Japan, S. Korea Apart over UNESCO World Heritage Bid


Tokyo, Feb. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, remained apart on Saturday over Japan's recommendation of a gold mine site for UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listing.

At their meeting in Hawaii, Chung protested Japan's recommendation of the Sado gold mine site in the central prefecture of Niigata.

South Korea claims that people from the Korean Peninsula, then under Japan's colonial rule, were forced to work at the site during World War II. Chung told Hayashi that correct history perceptions are the basis for the development of a future-oriented relationship between Japan and South Korea.

Hayashi said South Korea's unique assertion is unacceptable and regrettable. But he also said Japan plans to hold sincere talks with South Korea so that the mine site's value as cultural heritage will be evaluated appropriately at UNESCO.

The talks between Hayashi and Chung were their first formal in-person meeting. The content of their discussions was revealed by the two governments on Sunday. They held the talks for about 40 minutes ahead of a three-way meeting also involving U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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Jiji Press