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

  • Door seems closed completely to Trump tax returns release

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump "has no intention" of releasing his tax returns to the public, says Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, asserting Americans have "plenty of information" about the president's financial matters. For decades, presidents have released their tax returns. Source
  • Illinois couple married 69 years die minutes apart, holding hands

    World News CTV News
    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. -- The children of a suburban Chicago couple married for 69 years say their parents died just 40 minutes apart while holding hands at a hospital. Teresa Vatkin died Saturday at 12:10 a.m. Source
  • Australian firefighters contend with pet crocodile

    World News CTV News
    DARWIN, Australia -- Firefighters who fought a blaze at a house in the tropical Australian city of Darwin on Thursday contended with the added distraction of being watched by a 4-meter (13-foot) pet crocodile. The fire destroyed the two-story house in the upscale suburb of Fannie Bay but did not harm the huge reptile, a female named Albert, which lives in a backyard enclosure, firefighter Bill Gleeson said. Source
  • Wisconsin high school teacher pleads no contest after being accused of school day sofa sex with teen

    World News Toronto Sun
    A former high school reading specialist in Wisconsin says she and a teen student created their own love story during school hours. April Novak, 32, pleaded no contest this week to three counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff. Source
  • Thai prosecutors threaten to arrest Red Bull heir

    World News CBC News
    Thailand's attorney general said on Thursday it would seek the arrest of an heir to the Red Bull fortune after he failed to meet prosecutors over an alleged hit and run that killed a police officer five years ago. Source
  • Trial to resume for Dalhousie student accused of murdering other student

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- The trial of a former Halifax university student charged in the death of another student continues today after hearing the two had met over an alleged drug deal. A police officer testified Tuesday that accused murderer William Sandeson was polite and co-operative when first questioned by investigators on Aug. Source
  • Defence argues self-defence at Calgary trial for man who strangled wife

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- The defence lawyer for a man who admits he strangled his wife and buried her body in their home says his client acted in self-defence. Closing arguments are set for today at the second-degree murder trial of Allan Shyback. Source
  • Nova Scotia budget could lay groundwork for election call

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's Liberal government is expected to table a budget today that opposition parties say is the prelude to a snap election call. Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says he believes the budget won't go to a vote in the legislature before Nova Scotians go to the polls. Source
  • Witness at RCMP labour code trial says finances played role in rifle rollout

    Canada News CTV News
    Senior Mounties should not have included the "influence of finances" when deciding which RCMP divisions would first get semi-automatic carbine rifles, an RCMP tactical expert testified Wednesday at the national police force's trial on charges of violating the Canada Labour Code. Source
  • Woman who climbed crane hit with six charges [Photos] [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Some streets in Toronto’s downtown core were closed early Wednesday as dozens of construction workers and commuters gazed skyward to watch police and firefighters try to rescue a woman who got stuck atop a tall construction crane during the night. Source