Tuberculosis in Korea during the Japanese Occupation in World War II

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The Japanese occupied Korea from 1910 to the end of World War II in 1945. For the first 9 years of colonial occupation, Japanese military rule was oppressive and any Korean disapproval was ruthlessly crushed. But after 1919, the Japanese authorities loosened up somewhat. During the period of relative tranquility, beginning in 1936, the Japanese Colonial Government of Korea began tuberculosis (TB) prevention measures. The number of deaths among the Japanese population in Korea increased from 173/100,000 in 1921 to 441/100,000 in 1936. Meanwhile, among the Japanese in Japan and Taiwan, it remained 120-140/100,000 during the 1920s and 1930s. The high mortality rate from TB among the Japanese in Korea had already attracted the attention to the issue, and there was a parallel need to make Korean society and population a "safe, and healthy rear area." The Government organized "The Association to Prevent TB in Korea," a highly-pursued enlightenment campaign. But the renewed fighting during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) created exceptional heartlessness against conscripted Korean men and women. The Japanese Government General of Korea kept trying to install sanatoria and anti-TB measures, however, they always failed due to budgetary limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Respiratory Research
StatePublished - 2018


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