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Korean Victims Sued Japanese Government

Posted June. 29, 2001 20:40,   


The Korean victims, who were commandeered by the imperialist Japan, and their families brought to the Tokyo district court yesterday the lawsuit demanding the Japanese government to pay the compensation of 10 million yen per person. The 252 litigants are comprised of the victims and the families of deceased victims including Na Chul-Ung (61) whose father was sentenced to a war criminal of BC level.

The plaintiffs demanded, together, the compensation payment. And among these, 55 requested to stop the memorial service for the deceased victims in the Yaskuni temple, 16 demanded the return of the remains of the dead, 16 asked for the confirmation the missing persons, and 169 demanded the payment for the unpaid wages.

This lawsuit was initiated by `the organization of the families of victims for the Pacific War` and `the committee for the compensations of the Pacific War victims`. Since it includes all victim cases resulted by the invasion of the imperialist Japan, the outcome of the court`s ruling is being watched with keen interest.

It is for the first time that the Korean bereaved families raised the suit demanding to stop the memorial service in the Yaskuni temple. Currently, the mortuary tablets of over 21,000 Korean victims were enshrined in the Yaskuni temple.

The 55 litigants, who requested to stop the memorial service, had found the fact that their family members were enshrined in the Yaskuni temple during the process of confirming their status of death.

The bereaved families maintained that it is an unforgivable sin that the Yaskuni temple arbitrarily enshrined the mortuary tablets of the Korea victims without notifying their families, and has been performing the memorial service treating them as the spirits of the fallen patriots for Japan.

Attorney Okuchi Akihiko, a legal representative of this case, criticized that ``it is an obvious contradiction that while the memorial service is being held for the Korean victims who had fought for Japan, the Japanese government has been refusing the compensation payment``.

``Through this suit I will make an effort to urge the government to take the responsibility of the compensation, and to point out the wrong directedness of Japan such as the textbook issue and the Prime Minister`s worship to the Yaskuni temple,`` he added.

Shim Kyu-Sun ksshim@donga.com