INTERVIEW: Lawyer Opposes S. Korea Paying for Japan over Wartime Labor

Society

Seoul, Oct. 30 (Jiji Press)--The South Korean government should not pay by subrogation compensation that Japanese companies were ordered to pay for wartime labor, a lawyer who led the plaintiffs in related suits said in a recent interview with Jiji Press.

Choi Bong-tae, who played a key role in the wartime labor suits as a member of the Korean Bar Association, said that the plan is likely to face strong pushback from citizens.

The comments came after South Korean Ambassador to Japan Kang Chang-il said in a parliamentary session on Oct. 6 that payment by subrogation is being seriously considered by the South Korean government as an option.

Choi noted the expected difficulty of obtaining consent from the plaintiffs to enable the South Korean government to pay on Japan's behalf. The arrangement "would face public opposition if it is viewed as exonerating Japanese companies from their responsibility," Choi also said.

Seoul "must definitely exercise its right to reimbursement against the Japanese companies" if it is to pay by subrogation, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press