Records on Korean Missions to Japan Join UNESCO Memory Register


Tokyo, Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)—UNESCO said Tuesday that it has added historic materials documenting diplomatic missions from the Korean Peninsula to Japan from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries to its Memory of the World Register.

Also inscribed on the list were Three Cherished Stelae of Ancient Kozuke stone monuments erected from the seventh to eighth centuries in an area now included in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture.

Meanwhile, a set of documents related to the late Japanese diplomat Sugihara Chiune, who issued during World War II transit visas to thousands of Jews fleeing from Nazi persecution, did not join the list. The visas later came to be known as "visas for life."

UNESCO postponed a decision on whether to include in the list materials linked to comfort women, mainly from the Korean Peninsula, who were forced to sexually serve Japanese soldiers before and during World War II. South Korean, Japanese and Chinese groups filed for registration of the materials.

Materials on the Korean missions, known as Joseon Tongsinsa in South Korea and Chōsen Tsūshinshi in Japan, are records on diplomatic envoys dispatched to Japan 12 times in the Edo period (1603–1867) at the invitation of the Tokugawa shogunate, which then ruled Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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