By Lee Hana
Sejong University professor Yuji Hosaka, an expert on Korea-Japan relations, and author Han Soosan, who wrote the novel “Gunhamdo (Battleship Island),” on June 29 will hold a talk on the history distortion presented in an exhibition at Japan’s newly opened Industrial Heritage Information Centre.
Organized by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event will start at 4 p.m. at Korea.net’s open studio in Seoul. Hosting the event will be TV personality Jung Jaehwan under the theme “What’s Wrong with Japan’s Industrial Heritage Information Centre.”
Hosaka will explain how the Japanese government in 2015 pledged to accurately present all historical facts on the 23 sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, including Hashima (Battleship) Island, in return for their inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and how Tokyo broke this promise.
He will also analyze why Japan changed its stance at the risk of global criticism, and explain the decision to build the center in Tokyo instead of Nagasaki, where Hashima is located.
Han, who interviewed Korean victims of forced labor on the island for his novel, will explain in plain terms how the center’s exhibition distorts history. His 2016 full-length novel offers a vivid account of the hardships experienced by such victims on Hashima.
Jung will also describe his personal account of the horrors he saw on the island. He visited historical sites in Japan’s Kyushu region related to relations between both nations, including Hashima, and wrote about his trips in his book “Kyushu Yeoksa Gihaeng (Kyushu History Travels).”
KOCIS Director Kim Chul-min said, “The meeting was organized to inform the public how the exhibits of the Industrial Heritage Information Centre in Tokyo, which was recently opened to the public, distort history.”