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Compensation Claim to be Filed Against the Japanese Government

Compensation Claim to be Filed Against the Japanese Government

Posted June. 04, 2004 21:49,   


Korean and Japanese legal circles have begun a full-scale legal motion regarding the compensation claim for the patients of leprosy or Hansen’s disease who suffered in Sorokdo concentration camps under the rule of Japanese imperialism.

The Korean Bar Association (KBA), led by President Park Jae-seung, and Japan’s Defense Counsel for State Reparation for Hansen’s Disease represented by Lawyer Tokuda Yasuyuki, announced on June 4 that the two organizations will jointly institute an action against the Japanese government to pay compensation for the Sorokdo patients with Hansen’s disease.

On that day, the KBA organized a human rights subcommittee for Hansen’s disease under the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, led by Park Young-lib.

In Japan, the court ruled against the Japanese government and for the patients who were forcefully detained under the provision of the “Leprosy Prevention Law” that took effect in 1907. After the court decision, the Japanese government abandoned its plans to appeal the ruling and enacted a special law as well as paid due reparation of about 10 million yen (about 100 million won) per person.

Japan’s defense counsel figures that Sorokdo Hansen’s disease patients are also eligible for the state reparations that were paid for patients in Japan since they, too, were forcefully detained under the “Leprosy Prevention Law” of Japanese imperialism.

The Japanese defense counsel filed the compensation claim against the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in December 2003, representing 110 Sorokdo-detained patients and is now preparing for a separate administrative litigation against the Japanese government.

Mr. Tokuda said, “All of the patients with Hansen’s disease who were forcefully detained had their compensation paid according to the special law in Japan regardless of their nationality,” and added that he is “sure that victims at Sorokdo will win the case.”

Soo-Hyung Lee sooh@donga.com