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Just More Than 90,000 Victims Report Voluntarily

Posted April. 04, 2005 23:35,   


Since February 1, the number of people who declared that they were harmed by the Japanese coercive mobilization has reached 97,950 (domestic only) as of April 3, and is expected to surpass over 100,000 soon.

Although it is the first time that the government has established an organization especially for this complete enumeration since the liberation from Japan, as the number of reported cases is lower than expected, it seems like there will be a big burden on the Korean government in future negotiations with Japan.

Current Report Status-

A total of 97,950 people reported to the committee for finding the truth of the harm caused under Japanese rule and coercive mobilization.

Those who reported included 67,137 workers (68.5 percent), 18,213 soldiers, 12,427 civilians attached to the military, and 173 comfort women for the Japanese army.

Big Difference from Actual Damage Caused -

The currently reported 97,950 victims are only three percent of what professionals calculate to be the total number of victims, which is three million (excluding overlapping victims).

Looking at the current state of 1,500 newly reported cases each day, the estimated number of reported victims will be around 200,000 at the deadline of June 30.

The reason for this low turnout is that there are no allurements for reporting as victims. Not only are victims not provided of any compensation for damages done, but they are also not provided with travelling expenses.

Burden of Korea-Japan Additional Negotiations -

The committee plans to ask for additional negotiations for those damages, which were excluded in the 1965 Korea-Japan negotiation, after receiving damage reports and conducting truth research.

In particular, as even the Japanese government agrees that it has not compensated those 43,000 who were mobilized to Sakhalin for compulsive labour and were not allowed to return home after the Liberation, 40,000 to 200,000 estimated comfort women, and nuclear bomb victims, the committee sees a possibility for further negotiations.

However, due to low rate of reported cases, if further negotiations between Korea and Japan occur, Korea will be in a less advantageous position.