• 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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This is an investigation report on the work and living conditions of Koreans who were reassigned from Sakhalin to Mitsubishi Mining's Takashima and Hashima Coal Mines.

On May 3, 2005, Professor Loh Yeong-don of Incheon University and Seo Jeong-gil, Head of the Korean Double Conscription Victim Mining Families of Sakhalin, applied for a Fact-finding Committee on Damages from Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation to investigate the facts into the conditions of the victims. The content of the investigation dealt with determining the damages suffered to the approximately 3,000 individuals among the Koreans who were forcibly mobilized to the coal mining area in northwest Sakhalin and later reconscripted (double conscription) to Kyushu and Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan, leaving their families behind and later unable to return home after Japan's defeat in 1945.

A large volume of labor was invested into resource development in South Sakhalin since Japan’s occupation, and the number of Korean laborers gradually increased. From 1940 on, wartime mobilization led to a further increase in the number of Korean miners. With increased damage to transport ships near the end of the war due to Allied attacks and a shortage of Japanese ships, a decision was made on August 11, 1944 to transfer the labor force in Sakhalin to mainland Japan. 3,000 Koreans were reassigned to coal mines in four prefectures: Fukuoka, Fukushima, Nagasaki, and Ibaraki.

While working conditions were poor enough in Sakhalin, the conditions after deployment to mainland Japan turned out to be even worse and accidents were frequent. The greatest aftereffect was that of separated families, and in most cases after the war the victims remained forever separated from the rest of their families on the island.

The reality faced by the Koreans reassigned from Sakhalin to Mitsubishi Mining's Takashima Coal Mine was still comprised of sites of forced labor where the labor management was violent and exploitative. These facts can be confirmed through the testimonies of the survivors.

Sakhalin _DoubleConscription_Damage_FactFinding_Investigation[PDF]download

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