Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitution Jul 3, 2015 2:17:37 GMT
Post by Admin on Jul 3, 2015 2:17:37 GMT
A group of South Korean women who were forced into sex slavery by Japan during World War II in order to serve its soldiers announced on Tuesday that they will sue the Japanese government for $20 million in a California district court on July 1 unless it makes suitable amends before then. The 10 women will seek $2 million each in compensation for what they have called systemic war crimes committed against them by soldiers and Japanese companies under the direction of the Japanese government, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
The matter has long created a wedge in South Korean-Japanese relations, and has resurfaced again as the two countries mark the 50-year-anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II this year. Since all legal avenues for reparations have previously failed in South Korea and Japan, the women plan to pursue their case in a US court, targeting companies including Mitsubishi and others involved in the alleged war crimes, AFP reported. Businessmen also reportedly used military brothels — euphemistically known as "comfort women stations" — during the time they were active, and semi-governmental or independent companies were allegedly involved in operating the operations in occupied territories.
If the government fails to do so, the group will lodge the suit under international law in California on July 1, the women's attorney Kim Hyung-Jin said. Comfort women brought a similar class-action lawsuit before a Washington, DC-based federal court in 2000, but the court said the case was outside its jurisdiction and sided with Japan. "Money is absolutely not the point," Kim insisted. "The point is that Japan admits to its war crimes and offers a sincere apology."
Japanese authorities contend the issue was settled after the government delivered a package of aid and loans worth $800 million to South Korea under a normalization agreement in 1965, under which Japan says South Korea renounced rights to reparation and property claims. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono also issued a statement in 1993, known as the Kono Statement, in which, after years of denials, he acknowledged that the government had coerced women to work in brothels.
"The then Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations," he said, noting that "the recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military." South Korea maintains that Japan has not done enough to atone for the atrocities. Last Friday, state representatives did not show up at the first conciliation hearing between Japan and the comfort women in Seoul, Yonhap reported. During his first term in government, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered some international backlash after he said he didn't believe the women were forced into sexual slavery by the military.