South Korean court refuses to review Second World War treaty with Japan

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - A South Korean court on Wednesday refused to review a complaint over the 1965 treaty between Japan and South Korea that Tokyo uses to deny compensation for South Korean victims of Second World War-era slavery, a boost to recent efforts by the neighbours to improve bad ties.

See Full Article

Seoul's constitutional Court said that the accord was never meant to serve as a standard for providing individual compensation.

The court's decision came in response to a complaint filed by a woman who said the treaty blocks her right to seek more compensation because of her late father's wartime slavery. Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

The 1965 treaty, which was accompanied by more than $800 million in economic aid and loans from Tokyo to Seoul, came as the South worked to rebuild an economy devastated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The treaty declared all compensation issues between the countries on property, rights and interests as "completely and finally" settled.

Relations between the countries, both democracies and strong U.S. allies, have been bad since the 2012 inauguration of Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, whose nationalistic stance on Japan's wartime past has worried and angered Seoul.

Although the South Korean court has no binding power on international agreements, Seoul could have been obligated to seek a new deal with Tokyo had the court ruled the treaty unconstitutional, analysts said. The decision, however, won't likely stop lawsuits by South Koreans seeking compensation from Japan's government and businesses.

Differences on Japan's responsibility over Koreans enslaved before and during the Second World War, including Korean women forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers at front-line military brothels, have been a major source of friction between Seoul and Tokyo.

During a November summit in Seoul, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Abe agreed to try to resolve the sex slaves matter.

The Japanese government has never directly compensated South Korean victims of wartime slavery but set up a fund in 1995 to make payments to former military sex slaves from private donations. Japanese leaders have previously apologized over the former sex slaves, but many South Koreans see the statements and past efforts at private compensation as insufficient.

Critics say Japan didn't admit to involvement in the military-run brothels until after the 1965 treaty. South Korean officials have also argued that the treaty covered only economic and property claims between the countries, not war crimes or human rights issues.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Man hurling racial slurs at Muslim women kills 2, injures 1 on Oregon train, police say

    World News Toronto Sun
    PORTLAND, Ore. — Two people died Friday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said. Source
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, dies

    World News CBC News
    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, has died. He was 89. His death was announced on social media Friday night by his daughter, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. She called him "the most inspiring, loving and devoted father any girl could ever have. Source
  • Tory leadership contenders make pitches for votes

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The last time Conservative party faithful gathered en masse in Toronto it was to hear from former leader and prime minister Stephen Harper. On Friday, they met in the same location, this time to hear from the 13 people vying to replace him. Source
  • 'Steady stream of garbage' left at B.C. lake after long weekend

    Canada News CBC News
    Residents of Cultus Lake ,B.C., are angry after the area was left covered in trash following Victoria Day weekend celebrations. One social media post of the lake, located just south of Chilliwack, B.C., showed empty bottles, garbage bags and junk food bags littered along the docks. Source
  • Alberta police seek man who steals lottery tickets, flees in stolen cars

    Canada News CTV News
    RED DEER, Alta. -- Police in central Alberta are looking for help to nab a man who steals trays of lottery tickets from convenience stores, then escapes in stolen vehicles. The man went into an Express 24 in Red Deer, Alta. Source
  • Jared Kushner had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy: sources

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, seven current and former U.S. Source
  • Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. Source
  • B.C. political parties very close to reaching deal, Green leader says

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Green Leader Andrew Weaver says he's very close to making a deal with either the Liberals and the New Democrats on forming a new minority government in British Columbia. He said negotiations between the parties have intensified since Elections BC confirmed the province's election results earlier this week with the Liberals holding 43 seats in the legislature to the NDP's 41 and the Greens' three. Source
  • Saskatchaheist: Beer destined for Prairie neighbour stolen from Edmonton holding yard

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    About $160,000 worth of beer destined for Saskatchewan was stolen from a holding yard in Edmonton earlier this month. Police said Friday that two semi-trucks and trailers filled largely with beer were stolen at around 7 p.m. Source
  • Tim Kaine’s son, 7 others charged for allegedly disrupting pro-Trump event

    World News Toronto Sun
    ST. PAUL, Minn. — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine’s youngest son was among eight people charged for allegedly disrupting a March rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump. Linwood “Woody” Kaine, of Minneapolis, was charged Friday with one gross misdemeanour count of obstructing the legal process and misdemeanour counts of fleeing on foot and concealing his identity in public. Source