Disputes have risen once again between Japan and South Korea over the same old issue of ‘Comfort Women’. Although this dispute is old, this time it has risen again after the decision of a South Korean court against Japan. The court has ordered the Government of Japan to pay compensation to the former ‘Comfort Women’ of South Korea.
Do you know about Comfort Women?
During the Japanese colonization of South Korea, the Japanese soldiers sexually abused South Korean women. The Japanese used to call all these as “Comfort Women”. After the independence, the South Korean women reacted strongly against Japanese behavior and knocked on the court.
But Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi as expected has reacted strongly to this. He has asked the government of South Korea to take immediate steps in this matter and cancel the court’s decision.
Toshimitsu Motegi feels that the court’s decision is against international law and the agreement between Japan and South Korea governments. Motegi said- “It is very sad for the relation of the two countries and completely unacceptable.” The court gave this decision on January eighth last.
Let me add that that the government of Japan supposed to appeal against this decision by 23 January did not appeal. Finally, South Korea decided on Saturday once the deadline was over. Now the Japanese Foreign Minister has issued a strong statement against this decision.
The Japanese FM Motegi said- “Japan once again strongly requests the South Korean government to take urgent steps to rectify the situation arising out of this decision.” He said that as a responsible country, it is the responsibility of South Korea to rectify the decision against international law. Sounds sensible, but my question is why did the Japanese government not appeal within the time frame?
The Japanese Foreign Minister said that South Korea should turn this decision down in accordance and the provision of sovereign conditions as mentioned in international law. These provisions permit the governments of each country outside the judicial jurisdiction of another country.
The South Korean court gave the verdict on a “Comfort Woman” petition. “Comfort women” are women the Japanese military personnel used during the Second World War for sexual exploitation. South Korea was a Japanese colony, and women had no alternative under the war conditions.
However, Japan had colonized South Korea since 1910. Throughout that period, Japanese soldiers continually abused these South Korean women sexually. This cruel behavior of the Japanese military now judged as one of the most heinous acts recorded in human history.
Japan says that under an agreement between Japan and South Korea all claims related to this issue already settled in 1965 Since all claims related to the “Comfort Woman” already settled and in 2015 both these countries had agreed that the issue closed and nothing left, so this is an unacceptable decision.
But South Korean government doesn't agree with Japan’s claims. The Japanese army also forced the South Koreans to labor during the occupation of South Korea. A dispute related to this is also going on at the moment, which has strained the relationship between the two countries.
On Monday, South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in said that he wanted to negotiate with Japan to resolve the dispute. In the meantime, if the “Comfort Woman” case not resolved soon, will definitely increase stiff tension between these two countries.