politics

South Korea pushes back at Japan in forced World War II labor row

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By Joyce Lee

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

INTERPRETATION OF TREATIES

Article 31 

General rule of interpretation

The context for the purpose of the interpretation of a treaty shall comprise, in addition to the text, including its preamble and annexes:

(a) any agreement relating to the treaty which was made between all the parties in connexion with the conclusion of the treaty; (b) any instrument which was made by one or more parties in connexion with the conclusion of the treaty and accepted by the other parties as an instrument related to the treaty.

There shall be taken into account, together with the context:

(a) any subsequent agreement between the parties regarding the interpretation of the treaty or the application of its provisions; (b) any subsequent practice in the application of the treaty which establishes the agreement of the parties regarding its interpretation; (c) any relevant rules of international law applicable in the relations between the parties.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

 this is economic aid NOT compensation for the victims.

Because there were no victims but Koreans demanded the money.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Furan

You just admitted that there wasn't any victim compensation, and then you contradicted yourself by saying that they have already been compensated for.

I have explained to you that the offer Japan made to give money to individuals was not a victim compensation, it was for war damages. Your whole argument is based on false premise. I have explained to you about 5 times already that the money Japan gave to Korea was for economic cooperation and aid, NOT victim compensation. They offered to give the money to individuals instead of the government, SK refused, because the govt. would have better redistribute the money. Again, this is economic aid NOT compensation for the victims. You have not yet addressed this basic fact which renders your whole argument invalid.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@IloveCoffee

Nice that you ignore the fact that Korea outright declined such compensations for victims in the first place.

There's a reason there wasn't any victim compensation:

It wasn't part of the agreement as Japan's efforts to provide individual compensations were dismissed by the Korean government. Despite Korea declaring this as a domestic problem at the time, they haven't paid their citizens jack. It's well documented in post-war literature how they have betrayed their citizens. But that's not something which Japan should account for.

You can't just dismiss possible compensation for your citizens, resolve matters finally and irreversibly and then backstab the treaty partner to pay anyways. It's the Korean government who screwed this up, so they should compensate. By the way the SK government is even in clear violation of the treaty as they don't seek resolution through political channels.

DieRealityCheck has even posted a direct export of the dialogue of the two parties. But I guess you will ignore that and any inconvenient evidence as well.

If the SK government is so right, why don't they sue Japan internationally? It's because it's nothing more than a publicity stunt to get votes. Blaring propaganda is the one thing Korea is good at, after all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Minutes of Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation

Hope you can read Japanese from page 115 characters inked in red.

http://www.f8.wx301.smilestart.ne.jp/honyaku/honyaku-2/718.pdf

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Furan

Again with the twisting of words. I have already addressed what you said. Read the treaty more closely in detail, i am sure you haven't done that. Japan did proposed to give the money to individuals as opposed to the government ,but like i have said 3 times already -- the money -- refers to ECONOMIC AID -- grants and loans -- NOT -- victim compensation. That is the huge difference you are omiting for reasons one might only speculate. It is explicitly stated in the treaty that the money Japan is giving is for ''economic aid'' and ''economic contribution'' NOT compensation for the suffering of the victims. Trying to twist the definition of words to encompasses the compensation for the suffering of the victims into a broad ''war damages'' for which Japan gave economic aid is nothing but a disingenuous travesty.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Ah ha! so with the negotiations about "comfort" women going nowhere, Korea has decided to try a new tack, Lets drum on about forced labour, perhaps that's a new and revenue stream we can extort from Japan!

Japan is not a cash cow they can just pressure for money, once again it sound like last ditch attempts by relatives of those who were used as labour to get some cash out of the Japanese government before these relatives die and their cause looses yet more significance! Its pathetic really! Perhaps instead of agrivating and alienating its neighbours Korea should concentrate on building stronger alliances against its Northern counterpart. 

Oh sorry I forgot, according to Moon, Kim Jung Un is really a nice guy now isn't he and the North is not a threat anymore because he's met him a few times and they shared a joke?  You want to talk about forced labour Moon, bring it up with your new best friend and see what he says? What Japan did in Korea compared to the North's human rights abuses is minor in capacity!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ilovecoffee and friends with the same opinion:

Let's just ignore the ad hominem remark of ilovecoffee and not forget the fact that Japan wanted to compensate individuals, but Korea didn't want that.

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.

Moreover, you state that

The 1965 treaty is about Economic Aid, not compensation for forced labor. 

Which is simply not true. You can read the treaty online, but nowhere does it say what the money can and cannot be used for. That is entirely up to the receiving party, so you are merely stating what it was used for, which was SK's responsibility.

You can educate yourself here to prevent further 'twilight zones' of your own. What the treaty says and doesn't say is very clear. It's also why SK doesn't sue Japan. The burden of compensation lies with the Korean government. This is a political stunt, if you haven't noticed already. =)

https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

5 ( +7 / -2 )

should be read "to find out damage suffered by individuals"

13 ( +13 / -0 )

"The rights and the claims" in the Article2 covers all sorts of rights to claim and /or claims for any kind of compensation. SK supreme court read it differently simply because the 65 treaty didnot refer to illegality of annexation. Japan was not at the table to discuss and clarify the lawfulness of the annexation in the first place.

Japan tried and suggested to gather individual data to find out damages caused by individuals to compensate INDIVIDUALLY just like it did for Japanese-Japanese. but S.K stuck to lump-sum payment to SK government to handle itself as one of domestic issues at the time. BTW those 4 plaintiffs were not forced to work in slavery in S.K. They raised their hands and some took interview process to enter Japan to work.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Govt can't do things that are inconsistent with what they said to their people. That is the problem. That is why being a govt, you can't lie to the people.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

Kenji Fujimori, which international law says that you don't have to pay debt because you don't have money ?

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

TriringNov. 7  08:37 pm JST

Makes no sense AT ALL.

At the start of the thread you state it is purely a labor problem but at the end you want the Japanese government to urge the companies to pay?

Talk about completely moving the post.

By the way, according to commerce laws the Korean court cannot enforce seizure of Subsidiaries of Japanese companies opened in Korea since they are by Law a Legal Korean entity not gainning a dime from the Japanese parent company.

The SK court would need to enforce it's decision to the Parent company in Japan.

Good Luck with that!! LoL

It's just a purely labor problem. It is a dispute between people who were forced to work in slavery against a series of Japanese private companies in South Korea. These companies were convicted because it was proven to be true. And consequently these companies are obliged to compensate these people for this fact.

Japan and its government have not been tried here. Nor have they been convicted. In this trial this was not in the debate.

The Japanese government just has to say that this isn't their problem. And to recommend to the condemned companies or in this case to their subsidiaries to abide by that court order. And let this matter be resolved in private hands without involving international diplomacy.

That's the way things work here in Europe. And each issue is resolved in its own area.

But as always. The two governments always make the same mistakes. Or worse. Kicking the hornet's nest for political issues to get votes in the next election.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.

Why did you omit the previous part, which i cited above, in which it is explicitly stated by Japan that the money they are giving is for ECONOMIC AID -- loans and grants. Property, rights and interest -- is about the country and infrastructure. Nowhere in the treaty does it say that the money is for compensating the forced laborers, or the damages suffered by the victims. The damages they are talking about are to the economy and country. The court order is about compensation of the forced laborers, something not covered by the economic aid and loans Japan gave to Korea for the rebuilding of the country. Can you honestly not understand the difference between economic compensation and victim compensation, or are you just being intellectually dishonest?

Basically this minister is disregarding his job in not mediating the situation through DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS FIRST by appealing to the press.

Huh? What are you talking about? The SK minister RESPONDED to what the Japanese minister had said in Bloomberg. You weabos and Japanophiles are in the twilight zone. You seem to be incapable of making the connection between Action and Reaction.

-20 ( +1 / -21 )

How about Korea pay us for a change? We have to much debts in Japan, so we can't give you anything

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The time which the forced labor did begin is 1944. However the time which the 4 Korean plaintiffs worked in Japan is 1942. So it's inappropriate to call it forced labor. It should be called hard work at most.

And as for the forced labor after 1944, actually their individual claim rights still exist. But their billing destination is NOT the Japanese government but the Korean government by the 1965 treaty.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

IloveCoffeeToday 10:36 pm JST

Why would it be ''unthinkable''? Isn't that what Mitsubishi just did with the Chinese forced laborers?

Between PRC and Japan there are no treaty stipulates;

Article 2 paragraph 1

The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.

like the one SK and Japan signed and ratified.

An Ocean of difference.

By the way in article 3 it stipulates;

1 Any dispute between the High Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or the implementation of this Agreement shall be settled primarily through diplomatic channels.

Within the article

South Korea's foreign ministry said late on Tuesday."South Korea is very concerned that Japan's leaders in positions of responsibility are disregarding the root cause of the issue...and continue to make comments that rouse our public's emotions," the ministry said in a statement.

"The Japanese government must be clearly aware that excessive political emphasis on the present case will be of no help to the future-oriented relationship between South Korea and Japan," the ministry added.

Basically this minister is disregarding his job in not mediating the situation through DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS FIRST by appealing to the press.

A senior official in South Korea's presidential office said on Wednesday the government needed time and Japan's latest comments were not helpful.

"There has been a ruling by the judiciary that differs from the previous government stance, so we have to arrange our stance," said the official, who declined to be named.

"This takes time, and the Japanese government overly criticizing our government does not help resolve the situation," the official added.

This official as well since they had the court decide with no advisory to the Japanese government BEFORE the court ruling.

SK government CANNOT be trusted in any international relationship as proven by their actions.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Pathetic that being the victim is officially part of your culture.

Get up and get going with your life!

17 ( +19 / -2 )

More attempted bullying by Korea to Japan. Enough is enough! The issue of the few so called “forced laborers” was settled in 1965. Stop always picking on and bullying Japan to win votes, SK government.

Poor victim Japan. Rather old hat.

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

South Korea says there were nearly 150,000 victims of wartime forced labor, 5,000 of whom are alive. Japan says the compensation issue was settled by the 1965 treaty normalizing ties.

The 1965 treaty is about Economic Aid, not compensation for forced labor. The money Japan gave to Korea was an economic aid in forms of grands and loans. Quote from the treaty: Japan provided South Korea with $300 million grant in economic aid and $200 million in loans together with $300 million in loans for private trust, a total of $800 million as "economic cooperation". The court decision is about COMPENSATION for forced labor, NOT economic aid or loans. Can you not understand the difference?

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

Where does it all end - African slaves suing southern plantation owners ? Relatives suing the Egyptian government for their forefathers forced building of the pyramids ?

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp must compensate four South Koreans for their forced labour during the war, which Japan has denounced as "unthinkable."

Why would it be ''unthinkable''? Isn't that what Mitsubishi just did with the Chinese forced laborers?

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

I’d look at the big picture take the high road $87,000 is persimmon seeds to Jaoan and these companies.

Japan is the older brother than keeps fighting with the pesky younger brother over toys. When will Japan learn to be the model Oniisan - older brother. Both act like children

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

More attempted bullying by Korea to Japan. Enough is enough! The issue of the few so called “forced laborers” was settled in 1965. Stop always picking on and bullying Japan to win votes, SK government.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

dougthehead13Today 07:57 pm JST

This is a purely labor problem mixed with politics.

The governments of Japan and South Korea have to shut up. So do the politicians of both countries.

As for the government of Japan only has to urge the sentenced private companies to pay compensation to those affected. In order to put an end to the problem once and for all.

Makes no sense AT ALL.

At the start of the thread you state it is purely a labor problem but at the end you want the Japanese government to urge the companies to pay?

Talk about completely moving the post.

By the way, according to commerce laws the Korean court cannot enforce seizure of Subsidiaries of Japanese companies opened in Korea since they are by Law a Legal Korean entity not gainning a dime from the Japanese parent company.

The SK court would need to enforce it's decision to the Parent company in Japan.

Good Luck with that!! LoL

16 ( +21 / -5 )

The binding court verdict is straining relations between the neighbours and could affect bilateral efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear program, analysts say.

I did'nt think that Japan was involved in any effort regarding NK's nuclear program.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

This is a purely labor problem mixed with politics.

The governments of Japan and South Korea have to shut up. So do the politicians of both countries.

As for the government of Japan only has to urge the sentenced private companies to pay compensation to those affected. In order to put an end to the problem once and for all.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Technically speaking, Japan is right that the issue was resolved by the 1965 treaty.

But, the Korean government that signed that treaty was just a military dictatorship that was looking only at the short term gains of signing (namely, a ton of money).

That Korean government was not a democracy, and so Koreans today can say that government didn't speak for them.

Now, about that Comfort Women agreement signed a few years ago.... this would seem to point to competency issues in the Korean govt.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

They were Japanese Imperial subjects at the time, because Japan had occupied their country. Does the Abe government think that because it used its own citizens as conscript labor that it was entitled to use citizens of the co-prosperity sphere the same way?

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

smithinjapanToday  04:48 pm JST

SaikoPhysco: I think what you MEANT to say was, "No matter how much Japan tries to sweep this under the carpet and deny history

Japan is not trying to sweep it under a carpet. A TREATY was agreed and signed in 1965 by both country. They need to follow through on their promise. Comfort women issue is exactly the same thing. Both countries agreed to resolve the issue "finally and irreversibly." I'm curious what part of finally and irreversibly do they not understand?

Im with Japan 100% on this. Korea is just playing the same hand over and over.

27 ( +36 / -9 )

@smithinjapan precisely!

SaikoPhysco: I think what you MEANT to say was, "No matter how much Japan tries to sweep this under the carpet and deny history and hope the victims hurry up and die, it'll keep coming back to haunt them. It's like having Trump as a brother." 

Japan just canNOT stop lying on this and other issues related to the atrocities they committed. I mean, what was it... three years ago? Mitsubishi Heavy FINALLY admitted, after 70 years of denials, that it had profited of the labor of POWs? Aso still denies he did the same, as do these other companies in Japan, and they say, "Nope! Resolved!" as an excuse to hide and claim no responsibility. I mean, if they honestly believe that, Japan needs to stop talking about the abductee issue IMMEDIATELY. That was clearly resolved long ago with Koizumi and Kim Jong-Il. Or wait... "that's different," right?

-27 ( +7 / -34 )

SaikoPhysco: I think what you MEANT to say was, "No matter how much Japan tries to sweep this under the carpet and deny history and hope the victims hurry up and die, it'll keep coming back to haunt them. It's like having Trump as a brother."

Japan just canNOT stop lying on this and other issues related to the atrocities they committed. I mean, what was it... three years ago? Mitsubishi Heavy FINALLY admitted, after 70 years of denials, that it had profited of the labor of POWs? Aso still denies he did the same, as do these other companies in Japan, and they say, "Nope! Resolved!" as an excuse to hide and claim no responsibility. I mean, if they honestly believe that, Japan needs to stop talking about the abductee issue IMMEDIATELY. That was clearly resolved long ago with Koizumi and Kim Jong-Il. Or wait... "that's different," right?

-38 ( +11 / -49 )

No matter how much money you give them.... they keep coming back for more. Its like having a drug addict brother.

30 ( +44 / -14 )

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