[spectre] Fwd: Online Petiton Against the Removal of the Memorial for Korean Workers in Gunma Prefecture

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Sat Jan 27 13:17:42 CET 2024

-------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht --------
Betreff: Online Petiton Against the Removal of the Memorial for Korean 
Workers in Gunma Prefecture
Datum: Fri, 26 Jan 2024 19:49:31 +0100
Von: Reinhard Z├Âllner <zoellner at uni-bonn.de>

Dear colleagues, friends and fellows,

As has been known for a few days, Gunma Prefecture (Japan) plans to 
remove a monument from the "Forest of Gunma" in the city of Takasaki 
from January 29, which is intended to commemorate the Korean workers 
deployed in Gunma during the Second World War 
(https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/304805). The memorial was erected in 
2004 with the permission of the authorities. However, because the word 
"forced labor" was used at a ceremony held there in 2012 to describe the 
circumstances -- namely in many cases coercion -- under which the 
Koreans were forced to work there at the time (which is vehemently 
denied by some Japanese politicians), the permit was revoked in 2014. 
Now the prefecture wants to remove the monument and charge the NGO which 
is campaigning for the preservation of this monument with the bill.

This demolition of a very simple and conciliatory memorial -- consisting 
of a stone inscribed with the words "Remembrance, Reflection and 
Friendship" in Japanese, Korean and English -- would be a slap in the 
face to Japanese civil society's efforts to come to terms with Japan's 
past, a denial of the bitter historical truths that Japan, like any 
other country, must face, and a further damage to the difficult 
Japan-Korea relationship, which is fundamental to Japan's future in a 
peaceful East Asia.

I therefore invite you to join a petition calling on Gunma Prefecture to 
stop the demolition. You can find it on the Internet at


Please join and spread the link. The matter is urgent; the prefecture 
threatens to take action as early as January 29.

With kindest regards,
Reinhard Zoellner

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Z├Âllner
Department of Japanese and Korean Studies
University of Bonn
Nassestr. 2
D-53113 Bonn

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