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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 March 20 - 26  > S. Korean forced labor victims’ families ask JCP for cooperation in support of their demands for full settlement
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2024 March 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

S. Korean forced labor victims’ families ask JCP for cooperation in support of their demands for full settlement

March 26, 2024

Family members of South Korean victims, who won their damage lawsuits over Japan’s wartime forced labor policy, on March 25 met with Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira and JCP member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi in the Diet building in Tokyo to ask for cooperation in order to obtain compensation and receive an apology from liable Japanese companies.

Jung Jong-gun, whose father was a plaintiff in a damage lawsuit against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said that his father was requisitioned as a Mitsubishi factory worker in Hiroshima and exposed to radiation from the U.S. atomic bombing in 1945. Jung added that even after returning to South Korea, his father suffered from A-bomb related illnesses. He referred to the South Korean government’s plan under which a government foundation on behalf of Japanese firms will pay to the victims the money equivalent to the court-ordered compensation. He said that he cannot accept the plan as it allows Mitsubishi to not have to offer any apology and pay compensation to the victims.

Park Sang-wun, whose mother was mobilized into forced labor at a Mitsubishi factory in Nagoya, said that he wants the company to apologize to and compensate his mother, who has now reached the age of 96, while she is still alive. Lee Go-wun, a daughter of a male victim of Nippon Steel’s forced labor, expressed the same hope as Park.

In response, Koike said that the forced labor issue resulted from Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula during the war. He pointed out that the Japanese government adopts the stance that the issue was “already settled” with the conclusion of the 1965 agreement on the settlement of problems concerning property and claims between Japan and the Republic of Korea. However, he continued to point out that the two nations’ governments and top courts recognized that individual victims still have the right to claim for damages. He said that based on this point, the JCP will urge the Japanese government and liable companies to provide a final settlement that meets the victims’ demands.

Past related articles
> Korean top court orders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to pay damages to wartime forced laborers [November 30, 2018]
> Korean top court orders Japanese steelmaker to compensate ex-Korean forced laborers [October 31, 2018]
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