A court in South Korea on Thursday said Japan had engaged in illegal acts when it mobilized “comfort women” around World War II, thus Tokyo should pay compensation to the victims, local media reported.
In its decision, the Seoul High Court upended a lower court’s rejection of damages suit filed in 2016 by South Korean victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, Seoul-based Yonhap News said.
The court ordered Japan to “pay 200 million won ($154,000) in compensation to each of the 16 victims.”
“Under customary international law, it is reasonable to recognize the jurisdiction of South Korean courts over the defendant Japanese government,” the court said.
It pronounced the judgement without hearing appeal by the Japanese side.
“The victims in this case were forced to have unwanted sexual intercourse with dozens of Japanese soldiers every day, with even their minimal freedom oppressed,” the court observed.
It added that the victims had “sustained countless injuries and had to bear the risk of pregnancy or death, and could not adjust to social life under normal standards after the end of the war.”
Upon hearing the court verdict, 95-year-old Lee Yong-soo, one of many victims of Japanese sexual slavery, yelled: “I’m thankful. Thankful. Very thankful … I thank the victims (of Japanese wartime sexual slavery) who passed away.”
The term “comfort women” is a euphemism for Korean women who were abducted and forced to work as wartime sex slaves by Japan before and during World War II.
Tokyo considers the issue should have been resolved in the past.
Source : aa