Seoul, Tokyo Discuss Compensation For Victims Of Wartime Forced Labor - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th January, 2023) Seoul and Tokyo have held diplomatic consultations on compensation for victims of forced labor during the Japanese rule over the Korean Peninsula in 1910-1945, the Yonhap news agency reported on Monday.

In 2018, the South Korea Supreme Court ruled that the 1965 treaty, which, according to Tokyo, resolved all issues connected with forced labor, did not prohibit former victims from seeking reparations individually. The decision has drastically increased tensions between the two nations.

Seo Min-jung, who is responsible for Asia and Pacific affairs of the South Korean Foreign Ministry and her Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, had face-to-face discussions in Tokyo, according to the news agency.

The meeting took place after last week's reports of Seoul's intention to establish a public fund to raise money for compensation to Koreans who won lawsuits against Japanese companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Nippon Steel Corp., which are accused of using forced labor during the Japanese colonial rule. The plaintiffs rejected the idea, saying that it was not about the money but about Japan admitting its guilt and addressing human right violations, Yonhap reported.

The issue of forced labor during the Japanese rule over the Korean Peninsula has been a long-standing point of tensions in relations between Seoul and Tokyo. The countries have held a series of talks to resolve the problem.