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Individuals' Rights to Redress for Wartime Labor Intact: Moon

Individuals' Rights to Redress for Wartime Labor Intact: Moon

   Seoul, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)--South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed Thursday his view that individuals' rights to make compensation claims against Japanese businesses for forced labor during World War II were not annulled under a 1965 bilateral treaty.
   The agreement between the two countries cannot violate the right of individuals, Moon told a press conference, clarifying his stance of rejecting the Japanese government's argument that the issue was already resolved under the treaty, which was concluded when the two Asian countries normalized their diplomatic relations in that year.
   In May 2012, South Korea's Supreme Court handed down a ruling recognizing that the right of people who say they were forced to work for Japanese businesses during wartime to sue their former employers for withheld wages and compensation was not invalidated by the 1965 treaty.
   The South Korean president's remarks indicating the same position as the top court on the matter may encourage more people to take legal actions for compensation from Japanese companies.
   Moon also said the issue of so-called comfort women was not discussed at meetings toward the 1965 Japan-South Korea diplomatic normalization because it was not well known at the time.

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