South Korea Court Rejects Petition for 1965 Deal with Japan Compensating Victims of Forced Labor

David Lee, Dec. 23, 2015, 7:34 a.m.

The Constitutional Court Wednesday refused to hear a petition on the constitutionality of the 1965 deal that Japan claims settled all issues of individual compensation to victims of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of Korea.

The petition was filed by a South Korean woman whose father was drafted as a forced laborer during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. The court said that the constitutionality of the bilateral Claims Settlement Agreement would not have an impact on a separate legal case.

Japan claims that the deal, signed to normalize their diplomatic relations, settled all issues of compensation to victims of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule. Earlier in the day, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se expressed hope for a "wise" verdict by the Constitutional Court.

"What's important is that the Constitutional Court will make a ruling independently. (I) expect a wise decision," Yun said at a forum hosted by a group of broadcast journalists. He pointed out that the ruling is not just a domestic issue any more, as the international community is paying keen attention to it.

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