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S. Korean ministry calls in Japanese diplomat to protest UNESCO heritage bid for Sado mine

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry called in a Japanese Embassy official in Seoul on Friday to lodge a formal protest against Tokyo's move to have a mine linked to the wartime forced labor of Koreans listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The previous day, the Japanese government submitted a recommendation letter again to UNESCO for the listing of the former gold mine on Sado Island, after the initial version, delivered last February, was called incomplete.

Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon called in Daisuke Namioka, minister of economic affairs at the Japanese Embassy, with Ambassador Koichi Aiboshi known to be on a visit to Japan.

The ministry's spokesperson, Lim Soo-suk, also issued a statement expressing "regret" over Japan's campaign.

He added Seoul will continue to work with UNESCO to ensure the history, including painful ones connected to wartime forced labor, of existing industrial revolution heritage sites in Japan is properly recorded and displayed in the future.

South Korea has strongly protested against Japan's controversial push, as thousands of Koreans were forced into hard labor in the mine during World War II. In its initial UNESCO recommendation letter, the Japanese government effectively excluded its 20th-century wartime atrocity against Koreans.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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