Japanese journalist refutes Japan's stance that forced labor issue has been resolved in 1965

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Video Discription: 日언론인 "청구권협정, 배상 아닌 축하금이라 했다"

At the heart of Seoul-Tokyo tensions it the wartime forced labor compensation issue.
Today a growing number of Japanese scholars are criticizing their government's stance on matter, and voicing concerns over the visible retaliatory measures.
Lee Ji-won shares with us their views.
Renowned Japanese writer and journalist Dakashi Hirose has said that a sum of 500-million U.S. dollars given to South Korea by Japan following their 1965 agreement was not a compensation for the victims of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule,... and as such, the issue has not been cleared, yet.
The Agreement on the Settlement of Problems Concerning Property and Claims and the Economic Cooperation Between Korea and Japan was signed in an effort to normalize bilateral ties. According to the pact, Tokyo provided Seoul with various funds to help in the normalization of relations.
In a column published on Japan's Weekly Asahi last week, Hirose referred to two previous government statements that refute Japan's current stance that the issue was resolved.

The first statement is from former Japanese foreign minister Etsusaburo Shiina at the plenary session of the Japanese Diet in November 1965,... about 5 months after the treaty was signed.
Hirose highlights how Shiina says the money is NOT a form of compensation and it is rather a celebratory fund for South Korea's new start.
The second statement is by then Director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Treaties Bureau in 1991.
When the Japanese parliament asked if a Japanese national could file a claim for assets they had left in an overseas location that was colonized by Japan, Yanai said that the right of individuals to seek reparations has not been terminated.
This is in line with South Korea's Supreme Court's ruling last year,... that led to the current standstill between Seoul and Tokyo.
Based on the victims' right to file for reparations, the court ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation to pay each of the 4 victims around 87-thousand dollars.
The Japanese writer says the ruling is fair for the victims, and adds that his government has not yet admitted its colonial wrongdoings.
He said the forced labor of over 700-thousand Koreans for the development of Japan is no different from how the Nazis sent the Jews to the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.
However, despite such voices from within Japan, the Abe administration continues to hinder Japanese companies from making their own decisions or compensating the victims.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.


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