National Commissions for UNESCO

Permanent Delegations to UNESCO

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH), are a Non-Governmental Organization with the principal aim of recognizing true history by tackling historical controversies of international significance based on fair historical research.

On January 28, 2022, the Japanese Government informed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that Japan recommends its “Sado Gold Mine” to be inscribed as World Cultural Heritage. “Sado Gold Mine” is a historical site located in Sadogashima Island in the northern part of Japan and is composed of several gold mines. Sado Gold Mine has a long history and during Japan’s Edo period (from1603 to 1868), the entire process of gold mining and refinery was carried out by traditional manual manufacturing. In the 17th century, the Mine produced over 400 kilograms of gold per year and its production was at a top level in the world. Today, this historical site has preserved the memory of the superb technical level achieved at the time. As such, the Japanese Government recommended this site as worthy of the status of a World Heritage Site.

However, the South Korean Government claimed that Sado Gold Mine was the very place where Koreans were forced to engage in labor during World War II and that therefore it is strongly opposed to Japan’s recommendation of the site, demanding that Japan withdraw the recommendation.

Whether Sado Gold Mine would be inscribed as World Heritage site or not is to be decided finally in June or July 2023 by the World Heritage Committee after the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) fully examines the recommendation for a year. During this period, we anticipate the South Korean Government’s feverish lobbying to prevent Sado Gold Mine from being inscribed.

However, the South Korean Government’s assertion against the prospective inscription is totally untrue. Here, we will point out how absurd and fact-twisting the Korean assertion is.

The focus of Japan’s recommendation is the Edo period.

Japan’s recommendation deals strictly with the Edo period. It highly evaluates the gold production system of manual manufacturing established during the Edo period, which has been rarely seen in the world. This has nothing to do with Korea and Korea is not a party involved in the issue. Therefore, South Korea is not in the position to oppose the inscription in question.

Moreover, the Korean assertion that “there was forced labor in the gold mines, which disqualifies the site for World Heritage Site” is wrong in the first place. If the Korean assertion were right, Athene’s “Parthenon” or Rome’s Colosseum would surely be disqualified because both of them were built by slaves.

There was no forced abduction.

It is true that there were Korean workers in Sado Gold Mine during World War II. However, those Korean workers were not forcibly brought there as the South Korean Government claims. Most of the Korean workers in Sado Gold Mine went to work there of their own volition, looking for high wages. At that time, in order to come to mainland Japan from the Korean Peninsula, various permits were needed. Those who failed to obtain the necessary permits often entered mainland Japan illegally, seeking work for high wages. From 1939 to 1942, 19, 200 illegal immigrants were caught and then were forcibly sent back to the Korean Peninsula. If there had been a need to forcibly bring Korean workers, those illegal immigrants caught upon entry would have never been sent back to Korea.

“Mobilization” of Koreans, who were Japanese nationals at the time, was legal.

There were some Korean workers brought from the Korean Peninsula to mainland Japan through “mobilization.” At that time, Japan and Korea were one country and Koreans were Japanese citizens. Therefore, it was legal to mobilize Koreans who were Japanese nationals. The ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29) [Japan ratified the Convention before the War] Article 2-2-c) states: “The term forced or compulsory labour shall not include any work or service exacted in case of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war....” Thus, the mobilization of Korean people was authorized by the international law. In April 2021, the Japanese Government decided at a cabinet meeting that the wartime mobilization of Korean workers does not constitute forced labor as stated in the Forced Labour Convention. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has confirmed it.

There was no slave labor.

There was no wage system based on ethnic differences applied at Sado Gold Mine. As for payment and treatment, there was no difference between Japanese and Korean workers. A reliable primary source “the Japan Mining Industry’s “Survey Report on Korean Laborers”, December 1940” reveals that with wages being paid according to results, many Korean workers earned more money than the Japanese workers did. South Korea’s assertion that Korean workers were abducted and engaged in forced labor is merely a lie South Korea made up to denigrate Japan.

As pointed out above, South Korea’s assertion distorts historical facts and is totally groundless. South Korea’s aim is to degrade Japan’s past by rewriting history and to hold a diplomatic superiority over Japan. To accomplish this goal, South Korea is deploying “intelligence warfare,” using the United Nations. If various United Nations organizations involved in the World Heritage Inscription were to make a wrong judgment regarding the case of Sado Gold mine, confused by the unilateral lobbying activities conducted by South Korea, not only would be Japan’s national honor deeply harmed, but also the United Nations’ credibility would be enormously damaged.

Hereby, we, as Japanese nationals, ardently ask those who are involved in the case of inscription of the World Heritage Sites to duly evaluate the historical value of Sado Gold Mine in a just and impartial manner and inscribe Sado Gold Mine as World Cultural Heritage, and not be influenced by the South Korea’s political propaganda.

Japanese translation

2022年2月28日から4月1日にジュネーブで行われた第49会期 国連人権理事会において、国際歴史論戦研究所は国連特別協議資格NGOの資格と持つ「新しい歴史教科書をつくる会」、「国際キャリア支援協会」と協力して二つNGO発言と四つの意見書提出しました。


<NGO 発言>
① 2022年3月29日 議題9 一般討論
UN WEB TV  https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1h/k1hrvopzx3?kalturaStartTime=921
発言者 矢野義昭

” Russian Federation and Ukraine ~ Protection of Noncombatants ”
We are deeply concerned about the present situation in which the Russian Federation and Ukraine—that have historically belonged to one nation —are exchanging fire.
No one can deny the fact, from the view of the international law, it is Russia that has been invading Ukraine.
Day after day, offensive and/or defensive powers have been injuring and killing innocent civilians and forcing a big population to leave their home for safety.
What we have been witnessing there is nothing but inexcusable, unmistakable infringements of human rights, including the right to life.
We strongly request Russia to abide by international rules.
And we also request both Russia and Ukraine to heed to protection of noncombatants to the utmost extent possible.

② 22 Mar 2022年3月22日 議題4 一般討論
UN WEB TV https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1g/k1ggzvygkx?kalturaStartTime=3770
発言者 山本優美子

” Does animosity promote peace? ”
In the USA, a little girl says, “Mom, why do my classmates hate me?” Japanese students are bullied at school.
In Germany, a student is insulted because his grandparents are Japanese.
In the Republic of Korea, a boy says to his Japanese mother, “Don’t come to my school. "
What is going on in the world?
Korean groups have been building “peace statues” both at home and abroad.
There are already more than140 of them and some are in the USA, Canada, Germany, and in Australia.
What does the statue stand for?
It is meant to symbolize hundreds of thousands of Korean women who were sexually enslaved as comfort women by the Japanese military during wartime.
Were they sexual slaves?
No, they were not. In fact, they were paid prostitutes who signed contracts with brothel owners.
Why do they keep building the statues?
Because they cannot accept what wrongs their ancestors had done for their daughters.
It is a state sponsored hate campaign.
Now, another one is going to be built in Philadelphia.
We sincerely ask this Council member states not to build one in your city.
We hope everyone in future generations to live NOT with animosity BUT with pride and wisdom.

< NGO意見書  >



① 日本語版 中国による不当な人民拘束を許すな

原文英語版  Reject Unjustified Chinese Detention

② 日本語版
中国における「 世界人権宣言 」 第 2 条 1 項 、 同宣言第 9 条 及び「市民的 及び政治的権利に関する人権規約 B 規約 」 違反

原文英語版  Violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 2 and 9, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by China

③ 日本語版 ユネスコによる不当な決議の撤回を要求する

原文英語版 We request overturning the unjust decision adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

④ 日本語版 ウイグル人留学生の人権の保障を

原文英語版 Secure Human Rights of Uighur Students Studying in Japan


Thank you very much, Mr. Vice-President,

The foreign minister of ROK Kang Kyung brought the comfort women issue to this council for 3 consecutive years despite the bilateral agreement signed between Japan and ROK, stipulating "the comfort women issue has been resolved finally and irreversibly."

Japan paid about 9.3 million dollars from taxpayer's money to support comfort women based on the agreement in 2015. However, spending is unaccounted-for.

Last month, one of the former comfort women Lee Yong-soo held press conferences and said, “I’ve been exploited by YUN Mi-hyang” who used to be a leader of a comfort women supporting organization funded by ROK government and its citizens.

According to her, YUN Mi-hyang collected huge amounts of donations for 30 years, however, the donations were hardly used for former comfort women but used to purchase real estate properties for her own.

She also said that “Comfort women were not Sex-slaves.”

Recently, the ROK government ironically passed a resolution to make it illegal to “revise histories.”

History is not what is judged by the court.

Mr. Vice-President,

We request this Council to recommend to the ROK government,

1. Stop abusing elderly women for the monetary benefit and to bash Japan,

2. Disclose the use of funds donated by the Japanese government,

3. Stop Japan-bashing based on falsified stories and lies, and

4. Stop violating the bilateral agreement between Japan and ROK. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice-President.












1. 金銭的利益のために、そして日本叩きをするために高齢女性を虐待することをやめよ。

2. 日本政府から受け取った寄付金の使途を開示せよ。

3. 捏造物語や嘘に基づいた、日本叩きをやめよ。そして、

4. 日本と韓国の間の2国間合意を反故にするのをやめよ。


国際歴史論戦研究所  が国連人権理事会(44会期/2020年6-7月)に共同意見書「韓国の詐欺的な 市民団体(NGO)によって提起された慰安婦問題」(原題「A Deceitful Korean Citizens’ Group (NGO) and the Comfort Women Issue」)を5月27日付けで提出しました。




The Japanese Government invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan as a state guest upon China’s request.

The Chinese Government has trampled upon the peoples’ right of self-determination in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region better known as East Turkistan.  Also, in Tibet, South Mongolia and other ethnic minorities.

It’s been reported within the Uighur Region, the Chinese Government forcibly detained more than one million Uighur people in concentration camps and is undertaking a policy of ethnic cleansing.                                   

Currently in Hong Kong the Chinese Government oppresses the democratic movements.

Around fifteen Japanese are unlawfully in custody within China on charges of allegedly “spying.”

Under these circumstances if the Japanese Government invites Chinese President as a state guest and shake hands with the Japanese Emperor it will give the wrong message the international society. Japan won’t tolerate utter disregard of human rights.

We request this Council to recommend the Japanese government;

1. The Japanese Government should cancel the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping as a state guest which he is not welcomed by Japanese people.

We also request this Council to recommend the Chinese government;

1. The Chinese Government should duly observe the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and faithfully fulfill the recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

2. Release 15 Japanese people detained unlawfully.

3. Release Uyghur people who are detained in the concentration camps immediately.

Madam Vice President, do you think over one million Uyghurs committed crimes?

Are they terrorists? We don’t think so.

I thank you very much Madam Vice President.
















国際歴史論戦研究所 山下英次所長は 月刊『正論』5月号へ「韓国の国連 ”工作“ に官民挙げて対抗せよ」を寄稿しました。