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S Korean court orders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to pay former wartime slave workers

19 Comments
By TORU YAMANAKA

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© 2017 AFP

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So has the 1965 Treaty between South Korea and Japan been officially abrogated? If so, a new Peace Treaty needs to be negotiated and signed by the two nations. If not, Japan should take South Korea to the ICJ.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

@OssanAmerica

The 1965 treaty is between two governments. It cannot cover war crimes and crimes of humanity which are imprescriptible (see "Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity"). Therefore there can be a peace treaty and an agreement to stop global reparations, but that does not preclude individual criminal lawsuits. For example, the French train company SNCF has just started to pay reparations to American holocaust survivors transported to Nazi death camps using French trains.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

" In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty. The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that the Japanese government actually proposed to the South Korean government to directly compensate individual victims but it was the South Korean government which insisted that it would handle individual compensation to its citizens and then received the whole amount of grants on behalf of the victims.

The South Korean government demanded a total of 364 million dollars in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period, at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person. South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty.

However, the South Korean government used most of the grants for economic development, failing to provide adequate compensation to victims by paying only 300,000 won per death in compensating victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977. Instead, the government spent most of the money establishing social infrastructures,"

9 ( +13 / -4 )

OssanAmerica: "If not, Japan should take South Korea to the ICJ."

Hahaha... why? For the islands that belong to South Korea? They don't see any issue with them, so why would they go to a body that has no power, and which Japan refuses to go to on other island issues for the same reasons? In any case, the stuff you are throwing out is just more of the same revisionist deflection. A couple of years back Mitsubishi Heavies admitted using POWs as slaves in its companies, and were set to offer former American POWs compensation and apology. Koreans were not offered them because "they were colonized by Japan and therefore not POWs" despite being kidnapped and FORCED to work.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

interesting article. if you google politicians in japanese history, owners of the biggest japanese companies in history, and how they became so rich, and the colonisation of korea, formosa and china, you will understand modern japan.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

GoodlucktoyouToday 09:44 am JSTinteresting article. if you google politicians in japanese history, owners of the biggest japanese companies in history, and how they became so rich, and the colonisation of korea, formosa and china, you will understand modern japan.

Not really. The Zaibatsu were formed in the late 1800s and they were as cold and cruel to the Japanese workers as the American Industrialists were to theirs. The use of foreign labor was a supplement during WWII.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The victims, both in their teens, worked without pay at a Mitsubishi aircraft manufacturing plant in Nagoya in 1944 after being falsely promised they would be able to make money and study in Japan.

Compensation well deserved. Good news.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I guess it's a private settlement so should be celebrated. Although how many other Japanese companies are in SK's sights?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Imagine if Japan had confronted its wartime behavior like Germany did vis a vis its neighbors. There might be an economic union between Japan, Korea and other countries RIGHT NOW.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"The use of foreign labor was a supplement during WWII."

OssanAmerica denying slave labor again.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Reckless

Germany hasn't paid a penny to most of the countries for your information.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Germany hasn't paid a penny to most of the countries for your information.

Where did you hear that? It's not true. Germany has paid billions in monetary compensation, land annexations, resources, and other forms of payment. They are still making monetary reparation payments today. What is true is that most of the allies agreed not to demand monetary compensation after the war (because they were now directly occupying Germany).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_reparations

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Koreans always like that, makes me tired and disappointed. That's shame grandfather generations be in the same conditions of Japanese labor workers and only 'they' have this trial to be judged in 'their' country, that's unfair in this present time generation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

90% of Japan's problems with its Asian neighbors is caused by the inability of the Japanese government to apologize and admit that it committed crimes against humanity. I am sure if the roles were reversed whereby China or Korea had kidnapped thousands of Japanese citizens who were forced to become slaves under inhumane conditions, the Japanese would be clamoring for sincere apologies and substantial compensation.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

With a degenerating economy and with no other way for Japanese companies to improve sales, it is necessary for the Japanese to expand in export markets.

Accepting that their ancestors were implicit in wrongdoing will mean that present day Japanese will derive economic benefits and hopefully a clean slate

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan quote: "For the islands that belong to South Korea? They don't see any issue with them, so why would they go to a body that has no power, and which Japan refuses to go to on other island issues for the same reasons?"

Oh dear, a topic that has nothing to do with the article nor what OssanAmerica actually meant. Apparently you carry around a certain grudge on Japan but let me correct your words to actual politics:

Japan wants SKorea to agree on taking the Takeshima/Dokdo case to the ICJ. Japan affirmed it will accept the decision but SKorea doesn't want to. Gee, I wonder why since this could once and for all settle the dispute. The reason is simple: SKorea is quite aware it will lose this case so they won't allow this being decided by the ICJ.

China has a problem with the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan. Same here, Japan would agree on an ICJ decision but here it is China that needs to call the ICJ as a plaintiff. Gee, I wonder why they just don't do it, maybe they are also aware they'd lose the case?

For you it should be simple to understand that the plaintiff, who wants somehing, must call the ICJ but the defendant must agree on the call. To my knowledge, Japan would agree on all the island disputes being decided by the ICJ yet the other countries somehow refuse to.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

if all your neighbors think you are a jerk, guess what?... you probably are...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not all, just two specific nations heavily relying on the anti-Japan sentiment for their political reasons.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tictactogo: Japan also has no peace treaty with Russia to the north, so all three close neighbors have problems with Japan. The only country (and I exclude Taiwan from the definition of a country), that really likes Japan is Vietnam.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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