Seoul eyes monument for Japan-forced draft victims in Papua New Guinea

By 정주원
  • Published : Jan 13, 2014 - 11:00
  • Updated : Jan 13, 2014 - 11:01
The government plans to set up a monument in Papua New Guinea to commemorate South Korean victims forced into battle by imperial Japan during World War II, officials said Monday.

The cenotaph, under construction on New Britain island of the Oceania country, aims to pay tribute to those killed after being forced into war there by colonial Japan, according to Seoul's forced labor investigation commission under the Prime Minister's Secretariat.

The Korean Peninsula was under Japan's brutal colonial rule from 1910-45.

The six-meter-tall monument, to be built at a cost of 350 million won ($330,969), is scheduled to be completed in June, according to its officials.

It will be the third of its kind set up by the Seoul government on foreign soil following those in the Philippines and Indonesia, both set up in 2010, they added.

"The government plans to set up at least one monument on foreign soil per year to commemorate victims," a commission official said, adding its plan to form a delegation and to pay visits to bereaved families of the victims.

Some 4,000 Koreans were mobilized by Japan into the battle on Papua New Guinea, one of the major places for military campaigns during World War II, with some 90 percent of them killed.

So far, the Japanese government has confirmed the deaths of 1,076 Koreans during the war. But Tokyo has refused to make any compensation, saying all issues regarding its colonial rule were covered by a 1965 package agreement that normalized relations between the two nations. (Yonhap News)