S. Korean victims of wartime forced labor win another legal victory against Japanese firm
Elderly South Korean victims, who were forced into labor by Imperial Japan during World War II, won another legal victory against a Japanese company on Wednesday.
The Gwangju High Court, located in the Gwangju city in Jeolla province, ruled Wednesday that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries must pay reparations of 100 million ton (90,000 U.S. dollars) to 150 million won (134,000 U.S. dollars) to each of three plaintiffs, those in their late 80s, and a late victim's family member.
The appellate court upheld a lower court's ruling, saying the 1965 treaty, which normalized diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo, did not terminate individuals' rights to claim damages.
Japan has claimed that the 1965 treaty settled all of the colonial-era issues, including the forced labor. The Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan from 1910 to 1945.
It followed the ruling by South Korea's top court on Oct. 30 that Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Corp. must pay damages to four South Korean victims for their coerced labor during the Pacific War.
The Supreme Court also handed down a similar verdict last week, ordering Mitsubishi to compensate four victims and a victim's family member.
There were reportedly 14 damages cases pending at the South Korean courts that involve the forced labor victims and Japanese companies.