politics

S Korean court orders Japan to compensate former 'comfort women'

41 Comments
By Hyonhee Shin

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41 Comments
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with many surviving "comfort women" - a Japanese euphemism for the sex abuse victims

Japan use comfort, because it's giving comfort to Japanese imperial army but not for survivors.

-16 ( +16 / -32 )

Talk about a broken record.

15 ( +30 / -15 )

Good news for the ladies

-11 ( +14 / -25 )

@sakurasuki

And again you don't know any content.

Japan has already paid and apologized several times. Again and again this topic is used for political power showoff.

But I will be waiting for all your links which you share without conforming.

12 ( +27 / -15 )

@Albert

Again you don't read my comment at all, I didn't say anything about compensation. Japan still insist using term comfort woman, even in this Japan Today articles clearly mentioned they were working in brothels.

Even one of Japanese media suddenly change usage of sex labor and forced labor, few years ago.

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/30/672423391/japan-times-newspaper-redefines-comfort-women-and-forced-labor

-12 ( +13 / -25 )

And South Korea’s Supreme Court will most likely dismiss the high court’s decision. Koreans don’t know when to give up or how to give up. Keep wasting your time.

9 ( +21 / -12 )

I have trouble following the logic here. The impartial judiciary is not a part of the Yoon administration.

In response to the court's decision, Japanese vice minister for foreign affairs Masataka Okano summoned South Korean ambassador Yun Dukmin to lodge a "strong protest".

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The court also said the case falls within South Korea's jurisdiction as the plaintiffs live in the country and sought compensation over the acts that are deemed "unlawful" under its civil law.

Just because one side doesnt like the outcome does not mean the process was unlawful or against any laws of the country that the suit was filed in.

Payment of the compensation is another story.

If it had been the other way around, I am quite sure the Japanese side would be bitching too!

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

@Deanza

I have trouble following the logic here. The impartial judiciary is not a part of the Yoon administration.

In response to the court's decision, Japanese vice minister for foreign affairs Masataka Okano summoned South Korean ambassador Yun Dukmin to lodge a "strong protest".

Yes you would be correct to be baffled if South Korea and Japan were truly democratic. However if one were to scratch the surface...

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Here we go again... (yawn)

8 ( +20 / -12 )

@Meiyouwenti

And South Korea’s Supreme Court will most likely dismiss the high court’s decision.

Huh? Korea's supreme court is packed with liberal judges who holds that the 1967 Treaty doesn't indemnify Japan from damages of its crimes and is held accountable. 

@Yubaru

Just because one side doesnt like the outcome does not mean the process was unlawful or against any laws of the country that the suit was filed in.

Since Korea considers Japanese occupation of Korea illegal and Japan didn't contest it(The 1967 Treaty states the annexation treaty was already null and void without Japan taking any part to nullify it, meaning it was null and void from the start, and Japan is held liable for all the damages caused by Imperial Japan including the comfort women, and forced laborers.

-27 ( +3 / -30 )

Big test for President Yoon here. He needs to stand firm and criticise this ruling and do everything he can to allow Japan to appeal - and ignore the blowback he will cop from the rabid anti-Japan masses in South Korea.

Clearly a political judgement designed to embarrass Japan.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

This is just bizarre. Local courts should have no say at all in overriding international agreements. Otherwise, no nation can ever trust any agreement with Korea, as it might be overruled by any crackpot local judge.

If Korean people are unhappy with the agreements the Korean government has made, they should take up the issue with their government rather than engage in childish showboating.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

"It is reasonable to consider that there is a common international law which does not recognize state immunity for an illegal act ... regardless of whether the act was a sovereign act," the appellate court said in a statement.

The court also said the case falls within South Korea's jurisdiction as the plaintiffs live in the country and sought compensation over the acts that are deemed "unlawful" under its civil law.

Sufficient flaws to ensure that this will end up being reversed in the Supreme Court.

Prostitition was not illegal under Japanese Law during the time period that the Comfort Women System existed. And Korea was part of Japan 1910-1945 under Japanese jurisdiction.

South Korea did not exist until 1948. To claim that the CW system was illegal or unlawful under South Korean Laws is defective.

Then there are the charges of abduction, which apart from verbal testimony has never been substantiated. That of course would have been illegal under Japandese Law 1910-1945. However, in the early 1990s Proffesor Ahn of Seoul University interrogated 50 surviving Comfort Womem and concluded that their testimony "was not credible".

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Keep that fighting spirit going, here you go again. "Yoon" will be step down and put to trial and prison like all former president of South Korea presidents but the issue of fighting for comfort women must continue!

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

@commanteer

This is just bizarre. Local courts should have no say at all in overriding international agreements.

It doesn't. The 1967 treaty says absolutely nothing about indemnification of Japan from damages resulting from Imperial Japan's criminal activities, thus Japan is exposed to damages claims.

The ruling is entirely within the scope of the 1967 treaty.

If Korean people are unhappy with the agreements the Korean government has made, they should take up the issue with their government 

Actually the Korean government offered to indemnity Japan in the 1967 treaty but Japan refused, claiming that Japan did nothing wrong or illegal during its occupation of Korea. So the indemnification clause was left out due to the mistakes of Japanese negotiators and governments at that time and Japan is forever exposed to damages claims.

So it should be Japanese people and businesses that blame Japanese government for its failings.

-31 ( +4 / -35 )

@Fighto!

Big test for President Yoon here.

There is no test for Yoon since there is nothing Yoon can do.

Heck, Yoon is busy fighting for his own political survival past general election in April, where the Democratic party plans to formally impeach Yoon.

The ruling party is in a total chaos due to collapsing poll numbers and are splitting into two, the pro-Yoon party and the anti-Yoon party.

He needs to stand firm and criticise this ruling and do everything he can to allow Japan to appeal

The court to appeal is the Supreme Court packed by liberal judges who already established in 2018 that the 1967 Treaty doesn't indemnify Japan and Japan can be held liable for all the damages resulting from its illegal and criminal occupation of Korea.

So everybody and anybody who feels they have been wronged by Imperial Japan can sue for damages.

and ignore the blowback he will cop from the rabid anti-Japan masses in South Korea.

Yoon may not be in office by the fall of next year.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

@OssanJapan

Prostitition was not illegal under Japanese Law during the time period that the Comfort Women System existed.

The rulings aren't about legality of prostitution, but the legally of forcibly conscripting occupied people at gun point.

Under international law, occupying power has no right to conscript occupied people. But since Imperial Japan did and refused the Korean offer to indemnify this illegality in the 1967 treaty, Japan is forever exposed to damages claims.

And Korea was part of Japan 1910-1945 under Japanese jurisdiction.

It's legally established in Korea that Korea was never a part of Japan, Japanese occupation of Korea was illegal, and Japan is exposed to damages claims from its illegal occupation of Korea.

-25 ( +3 / -28 )

Aside from these rulings concerning domestic and international jurisdictions there remains a moral obligation. Has anyone ever heard of an apology for these serious transgressions much less a bow of contriteness? All of these postwar conflicts with neighboring countries continue to fester because Japan does not know how to apologize and support these aggrieved victims who indeed have valid claims and injuries.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Here we go again.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Old news, let it go already

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Just pay the ladies for their services and be done with this. I thought it was resolved a long time ago but clearly there are issues. Pay and stop whining. On both sides. In the grand scheme of things its not that much money. I almost have enough to pay. At least half.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

PacificpilotToday  09:58 am JST

Aside from these rulings concerning domestic and international jurisdictions there remains a moral obligation. Has anyone ever heard of an apology for these serious transgressions much less a bow of contriteness? 

In 2015 South Korea received an official apology from Prime Minister Abe along with reparations as part of the "Permanent and Irreversible" Comfort Women Agreement signed by SKorea and Japan. The previous SK Presidemt Moon ripped it up.

Japan has issued plenty of apologies starig with the Kono statement in the early 1990s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan#:~:text=July%206%2C%201992.,nationality%20or%20place%20of%20birth.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

16 women at $155,000 each. OMG all this grief over what amounts to peanuts. Pay it and be done with it. Those who receive payments sign for receipt and that this covers all claims from wartime issues related to them. They get their money after they sign. The number of survivors is small and shrinking fast.

I am not interested in what has happened before on a state to state level. This is direct with the women themselves, as it should have been from the beginning.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Japan will blow it off just like it did with the other rulings. And rightfully so.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Korea is a civilization with a history stretching back long before that of Japan. South Korea is an inheritor of that tradition. South Korea didn't exist under 1948 because the Japanese imperial army and government illegally colonized Korea in the early 20th century. Yes, you will say the Korean government signed an agreement. Is an agreement signed with a gun pointed to the side of your head valid?

Give me a break.

South Korea did not exist until 1948. To claim that the CW system was illegal or unlawful under South Korean Laws is defective.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Shunryū SuzukiToday  11:00 am JST

Yes, in 2015, the two countries reached an agreement where Japan apologized and provided 1 billion yen to fund victims. However, the agreement did not sufficiently involve the victims in the negotiation process (kind of essential oversight). Furthermore, there were instances where the sincerity of the apology was questioned even to this day (just look at most of the comments on here).

That is the excuse that the Moon administration used in order to reneg on and unilaterally rip up what South Korea itself called a "Permanent and Irreversible" agreement. Essentially destroying all South Korea credibility. It's a wonder that Japan or any other nation.

Questioning the "sincerity" of an apology is moving the goal posts. It is objectoively immeasurable and used to continue anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Prostitition was not illegal under Japanese Law during the time period that the Comfort Women System existed. And Korea was part of Japan 1910-1945 under Japanese jurisdiction.

South Korea did not exist until 1948. To claim that the CW system was illegal or unlawful under South Korean Laws is defective.

That's a darn good argument, and if SK sues Japan, than most countries can sue most countries for what happened during the war. Which might not be much consolation for those who suffered, though.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Korea has a court ruling and Japan objects.

Nothing gets solved except the pain of the victims remain..,

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

Japan paid this compensation decades ago. Korea looking very out of touch and desperate here.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Actually the Korean government offered to indemnity Japan in the 1967 treaty but Japan refused, claiming that Japan did nothing wrong or illegal during its occupation of Korea. So the indemnification clause was left out due to the mistakes of Japanese negotiators and governments at that time and Japan is forever exposed to damages claims.

Well if SK didntt indemnify Japan then maybe victims have no choice but demand compensation from Japan directly .

Is there another option?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's like if an American court ordered Japan to pay compensation for pearl harbor.... Oh wait. They'd probably pay...oops, bad analogy.

But In this case the Korean court can make as many urges as it likes. The Japanese will never pay, and shouldn't. Like others above have said, this record is well and truly broken.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

ianToday  01:43 pm JST

Well if SK didntt indemnify Japan then maybe victims have no choice but demand compensation from Japan directly .

Is there another option?

Actually there is. In the 1965 Treaty between SK and JPN, Japan paid money specifically to go to "individuals who suffered" under Japanese rule. Japan wanted to make this payment directly, but the South Korean government demanded that it be paid to them and that they would disburse it.

The money was never disbursed, and instead used for South Korean infrastructure and the development of Pohang Steel Corp.

So yes, the South Korean government owes money to these claimants.

"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.

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,[15] at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person.[16] 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.

Most of the funds from grants and loan were used for economic development,[17] particularly on establishing social infrastructures, founding POSCO, building Gyeongbu Expressway and the Soyang Dam with the technology transfer from Japanese companies.[18] Records also show 300,000 won per death was used to compensate victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977."

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

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So many White charisma men pontificating on painful, sensitive issues between two Asian countries that are None. Of. Our. Concern.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

As the election period approaches in South Korea, there will be a lot of news like this.

First of all, South Korea is the only country that does not recognize Japan's annexation of Korea, and it has been confirmed many times that it was not illegal under international law at the time.

(The 3rd International Conference on the Reconsideration of the Annexation of Korea: Beyond “Legal and Illegal”) Miki Kimura, Japanese Colonial Studies, 2002

Mr Samit Basu is ignoring the facts as usual.

Unfortunately, the only evidence that Korean prostitutes at the time were abducted by the Japanese military is the testimony of the women themselves, and there is nothing to substantiate it.

At that time, no one on the Korean Peninsula saw the poor prostitutes kidnapped by the Japanese military. Eyewitness testimony: 0.

According to the South Korean government, 200,000 Korean prostitutes were kidnapped by the Japanese military, made into slaves, and killed. However, no one came forward after World War II to claim that their family had been kidnapped by the Japanese military.

Is that possible? It's possible in Korea. This is because it is a national trait that the testimony of the self-proclaimed victim is sufficient to prove that an incident occurred.

In the 1965 Japan-Korea Basic Treaty, both countries agreed to a ''complete and final solution.'' The South Korean government has also investigated prostitutes, but has not confirmed the existence of prostitutes who were forcibly taken away by the Japanese military.

By rejecting Japan's offer to compensate each Korean, the South Korean government obtained three times the national budget at the time (including North Korea's share).

In other words, the claim rights of Koreans after the Japan-Korea Basic Treaty are guaranteed by South Korea, and the claimant is supposed to be the South Korean government that received money from Japan, but they are still trying to sue Japan to get additional money. .

If there was an incident, the South Korean government should prove it, but I don't think South Korea has a proper judicial system that can convict someone based on testimony alone.

By the way, the prostitute's lawsuit in an American court was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. As expected of America. It's much better than Korea.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If Koreans are said to have been kidnapped by the Japanese military, I would like to see evidence other than testimonies. Because no one has ever seen it.

If it were true, most Japanese people would accept it, but the testimony of self-proclaimed victims in South Korea alone cannot prove that 200,000 people were turned into prostitutes and murdered.

A country whose domestic laws are stronger than international treaties, and whose ethnic sentiments are stronger than its domestic laws, cannot be a developed country.

We can hardly call it a country ruled by law, including the law that charges people with pro-Japanese crimes.

There is no reason why we should respect court decisions in such countries.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Please read up a bit more before posting tired old generic comments.

You should look it up before spreading misinformation.

Japan and Korea already resolved this nearly 60 years ago. Koreans are just not happy with the deal their leaders negotiated. If they have an issue, they should take it up with their own government.

Yoon Suk Yeol realizes this and that’s why he dropped it and said the Korean government will pay it out.

keep up!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Recent Japanese society is in oppressive social atmosphere that cannot even mention about own county's wartime responsibilities, and difficult to represent sympathy to victim of neighbouring county.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The most sticking point that many doesn't mention is a court of one country either civil or criminal does not have any power and not even be able to appeal another sovereign entity as a defendant. This is litigation law 101 in ANY COUNTRY.

The law/power of court of one nation is limited within that nation's sovereign boundaries and DOES NOT extend outside of that sovereign boundary.

The only remedy for this kind of is through international court

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Except if that country is the USA by virtue of military might…

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan today・・・・ Being ruled by wrong ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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