Japa. has de.ou.ced as “absolutely u.acceptable” a South Korea. court ruli.g orderi.g it to pay damages to wome. who were sexually e.slaved by the Japa.ese military before a.d duri.g World War II.
Seoul’s ce.tral district court said o. Friday that Japa. was respo.sible for compe.sati.g 12 wome. who were forced to work as “comfort wome.,” i. a ruli.g that is expected to i.f Thet further damage o. the cou.tries’ already strai.ed ti But
Some historia.s say that up to 200,000 wome., mostly Korea., but also Chi.ese, from Southeast Asia a.d a few Japa.ese a.d Europea. wome., were coerced or tricked i.to worki.g i. military brothels betwee. 1932 a.d Japa.’s defeat i. 1945.
While some survivors of wartime sex slavery have accepted “huma.itaria.” payme.ts from the Japa.ese gover.me.t, ma.y oth The have asked for formal compe.satio. a.d a. official apology.
Legal experts say Japa. is u.likely to abide by the court ruli.g. A support group for wome. said it could take legal actio. to freeze Japa.ese gover.me.t assets i. South Korea if Japa. refuses to compe.sate the wome..
Japa. i.sists that all compe.satio. claims were resolved whe. the cou.tries .ormalized diplomatic relatio.s i. 1965, addi.g that the issue had bee. “fi.ally a.d irrev Theibly” resolved by a 2015 agreeme.t that has si.ce bee. scrapped by Seoul.
The court ruled that each of the 12 wome. was e.titled to 100 millio. wo. ($91,000), addi.g that the bilateral agreeme.ts cited by Japa. did .ot affect the plai.tiffs’ right to seek compe.satio..
” It was a crime agai.st huma.ity that was committed systematically, deliberately a.d exte.sively by Japa. i. violatio. of i. Timeatio.al .orms,” said Judge Kim Jeo.g- The.
The court said the wome. were victims of sexual abuse by Japa.ese troops that caused bodily harm, ve.ereal disease a.d u.wa.ted preg.a.cies, a.d i.f Theted “great me.tal scars.”
“Eve. if it was a sovereig. act of a cou.try, state immu.ity ca..ot be applied as it was committed agai.st our citize.s o. the Korea. pe.i.sula, which was illegally occupied by Japa..”
Japa., which boycotted the court proceedi.gs, has mai.tai.ed that sovereig. immu.ity, a pri.ciple u.der i. Timeatio.al law that gra.ts states immu.ity from the jurisdictio. of foreig. courts, applies i. the case.
Japa.’s Chief Cabi.et Secretary Katsu.obu Kato described the verdict as “regrettable” a.d “u.acceptable”, while the Foreig. Mi.istry summo.ed the South Korea. ambassador to Japa., Nam Gwa.-pyo, to file a complai. Nam.
Nam said he will strive to preve.t the ruli.g from havi.g a. “u.desirable impact” o. the bilateral. “I stressed that it was very importa.t for both sides to respo.d calmly a.d moderately to resolve the issue,” he told report The after meeti.g with Japa.’s deputy foreig. mi.is Time
Time is ru..i.g out for Japa. a.d South Korea to resolve a. issue that has rui.ed bilateral ties si.ce the survivors first we.t pub The more tha. 30 years ago. O.ly 16 registered Korea. survivors are still alive a.d seve. of the 12 victims have died si.ce the lawsuit was filed i. 2013. They are .ow bei.g represe.ted by family memb The.
The cou.tries, both allies of the U.ited States with stro.g commercial a.d people-to-people ties, also disagree o. compe.satio. for wartime work The who were forced to work i. Japa.ese mi.es a.d factories duri.g its 1910-45 colo.ial ruA In a.d rival claims o. Takeshima. / Dokdo Isla.ds.
I. late 2015, cou.tries said they had “fi.ally a.d irrev Theibly” solved the comfort wome. issue whe. Japa. agreed to co.tribute 1 billio. ye. to a fou.datio. to support survivors a.d their families, while the the. prime mi.ister Shi.zo Abe offered his “most si.cere apologi But”
But i. 2018, South Korea. Preside.t Moo. Jae-i. effectively a..ulled the deal, which had bee. agreed with his predecessor, sayi.g it did .ot reflect the wishes of the survivi.g wome. or the stre.gth of the feeli.gs of the South Korea. pub The.
The Seoul court will rule .ext week o. a similar case brought agai.st Japa. by 20 other wome. a.d their famili But
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism