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The National Library of Korea, the National Archives of Korea and the Northeast Asian History Foundation on Aug. 13 released to the public a compilation of 35 formerly scattered documents and sources on Japan’s forced mobilization of Korean children and women during Japanese annexation of the Korean Peninsula in the early 20th century. The photo above is of the documents displayed at the library’s international conference hall. (National Library of Korea)

By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae

A collection of documents and data sources on imperial Japan’s forced mobilization of Korean children and women in the early 20th century has been made public.

The National Library of Korea, the National Archives of Korea and the Northeast Asian History Foundation on Aug. 13 held a joint forum at the library on the forced mobilization for imperial Japan’s war effort. Thirty-five newspaper articles and pieces of literature were displayed that dealt with the largely uninvestigated topic.

Among the sources were school registers showing that imperial Japan forced elementary school students to work at select sites and lists of women mobilized as military nurses, or “angels clad in white.” The foundation said the sources contained meticulous details on the victims and their forced mobilization.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo said in a video message, “The true value of the task of researching and recording history lies in the preservation of truth. History will become a bright heritage if history is recorded and preserved as is.”

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Left: An article from the daily Maeil Sinbo headlined “Come out, angels in white clothes” describes medical officials of the imperial Japanese military who assigned Korean women recruited as nurses to military hospitals during Japanese annexation of the Korean Peninsula in the early 20th century. Right: The school registry of the 17th graduating class of Gunsan Public School shows that a Korean student completed a labor unit Japan created for Koreans forced to work. (National Library of Korea, National Archives of Korea)

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