politics

S Korean court holds 1st hearing on 'comfort women' civil suit

42 Comments
By KIM TONG-HYUNG

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42 Comments
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Another day, more official Japan bashing in South Korea. Why dont these people sue the South Korean government? The issue has been settled in finality, this case should be thrown out if there is any rule of law in South Korea.

25 ( +37 / -12 )

"The Japanese government must repent," Lee Ok-seon, a former sex slave, said at a news conference shortly before the trial began. "They kidnapped innocent kids and inflicted irreversible damages and they must repent. They must sincerely apologize."

It is truly despicable how the Moon administration and rabid anti-Japanese nationalists have used surviving comfort women as props for their own twisted purposes. Japan has offered apologies and compensation to comfort women multiple times, including the Asian Women's Fund and the settlement in 2015.

And now this poor woman is parroting the nonsense the anti-Japan nationalists have been force feeding her. Sincerely apologise? You mean, like they did multiple times already the past several decades? Like I always say those who are loudest to accuse Japan of white washing its history, are the same ones doing it themselves.

Utterly ludicrous.

21 ( +35 / -14 )

Nice try, keep wasting time, Korean opportunistic crybabies !!..

16 ( +31 / -15 )

There is a documentary on the millions of elderly Koreans living on poverty with even their children not visiting them. Isn't it strange then how much Korea "cares" about these 20?

Do you think a woman in her 90's would want to go through lawsuits or rather those that want to incessantly perpetuate hatred for Japan do?

Japan must absolutely ignore this charade! If give in, it opens a floodgate of endless lawsuits and justify the industry is Korean victimhood! NO MORE!!!

22 ( +35 / -13 )

They should be filing this lawsuit against the S. Korean Government..... they are the one's that received Billions way back in the 1960's and never gave a dime to anybody other than Politicians and large Corporations.

23 ( +36 / -13 )

You can't tell me that a 90 year old woman is concerned with spending her remaining time on the earth in the midst of a lawsuit that will probably outlast her. It's sad that they are just pawns in Moon's political game of making Japan look bad.

23 ( +35 / -12 )

First of all, there aren't 20 victims in this case. There are a few victims and a lot of family members looking to hitch a ride on the gravy train

25 ( +35 / -10 )

I'd be interested to know how they verify that individual women were actual victims, and not just some old lady trying to make a quick Buck by being part of the lawsuit

15 ( +26 / -11 )

Under South Korea's previous conservative government, the countries attempted to settle their decades-long row over sexual slavery in 2015 when the reached an agreement for Tokyo to fund 1 billion yen ($9 million) to a Seoul-based foundation to help support victims.

SK has been amply compensated three or four times in the past. However, the compensation for these victims was never passed on to them. It was used for infrastructure upgrades by the government. The people should be suing the SK government to get their money back and not suing Japan to get more.

24 ( +32 / -8 )

Lol. JT's really hitting those LDP talking points this week.

KEPCO corruption? Those typhoons are terrible but we'll save you!

Corrupt ministers resigning willy-nilly? Hey, just watch the Emperor's garden party!

Tax money for a cherry blossom viewing? Them lying Koreans are at it again!

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Lots of these Japanese corporations are on the hook for compensation

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

shame - korea government manipulated elderly.

16 ( +25 / -9 )

Not many of them are left. Do everything we can to comfort their souls.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Japanese government refused to receive copies of the complaint.

what is this joke? Japan has no respect even for juridical system..?

-22 ( +7 / -29 )

mtuffiziToday  08:10 am JST

shame - Korea government manipulated elderly.

WHY? it makes sense , they were the victims.

I really want to hear their stories. truth needs to come out.

-14 ( +11 / -25 )

Please tell me these frail old pensioners, in their latter stages of life are not be wheeled out to make a political point?

Because it certainly appearers to be the case. How shameless, it is cringe worthy. Melancholic.

How low will the Government of South Korea steep?

18 ( +25 / -7 )

South Korea (in 2015):

accused Tokyo of attempting to silence the victims with money.

Also South Korea:

filed the suit in 2016 seeking compensation of 200 million won ($171,000) each

19 ( +23 / -4 )

 Japan has no respect even for juridical system..?

In a word, yes. japans like a jilted partner that can't come to terms that the relationship is over. It has all the traits. Clinginess, bullying, not accepting responsibility for it's past actions in a manner not akin to mob transactions. It's a pity really. The endless spins and denialism that most will go through even when the facts are plain and clear. If only Germany had this kind of privilege after the war.

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

oh come on. the verdict is pre-ordained. this is just all kabuki theater with the victims being used as pawns to once again bash japan.

what is this joke? Japan has no respect even for juridical system..?

what about SK having no respect for international treaties? what in that treaty gives SK the right to sue the japanese gov't now over compensation claims? it's utterly ridiculous that SK has no respect for the juridical (sic) system.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

nakanoguy01Today  08:59 am JST

what about SK having no respect for international treaties? what in that treaty gives SK the right to sue the japanese gov't now over compensation claims? it's utterly ridiculous that SK has no respect for the juridical (sic) system.

it is fine, the trial will decide of that matter.

it is a right to ask for a judgment .

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

The deal was hugely unpopular in South Korea, where many people criticized their government for settling for far too less and accused Tokyo of attempting to silence the victims with money.

Really... then what's this lawsuit all about then? Money of course.

If you accuse a nation of trying to silence people with money, then take them to court to sue for more money, you coveniently expose your motive. This is a straight up money grab by led by the victims' families. But were they aware of sovereign immunity? Possibly... but that won't stop the South Korean media supporting the government stance from milking this to stoke anti-Japan sentiment again, right on queue.

Where's the mediation between Japan and the actual victims (the ones who accused Japan of attempting to silence the victims with money) who are more concerned with dialogue and understanding? Oh that's right, it disappeared with the previous South Korean government.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Some of the “comfort women” seem to be in their 70s. Are the old women saying memories of the Korean War?

19 ( +23 / -4 )

In 1965 a treaty was signed and millions of yen was given to compensate the victims for the horrible acts back then. Japan wanted and demanded to pay each victim PERSONALLY and apologize, but the Korean govt ruled against it, took the money for the victims and built all those new and recent buildings in S. Korea. Every new prime minister has apologized, paid large amounts of monies they hoped/thought went directly to the victims, but it lined the pockets of the govt people. Every few years when money is needed, they break out these victims, brandish them in front of some cameras and say the victims want more money, but its the Korean govt these victims should be going after! So they are being victimized again by their own, but their trust is misguided. I wish that these victims could get the money they are owed before its too late!

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Japanese, in case if they had a "comfort woman" or a pan-pan (prostitutes for GIs) in their families, they hide it. Because it is embarassing for them. They would not sue even if they get some compensation money. They are so much afraid people get to know about it. It becomes a family secret. In that context, I do not understand the mentality of South Koreans.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

sensei258Today  07:14 am JST

I'd be interested to know how they verify that individual women were actual victims, and not just some old lady trying to make a quick Buck by being part of the lawsuit

This. They don't. Especially the one in the middle with brown hair who doesn't even need a wheel chair

WHY? it makes sense , they were the victims.

I really want to hear their stories. truth needs to come out.

Which one of each's different variation(s) ?

15 ( +19 / -4 )

@sensei258

I'd be interested to know how they verify that individual women were actual victims, and not just some old lady trying to make a quick Buck by being part of the lawsuit

It's not the old women themselves but their handlers who are doing this. The comfort women are their livelihood. Literally.

When the self-styled comfort women first came forward in the the 1990s, their stories were never verified. Now those women are either dead are too old to question without being attacked for cruelty.

Korean scholars who have noted discrepancies in their stories have been villified and ostracized.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

sensei258Today  07:13 am JST

First of all, there aren't 20 victims in this case. There are a few victims and a lot of family members looking to hitch a ride on the gravy train

yeah I can hear them singing the tune "Get On the Gravy Train, Oh Get on the Gravy Train, the Gravy Train is Coming, Oh every~one Get on the Gravy Train!!"

17 ( +20 / -3 )

The most obnoxious part is a Korean domestic court accepting this case in which the defendant is another country!! When did a domestic court obtain power to hold hearings against another country?

SK judges has NO understanding of International Laws whatsoever.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

In a word, yes. japans like a jilted partner that can't come to terms that the relationship is over.

You have that EXACTLY backwards. Several apologies... compensation paid (more than once)... and to you it is Japan that can't come to terms that it's over?

it is fine, the trial will decide of that matter.

It's not a trial. It's merely a kangaroo court whose sole intention is to allow the ROK to continue playing the victim in order to attempt to garner world support so they can successfully blackmail Japan.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

The Japanese government must 'sincerely apologize'?

You mean, like the following (there are literally dozens and dozens of other such statements of apology made by the Japanese government over a period of almost 20 years, that I did not touch upon so as not to make this post too long):

May 25, 1990: Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, in a meeting with President Roh Tae Woo, said: "I would like to take the opportunity here to humbly reflect upon how the people of the Korean Peninsula went through unbearable pain and sorrow as a result of our country's actions during a certain period in the past and to express that we are sorry" 

January 1, 1992: Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, in a press conference, said: "Concerning the comfort women, I apologize from the bottom of my heart and feel remorse for those people who suffered indescribable hardships".

January 16, 1992: Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, in a speech at dinner with President Roh Tae Woo, said: "We the Japanese people, first and foremost, have to bear in our mind the fact that your people experienced unbearable suffering and sorrow during a certain period in the past because of our nation's act, and never forget the feeling of remorse. I, as a prime minister, would like to once again express a heartfelt remorse and apology to the people of your nation".[15]

January 17, 1992: Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, at a policy speech on a visit to South Korea, said:. "What we should not forget about relationship between our nation and your nation is a fact that there was a certain period in the thousands of years of our company when we were the victimizer and you were the victim. I would like to once again express a heartfelt remorse and apology for the unbearable suffering and sorrow that you experienced during this period because of our nation's act." Recently the issue of the so-called 'wartime comfort women' is being brought up. I think that incidents like this are seriously heartbreaking, and I am truly sorry

August 31, 1994: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama On the issue of wartime 'comfort women,' which seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women, I would like to take this opportunity once again to express my profound and sincere remorse and apologies. With regard to this issue as well, I believe that one way of demonstrating such feelings of apologies and remorse is to work to further promote mutual understanding with the countries and areas concerned as well as to face squarely to the past and ensure that it is rightly conveyed to future generations. This initiative, in this sense, has been drawn up consistent with such belief" 

July 1995: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said in a statement: "The problem of the so-called wartime comfort women is one such scar, which, with the involvement of the Japanese military forces of the time, seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women. This is entirely inexcusable. I offer my profound apology to all those who, as wartime comfort women, suffered emotional and physical wounds that can never be closed"

2001: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (Also signed by all the prime ministers since 1995, including Ryutaro Hashimoto, Keizō Obuchi, Yoshirō Mori) said in a letter: "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future. I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations"

December 28, 2015: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se made an announcement at a joint press conference, which consisted of their respective statements on behalf of Japan and South Korea. Kishida stated, "The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective. As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."

And do not be swayed by those who seek to minimize or brush aside these sincere apologies by the Japanese government with such excuses that these apologies were somehow later invalidated by Japanese politicians backtracking or such other things. A few isolated ignorant statements or actions by Japanese politicians does not negate the official record.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

How quickly South Korea forgets the atrocity's they committed during the Vietnam War and their involvement in "comfort women" an far more worse crimes yet have never paid Vietnam a Korean won. Japan over the years has paid, paid, paid in both yen and apologies. The bill has been paid threefold.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Sorry, Lee Ok-seen, the Japanese do NOT need to repent to you or other so-called comfort women. Not at all.

You and others of your ilk were paid $billions way back in 1965, in the form of cash reparations to each "victim" of Japanese colonialism, subsequently your country received massive Japanese grants, loans, industrial machinery, technical expertise from the Japanese that pretty much lifted your country from the backwaters that it had been and catapulted you into the success that you are today, the so-called Miracle on Han River!

Do ask the successive South Korean governments from the Park Chung-hee administration onwards until the current regime of megalomaniac Moon Jae-in, to pay you back the huge reparations payments the RoK absconded with back in 1965!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

It has been settled in 1964.

Is there not a statute of Limitations?

This is why the world is chaotic. No one wants to forgive and move on.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

In a nutshell, SK is not only the well-known infamous lying nation but also the most insane nation just like NK.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Japan apologized AND paid off Korea years ago. If they give the payments back then maybe we will listen. Child nation Korea is back again...

13 ( +16 / -3 )

S. Korea is unwilling to settle any issues with Japan. Just look at the 1965 aggrement or the 2015 one.

The moment you think one historical issue was paid for with apology given and money, next year they say we want more. It wasn't sincere, you paid the Korean government but not us.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Japan insists that all compensation matters were settled by a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the countries and has accused South Korea of repeatedly opening the book on issues that were supposed to be settled.

I am not a history scholar, but is this not something that can be settled once and for all by an international court, so this never-ending theater can finally stop?

(However, seeing that governments in SK use it as a political football, I am not holding my breath.)

11 ( +14 / -3 )

It appears some of these poor old ladies have been changing their stories over the years. They have been slowly manipulated by the organization that claims to take care of them.

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-comfort-women-by-chunghee-sarah-soh.html

12 ( +16 / -4 )

The trial at the Seoul Central District Court proceeded with empty seats in the defendant's dock because Japan has refused to participate in the case,

A complete monkey show. No Defendant present means a default judgement will be entered in Plaintiff's favor. But no other country will accept a Default Judgement on the basis of Comity, therefore the only assets of the Government of Japan that Plaintiffs can go after are Consular offices and property. Is this the next step in South Korea's anti-Japan psychosis? Does South Korea think the international comunity will ignore a country putting a lien on another county's consular offices? The Japanese government thinks that relations with South Korea swill remain cold for 5 years. This action could make that 100.

In 2015 South Korea and Japan negotiated the Comfort Women Agreement that was declared irreversible. Japan fulfilled it's part; an apology from tje PM and money as agreed. The money was goven to the South Korean Government, but it still has not been given to the surviving Comfort Women. And now this lawsuit?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

South Korea can not force the sovereign nation of Japan to pay anything. The entire trial process is thus propaganda!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Apologies will always be deemed insincere and monetary compensations will never be enough. There are people who “keep the past alive” to suit themselves and their political aims.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Judge(s) at Seoul Central Regional Court should ask Lee Yong-soo which one of her different stories is her real memories and why she testified different stories in several different occasions. Don't worry. She is at the oldest, at her 70's and still has good memories.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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