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South Korea: Draft bill proposes creation of fund for wartime labor compensation

Author: The Japan Times, Published on: 3 December 2019

"South Korea drafts bill for foundation to resolve wartime labor issue with Japan: media report", 27 Nov 2019

South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang has drafted a bill that would create a foundation to settle the current wartime labor dispute with Japan…

According to a report by...Yonhap news agency, the draft bill suggests the foundation would be created with the involvement of governments and companies of both countries.

The foundation would pay a total of about 300 billion won (¥27.7 billion) to 1,500 people…including former laborers drafted to work for Japanese companies during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula…[R]elated Japanese companies are expected to voluntarily make donations to the foundation...

...[It] remains unclear how much support the legislation would attract from lawmakers as some plaintiffs, who are demanding compensation and apologies from Japanese companies, have opposed the proposal…

…The South Korean government would shoulder the roughly 5 billion won needed annually to operate the fund, which would be a vessel for the donations from companies and individuals...

Part of the costs of establishing the organization would be funded with 6 billion won left over from a now-defunct Japanese-funded foundation set up to support former “comfort women”…

It is thought that those funds are likely to be the extent of the Japanese government’s involvement in the new foundation…

…Procedures have begun to seize assets of Japanese companies in South Korea through courts there after rulings awarded damages to plaintiffs in the country…

Read the full post here