South Korea Court rejects Wartime Compensation

South Korea Wartime Compensation

Shivangi Prakash

Published on: August 12, 2021, at 11:46 IST

During Japan’s Colonial Administration of the Korean Peninsula during World War Two, a South Korean Court has dismissed a demand for compensation made by the family of a South Korean who claims they worked for big Japanese nonferrous metal smelter Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

In 2017, the family filed a lawsuit against Mitsubishi Materials. They claim that a deceased member of their family was compelled to labour in coal mines in Nagasaki Prefecture, in southwestern Japan.

The complaint was dismissed by the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday.

While the Supreme Court supported individual workers’ rights to seek compensation from Japanese firms in 2012, the lawsuit was brought after the period for exercising such rights had expired, according to the statement.

Similarly, the Supreme Court of South Korea ordered Japanese firms to compensate groups of South Koreans requisitioned to work for them during World War II, and those judgements have already been implemented.

Individual rights to compensation are subject to a 1965 Japan-South Korea agreement on property and claims, which says that wartime compensation concerns have been totally and completely addressed, according to a similar complaint dismissed by Seoul Central District Court in June this year.

It contends that orders requiring Japanese firms to pay compensation are illegal under international law, and it has urged the South Korean government to take action.

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