SEOUL, A South Korean civic group said Monday that it will push for the return from Japan of more than 30 sets of remains of victims of forced labor next month.

A total of 35 sets of remains of the victims will be brought to South Korea in time for a memorial service slated for Aug. 15, the anniversary of the country's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, according to the group.

The civic group was organized in 2008 to help return the remains of Korean forced labor victims. It helped retrieve 33 sets of remains last year and another 33 sets early this year.

Historians say millions of Koreans were mobilized into forced labor during Japan's colonial era.

The plan will be pursued separately from a major inter-Korean retrieval project recently announced by a pro-unification civic group.

The Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation said in mid-July that it agreed with its North Korean counterparts to jointly push for the return of the remains of such victims from Japan.

The project could start with about 2,200 sets of remains that have been located around Japanese temples, the council said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency