Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

The government of South Korea has suggested utilizing cash from a local foundation rather than money from the corporations that compelled Koreans to work for Japanese enterprises during World War II.

The strategy, which was revealed in front of a large audience on Thursday, comes as Seoul wants deeper relations with Tokyo to stave off threats from North Korea and its expanding nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.

Some Korean victims and their relatives quickly objected to the idea, calling it “humiliating.”

The proposal, made by the South Korean foreign ministry on Thursday, would use a foundation funded by companies in the nation that benefited from a 1965 agreement through which Seoul received a package of $300 million in economic aid and $500 million in loans from Japan to compensate the former forced laborers.

Seo Min-jung, the ministry’s director-general for Asia Pacific affairs, said, “Through our discussions with the victims and experts, we have seen that the chances of liquidating Japanese corporate assets to compensate all victims are slim, and we have found that it is possible for a third party to make payment as legal bonds on behalf of the defendant Japanese company.”

Seo said that the government will discuss the victims and their relatives before reaching a decision and that a “creative approach” was required.

She continued by emphasizing that the idea was designed to give victims’ compensation priority.

Long a source of friction between the two nations, the unsolved consequences of Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945, including compensation for Koreans forced to labor in military brothels and in Japanese businesses, are still unresolved.

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