politics

S Korean court rejects petition to repeal Japan sex slave deal

35 Comments
By HYUNG-JIN KIM

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35 Comments
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Actually the ruling doesn't say what this article says.

The Supreme Court ruled that the 2015 agreement was a political declaration and had no legal bindings, and the comfort women retained all the legal rights to sue Japanese government for damages.

Since the 2015 agreement was ruled a non-binding political declaration, there was nothing for the court to rule on.

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

Errr... are you quoting the ruling directly? Just wondering because what you’ve written is almost exactly what the article says.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

the deal was a non-binding political agreement that didn't affect the victims’ legal rights, such as the ability to seek official Japanese compensation.

Japan has paid compensation to these victims several times over the past few decades. However, the Korean government used the money for infrastructure and didn’t pass it on to the victims. I guess the problem is, the compensation paid was for general occupation restitution and not only for the victims of the sex slave trade.

On the other hand, I fully understand why Korea keeps pushing this issue. there are still many Japanese historians downplaying and denying this sea slave trade even happened. My favorite malarkey is the one that states the 10,000’s of thousands of women slaves-out all over Asia all volunteered to be sex slaves for the Japanese imperial forces. That’s enough to annoy anybody.

-12 ( +10 / -22 )

Sigh. When is this non issue going to go away. The matter has been resolved once and for all time in 2015. There is NO issue any more. Koreans keep bringing it up purely for political reasons on behalf of Moon.

11 ( +24 / -13 )

Japan has paid compensation to these victims several times over the past few decades.

Hold one, no not directly. Everything has been indirect, as any direct compensation from the government would have caused problems on the Japanese side!

0 ( +11 / -11 )

*In a unanimous decision, the nine-judge panel ruled that the deal was a non-binding political agreement that didn't affect the victims’ legal rights, such as the ability to seek official Japanese compensation.*

*It said the agreement did not receive parliamentary approval or cabinet council deliberations in either country, necessary steps to make it a treaty. The court also said the deal was vague on the detailed steps required of each country and the consequences they would face if they failed to implement them.*

Astute analysis.

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

It means “2015” didn’t settle everything once and for all, for the Koreans. At least that is their interpretation.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

*It said the agreement did not receive parliamentary approval or cabinet council deliberations in either country

But the 1965 was approved by both countries.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

But the 1965 was approved by both countries.

Good thing this article isn’t about the 1965 agreement or you’d have a valid point.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

Finally cooler heads have prevailed on this issue. This may be the first step to resolving this political dispute. Now maybe Korea and Japan can work toward building a relationship of trust and friendship. Korea needs at least one friend in the neighborhood. It seems a lot of Mr. Moon's policies are not working out. And, he may be thinking that he won't be around much longer. It looks like he plans on living in Thailand in retirement to avoid the fate of his predecessors.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

"A decision to spike the largely stalled deal"..... since when has the word "spike", meant to "cancel" or "terminate". Who translates this stuff?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

This use of spike used to be quite common as restaurants, offices, etc., had a literal spike on which finished orders would be spiked till the end of the day. So, obviously once something is spiked it is done. Not sure why you think this article was translated--seems well written...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I too wonder why this issue doesn't go away.

Especially when you consider that other Japanese war crimes were far, far worse than "comfort women."

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

@BertieWooster

other Japanese war crimes were far, far worse than "comfort women."

Only Korea and China are strong enough to publicly shame Japan on international stage.

As other victims of Imperial Japan's victims grow stronger, they too will start condemning Japan for its refusal to apologize and offer compensations.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

Korea and China became "so strong" also thanks to decades of Japanese investments and aids. Japanese aid to China ended only in 2018. Anyway it's only South Korea that complains about this problem all the time, and it started to do like that only after it exploited Japanese aid enough. South Korean investments in Vietnam prevents Vietnamese government from being more vocal about Korean war crimes in that Country, but Vietnam can always learn from South Korea, and becoming more open about this problem when its economy is stronger.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

While I agree while I agree with posters who say this is politically motivated, the goal is to get more money plain and simple.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

This issue will never die completely. We've already seen family members to the second and third Generations after the victims protesting this issue

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I guess you don't know that 1965 agreement covered both the comfort woman issue and the forced labor Issue, 

I guess your history is as bad as your spelling. 

Read the following report by UN experts before you make fun of other’s spelling. The 1965 treaty did not cover comfort women nor forced laborers. Saying otherwise is an admission of being Abe’s blind sheep because it is Abe who that created that fake narratives. Even the previous Japanese governments acknowledged the 1965 treaty did not cover comfort women nor forced laborers.

https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:13100:0::NO::P13100_COMMENT_ID:2218404

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

I am often astounded why some people cannot understand why this issue won’t “go away”. Atrocities create long term and even permanent damage to trust between societies. It’s unfortunate that these atrocities took place and one can only wish the Japanese military exercised restraint during the occupation. Whether you think S. Korea is making this a political issue or not, Korean citizens themselves are terribly upset with Japan. I’ve lived in both countries and have seen the frustration on both sides. The only way to work this out is for Japan to be prepared to address the actions of its military past over a long period of time- not stone wall it or consider the issue fully resolved. I know many are eager to move on and encourage Koreans to “get over it”. But that’s precisely the hasty attitude that prevents healing and trust building.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush . . .

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Common-sense people already knew that the 2015 agreement was just a rhetoric political agreement between Park and Abe announced through two press conferences. I already post this here in Japantoday.com several times. I wrote that it was not a treaty in an iota of sense. South Korea’s Constitutional Court just confirmed this common sense, as so many people of both Korean and Japan were brainwashed by their own media. It takes time to reveal the truth.

Still, some Japanese and Korean media imply that this is a kind of politically-motivated concession of S. Korea. But reading carefully the verdict, it is more serious than ignorant Korean and Japanese journalists believe. The verdict basically says that the 2015 agreement is non-existential in the legal terms because it is a void contract.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Yup it goes against 1965 treaty n gave SK monetary aid. N soon Vietnam is going to b super strong economically n SK should p prepared to listen to atrocities committed by SK in vietnam

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Speaking as an American and a 'rule of law' country, once a deal/contract is made, the countries should honor it. Otherwise, why do the deal in the first place and second, why would you ever re-negotiate a deal with someone who doesn't abide by the original agreement? Remember, it's not as though the 2015 Korea was in dire straits and was forced to sign the 2015 accord. So, why did Korea sign the 2015 agreement if they were going to re-visit it/re-litigate it?

I haven't really seen an answer to that question.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

One must do as one must do in order for you to keep your family alive.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@HJSLLS: Koreans are so upset about it because they are indoctrinated to hate Japan since they are kids. You don't see South Korean government to give the same importance at the women forced in prostitution for both Korean and American soldiers, it's like these women were never existed, despite it's a well documented fact.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

other Japanese war crimes were far, far worse than "comfort women."

Only Korea and China are strong enough to publicly shame Japan on international stage.

As other victims of Imperial Japan's victims grow stronger, they too will start condemning Japan for its refusal to apologize and offer compensations.

There is now a museum at Harbin in China, displaying the atrocities committed by Unit 731. Of course it will never go away, and quite rightly so.

Japan of course "just wants to forget". Denying what millions of people already know is really pointless. Japan is humiliating itself by denying any atrocities.

But there is one way which we can get to the bottom of this. With modern technology, do an excavation of the Sado mines, and if 231 bodies ate found, there is the proof.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Those who commit atrocities are typically eager to move on while the victim is left to pick up the pieces of their damaged lives. Many of the comments and downvoting reflect this hasty and apathetic attitude. Of course Korean children are taught to hate Japan. The atrocities committed during the occupation, starting from the assassination of Empress Myeongseong, are extremely painful memories that will be passed down from generation to generation, especially if Japan tries to downplay its wartime past, remove it from history books, or deny it ever happened. Unless Japan gets ahead of this problem, it will remain a fresh wound for many more generations to come.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

The Empress advocated stronger ties between Korea and Russia in an attempt to block Japanese influence in Korea.

A quick lazy quote from Wikipedia. So, let's see, it is OK for the Empress to push to take measures to change the correlation of forces to the adversity of Japan, even though thanks to Japan, Korea is for once at least nominally independent.

Should war happen, such changes in the correlation of forces will come at the cost of many more Japanese lives. Nevertheless, it is not only a wrong, but an "atrocity" for Japan to take measures to stop this from happening even if involved the taking of one life?

Do you think the problem are these assessment scales?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Remember, it's not as though the 2015 Korea was in dire straits and was forced to sign the 2015 accord. So, why did Korea sign the 2015 agreement if they were going to re-visit it/re-litigate it?

I haven't really seen an answer to that question.

Maybe you should ask Abe why he threatened S Korea with economic sanctions against the Park administration if she did not go ahead and sign the 2015 agreement, the same way Abe threatened Moon with economic sanctions if the latter did not overrule the S Korean Supreme Court rulings. Park caved in, Moon didn’t.

Furthermore, the agreement didn’t even serve its purpose as highlighted by UN experts who therefore made recommendations for Japan to redress the issues.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17209&LangID=E

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

This decision of the Supreme Court of South Korea is fair and consistent.

The 2015 agreement is actually an annexed extension of the 1965 treaty. And judges cannot annul that agreement, because that would mean completely destroying the treaty signed 55 years ago. It's a matter of simple logic.

This is an indirect defeat for President Moon. Since the agreement between South Korea and Japan is still valid. All it takes is a future president with a cabinet other than the Democratic Party of Korea. To bring back to normal the relations that Korea itself has broken. Only to satisfy personal electoral gains for the Democratic Party of Korea. And President Moon in the lead.

What President Moon should do is stop using the victims for electoral purposes. And understand that he will never achieve his goals no matter how hard he tries. Let the wounds heal.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Those who commit atrocities are typically eager to move on while the victim is left to pick up the pieces of their damaged lives.

Absolutely right. Unfortunately, in the case of Japan, those who committed and authorized atrocities were never really confronted after WW2, and many got back into key government positions, including the prosecutor s office and gai-kendatsu (prosecutors for foreigners). In the name of peace and reconciliation, of course.

Dumbing down the population has worked up to now, but with modern communication, it is just not working anymore.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Both countries are paying for what their grandfathers did and grandmothers suffered.

Korea should forgive, and Japan apologize. And then move on. Going back to the past won’t achieve anything.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Strange to see so many in denial about what it takes to move on. Look to Germany, they have apologised over and over again and will continue to do so because it is the right ting to do until Poland, Israel and the rest of us have forgiven them.

With the attitude seen in these comments Japan will never and should never be forgiven.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

South Korean investments in Vietnam prevents Vietnamese government from being more vocal about Korean war crimes in that Country, but Vietnam can always learn from South Korea, and becoming more open about this problem when its economy is stronger.

And Vietnam wouldn't be wrong to bring up that problem with South Korea by then, or eve now (they could even bring up what Imperial Japan did to them too, for that matter).

Just like it isn't wrong for South Korea to bring this issue with Japan. Aid and investment are not compensations to the victims regardless- Japan treated it essentially as hush money.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

ThePBotToday  12:17 pm JST

(they could even bring up what Imperial Japan did to them too, for that matter).

Like what exactly did Imperial Japan do to Vietnam which was and remained a French colony.

Anything like this?

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2182848/women-raped-korean-soldiers-during-vietnam-war-seek-seouls

8 ( +10 / -2 )

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