KOREA NEWS "Comfort women" compensation ruling finalized: South Korean ministry

“Comfort women” compensation ruling finalized: South Korean ministry

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A recent South Korean court ruling in favor of former “comfort women” seeking compensation from the Japanese government was finalized Saturday as Japan did not appeal to the Supreme Court, the Foreign Ministry said.

In November, the Seoul High Court overturned a 2021 lower court ruling that dismissed the case on the grounds of “sovereign immunity,” a concept under international law that a state is immune from the jurisdiction of a court in another country.

File photo taken on Nov. 23, 2023, shows plaintiff Lee Yong Soo speaking to reporters in Seoul shortly after a Seoul High Court ruling. (Kyodo)

The Japanese government has expressed no intention to comply with the payment order. The plaintiffs are expected to pursue an apology and compensation from Japan before resorting to a compulsory legal process.

Japan has said all issues stemming from its 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula were settled “completely and finally” under a 1965 bilateral agreement and a 2015 accord resolved the comfort women issue.

The Foreign Ministry said South Korea will “continue its efforts to restore the honor and dignity of the comfort women victims while working toward future-oriented cooperation” with Japan.

The plaintiffs in the suit are claiming compensation from Japan over the treatment of the women in wartime military brothels.


Related coverage:

Japan complains over South Korea’s “comfort women” ruling in talks

South Korea court overturns Japan’s immunity from “comfort women” suit


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