National / Social Issues

Monument for Korean forced labor must come down, Gunma says

Kyodo

The Gunma Prefectural Government said Tuesday it won’t allow a memorial to Koreans who were engaged in wartime forced labor to remain at a local public park, citing political remarks made by the group responsible for its construction.

The monument was built in 2004 at Gunma no Mori public park, which is owned by the prefectural government. It was set up by a group co-led by former House of Councilors heavyweight Giichi Tsunoda, and on condition that approval from the local government must be renewed every 10 years.

The Gunma government said it found political remarks that breach the urban parks law were made at a ceremony at the monument in 2012, and the resulting controversy has made it difficult for citizens to relax at the park.

Tsunoda said it is “abhorrent” that the prefectural government did not renew its approval for the monument.

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