politics

Japan calls S Korean court ruling on 'comfort women' regrettable, unacceptable

33 Comments

Japan's chief government spokesman said on Friday that a South Korean court ruling ordering damages to be paid to 12 so-called "comfort women" was regrettable and unacceptable.

The issue related to women recruited into wartime brothels had been settled by a 1965 treaty between the countries, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters. The South Korean government should make an "appropriate response" to the court ruling, he said.

Tokyo's foreign ministry summoned South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo to lodge a complaint.

The ruling could rekindle diplomatic and history feuds between the two countries.

Reminders of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule are contentious for both sides, with many survivors of "comfort women" - a Japanese euphemism for the sex abuse victims - demanding Tokyo's formal apology and compensation.

Japan says the issue was settled under a 1965 treaty that normalised diplomatic ties, and the two countries agreed to "irreversibly" end the dispute in a 2015 deal.

But the Seoul Central District Court ordered Japan pay each of the women 100 million won ($91,000), saying neither of the pacts can cover their right to seek compensation.

South Korea and Japan, both staunch U.S. allies, are key trade partners and share other common interests, including fending off North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats.

But relations plunged in recent years as history rows flared, especially after South Korea's Supreme Court ordered two Japanese firms to compensate some wartime forced laborers.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in effectively nullified the 2015 settlement, in which Japan issued an official apology and provided 1 billion yen ($9.6 million) to a fund to help the comfort women victims.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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Legally, the Japanese government is a defendant in the Korean court. If they have any objection, then they can appeal in the Korean court, not to the Korean government that can not do anything on legal verdicts made by the Korean courts.

Fortunately, the officials in the Korean government are not stupid enough to protest against any legal verdict made by the Japanese courts. Probably, the Japanese officials also know this well. Their complaint at the Korean administration is just a form of propaganda for the domestic audience, by alluding that president Moon can de facto meddle in the verdicts of the Korean courts. I am not quite sure it is possible in Japan, but is criminal in South Korea as witnessed by former president Park in prison.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Korean friends say that without these cases, nationalist political groups would not receive donations. So they are always looking for something.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

@gokai_wo_maneku

Korean friends say that without these cases, nationalist political groups would not receive donations. So they are always looking for something.

It can be true at least partially, but is irrelevant to the S Korean court ruling. This kind of obfuscation by bringing up other issues is a feature of Japanese logic?

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in shameful, repulsive, remorseless, in fact criminally abusive politically motivated weaponization of historic events these tragic frail pensioners had to endure is a further contemptuous act, a crime against humanity.  

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in is a ghastly caricature to the politically poisonous, toxic campaign to fan the flames of bitterness, loathing and odium directed at the people of modern-day Japan at any cost.

Whilst nauseatingly shaking the hands of murderous North Korea/Supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in action in politicizing the South Korean judiciary, is a blatant disrespect of international law.

Especially with regard to the 1965 treaty that normalized diplomatic ties in conjunction to South Korea's Supreme Court ordered two Japanese firms to compensate some wartime forced laborers.

Moon Jae-in fragrant disregard to the pensioners welfare, pensioners that need and demand closure, pensioners that wish to spend their final time in a peaceful quite life, are presented with  Moon Jae-in intent on wheeling them all in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul then proverbially ramming them head long in its walls and entrance.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Japan is in no way bound by a ruling by any Korean court. Their court's jurisdiction does not extend into Japan. They Japanese can and should simply ignore it.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Moon Jae-in fragrant disregard to the pensioners welfare, pensioners that need and demand closure, pensioners that wish to spend their final time in a peaceful quite life, are presented with Moon Jae-in intent on wheeling them all in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul then proverbially ramming them head long in its walls and entrance.

Reminds me of the time someone literally drove a car through the embassy. Or more recently, when several men broke into the embassy, or when people harassed a US diplomat for just having a moustache similar to a Japanese general's, or when a district tried to put stickers in classrooms saying “This device was made by a war criminal”.

The Koreans complaining about Japan being insincere should look at their own people. The hypocrisy makes me ashamed to be Korean.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

There is one vital and crucial aspect, factor, in this bitter conflict, missing from the outset, the duty of care and dignity, respect for these wheelchair bound comfort women.

The overriding agenda is to politically inflict belligerent retributive justice.

The proverbial life for a life, a necessity to punish without pardon or forgiveness. So to pass the bitterness and contempt from generation to generation.

The 2015 settlement, presented an opportunity, a beginning, a means to find and consolidate a period in both Japan and South Koran history that brought forth horrific human atrocity. To learn and commemorate through education.

Yet South Korea's President Moon Jae-in effectively nullified the 2015 settlement.

The one toxic element that needs to be frozen out permanently is the Politicians.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

SJToday  07:04 am JST

Legally, the Japanese government is a defendant in the Korean court. If they have any objection, then they can appeal in the Korean court, not to the Korean government that can not do anything on legal verdicts made by the Korean courts.

The South Korean courts are a joke. They allowed and found guilty a South Korean professor of failing to abide by the South Korean narrative on the CW issue.

South Korea needs to show it's credibility by accepting ICJ jurisdiction. Something they have continued to evade since 1952.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

One specific purpose of the Ambassadors or Consuls in the absence of one is to hear 

the complaint of the host country and to relay it to its own heads of state. There is always a chain of proper channel, not unless you are Bush and Blair or Reagan and Marcos, to follow. A sovereign nation can't be subjected to the ruling of another country therefore, if you are not subjected to a court, you can not appeal to a court.

If South Korean President Moon effectively nullified the 2015 settlement, in which Japan already issued an official apology and provided $9.6 million to a fund to help the comfort women victims, it is just appropriate to return the $9.6 million back or will the Korean government try to freeze or confiscate the funds? 

What the Korean Court can do is either retry it in a higher court and a "motion for dismissal " be filed and dismiss the case or further investigate Yoon Mee-hyang, the ruling party's lawmaker who allegedly embezzled and illegally diverted the $9.6 million fund in which a "Surviving Comfort Woman" herself accused the SUPPORT GROUP FOR COMFORT WOMEN to which Yoon illegally diverted the funds last year of doing little to help women who were forced into sexual servitude

or,

The Korean Government can also establish a Pension Fund solely to these said surviving comfort women and their surviving lineal ascendants and to their lineal descendants who were born while in or due to the forced servitude. A monthly pension in which the amount is not equal or lesser than their existing national pension.

The funds coming from the 2015 settlement and from the industries that gained from 1965 settlement. Instead of the settlement fund allocated to the victims, it was divested and invested to the industries who profited and became huge companies without sharing their profits to the intended Comfort Women in the first place.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I believe in the principles of separation of powers in the three arms of governments. This is a ruling by the judicial arm of which the executive and legislative can and should NOT interfere. Tokyo ought to use the same avenue to challenge or comply to the ruling.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@OssanAmerica

South Korea needs to show it's credibility by accepting ICJ jurisdiction. Something they have continued to evade since 1952.

The Japanese government always says they will CONSIDER bringing the comfort women/forced labor issue to the ICJ, but actually, they never do. For example, 2 years ago, they said they will CONSIDER going to the ICJ, but the consequence is like:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-japan-labourers-nishimura/japan-says-no-comment-on-international-court-of-justice-plan-in-south-korea-dispute-idUSKCN1UE08F

You seem to have no clue on why they never do. I guess they are generally smarter than their obedient and gullible people, which can be fortunate for Japan.

Face the facts, not political propaganda from politicians.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

No more begged n free money to SK from Japan read the message its loud n clear no cow sh*t gonna work now

1 ( +4 / -3 )

SJToday  01:56 pm JST

@OssanAmerica

South Korea needs to show it's credibility by accepting ICJ jurisdiction. Something they have continued to evade since 1952.

The Japanese government always says they will CONSIDER bringing the comfort women/forced labor issue to the ICJ, but actually, they never do. For example, 2 years ago, they said they will CONSIDER going to the ICJ, but the consequence is lik

Don't feign ignorance. You know very well that a country has to agree to accept and recognize ICJ jurisdiction and it's ruling. Japan is a signatory to this agreement. South Korea is not, and they continue to avoid joining because if they do, when any country brings a claim against South Korea they are required to answer.

Japan suggested settling the Liancourt Rocks dispute to South Korea three times and all three times South Korea refused. The only possible reason is the fear of losing.

This is also why South Korea refused to abide by the arbotration clause in the 1965 Treaty to establish whether any South Korean court can hand down rulings on issues already covered by the Treaty. They know they can not be taken to the ICJ over this blatant breach of the Treaty terms.

Soth Korea is a country of liars and cowards.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@OssanAmerica

Japan suggested settling the Liancourt Rocks dispute to South Korea three times and all three times South Korea refused. The only possible reason is the fear of losing.

Out of the topic, but I enlighten you. S. Korean government is not a fool. The island is de facto the Korean territory. If going to the ICJ with the island issue, S. Korea has nothing to get and Japan has nothing to lose, even the chance of Japan's win is 0.0000001%. That is why S. Korea never agrees.

The same, but the opposite positions are for the comfort women/forced labor issue. S. Korea has little to lose, but Japan has a huge to lose whatever the verdict is. That is why Japan never brings the issue to the ICJ.

No Japanese politician enlighten you, but I do.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The South Korean courts are a joke. They allowed and found guilty a South Korean professor of failing to abide by the South Korean narrative on the CW issue.

Shall we start discussing Japan’s “justice” system?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@OssanAmericaToday  03:18 pm JST

Don't feign ignorance. You know very well that a country has to agree to accept and recognize ICJ jurisdiction and it's ruling. Japan is a signatory to this agreement.....

Japan suggested settling the Liancourt Rocks dispute to South Korea three times and all three times South Korea refused. The only possible reason is the fear of losing.

This is also why South Korea refused to abide by the arbotration clause in the 1965 Treaty to establish whether any South Korean court can hand down rulings on issues ......

Soth Korea is a country of liars and cowards.

Well explained, except I don't agree with you on the 4th paragraph. Korean conscripts gallantly fought with the Japanese forces side by side during WW2. Though younger generations of South Koreans thought Japanese were the only ones who raped and maltreated the other Asian women during the war. Japanese Government is also paying for the impudence and barbarism of these brave conscripted Korean soldiers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

So these cultistic Korean judges would challenge International common sense? not only sovereign immunity but also Vienna Treaties?

 S. Korea has nothing to get and Japan has nothing to lose, even the chance of Japan's win is 0.0000001%. That is why S. Korea never agrees.

Calm down. Quite opposite.

SK would gain all if it wins at international stage. So stop keep excusing itself but face the common sense.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If South Korea wants money, they shouldn't have disbanded the comfort women foundation that Japan itself funded.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

South Korea has:

Refused any other 3rd party/country to look at 1965 deal.

Has refused to take it to WTO, to UN, to America. The Korean doesn't even want to open up the 1965 deal and read what they agreed upon! The Korean will avoid, and refused to look at the deal he signed!

SKorea unlike any other Asian country, Has received Dozens of Apologies and compensation multiple times! NO other Asian countries has received this much!

In 2015 stupid Japanese government again bent over, the right wing Abe gave them both apology and money which Korea accepted until 2017 when New President Moon came to power with promise of more money new apology.

South Korea exist in 2021 because of American and Japanese help.

The Korean wont acknowledge any of it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@OssanAmericaToday  08:38 pm JST

Sorry but I stand by my 4th paragraph. What you say is absolutely true, an enormous number of Korean men willfully joined the Imperial Japanese Forces, fought gallantly and a number rose to high officer ranks. All soldiers, Korean or Japanese were subjects of the Emperor.

Points well taken and I don't dispute you on that regard. Seems that we are on the same side but I guess we're focusing on different time frame. Nice to know your thoughts though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ReasonandWisdomNipponToday  09:35 pm JST

South Korea has:

Refused any other 3rd party/country to look at 1965 deal.

> In 2015 stupid Japanese government again bent over, the right wing Abe gave them both apology and money which Korea accepted until 2017 when New President Moon came to power with promise of more money new apology.

South Korea exist in 2021 because of American and Japanese help.

The Korean wont acknowledge any of it.

I share your sentiments here.

Abe was looking for a closure and he thought he gets a genuine one. We all thought that we can achieve it if a phrase “final and irreversible” is included in the agreement. I guess the S. Koreans learned to disregards treaties and agreements from their Old Soviets' Liberators.

S. Koreans won't even acknowledge they learned to manufacture TV's from us.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The fault lies not with the people, but with their government.

They elect their government therefore the people of South Korea are not without culpability.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If you are Japanese, listen and study carefully what your politicians ask and answer regarding the 1965 treaty: https://youtu.be/XlZiD0Sua2A

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

They elect their government therefore the people of South Korea are not without culpability.

Just like those of the self-professed greatest democracy in the history of the world.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The opinions of Governments, politicians, domestic Judiciary, etc. have no relevance when a treaty is agreed and subsequently signed. When signed both parties have to own it. Especially under the 1965 treaty that normalized diplomatic ties.

The 2015 “comfort woman” settlement, a “deal” presented no formal legal obligation to comply.

The consequences are clear, possible ratcheted punitive sanctions, some could imply comprehensive seizure of SK Government/business asset and investment.

Best practice is to follow the treaty rules, stipulations/protocols through the dispute resolution tribunal.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So, if it is ok to sue a foreign govenment, larger population countries will win eventually.

52 mil South Korean sue Japan, 120 mil Japanese sue South Korea.

South Korea will end up paying double of what they get.

What a stupid system this is!

China will occupy the whole wolrd in this rule.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan can easily spend 1.2 trillion yen on Olympics, but not 100 million to compensate 12 women that have been abused by the Japan's imperial army and face this disgraceful part of Japan's history. The world is watching you Japan!!!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Good job SK, giving good reasons to let entire Vietnamese victims sue you big time

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan can easily spend 1.2 trillion yen on Olympics, but not 100 million to compensate 12 women that have been abused by the Japan's imperial army and face this disgraceful part of Japan's history. The world is watching you Japan!!!

The problem is whenever Japan pays them, they just pop up a few years later asking for more money. And it is mostly orchestrated by the government to take the spotlight away from their failure to get covid-19 vaccinations.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So, if it is ok to sue a foreign govenment, larger population countries will win eventually.

Don't get excited. A court in one nation cannot impose an obligation on another country. Japan can ignore the South Korean court's judgement with no adverse effects. Japan will not appeal the decision because to do so would imply the South Korean courts have jurisdiction, which they do not and Japan is not about to hand it to them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Japan can easily spend 1.2 trillion yen on Olympics, but not 100 million to compensate 12 women that have been abused by the Japan's imperial army and face this disgraceful part of Japan's history. The world is watching you Japan!!!"

Matters of:

1) Law

2) Floodgates

3) Precedent

4) Principle.

Here's your answer.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Just like those of the self-professed greatest democracy in the history of the world.

Americans are responsible for the greatest democracy in the world, just ask us. (Sarcasm, if it wasn’t painfully obvious.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

*)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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