S Koreans protest Japan's compensation to war victims

17:30, December 24, 2009      

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South Korean victims of forced labor and sex service and civil activists on Thursday angrily protested the Japanese government's recent payment of 99 yen (1.08 U.S. dollars) to them as part of a welfare pension refund, local media reported.

Some 20 people including victims of forced labor during the Japanese colonial occupation held a press conference in front of the Japanese Embassy, saying they "flatly reject" the welfare pension refund from Tokyo's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The resentment came after Japan recently sent the money to seven South Korean former forced labors during World War II who have filed a suit against Tokyo in 1988 to claim the value of pension fund they paid into, according to media reports in Seoul and Tokyo.

The paltry sum, which does not reflect inflationary value, is only another outrageous insult to the victims, protesters were quoted as saying.

Under the Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945, hundreds and thousands of Koreans were forced to work in coal mines and military facilities in a degrading work environment, with many women, including teenagers, coerced to provide sex service to Japanese soldiers.

The perceived wrongdoings by the Japanese under its occupation rule, and the apparent lack of sufficient compensation or proper apology, have been a deep-seated problem in diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

Source: Xinhua
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