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South Korea warned that Japan risked reigniting tensions if it didn’t acknowledge past forced labor abuses, saying Seoul was prepared to build a regional coalition to hold Tokyo to account for its colonial behavior.

South Korean Culture Minister Park Yang-woo said in an interview Thursday that international criticism would be “unavoidable” without public recognition by Japan that human rights abuses occurred at the Hashima island industrial site off the coast of Nagasaki. While Park declined to elaborate on the countries South Korea would lobby for support, China has long been among the most vocal critics of Japanese efforts to explain its wartime past.

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