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S Korean court awards compensation over Japan forced labor

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Good luck in getting any actual cash. While this verdict is mostly symbolic, it was necessary.

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

In 1997, Yeon Un-Taek, now 90, and three other forced labourers filed a compensation suit in Japan, but it was dismissed by the country’s top court.

Stare decisis and precedent? Won't it be like that? Waste of Korean taxpayers money?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Japanese government should ask the Japanese companies directly involved in this to forward the compensation... for example ASO Mining Co. As this was shown to be fact in 2011: "when Questioned in the Diet, Japan's legislature, Mr Aso replied "Research by the welfare ministry last year has newly revealed that Aso Mining made Allied POWs work".

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Better late than never for "Japan’s brutal colonisation."

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

I dont agree with the verdict as stated in the message the government already paid, but 88000 dollar is NOTHING for a company that size, they could pay and get over it.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I dont agree with the verdict as stated in the message the government already paid, but 88000 dollar is NOTHING for a company that size, they could pay and get over it.

You know what you just wrote here makes no sense to me. Using your logic then, right or wrong aside here for a moment, just because someone sues for compensation, the company should pay, because it's big, and the amount seems like a pittance?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I read somewhere Japan paid lots after the war an the money was used to set up the SK steel company's.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Reparations ended in the distant past. Let the South Korean government pay.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Back in the late Meiji period a man was imprisoned for 不敬罪, lese majeste, i.e., failure to accord due respect to the emperor. After the war, when the new constitution recognized his human rights, he sued the government for compensation. The Supreme Court ruled (and by this time the plaintiff was a very old man) that it could not overturn a previous ruling in the case of a law that no longer existed. Conclusion: when you try to get something from the Japanese government, it will unfailingly find a pretext for not paying. The Koreans should not hold their breaths.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

From what I heard the South Korean government took all that money and used it to set up its economy, that's why the people never got any money. This was at the time when S. Korea was under the president/ dictator guy with the threat of N. Korea still strong. Is this right or did I read it wrong??

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Oh yeah I meant to add "when guilty", which in this case it WAS.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is a typical Korean home court bias. Why do not we read the treaty? http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

Article II

1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.

2 The provisions of this Article shall not affect the following (excluding those which become the objects of special measures taken by either of the High Contracting Parties prior to the date of the signing of the present Agreement):

(a) The property, rights, and interests of the people of either High Contracting Party who have ever resided in the territory of the other High Contracting Party in the period between August 15, 1947, and the date of the signing of the present Agreement; and

(b) The property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were acquired or brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party in the course of ordinary contacts after August 15, 1945.

The date mentioned in 2(a) is August 15,1947, not 1945.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

$ 88,000 x 4 (victims) = $ 792,000

I'm sure that Nippon Steel won't go bankrupt after this ruling.

@Yubaru is right the ruling seems mostly symbolic

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Continued from my previous comment. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

Article II

3 As a condition to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 above, no claims shall be made with respect to the measures relating to the property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or to all the claims of either High Contracting Party and its people arising from the causes which occurred prior to that date.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

It took too long The family of all the dead victims should receive same amount, too. Nippon Steel can afford. It has been very greedy company. Sumitomo assets can be used to pay, Just pay to victims instead of going to ewxpensaive appealing action.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Don't worry, Japan will lose some money but Koreans will lose much more in a long term in credibility.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The thing is, South Korea was compensated and apologies and treaties were made many years ago, but South Korea took the cash and didn't pass it onto the victims. They used for Government and infrastructure. Now, some 40 odd years later the victims are suing Japan when they should be suing their own government to get their money.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

It seems to me that this section

2 The provisions of this Article shall not affect the following (excluding those which become the objects of special measures taken by either of the High Contracting Parties prior to the date of the signing of the present Agreement):

(a) The property, rights, and interests of the people of either High Contracting Party who have ever resided in the territory of the other High Contracting Party in the period between August 15, 1947, and the date of the signing of the present Agreement

allows forced Korean labourers to make a claim if they were still residing in Japan after August 15, 1947. Those who returned home before then are out of luck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It seems that S Korea can not claim any more compensation as Japan paid $800 million and others. That is S Korea and Japan Treaty officially agreed and concluded in 1965.

10 ( +12 / -1 )

From a legal perspective:

The treaty was between governments, not private parties. Private parties would only be affected to the extent that the treaty was implemented in the local law. Sometimes treaties (think Japan signing the Hague Convention) will not be implemented in local law or be severely disfigured from the original intent. If Nippon Steel has operations in Korea, then the award could be enforced in Korea against its assets there (no need to come to Japan). Nippon Steel will appeal according to the above. I guess if the Korea Supreme Court (or whatever it's called) does not overturn the verdict this could just make it.
2 ( +3 / -1 )

88000 dollar is NOTHING for a company that size, they could pay and get over it.

Nothing, but if they were to go ahead and pay the lawsuits would never end.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

$ 88,000 x 4 (victims) = $ 792,000

Is this new math?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Yubaqru-san: Another one of your "ho ho ho ho" comment!

Only $88,000 each is nothing to Nittetsu. If it appeals, attorneys costs will be about $3 million usually. Hope they pay and forget this when it is trying to control USA steel market right now. Its USA operation will need brainy Korean people to its operations in USA, juat like other Japan Inc, divisions,

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is evident that complete disregard for international treaties between governments permeates South Korean society from people on the street to their government and even judicial system. Japan should take South Korea to the ICJ for having signed the 1965 treaty in bad faith.

1 ( +11 / -9 )

OssanAmerica is right. Sue SK. Then sue China. Then seek compensation from America for the suffering caused to Japan. The issue here is compensation for victims and whether they deserve the compensation!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Korean people, their government and justice they are all banded together against Japan. It is not a very much rational thing to happen in a civilized country.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Ossan,

There is a legal difference between conscripted labor than slave labor. One gets paid, the other doesn't.

For ex., a state enterprise of gov't entity (or military) can conscript fitting individuals under certain circumstances and those individuals must be paid accordingly.

The slave labors did not get paid. They were forced against their wills without consideration. Maybe Nippon Steele did pay out but most certainly not to the slave workers but their handlers- most likely the military.

So these former slaver labors have every right to sue. There cannot be a valid contract without considerations. And threatening to let you live is not an acceptable term.

Basic contract law. If Japan appeal this particular law, against any judicial court from a free country, Japan will unquestionably lose. This has nothing to do with international treaties. Those treaties did not compensate these workers, they have to be "named" in person in order to be accounted for in the compensation.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The Japanese corporations that refused to pay and the Japanese government that continued to defend them are seriously corrupt. The only people who would disagree are a small minority group of right-wing extremists.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Thomas Anderson - They did pay! The Japanese government paid South Korea many years ago, but South Korea did not give the money to the victims.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The article stated that a package of $800 million were given and in this amount included cheap loan and grants for the 780,000 conscripted Korean Labour but exclude Comforting women.

If the amount of cheap loan was removed from the $800 million it seems that each Korean was only receiving a few hundred dollars for their forced labour work. This does not seem much for fully compensating the work done by forced labour during Japan occupation of Korea for 35 years.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This thing can really get out of hand in which the Japanese government may take it up with ICJ even if SK refuses to accept. The reason why is now the Korean court is filing distraint order against Shin Nitesu property in Korea including the 5 percent stake in POSCO.

The norminalization treaty states this kind of claim is null and void so it is Korean matters in which either the SK government intervenes or the matter goes to ICJ.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

South Korea is being duplicitous, to put it mildly.

Japan paid. It did so and enjoyed nary a complaint in the immediate years after the South Korean government negotiated in 1965, presumably in good faith, a settlement of the reparations issue.

But South Korean politicians with selective memory over the past two decades have taken this long-settled matter and spun it into guaranteed votes at the South Korean poll by glossing completely over the fact that the South Korean government not only received large sums of money in the form of over $800 in grants and soft loans -- over $5.9 billion in modern dollars -- but also declined specifically to allow Japan to dispense this money to individual victims of Japan's aggression, stating that it would prefer the money in a lump sum to dispense as it saw fit.

Needless to say, none of that $800 million made it into the hands of the slave laborers or "comfort women."

Which begs the following two questions:

1) Where did that money go?

and

2) Why aren't South Koreans angrier with their own government for not being able to answer Question One?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

$88,000 x 780,000 (victims) = $68,640,000,000.

There is the reason this is a must win for any company.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

good!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

To put it basically, I side with those that say it was settled in 1965. If anyone didn't get his cut, it is the South Korean government's fault (especially with the comfort women, which I suspect is indicative of the zeitgeist of a woman's life back then).

This risk of getting sued by random people also constitutes a de facto Non Tariff trade barrier against Japanese firms.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I am so astonished by this! They are using a historical issue to take a political advantage from Japan. So many Korean people have not been informed a correct history and facts what happened in 1965. If they think this is right, go to ICJ. They will lose the case. This is one of the examples that Japan needs to be more defensive. Every Korean politicians must read and understand the contents of Basic treaty between Japan and Korea. This issue and other issue anything till 1945 and before has been solved and Japan made a formal apology. Then for the compensation, when($1=360Yen rate, The average collage graduate salary was $62/month in 1965.) Japan paid $800,000,000 in cash. and unconditionally left $5,300,000,000 worth of asset to South Korea. The farther of President Park singed for the treaty. It said all issues before 1945 have been resolved completely and forever.No more complain for this period of time. What Japan did in action, Japan took care of the situation more than Germany that Koreans today like to compare. If this tendency from Korea gets worse, Japan could not be nice to Korea any more. The compensation money was not distributed to the Korean people who deserve to receive is not the responsibility of Japan. Korea spent that to create today's success. So they put that the infrastructure instead for the economic miracle for Korea. I am happy for you but do not come back again for this. Therefore, Japan is getting more defensive. I feel the same way. Sad. Make the basic treaty readable for everyone. The last century,I heard from Koreans that was not public information for civilians. I am not sure today, I feel that still not every deal has been opened yet. Otherwise, this case would not have happened.

Two reasons I assume.

1) Since Korean government has not given money to their own people as compensation since 1965, they did not make a big announcement of $800,000,000 and $5,300,000,000 of asset deal to Korean people. It seems many Korean really believe that Japan has never taken care of our responsibility since 1945. In this case, I can mentally forgive today's behavior of Korean ordinary people. But Japan needs to say everything based on the fact.

2) The Korean government might need Japan as a scapegoat. In fact, every time when their president or some politicians produce some negative issue, (recent one is the former president's brother or some one working for him,had some political scandal, the president started to accuse Japan for historical issues to shift the attention form Korean people to Japan not their own domestic issue.) If any one doubt it, please research the relationship between last few decades's anti Japan movement and their domestic issues. (China is the same way) No one has to be a rocket scientist to see something interesting. So intentionally, the compensation money Japan paid has not been every Korean's knowledge.

If President. Park who is supposed know a great detail of her father's deal making for the both countries positive relationship let this sort of situation keep going, Abe administration will inevitably beef up its strategy to Korea. Ms. Park is even unwilling to see him. Because historical issue exists, she needs to see Abe. I can see a vicious circle between Japan and Korea. So unfortunate.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

They'll end up paying in the end, if they want to continue to sell their steel in South Korea. South Korea buys far more from Japan than vice versa.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

highball7

If Japan appeal this particular law, against any judicial court from a free country, Japan will unquestionably lose.

A very similar case of "slave labor of Koreans by Japanese company" was heard by US court in 2004. Japanese company won the case. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1010017.html#footnote_ref_8

D. Conclusion.

Under Garamendi's "conflict" theory of foreign affairs preemption, state law is preempted where that law conflicts with the foreign affairs policy embodied in presidential agreements with foreign leaders. The 1951 Treaty embodies the determination of the United States that claims of non-signatory nations like Korea, and their nationals, were to be resolved with Japan by government-to-government negotiations. In contrast, by enacting section 354.6, the California Legislature has allowed those claims to be litigated in our courts. Garamendi compels our conclusion that by allowing WWII slave or forced labor victims to be resolved in court, California's law conflicts with the foreign policy expressed in the 1951 Treaty. As a result, we hold the treaty preempts section 354.6.10

Government to government negotiation was concluded in 1965.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

MumbaiRocks!

You are right in in terms of domestic legal aspect BUT since the South Korean Government has a binding responsibility towards Japan to live up to the treaty the SK government is obligated to intervene this is the second time the SK government had failed to comply to a binding treaty one being the stolen statue which is still under court seizure even after the criminal case had reach a verdict and now this.

SK government really needs to step up or this is going to fire back right at them with the global community reconsidering the validity of an international treaty with Korea and if the SK government will ever enforce it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Just because the two countries signed the treaty in 1965 with reparations, does not mean that you can skip out on back wages owed to your former employees. This is a labor issue, not war reparations issue. And this is not a political attack on Japan. That's because when those former employees bring their case to Seoul's court, as a democratic nation, the Korean government cannot deny a fair trial which the claimants won. If the Japanese cared so much, they should have tried harder to defend themselves in the Seoul court. They didn't try, so they lost. Now they must pay their back pays to the ripped off former employees, to sell their goods in Korea, otherwise, they'll face even more fines. End of story.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Chuky

It never was a war reparation issue since Japan and Korean had never engaged in war. It was a relationship normalization treaty between Japan and Korea in which Japan agreed to pay in full and place any and all matters void and null. That includes any and all labor issues.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

chucky3176, it is no use teaching Koreans treaty obligation or rule of law. Emotion is everything for them even at the high court level. It seems Japan Korea relation ship is heading to clash course. Japan cannot help but tell Korea what will happen if it does not honor treaty obligation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is a case of too little too late, most of the forced laborers living today are either too old or are already gone. Another cased of justice never served. Germany still continues to pay compensation to their victims, while Japan never have, and never will, or only do so very grudgingly under international pressure

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

The reason why the company should avoid to pay is not about the sum 88.000 each. Thats peanuts. The reason is that if they accept this type of compensation maybe 100 000 more legal suits will be filed tomorrow. This will give much more attention to these issues, open up for fabrications and fraud or even grandchildren that needs compensation for psychological suffering for what happened to their grandparents. In the end it will cause a much worse political situation between SK and Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

chucky3176,

"This is a labor issue, not war reparations issue."

Not according to Judge Yoon Seong-Keun who ruled that the slave labor constituted "crimes against humanity."

I doubt even the most ambitious labor union representative would be able to sell "slave labor" and "crimes against humanity" as simple labor disputes. Your simplistic distillation of the matter demeans the very people who were forced to work or fight for Japan during the War.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Thomas Anderson

Germany still continues to pay compensation to their victims

That is because peace treaties with Germany do not have a compensation waiver clause. That is the big big difference with Japanese post war settlement treaties.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petersberg_Agreement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Treaty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_and_Paris_Conferences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn%E2%80%93Paris_conventions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Final_Settlement_with_Respect_to_Germany

4 ( +8 / -4 )

*

Redcliff:The article stated that a package of $800 million were given and in this amount included cheap loan and grants for the 780,000 conscripted Korean Labour but exclude Comforting women.*

Comforting women did not exist then. In the process, Korea was supposed to discuss every issue between 1910~1945. And conclusion was that every issue was resolved completely and forever. How we could say that was excluded?

This issue came out after Seiji Yoshida wrote his fake novel as if it had been as non-fiction in 1983. Then Asahi News paper Takashi Umemura wrote an article about it. After that this issue started in Korea that had not exist before. If the issue had existed, why Mr. Park did not say anything and signed EVERYTHING between 1910 and 1945 has be resolved completely and forever. Everything means everything.

By the way, Uemura's wife is a Korean woman whose mother was one of the leaders for a law suit for comforting women issue. I can not prove anything from this fact but I wonder why Umemura did not confirm if the story is true or not as a major news paper writer? Later Yoshida admitted he lied in order to sell his cheep novel. One of the areas is supposed this forceful abduction by JPN military happened was Che ju island. 250 women were taken according to the story. Some Korean journalists got angry for this case, they went to interview the village Yoshida was saying in 80s. JPN journalists went there as well. That was a very sensational news for Japanese people,too. But no one in the village has seen that abduction scene and no one remembers. One said in an interview ''If in this small village, 250 women had been taken, it would have been a big issue, it would have been a shocking event that every one should have remembered.'' I do not know the name of Korean female journalist asked to Yoshiko Sakurai why JPN people do not get angry for this? These facts were accumulated then finally Yoshida admitted. Seoul University professor who was the part of the research team also denied on KBS TV this abduction issue. The people remember that some women were sold to Keesen owned by Korean owners for some financial reasons of her family. A sad story. There is a moral issue for sure but that system was a legal then. Even in Japan, till 1958, that was a legal business.I am sure that many JPN solders were the clients of Keesen that JPN government has admitted.

The 3 Korean leaders include the mother in law of Umemura of this lawsuit and supporting members were arrested by Korean police department for some fraud in this movement. Then in 90s, this issue was gone for a long time. Then, then after the last president of Korea had some scandal in his family, he made this issue back as today.

So I must disagree with you that your said, ''but exclude Comforting women'' . That did not exist in 1965.

I have no intention saying Japan is 100% innocent. But accepting these cases for everything as a historical fact and Japan sincerely face to the history is two different things. I would rather politicians work for politics for better world and the meanwhile, historians work harder to find out the real facts as a history. History should not be a weapon to produce any political merit. We must learn our mistakes from it so that we could get out from this vicious circle.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Korean national law overwhelms the treaty. Great.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

looool, Japanese propagandists are still at it... I think anyone can agree that the post-war Japanese government (which were basically a bunch of war criminals and right-wingers still left intact by the GHQ) didn't do enough for the war victims.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Ch3Ch0,

Yes, I know that appellate case. Problem is NON-signatory state like Korea and China. They did not participate in these treaties. Basically its a one sided treaty favoring Japan and the Japanese corporations that will be working for the US.

And it was held in California, which in the code of law, a judicial court that is highly favoring the minority decisions.

So basically, the argument by Japan and US is that we decided who gets what in SF in 1951 but those that were not invited to sign or as allied power such as Korea and China, you guys will have to take a leap of faith on negotiating gov't to gov't with Japan during a time where neither China or Korea are in a position to gain anything significant due to their weakened state.

Just because there is stare decisis, doesn't mean new laws should or decisions should not be enacted to rectify what was unfair and wrong.

All these people are asking for its really their dignity, its not about that insignificant amount of compensation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

>Thomas AndersonJul. 11, 2013 - 05:40PM JST

looool, Japanese propagandists are still at it... I think anyone can agree that the post-war Japanese government (which were basically a bunch of war criminals and right-wingers still left intact by the GHQ) didn't do enough for the >war victims.

And the resident J-bashers are as well. You are barking up the wrong tree. From a perspective of international law, if all treaties signed between governments that ended wars and bad relationships were ignored like this the entire world would be in a complete mess. Every country on the planet would be affected.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Comforting women did not exist then

I beg to differ. The "term" may not have been coined but the women "existed" all along, mostly in silence.

You also use this term throughout your post, the euphemism is "comfort women" I do believe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thomas Anderson

didn't do enough for the war victims.

When I hear the word "war victims", I think of people who were killed or seriously injured in a war. People who were drafted to work in military factories to make weapons and war supplies for a couple of months and who went home empty handed at the end of the war do not sound so much as "war victims" to me.

highball7

those that were not invited to sign or as allied power such as Korea and China

That is why Japan and Korea made 1965 treaty to settle the compensation issues. By the way, unlike China, Korea was not a member of allied powers. If it had been invited, it would have had to sit on the losing side of the table next to Japan as its junior partner.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

When I hear the word "war victims", I think of people who were killed or seriously injured in a war. People who were drafted to work in military factories to make weapons and war supplies for a couple of months and who went home empty handed at the end of the war do not sound so much as "war victims" to me.

On top of the Japanese corporations not paying for the forced laborers (which the Japanese government defended), Japan also didn't pay for the 20,000-plus deaths of Korean military conscripts.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Japan paid compensation. It's was South Korea that did not distribute the money to the people.

Yes, they made a pact with SK precisely so that they wouldn't have to pay for the forced laborers and the military conscripts.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

When I hear the word "war victims", I think of people who were killed or seriously injured in a war.

Don't take this wrong, but that's a mistake in your way of thinking really.

What do you call the refugees left over from a war, the orphans, the homeless or displaced, the people with "minor " injuries, etc? These people, and if we talk about the Korean's forced into labor or the "comfort women" , they easily qualify too as victims of war.

In fact, just about the entire civilian population of Japan could have been considered victims of war as well, but their being victims was the fault of their own government at the time too.

You see, victims of war, come in many different ways and not just killed or seriously injured either.

People who were drafted to work in military factories to make weapons and war supplies for a couple of months and who went home empty handed at the end of the war do not sound so much as "war victims" to me.

Drafted? I guess it's a matter of semantics and which point of view you hold. But I for one respectfully disagree with your premise here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The victims were suing Sumitomo for their back wages. Is Sumitomo, government of Japan? So if Japanese companies with hold pay to their Korean employees in Japan, these people can't launch a lawsuit against a Japanese company to get their pay back because of 1965 treaty? You can basically use this treaty as an excuse to dismiss every complaints brought against Japanese companies, that's so convenient isn't it? Eighty thousand dollars for each person is peanuts when there aren't many of them left. Cases are going to be increasingly rare, as most of that generation have died off. So why can't Japanese companies who profited so much from their slave labor, share in the some of the profits with those very few who are still left? This trial wouldn't have happened in Korea, if Japanese didn't drag their feet for so long. It's not like as if they appeared out of nowhere just now to get money. These men fought for decades to get their pay in Japanese courts, and they were unsuccessful. In their desperate situation (since they don't have much time left) this is the only way for them to get some final closure in their lives, before they pass away.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

*

Yubaru:'' the euphemism is "comfort women" I do believe.''*

Thank you. You are right. Because I replied to Redcliff. I quote how this person said as comforting woman. I repeated that way.

Also you are right. The most of women were in silence. It is understandable. The first woman who brought this issue up to NHK 9 O'clock evening news long time ago. This former comfort woman repeatedly said to the current Social democratic party head Ms.Fukushima in NHK studio that she was sold to Keesen by her family for financial reason according to the director of the news show at NHK. I really sorry for this kind of situation.

But today it is becoming a different issue as if the government of Japan forcefully had abducted over 200,000 women to rape and made them as a sex slave. ( I saw the statement on the monument in Eisenhower Memorial Park in NY) The most Japanese people have a strong sympathy for these sad cases, but accepting the statement on the monument since it is in the American public park that makes as if it were a historical statement, is not the same issue. Some one must be doing a smear campaign for Japan. Now I hear that 150,000 were brutally killed after they were raped. The numbers of over 200,000 is totally baseless. So 150,000 were killed is impossible to accept without some hard evidence or at least some circumstantial evidence.

If Korean government really think these things are real issues for compensation cases legitimately as well as this forced labor case has not been resolved yet . Korea should sue Japan now. I want to see the all case result at ICJ. Whichever the result is, the most people in Japan will accept a verdict if the result comes from objective point of view. Then we can look for our future for the both nations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, Thomas! The money Japan paid to Korea ($88 million) was to compensate the victims, but the Korean government kept the money and used it for their own gain. I am not saying Japan is not responsible, but they have paid and the Korean government misappropriated the money that was meant to compensate the victims.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Following some of the opinions here I guess future business in Asia would be all about lawyers and economists. Lets see, a small snippet of guilt/debt relations a few years back: The US should pay to Japan to compensate for Matthew Perry’s gunboats visits (they scared the crap out of Edo), Japan should pay the US for Pearl, and for invading China, Korea, Philippines etcetera during ww 2. China should pay for all the killings when they took back Manchukuo, The US should pay Japan for the horrendous firebombing of civilians in Japan, not to mention the nukes. North Korea and China should pay South Korea for the invasion and systematic killing of civilians in S.K. South K. should pay all the relatives to the people that was falsely accused and killed for being collaborators with the North, China should pay India for attacking in the Himalayas. US should pay Vietnam for bombing and killing anything that moved during the sixties and seventies; China should pay Vietnam for the invasion and killings during the end of seventies. Vietnam should pay Cambodia for invading and killing a lot of Khmer rouge soldiers. If we go back long enough in history everyone can sue anyone for something. Where do we draw the line?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So if Japanese companies with hold pay to their Korean employees in Japan, these people can't launch a lawsuit against a Japanese company to get their pay back because of 1965 treaty? You can basically use this treaty as an excuse to dismiss every complaints brought against Japanese companies, that's so convenient isn't it?

Yes they can and thank earlier South Korean governments who decided that it would be best to creat the nation's financial and political elites with Japanese money. Blame them, not Japan.

Eighty thousand dollars for each person is peanuts when there aren't many of them left. Cases are going to be increasingly rare, as most of that generation have died off.

So they should pay out of pity? I'd like to see a lagel backing instead.

These men fought for decades to get their pay in Japanese courts, and they were unsuccessful. In their desperate situation (since they don't have much time left) this is the only way for them to get some final closure in their lives, before they pass away.

I find 1000 more funier things to enjoy before I'm dead better than their families begging them to coerce some money from Japanese (probably not even knowing about content of 1965 treaty as the Korean TV and medias aren't s picky about as they are with Takeshima) and dragging those oldies for courts... They even won't be able to spend this amount cash.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The treaty of 1965 was between the governments of South Korea and Japan. The lawsuit is launched against Sumitomo, not the government of Japan. Two entirely different entities. Private Japanese companies cannot hide behind the 1965 treaty to rip off those workers whom they exploited to gain great profit and riches, simply because they are not the signatory party.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Oh, Thomas! The money Japan paid to Korea ($88 million) was to compensate the victims, but the Korean government kept the money and used it for their own gain. I am not saying Japan is not responsible, but they have paid and the Korean government misappropriated the money that was meant to compensate the victims.

That money was for "economic cooperation", not to the victims. Was SK also responsible, maybe yes, but SK was still in shambles and it was a dictatorship state, what do you expect. The money for the victims and forced laborers is said to be still left in bank accounts, never to be collected.

Japan had intended to pay state reparations for the 20,000-plus deaths of military conscripts. But Seoul’s stubborn insistence on compensation for the far larger class of corporate forced laborers resulted in the Japanese side’s shift to Plan B: the Japan-South Korea normalization treaty’s lump-sum economic cooperation formula, backed up by the 1965 Diet measure making doubly sure neither civilian nor military deposits would ever need to be paid out. The Japanese government tries to avoid all discussion of the forced labor financial deposits and has never indicated its ultimate plan for the money, said to be frozen in non-interest-bearing accounts.

http://japanfocus.org/-William-Underwood/2219

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Germany still continues to pay compensation to their victims

What? Some people should stop to compare Japan to Germany, saying some things about Germany that aren't true. I bet you don't know about this:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/greek-commission-concludes-germany-owes-billions-in-war-reparations-a-893084.html

You should read every single line about that article, before to talk about how Germany coninues to pay or it paid.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That money was for "economic cooperation", not to the victims. Was SK also responsible, maybe yes, but SK was still in shambles and it was a dictatorship state, what do you expect. The money for the victims and forced laborers is said to be still left in bank accounts, never to be collected.

Read again:

Article II 1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally. 2 The provisions of this Article shall not affect the following (excluding those which become the objects of special measures taken by either of the High Contracting Parties prior to the date of the signing of the present Agreement): (a) The property, rights, and interests of the people of either High Contracting Party who have ever resided in the territory of the other High Contracting Party in the period between August 15, 1947, and the date of the signing of the present Agreement; and (b) The property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were acquired or brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party in the course of ordinary contacts after August 15, 1945.
2 ( +3 / -1 )

This case is 4 victims vs one company, What Japanese Govt, paid to Korea or not has nothing to do with this case. The corporation lost this case. Some of young corporation big shots must be thinking they are lucky only 4 people sued.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

coninues* to pay

continues

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thomas Anderson

That money was for "economic cooperation", not to the victims. Was SK also responsible, maybe yes, but SK was still in shambles and it was a dictatorship state, what do you expect. The money for the victims and forced laborers is said to be still left in bank accounts, never to be collected.

Would you really read the treaty. NO it was not for economic cooperation. The South Korean government may have used it to spur the Korean economy but that was the choice of the then South Korean government but they have signed a treaty that any and all compensation is completed in full making all individual claim void.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Compensation Okawari campaign is a national past time of Korean nationals.

Let's be clear. The Japanese government at that time of the negotiation of the treaty and agreement of 1965 would of loved to just settle paying out unpaid wages to Korean nationals who fled back to Korea instead of paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to government of Korea which at time equaled 1.5 times their national budget. In addition, the Japanese government/people/companies at that time would of loved to collect or have retained ownership and title to assets (infrastructure, real estate, machinery, bank accounts) left in Korean peninsula which the GHQ and MOFA estimated to be in the billions at that time. In fact, the Japanese government at that time would of loved to completely ignore such payments and aids to their former territory once they became an independent nation much like what the former Western colonial masters' nations did to their own former occupied territory. Instead, both nations at that time decided to come to agreement called "Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation" in which they "confirm(ed) that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally whereby as per minutes of the meetings leading up to this said agreement, the Korean government insisted on paying out their own citizens.

http://www.f8.wx301.smilestart.ne.jp/honyaku/honyaku-2/718.pdf

Pg 115-116.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Again, why people here keep bringing up treaty signed by Japan's government? How does that absolve the labor abuse and non-payment of worker salaries of these small number of workers, by Japanese company Sumitomo? These people have given proof that they were abused and used by this company and got paid nothing for it. They want their salary that they earned. How is this pertains to Japanese government? Are you guys actually saying that Japanese government was behind the recruitment and abuse of these workers, and not Sumitomo? ahhhh... I get it.... now I understand....

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Again, why people here keep bringing up treaty signed by Japan's government?

Because an international/bilateral treaty, in this case, covers such areas and shouldn't be taken lightly. Most developed nations, like U.S. for instance, considers treaties with supremacy clause Without it, the courts throughout the world will be flooded with court cases that will no doubt paralyze their respective systems.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How does that absolve the labor abuse and non-payment of worker salaries of these small number of workers, by Japanese company Sumitomo?

Ask South Korean government who signed the treaty.

Are you guys actually saying that Japanese government was behind the recruitment and abuse of these workers, and not Sumitomo? ahhhh... I get it.... now I understand....

You lack common sense in your blind hatered towards Japan...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Please think again. The treaty was signed by GOVERNMENT of Japan. absolving all compensation issues pertaining to the GOVERNMENT of Japan. Where is Sumitomo in this equation? Are they government of Japan? Were they government of Japan? Was the GOVERNMENT of Japan the one who were responsible for exploiting these workers?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The treaty was signed by GOVERNMENT of Japan. absolving all compensation issues pertaining to the GOVERNMENT of Japan.

You should read the treaties...

Japan and the Republic of Korea,

Desiring to settle problems regarding the property of both countries and their peoples and the claims between both countries and between their peoples; and

Desiring to promote economic cooperation between the two countries,

Have agreed as follows: . . .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Treaty has nothing to do with this lawsuit. Only 4 people sued. Lucky for the company. Very small penalty for company. Did it wait many years until other people died?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Please think again

Chucky. Please do. We beg you.

As the above link I posted indicate on Jul. 11, 2013 - 10:47PM JST, the government of Japan negotiated the treaty and the followed agreement on behalf of Japanese people and entitities as did the Korean counterparts. If it weren't, why would the Korean counterparts be negotiating with governement of Japan at that time, the unpaid wages and assets of Koreans which was left in Japan? The Japanese government compensated Japanese nationals and her entities who had relinquished their assets left in Korea. Why can't your beloved government do the same especially in light of the fact that your nation was a receipient of the aids received by Japan?

1 ( +5 / -3 )

In 1965 as part of the treaty negotiations:

Seoul demanded compensation at a rate of $200 per survivor, $1,650 per death and $2,000 per injured person. As for Koreans forced into labor, Seoul said there were 930,081 survivors, 77,603 dead and 25,000 wounded.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2005/01/17/2005011761044.html

These former conscripts need to be asking the South Korean government where their $200 in 1965 dollars ($1,471.80 in 2013 dollars) went, not suing a Japanese company for compensation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like they are trying to double dip.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Irrespective of international treaties and reparations between nations there is no real way to prevent private individuals and organisations from also seeking legal redress under these kind of circumstances.

This isn't limited to Japanese firms it's been a problem for a number of German firms in the past as well, despite how many billions the German state has poured into the EU (to both former ally and enemy alike).

Sadly one can't place a legal limit on how much $$ can be paid out if said nation, firm, individual has participated in war crimes (mass murder, sexual slavery, forced military conscription, forced labour etc etc..)

I know that Korea (and China) has a lot of bad blood with Japan over these historical actions... I just hope that over time they can learn to forgive and work together... the beneficiaries in that case won't be 4 victims from a long ago war, but everyone of their respective citizens and probably the world.

Moving forward Nippon Steel can pay the compensation and then generate some good will towards themselves in SKorea, or they can continue to appeal and perhaps prevent a precedent that would allow further claims against themselves....

I understand that Nippon Steel intends to appeal the decision. So it will be interesting to keep an eye on this case.

How many appeals to they have left before they either have to pay up or refrain from entering SKorea (for fee of contempt of court penalties?)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Irrespective of international treaties and reparations between nations there is no real way to prevent private individuals and organisations from also seeking legal redress under these kind of circumstances.

Of course there is. That's what international treaties are for and it's the role and duty of the judicial system of each nations to abide the terms set forth in the said treaties to supersede the domestic state law. What do you think would happen if a Japanese national sues the U.S. Government in U.S. For damages caused by aerial bombings which at that time was classified as war crime per London Charter(wonton bombings of civilians)? There is no doubt in my mind that the defense will use Article 19 of the Treaty of peace with Japan and the judge will hence dismiss the claims.

The Agreement which Korea and Japan specifically states that claims rising out during the annexation period is SETTLED COMPLETELY AND FINALLY.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

nigelboy:

Article 2 of the treaty between Japan and Korea excludes the following:

(a) The property, rights, and interests of the people of either High Contracting Party who have ever resided in the territory of the other High Contracting Party in the period between August 15, 1947, and the date of the signing of the present Agreement

So Koreans who were still living in Japan after August 15 1947 are NOT covered by the treaty and ARE entitled to make claims. It's not clear if this applies to those bringing the current case in Korea.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So Koreans who were still living in Japan after August 15 1947 are NOT covered by the treaty and ARE entitled to make claims. It's not clear if this applies to those bringing the current case in Korea.

Aka, zainichi. Nope. The claimants are certainly not.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Chamkun

The article merely stated that The Treaty which I assumed was the 1965 Treaty was the official bilateral treaty that addressed issue of conscripted employees.It went further to state that for 35 years of Japan occupation some 780,000 conscripted labour were involved and this number excluded comfort women. One only can comment based on what was printed on the article, you might be correct that other compensations were paid but as it stood no mentioned of these were given.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

chucky3176

Again, why people here keep bringing up treaty signed by Japan's government? How does that absolve the labor abuse and non-payment of worker salaries of these small number of workers, by Japanese company Sumitomo? These people have given proof that they were abused and used by this company and got paid nothing for it.

Read the treaty. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

Article II

3 As a condition to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 above, no claims shall be made with respect to the measures relating to the property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or to all the claims of either High Contracting Party and its people arising from the causes which occurred prior to that date.

Now, if a Korean court, which is a government organization of Korea, awards former conscripted workers their claim that occurred before the treaty date, the Korean court is in bleach of the treaty. Therefore, a Korean court cannot award the former conscripted workers the unpaid wages. This is how treaties are supposed to work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Of course there is. That's what international treaties are for and it's the role and duty of the judicial system of each nations to abide the terms set forth in the said treaties to supersede the domestic state law. What do you think would happen if a Japanese national sues the U.S. Government in U.S. For damages caused by aerial bombings which at that time was classified as war crime per London Charter(wonton bombings of civilians)? There is no doubt in my mind that the defense will use Article 19 of the Treaty of peace with Japan and the judge will hence dismiss the claims. The Agreement which Korea and Japan specifically states that claims rising out during the annexation period is SETTLED COMPLETELY AND FINALLY.

There are frequent examples where international treaties are not ratified by participating nations parliaments, or ratified and ignored (I'm not advocating this desirably merely indicated that this possible and common place).

For an example, see Japan's long term postion on the "Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction" or their refusal to ratify the "Geneva Convention for the Regulation of Whaling" (setting whale quotas) or the IWC total whaling ban. Despite this being the official stance of the International Whaling Commission of which Japan is a ratified member.

To compare like with like, it's highly unlikely that if a US firm were accused of using forced labour or not paying Japanese (or other foreign national) correctly during the war period that they could refer to Article 19 of the Treaty of peace with Japan in their defence and escape from backpay.. They would more likely be forced to pay for these lost wages irrespective of any treaty.

Even as German companies have been frequently forced to pay compensation to their victims additional to any previously paid compensation from the German Government.

This is a sad precedent that Japanese companies may continue to face compensation claims so long as past victims are still alive. What will be Nippon Steel's response if their appeal (very possible) were to fail?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@ CH3CHO

In 1932 Japan and other nations had executed the International Labour Organization Convention. Japan had taken the narrow view in this aspect arguing that Korea was its colony and as such it had right to used the service of comfort women in Korea. (Philiuppines was not). Under the IOL Convention it stipulated that even forced labour are to be paid to the equivalent of any volunteer and other workers which Japan did not. Many claimed that Comfort Women were compensated but two question needed to be asked. How much was this amount and was this amount sufficient. Chamkun mentioned that paymenst been made and I agreed with him to an extent but this amount is only $10 millions as a fund and it is questionable whether comfort women from Korea were included. Initially there were promises made by Japanese Government of a $1 billion dollars paid over 10 years but this had not eventual instead a $10million fund was set up for this purpose. Other posters commented that grants and loans were made to relevant countries including Korea but unless money were stated as compensation for Comfort Women legally these were not compensation.

That is the reason this issue had continued to surface, unless this issue is cleared up once and for all bad blood will continuing to flow and hinder proper development of friendship between countries.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Redcliff, I am afraid your comment has no legal standing. Have you read the 1965 treaty? A person may have had some claim at one point in time. But if the claim was renounced, he no longer has the claim. You seem to discussing that fact that the Koreans had some right. But such an argument is irrelevant since the claim was renounced by them acting through the government and the treaty was ratified by the Korean congress. If a person thinks the act of Korean government renouncing his right is unconstitutional, he can sue the Korean government. "Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties" states "A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty". If Korean government failed to establish a law to distribute the money to the claimers, it is just an internal matter.

David Elson

There are frequent examples where international treaties are not ratified by participating nations parliaments, or ratified and ignored

You seem to have some misunderstanding of treaties. Read the Viena convention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Convention_on_the_Law_of_Treaties

There is a huge difference between not ratifying a treaty and ignoring a treaty which it have ratified. A nation has no obligation to ratify a treaty. International treaties have no power what so ever to a nation that has not ratified it. Your biggest misunderstanding is that you falsly beleive a nation must ratify or observe an international treaty.

Even as German companies have been frequently forced to pay compensation

As I said before, it is because peace treaties with Germany have no compensation waiver clause.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@ CH3CHO

I am not sure of your disagreement with my recent comment of the ILO Convention. I merely stated that the Convention terms on safe guard to Labour interest in terms of payment and Japan was participant to it and I don't think I have touch on any Treaty of relevance between Korea and Japan.

Secondly I did not refute of any cheap loan and grants offer by the Japanese government but to only state that unless funds were legally made and specifically made in the name of compensation to comfort women then one should not consider that as compensation for comfort women already made.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Redcliff

I don't think I have touch on any Treaty of relevance between Korea and Japan.

I see that is why your comment is off the mark. The legal question here is the treaty. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

Article II

3 As a condition to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 above, no claims shall be made with respect to the measures relating to the property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or to all the claims of either High Contracting Party and its people arising from the causes which occurred prior to that date.

Redcliff

that unless funds were legally made and specifically made in the name of compensation to comfort women then one should not consider that as compensation for comfort women already made.

That is not the question here. Their claims were forfeited by their government. So, they have no right to demand compensation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

highball7

Are you suggesting war, because that is the out come of breaking a treaty with another nation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For an example, see Japan's long term postion on the "Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction" or their refusal to ratify the "Geneva Convention for the Regulation of Whaling" (setting whale quotas) or the IWC total whaling ban. Despite this being the official stance of the International Whaling Commission of which Japan is a ratified member.

As CH3CHO touched on, you never gave an example of Japan "ratified and ignored" treaties.

To compare like with like, it's highly unlikely that if a US firm were accused of using forced labour or not paying Japanese (or other foreign national) correctly during the war period that they could refer to Article 19 of the Treaty of peace with Japan in their defence and escape from backpay.. They would more likely be forced to pay for these lost wages irrespective of any treaty.

The U.S. firms' efforts during the war was within U.S. so I doubt you can come up with a "like with like", but there has been court cases filed in U.S. against Japanese firms for labor. And of course, these cases were dismissed on the grounds of Treaty of Peace with Japan which U.S. was a signatory to which clearly indicates their court system exercizing the supremacy clause.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@chamkun

I actually think that Korean court is making a mistake by not addressing the treaty first. At the very least, the court needs to provide an explicit judicial opinion about why the treaty does not apply in this case. (Perhaps they did, but it was printed in the article).

However, you said " left $5,300,000,000 worth of asset to South Korea" but you are talking about resources which were taken from Korea and other area's of the so called co-prosperity sphere. This is nothing more than what Korea would have developed by itself as Japan's friend, rather than as Japan's occupied territory.

You actually repeated your very ignorant and arrogant statement about "$5,300,000,000" more than once.

You insult your neighbors for the satisfaction of your own ego, and in the end it will continue costing your country diplomatic and economic problems. Now that's really stupid.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

CraigHicks

You your self is ignoring the vast amount of money that Japan had invested in developing the 5.3 billion in wealth, is Korea going to return that amount as well?

Really what comes around goes around.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

SamuraiBlue

You yourself are ignoring the vast amounts of Korean lives ruined and properties lost that Japan had taken in developing Korea as Japan's private source of food, resources and young women. Will Japan ever return those ruined lives and looted properties as well?

Really, what comes around goes around. Japan's international image is becoming more and more tarnished with each passing year, as the world learns more and more of Japan's dismal history, behind the polite smiles that it presents to the outside (read western) world.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

slowguy2

When will the Korean acknowledge the positive acts Japan provided during that time?

The infrastructure, jump in literacy rate, drop in infant mortality rate leading to higher expected life span, better agricultural techniques, excavation techniques, better irrigation methods, western bureaucracy system, jurisdiction system, etc. Japan provided vast amount in investment, time and people to obtain those. Japan provided more so to enhance productivity from the land and took dividend in return. The Korean peninsula productivity jumped after Japan came and that was no coincidence that happened without Japan's aid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another article? Japan's obsession with Korea is just funny.

Anyway back to commenting.

@SamuraiBlue

You conveniently omit the billions of dollars of gold pillaged from the Korean peninsula. The 100s of thousands of cultural artifacts pillaged as well as the japanese forcing their language upon the koreans. Let's also bring up the shameless graverobbing done by the Japanese in Korea AND China. Better agricultural techniques? The japanese learned better agricultural techniques from the koreans. Are you going to say you guys taught pottery to the Koreans as well?

Is this what they teach in Japan? Here in Canada we also have a brief section about it on Asia. Nowhere does it say anything positive about Japan's invasion of Korea and more generally Asia.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@SamuraiBlue

You your self is ignoring the vast amount of money that Japan had invested in developing the 5.3 billion in wealth, is Korea going to return that amount as well?

Please show the contract where Korea government willingly agreed to be invested in by Japanese government for purpose of weapons and munitions manufacturing.

Japan provided more so to enhance productivity from the land and took dividend in return.

The colonialists myth. At least we don't have to worry about Japan being alone here.

Again, please show documentation for the mutually agreed deal.

You are wearing rose tinted glasses looking back at the Korean occupation. I find George Keenan's 1905 article in "The Outlook" [http://www.unz.org/Pub/Outlook-1905nov11-00609] informative for his third party viewpoint on Japanese in Korea. Please note he has an imperialist's bias, insulting the Korean, and insisting American's treatment of the Philippines is better than the Japanese treatment of Korea. Nevertheless, because he has no personal stake, he is able to point out Japan's mistakes in Korea.

Without Japan occupation Korea would have advanced on its own. After WWII and then the Korean war (where the majority of the infrastructure was destroyed) South Korea has managed to do quite well; this seems sufficient proof of their innate capability.

What would have happened if the US had extended the occupation of Japan indefinitely beyond 1952, the Emperor executed, all aspects of Japanese life decided arbitrarily by the US government and enforced by the US military and police, all opponents jailed or executed. Meanwhile, Americans and American companies build factories and use Japanese workers and Japanese work ethic to turn a profit. How much would Japanese then owe the US? Answer: A lot of anger and hatred.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

EastAsiaForeigner

You conveniently omit the billions of dollars of gold pillaged from the Korean peninsula. The 100s of thousands of cultural artifacts pillaged as well as the japanese forcing their language upon the koreans.

It is high time that Koreans learn the true history.

When did Japan pillage "billions of dollars of gold"?

In 1965, Japan and Korea made an "agreement between Japan and Korea on the artifacts and cultural cooperation" and gave back Korea 1300 artifacts even though most of them had been legally obtained by Japan. http://ja.wikisource.org/wiki/%E6%96%87%E5%8C%96%E8%B2%A1%E5%8F%8A%E3%81%B3%E6%96%87%E5%8C%96%E5%8D%94%E5%8A%9B%E3%81%AB%E9%96%A2%E3%81%99%E3%82%8B%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E5%9B%BD%E3%81%A8%E5%A4%A7%E9%9F%93%E6%B0%91%E5%9B%BD%E3%81%A8%E3%81%AE%E9%96%93%E3%81%AE%E5%8D%94%E5%AE%9A

Japanese Governor General in Korea kept publishing Korean language gazette till the end of ww2. It may be true that use of Korean language was prohibited in some of the classes in school but that does not mean Korean language was prohibited in school.

Korean should stop accusing Japan for false history.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

EastAsiaForeigner

CraigHicks

You two are conveniently looking over the fact that Joseon was flatout broke and Japan had to bail her out. In other words Korea had no gold to pillage in the first place and she was not going anywhere without the help of Japan. That is one the reasons why other nations agreed on Japan annexing Korea was because Japan agreed on becoming the co‐signer of Korea's debt. There was no " what if " scenario for Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

chucky3176Jul. 12, 2013 - 12:17AM JST

Again, why people here keep bringing up treaty signed by Japan's government? How does that absolve the labor abuse and non-payment of worker salaries of these small number of workers, by Japanese company Sumitomo? These people have given proof that they were abused and used by this company and got paid nothing for it. They want their salary that they earned. How is this pertains to Japanese government? Are you guys actually saying that Japanese government was behind the recruitment and abuse of these workers, and not Sumitomo? ahhhh... I get it.... now I understand....

You completely misunderstand. The issue of compensation for so-called forced labor was all decided when relations between Japan and South Korea were normalized in 1965; Japan paid $800 million to compensate those workers and that was the end of the issue. Unfortunately the Korean government was desperately short of money and used that money for other purposes, the people who should have received it got nothing. By awarding compensation to those people now and ordering Nippon Steel to pay compensation that has already been paid, the Korean court is violating an international agreement.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"When will the Korean acknowledge the positive acts Japan provided during that time?"

In two words, absolutely never, so don't hold your breath waiting. The supposedly objective material benefits of Japanese rule in Korea are meaningless to Koreans. The basic problem is that Japan attempted to impose the Westphalian/Western system of international order (which gave the colonizers at that time carte blanche to rule violently over colonized peoples) upon a people (Koreans) who had never lived under such an order before and had been autonomous and self-governing within the Sinocentric order for centuries. All the talk about Japan "liberating" Korea from Chinese rule in 1895 is nonsense. Korea was never ruled in an oppressive manner by China.

To put it crudely, an Asian people decided to "act white" in their rule over another Asian people. Not surprisingly, many Koreans found this arrangement absurd and illegitimate. Would Koreans have reacted the same way had the British or the Russians moved in and colonized the peninsula? Probably not. So is there a double standard here? Yes, there is. Is that fair? Not really, but it's the way thing are.

Official acknowledgement by the Japanese government that the entire Meiji Era policy of datsu-a nyuuou (Leave Asia, Join the West) was a terrible mistake that led to greater mistakes in the Showa Era is, obviously, not something that we'll ever see. Japan will not officially condemn its own modern history dating from 1868.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thus the Korean's inability to accept fact in history and the start of whitewashing their own history to blame another nations of their fate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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