A court ruled today (7th) that victims of forced labor during the Japanese occupation had no authority to file lawsuits against Japanese companies.

The 34th Civil Settlement Division of the Seoul Central District Court (Chief Judge Kim Yang-ho) today dismissed a lawsuit filed by 85 forced laborers and their families against 16 Japanese companies, including Nippon Steel, Nissan Chemical, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

A dismissal is a decision made without hearing the merits if you do not meet the litigation requirements.

In that the claim is not accepted, it can be viewed as the same result as the judgment against the plaintiff.

The court explained, "According to the Korea-Japan Claims Agreement, it cannot be said that individual claims are extinguished or waived, but it has been determined that they cannot be exercised through litigation."

This case is the largest of several lawsuits filed by victims of Japanese forced labor.

Victims filed lawsuits against 17 companies and dropped their lawsuits against one.

Meanwhile, this ruling is contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court in October 2018.

At that time, the Supreme Court upheld the victims' hands by affirming the ruling that Japanese companies should pay 100 million won per person in a lawsuit filed by four victims of forced labor.

(Photo = Yonhap News)