S. Korea Proposes Joint Funding for Wartime Labor Redress

Politics Society

Seoul, June 19 (Jiji Press)--The South Korean government said Wednesday that it has put forward a proposal to Japan recommending private companies in both countries jointly fund compensation for South Korean plaintiffs in finalized wartime labor lawsuits.

In a statement, Seoul also said it has told Tokyo of its readiness to consider moving forward with arbitration procedures under a 1965 bilateral agreement on claims and property as requested by Japan, on condition that the proposal was accepted by Tokyo.

It was the first such proposal made by the South Korean government since the South Korean Supreme Court reached a series of decisions ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Koreans claiming to have been used as forced labor during World War II.

But in Tokyo the same day, Japanese Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Takeshi Osuga revealed that Japan has already rejected the South Korean proposal.

The proposal "won't help resolve the current situation in which international law has been breached," Osuga said, referring to Seoul's failure to meet its obligations under the 1965 pact.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press