers by the month. Having twenty calves, you can be a “yangban,” a rich man. (Testify Forced Abduction of Koreans, compiled and written by Kim Chan-jong (Shin Jinbutsu Orai-sha).
Questions are welcome.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact