SDHF Newsletter No.261 Gunkanjima(Battleship) No.8
Gunkanjima (Battleship Island): A World Heritage Site Soiled by Korea
–Another distortion of history, akin to the “comfort women”
By Matsuki Kunitoshi
Series No.8: Part 4: Chapter 13, 14
January 21, 2020
Chapter 13 is titled ‘Mobilized workers were not “forcibly abducted”.’
The phrase “forced abduction of Koreans” first appeared in an article written by communist writer Fujishima Udai, published in the September 1990 issue of the monthly magazine Sekai (World). In 1965, Park Kyon-sik, then professor of Korea University in Japan, published a book titled The Record of Forced Abduction of Koreans. Afterwards, the phrase became the official term bandied about in the leftist-dominated academic world.
However, as a book authored by Korean academics (Lee Young-hoon, et al.) clearly demonstrated, “forced abduction of Koreans” is nothing more than an extreme distortion of the historical facts.
After the annexation of Korea, many Koreans flooded into Japan, seeking better jobs and higher wages. Japan restricted this influx of cheap labor to avoid depressing wages. But the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War and the Greater East Asian War brought about a severe labor shortage. Thus, the Japanese government relaxed its restrictionist policy. The first step was to allow Japanese companies “free recruiting” of Korean workers, and the second step was set up “official good offices”. These absolutely allowed Korean workers to freely chose to work in Japan or not. In 1944, a mobilization decree, which applied to mainland Japan since 1939, was also applied to the Korean peninsula. The people were obligated to mobilize for the sake of the war effort. Mobilized workers were really only a small portion of all Korean workers working in Japan. The International Labor Organization (ILO) specifically excluded defining war-time mobilization as “forced labor”.
Chapter 14 is titled ‘A note of Korean mobilized worker.’
Mr. Chung Jung-he worked at Toyo Kogyo (now Mazda) in Hiroshima, being mobilized in November, 1944. He wrote a memoir on his experiences working at Toyo Kogyo. Ms. Inoshita Haruko, who supported Koreans A-bomb victims, translated his memoirs and it was published by Kawai Publishing Co. Ltd., A Note of A Mobilized Korean Worker.
He writes that he enjoyed working at Toyo Kogyo, being surrounded by many Japanese female co-workers. He was given hard training so that he could become a group leader. But he also enjoyed his holidays, going sight-seeing and drinking with his co-workers.
According to Mr. Chung Jung-he, his monthly salary was \140, which was about two times that of a Japanese primary school teacher’s salary.
Questions are welcome.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact