BUSAN, June 22 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation has established a memorial hall to commemorate those who were put to forced labor during Japanese rule and never made it back home.
The Foundation for Korean Victims of Forced Mobilization by Imperial Japan held an opening ceremony for the ‘place of memory’ exhibition hall on Friday, on the fifth floor of the museum located in Busan’s Nam District.
The ceremony commenced with more than 100 attendees, including family members of victims of forced labor.
The ‘place of memory’ is a remembrance chamber for the victims of forced labor who never made it back home, as well as a consolation chamber for their family members.
The South Korean government spent 800 million won (US$660,000) to build a 1,097 square-meter memorial hall on the fifth floor of the museum last year.
The memorial hall was built to accommodate more than 4,000 tablets for the victims. The first batch of 815 tablets has already been placed inside the chamber.
Among the 815 victims commemorated, 263 perished in Japan, 171 on South Sea islands, and 114 of them on Sakhalin Island.
Authorities were able to track the time of death for only 497 of them, who died between 1939 and 1945 after the National Mobilization Law was passed in 1938.
The number of deaths increased as time passed by, starting with 83 deaths in 1943, 168 in 1944, and 206 in 1945 as World War II ended.
The ‘place of memory’ is also home to various sculptures that symbolize the victims, a statue of peace to commemorate victims of sexual slavery, holograms depicting victims of forced labor, and 410 photographs.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)