• Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution
  • Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

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[Authorized in March 2020, in use from 2021]


Mobilization from Abroad

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With the war having become an all-out war, mobilization of labor and troops took place not only within Japan but also in the colonies and on the people who lived under occupation. To resolve the shortage of labor, a large number of Koreans and Chinese were brought to Japanese mines and factories where they were forced to work in harsh conditions for low wages. In addition, the original volunteer service system was revised in Korea and Taiwan near the end of the war. A system of conscription was implemented in its place, where those in the colonies were sent to the battlefield as "Japanese soldiers". Many Korean women were also sent to factories.

-『Middle School Social Studies – Field of History』, Kyoiku-Shuppan, p. 245


〈Window to History〉 Koreans in Japan in History

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Following the annexation of Korea to Japan in 1910, more and more Koreans moved to Japan to work due to hardships in life or to receive higher education which was limited inside Korea. Many Koreans were mobilized to factories and mines in Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War to make up scarcities in the labor force, the result of which was that some 2 million Koreans were living in Japan by August 1945.

About 600,000 Koreans remained in Japan after the war, but found themselves in an unstable position due to losing their Japanese nationality and needing to register themselves as foreign nationals. Even now, some 330,000 South and North Korean nationals live in Japan (as of 2017) as special permanent residents. These Zainichi Koreans are still either ethnically discriminated or receive unequal treatment in a variety of systems, a task that remains unsolved and for which efforts are being made to correct. It is most important to create a society based on this history where one can live together.

-『Middle School Social Studies – Field of History』, Kyoiku-Shuppan, p. 257


Colonization and Occupation

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Japan carried out severe mobilization in the colonies and occupied areas as well.

Many Koreans and Chinese were brought to Japan against their will, where they were forced to work under harsh conditions in places such as mines and factories. This mobilization was also applied to women, some of whom were made to work in war zones. Systems of conscription were also introduced in Korea and Taiwan towards the end of the war.

-『Middle School Social Studies - Field of History』, Tokyo Shoseki, p. 237


The Total National Mobilization System

Military and labor conscription were also applied in Korea and Taiwan near the end of the war, and harsh labor was imposed on those who were made to work in Japanese mines and factories-『Middle School Social Studies - Field of History』, Ikuhosha, p. 244

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Japan's War and the People of Korea and Taiwan

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With the prolongation of the war, the Japanese government sent some 700,000 Koreans to work in domestic coal mines until Japan's defeat in the war. Many fell ill or ran away due to the prolonged heavy labor and insufficient diet.

In addition, many were mobilized to the Japanese military for support or as conscripted soldiers. As civilians attached to the military, they were also ordered to work as overseers and at civil works at prison camps in territories occupied by Japan. In Korea there were more than 200,000 soldiers and about 150,000 attached civilians, while in Taiwan the number was about 80,000 and 120,000.

Meanwhile, some of the young women in Korea and Taiwan were sent to war zones as well. These women had to accompany the Japanese army and were unable to act on their own accord.

[Photo] Korean workers sent to the Chikuhō Coalfield

-『Middle School Social Studies - Field of History』, Manabisha, p. 229


Those Unable to Return Home

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Meanwhile, Koreans that were in Japan flocked to ports including Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture) and Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi Prefecture) to return home. These people included those who came to Japan from Korea due to the difficulties of living under colonial rule and others who were taken to mines and other places to work. However, without enough ships provided by Japan the ports were flooded with people.

-『Middle School Social Studies - Field of History』, Manabisha, p. 243


War Damage Compensation

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Amidst the global trend for pursuing human rights that took place in the 1990s, bereaved families of Chinese war victims launched trials aiming for an apology and compensation. However, all lawsuits ended up dismissed in the end based on the Japan–China Joint Communiqué signed between the two countries. Meanwhile, some companies ended up promoting reconciliation based on a postscript to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that stated that "the victims are in great pain...efforts for damage relief are expected." These companies have continued work on apologies to the victims, payment of reconciliation, and setting up monuments transmitting the facts of forced emigration and labor to future generations.

-『Middle School Social Studies - Field of History』, Manabisha, p. 271

 
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