The Japanese Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bid to push for a former gold mine linked to wartime forced labour to be included in the Unesco World Heritage list, according to a local media report.
The diplomatically controversial bid was approved in its Cabinet meeting, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Kyodo News report as saying.
Tokyo plans to deliver a letter of recommendation to the Unesco World Heritage Centre later in the day.
On January 27, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced plans to nominate the mine on Sado Island for the 2023 Unesco heritage list despite South Korea’s strong protest.
The South Korean government immediately expressed “strong regret” over the decision and called in its Ambassador to Seoul Koichi Aiboshi to lodge a protest.
More than a thousand Koreans were forced into hard labour at the mine on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture.
The move is expected to deepen diplomatic rifts between Seoul and Tokyo over shared history.
Many South Koreans believe Japan has yet to apologise sincerely for its atrocities during its 1910-45 colonization of Korea and offer appropriate compensation for victims.