South Korea appellate courtroom orders Japan to compensate former victims of Japanese occupation sexual slavery – JURIST


The Seoul Excessive Courtroom rendered a decision on Thursday that ordered the Japanese authorities to compensate every of the previous “consolation ladies” who initially introduced a lawsuit within the Seoul Central District Courtroom in 2016, in keeping with South Korean information supply KBS. The choice overturns an April 2021 decision from the district courtroom and awards every of the 16 victims 200 million received (roughly 154,000 USD).

In accordance with Korean media KBS, the enchantment was introduced by a bunch of 16 victims, most of whom had been represented by bereaved members of the family. 95-year-old Lee Yong-soo as the one surviving sufferer. The victims had been compelled to function “consolation ladies” earlier than and through World Warfare II, which was a type of sexual slavery ran out of brothels operated by the Japanese navy. The plaintiffs’ claims had been first rejected by the Seoul Central District Courtroom in April 2021, ruling that the Japanese authorities enjoys sovereign immunity beneath customary worldwide regulation, which offers {that a} nation’s train of sovereignty isn’t topic to trial by different nations’ courts.

Within the appellate determination, the Seoul Excessive Courtroom rejected the applicability of the rule, holding that the compelled sexual slavery of the Japanese navy violated the worldwide treaties to which Japan was a celebration on the time, in addition to the Japanese legal regulation. In accordance with the Yonhap Information Company from South Korea, the courtroom stated, “”It’s acknowledged that the defendant engaged in unlawful acts in the middle of mobilizing consolation ladies and applicable compensation ought to be paid.” Total, the courtroom rendered the ultimate determination in favor of the victims and ordered the Japanese authorities to pay a compensation of 200 million received to every of the people.

Japanese Overseas Minister Yoko Kamikawa made a statement on Thursday, calling the Seoul Excessive Courtroom’s determination “opposite to worldwide regulation and agreements between the 2 nations, and subsequently extraordinarily regrettable and completely unacceptable.” She additionally urged South Korea to take applicable measures to treatment its breaches. On the identical day, Japanese Vice-Minister for Overseas Affairs Okano Masataka summoned South Korean Ambassador Yun Dukmin to lodge a “robust protest.” The Japanese authorities reiterated that the issues surrounding “consolation ladies” between the 2 nations had been settled fully and at last by the Agreement on the Settlement of Problem concerning Property and Claims and on the Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea of 1965 and the agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea in 2015.

The time period “comfort women” refers to victims of Japan’s compelled sexual slavery earlier than and through World Warfare II, the place a whole lot of hundreds of women and girls from Asian nations had been kidnapped and compelled to work in Japanese navy brothels. A complete of 240 folks had registered with the federal government of South Korea as a sufferer. With the passing of a 91-year-old sufferer on Could 2, 2023, there are solely 9 survivors left in South Korea now.

Japan claims to have made honest efforts to unravel the problems surrounding “consolation ladies,” together with having established the Asian Women’s Fund in 1995, which offers “atonement cash” to victims in different Asian nations, together with South Korea. Successive Prime Ministers have additionally despatched out letters expressing their “apology and regret.” Because it insists that the problems have been fully settled by the bilateral agreements signed in 1965 and 2015, Japan refuses to take part in any South Korean courtroom proceedings associated to the difficulty. As an alternative, Japan urges such lawsuits to be dismissed primarily based on the precept of sovereign immunity.

In January 2021, the Seoul Central District Courtroom supported the claims for damages introduced by one other group of former “consolation ladies.” The choice grew to become closing as a result of the Japanese authorities refused to take part and subsequently didn’t enchantment. Nonetheless, when attempting to enforce that call, the plaintiffs encountered the courtroom’s refusal to grab the property held by the Japanese authorities in South Korea as a result of that might quantity to a global regulation violation. The state of affairs could occur once more within the current case.

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