Today (7th) at 8 o'clock, we will tell you about the changed court judgment after 3 years. During the Japanese occupation, people who were forced to work and had to work harshly without receiving any money filed lawsuits against Japanese war criminals. In 2018, our Supreme Court ruled that Japanese companies should compensate victims of 100 million won per person.
[Lee Chun-sik Ong/Victim of Forced Labor, '18.10.30: It would be great to be with them like this. I'm the only one who comes to tears and weeping.]
At that time, only four people, including this grandfather, participated in the lawsuit, and after this Supreme Court ruling, 85 other victims filed a lawsuit with the same content. But today, the court of first instance ruled that the victims did not have the right to file a lawsuit against a Japanese company. The Supreme Court ruling three years ago has overturned the exact opposite.
First of all, reporter Ahn Hee-jae summarizes today's verdict.
Three years ago, the Supreme Court decided that Japanese companies could claim damages, so the families of the victims of forced labor expected a victory.
However, contrary to expectations, the court concluded that the 'dismissal' decision, that is, this case cannot be subject to trial.
Based on the phrase "completely and finally resolved" in the Korea-Japan Claims Agreement, the court ruled that the victim's right to claim does not disappear, but that litigation against Japanese companies should be limited.
In a situation where there is no choice but to be bound by international treaties, he said that if it is contrary to this, it may be difficult to resist pressure from the international community, he said.
Immediately after the sentencing, the victims of forced labor reacted furiously, saying that the judgment was absurd.
[Lim Cheol-ho/Families of victims of forced labor: Are these judges Korean judges?
Is the Korean court correct?]
He also said that he would appeal immediately.
[Kang Gil / Plaintiff's representative: At least wages and corresponding alimony. This must be compensated. The relationship between the two countries must be reestablished on that basis...
are cases where the lower courts decide differently from the supreme court decision, but it is very unusual for the Supreme Court to overturn the Supreme Court decision, which had been finalized after five trials in 13 years, in two years and eight months.
Minbyun expressed concern that the ruling could create an obstacle for victims of forced labor to receive relief through domestic judicial procedures.
(Video coverage: Seo Jin-ho, video editing: Kim Jong-tae, CG: Kang Kyung-rim)