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Japan-S Korea wartime labor dispute still far from fundamental solution

By Keita Nakamura

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Kohari said Japan should take steps that would enable Yoon's government to receive a high rating in his country,

The only step that would enable Yoon to get a high public approval rating is the one where Japanese defendants comply with the forced laborer's demand that

1) Japanese defendants issue a letter of apology admitting guilt.

2) Japanese defendants contribute into the compensation fund.

Otherwise forced laborers will continue with their asset liquidation process which Yoon cannot stop. Law professors and even sitting appeals court judges have concluded it was not legally possible to prevent the liquidation as Yoon's proposal is not legally binding.

For example, the measures include lifting export restrictions on semiconductor material to South Korea imposed since July 2019 and returning the nation to a "white list" of trusted trade partners as soon as possible, he said.

Lifting of the 2019 semiconductor material restriction has no effect on Korea's semiconductor companies, since they have banned the use of "Made In Japan" materials in their lines and already spent a great deal amount of time and money stabiliing their lines on non-Japanese materials.

In fact, Samsung and SK Hynix confirmed they will stick with their current use of non-Japanese materials even if restrictions are lifted, these materials are extremely sensitive and even the same material from different factories of same vendor affects yield. In other word, the train has left the station and isn't coming back for "Made in Japan" material. The Japanese companies supplying Samsung and SK Hynix will continue to supply materials from their non-Japan located factories.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Keep putting it off and when all the rape victims are gone, young people won’t remember. Young japan and SK people like both countries.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

let the problem of sk b solved by sk simple its not japan’s problem

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In 2007, the Roh Moo-hyun administration enacted a law to aid forced laborers during the war, based on a "completely and finally settled" agreement, with more than 70,000 South Koreans receiving aid.

Regarding the implementation of this law, the South Korean government did not demand money or an apology from the Japanese government or Japanese companies.

In 2018, judges of South Korea's Supreme Court challenged to change the legal interpretation of the agreement the Republic of Korea ratified in 1965.

From January to May 2019, the Japanese government repeatedly requested the South Korean government to resolve the dispute in accordance with Article 3 of "AGREEMENT ON THE SETTLEMENT OF PROBLEMS CONCERNING PROPERTY AND CLAIMS AND ON ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA" (dispute settlement procedures), but the South Korean government did not respond to the request.

However, this time, the Yoon Suk Yeol administration also did not comply with the dispute settlement procedures stipulated in Article 3 of the agreement, but chose to settle the matter through the domestic legal system.

The reason is that they understood that the Republic of Korea would lose if they chose to settle under Article 3 of the Agreement.

South Korean Supreme Court judges appointed by Moon Jae-in have failed to change the legal interpretation of the agreement.

However, it cannot be denied that this decision may be overturned by the results of the presidential election four years from now.

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In the past, Korean plaintiffs have sought compensation from the Japanese government and Japanese companies in Japanese courts, but all have lost.



Results of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' forced labor lawsuit claiming compensation for damages (Defendant: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Japanese government).

Feb. 24, 2005 Nagoya District Court: Claim dismissed.

May 31, 2007 Nagoya High Court: Appeal dismissed.

Nov. 11, 2008 Japanese Supreme Court: Appeal dismissed. The judgment of the High Court was confirmed.

As a result, the legal interpretation of the 'individual's right to make a claim' in relation to the Korea-Japan Claims Settlement Agreement was confirmed in the Japanese judicial system.


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There are two disgusting aspects to this. (1) that South Korea refuses to comply with Article 3 of the 1965 Treaty and arbitrate whether payments to indivuduals has already been paid as Japan claims. There is no doubt that money was paid but we know that the money was used by South Korean government to build infrastructure and companies like Pohang Steel Co (POSCO), So if South Korean business' that received those funds paid the individuals that would be nothing more than common sense. (2) What's disgusting here is the anti-JPN activists and lawyers who want to keep this issue alive, coaching survivors to go along with their game plan. The real survivors are very old and need the money as soon as possible before they pass on. The survivors should receive the money from any source, not be arguing where it comes from.

In the face of today's security concerns in Europe and Asia, the Yoon administration is 100% correct that correcting the damage done by former president Moon and establishing good relations with Japan is critical for South Korea's own security.

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RodneyToday  11:50 am JST

Keep putting it off and when all the rape victims are gone, young people won’t remember. Young japan and SK people like both countries.

The Comfort Women system, like other military prostitution systems, existed to prevent rapes and to control STDs. The Comfort Women recruited in Japan and Korea were on the Japanese military payroll, and raping one would be seen as raping a subject of the Emperor.

Claims of "rape" regarding Korean CWs come only from testimony given by survivors coached by the Chongdaehyup. In the 1990s Prof Ahn of Seoul University interrogated 50 surviving Comfort Women and found their testimony "not credible". The bias South Korean Courts found him guilty of "Defacing thecomfort Women".

As for the 2015 "Permanent & Irreversible" Comfort Women Agreement that SK and JPN signed, but former Pres Moon ripped up...

"SEOUL – South Korea’s incoming Foreign Minister Park Jin said Wednesday that a bilateral agreement signed with Japan in 2015 over wartime “comfort women” is official, offering a hint of how the new government, led by President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, would approach history issues with Tokyo."


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simple its not japan’s problem

It becomes Japan's problem when the seized assets are liquidated. Yes, Yoon's proposal is not legally binding and can't actually stop the liquidation.


What's disgusting here is the anti-JPN activists and lawyers who want to keep this issue alive, coaching survivors to go along with their game plan.

Indeed, the forced laborers have outlawyered Yoon's government, they have more lawyers working for them than the government does. Unthinkable in places like Japan.

The real survivors are very old and need the money as soon as possible

They don't. They told the press with their own voice they were going to fight the Yoon administration and have the assets liquidated. Every single survivor.

Yoon administration is 100% correct

Then why is there a talk of impeachment now?

Can you imagine Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy call Joe Biden a traitor in front of press? Nope, but that's what's happening in Korea right now. Yes, a seating president being called a traitor by the speaker of parliament, the leader of the majority party, and Lee Jae Myong.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

South Korea's security and very existence is also on the line!

South Korea expects to have no honor, break agreements signed with Japan, hate Japan whenever necessary and convenient, but also benefit economically from Japan, be added to best friends list while hating Japan, and also send full support to South Korea in Korean War 2.0, our soliders will be used, bases will be used, land,water, resources to rescue half of Korea, again!

Japan is not the country divided in half, South Korea is! During Korean War they didn't try to attack Japan, they attacked and invaded South Korea. Your very existence depends on Japan and USA, but Koreans think Japan is not necessary or needed, even though Japan is a major power and has been throughout it's history.

Just because you made some Kpop videos and Kdrama, doesn't make you better then Japan, and it most definitely doesn't mean Japan is not important anymore when it comes to Korean security! It's time for South Korea to have a Wake Up Call.

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More update on the situation.

A ruling party lawmaker who is a lawyer came out with her own assessment, she agrees Yoon's proposal is illegal and can't stop the liquidation process. There is a general consensus being formed among legal expert(law professors, sitting appeals court judge, the ruling party lawmaker who is also a lawyer) that Yoon's proposal can't stop the liquidation, and that the supreme court has no choice but issue the final liquidation order under the current law.

To address this problem, the ruling party is demanding the codification of Yoon's proposal because they too know Yoon's proposal can't stop the asset liquidation, but they hold only 38% of the parliament and will go nowhere because 62% of the parliament seats held by the liberals are demanding the liquidation of the assets as the only realistic solution.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Live update.

According to the foreign ministry, out of 15 plaintiffs who won final judgement(survivors and their children who inherited the right after their passing), 9 said firm No, 4 said Yes, 2 they are trying to contact.

Those 9 to 11 plaintiffs can continue the liquidation process.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No need for any "updates". The Yoon adminstration is determined to reverse the problems created by the previous anti-JPN pro-NK Moon administration. President Yoon has the full backing of the United States behind him.

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In the early 20th century, it was thought that the more a country becomes Westernized, the more modernized and better it would be. Japan was the first country to realize that yardstick, becoming more and more arrogant toward less-Westernized or less-modernized neighboring nations. That's what Japan was before World War II. In the end, that arrogancy of Japan was crashed to the nail with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Japanese government may have hoped that the wrongdoings committed by pre-war Japan as a nation or as private entities would be exonerated by the Japan-R.O.K. Agreement, that was signed in 1965, oblivious of the fact that anti-Japan sentiments among individual Korean citizens incurred during the colonial days would not dissipate so easily.

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