[WORLD] Japan Post Bank Declines Request to Pay Forced Labor Victims

Maximiliano VCHK, Oct. 30, 2013, 1:21 p.m.

The Japan Post Bank is refusing to pay back wages of Koreans forced to labor for Japanese companies during colonial times.

The bank cited the official government position which states that all claims ceased with a lump sum payment in 1965 treaty that agreed to normalize bilateral relations.

Koreans forced to work as laborers in coal mines in Japan were required by law to save a portion of their wages in postal accounts, but ultimately were never given the account books out of fear that the workers would run away.  Subsequently, most workers did not see a single cent of the money that was owed.

Japan Post Bank was founded in 2007 with the help of privatizing the Japanese postal service, which moved all of the accounts into the bank.

It is believed that the bank is sitting on tens of thousands of accounts all belonging to the victims of forced labor.

The Japanese government is adamantly refusing to compensate the Korean victims, stating that through the 1965 treaty, Japan has already fulfilled all of their obligations.  Recent court judgments, however, have challenged the decision.

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