Wartime Labor Settlement Bill Submitted to S. Korean Parliament

Politics

Seoul, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--Moon Hee-sang, speaker of South Korea's National Assembly, submitted to the parliament on Wednesday a bill to create a foundation to pay consolation money to South Koreans requisitioned to work for Japanese firms during World War II.

Thirteen lawmakers from South Korea's ruling and opposition parties jointly sponsored the bill.

According to the bill, the foundation would be set up with voluntary donations from companies and individuals from both Japan and South Korea. Using the money, consolation money would be paid to those who were forced to work during wartime.

Moon said he hope that the move will help the two countries look directly at the past and turn their worsening relations into future-oriented ties. Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have been strained, partly because South Korean's Supreme Court last year ordered Japanese firms to pay compensation to requisitioned South Korean workers and bereaved relatives.

Opposition from some of the South Korean plaintiffs in the wartime labor lawsuits, however, has been strong. Even if the bill is passed, it would remain uncertain if the plaintiffs will refrain from selling for cash the assets they seized from the Japanese companies targeted in the litigation based on the top court rulings, pundits said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press