• 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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The Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard is a historical site comprising the threefold suffering of forced mobilization, forced labor, and the atomic bomb. This section provides an introduction to the fact-finding report allowing an understanding of the facts behind this.

On March 31, 2005, Chairman Kwak Kwi-hoon of the Korea Atomic Bomb Victims Association applied for a fact-finding investigation into the situation of the 2,300 Koreans affected by the atomic bomb as well as their families. The Fact-finding Committee on Damages from Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation conducted an investigation limited to atomic bomb damages on Koreans who had been forcibly mobilized.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were two of Japan's main military cities, and there was a rapid influx of Koreans to these two regions once Japan had been put on a war footing. This population influx can be said to be closely related to forced mobilization, and also implies that the damage wrought by the atomic bombs in both areas was concentrated on Koreans that had been forcibly mobilized there.

Though there is an absolute lack of related materials due to the bombing itself, based on testimonies it seems that approximately 10,300 Korean laborers had been mobilized to the city of Nagasaki. These people were either mobilized directly from the Korean Peninsula or from inside Japan where they lived.

The Koreans in Nagasaki lived close to the Centre of impact and were expected to have suffered more severe damage than those in Hiroshima who lived farther away, but the opposite turned out to be the case. Those in Hiroshima had been assigned to building dismantling work in the city center, and many of them suffered fatal damage from direct exposure to the blast. However, due to its mountain- and valley-filled topography, the exposure in Nagasaki was more indirect than direct, taking place during the rescue and restoration activities on those who entered the city while the area was still strongly radiated.

In order to understand the scope of damage from the atomic bomb, it is necessary to first grasp the size and actual conditions of the Koreans who were forcibly mobilized there. This investigation report made particular use of survey data from the Nagasaki Association to Protect Human Rights of Koreans, which has published field investigations, records and research papers in the city on the forced mobilization of Koreans for a long period of time. Besides this source, oral statements from the surviving victims were also used to refine the facts of the damages caused. Forced mobilization and the effects of the atomic bomb on the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard, the largest work site, are detailed in this report.


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