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South Korea: Disappointing Japan ruling fails to deliver justice to ‘comfort women’

Responding to today’s South Korean court ruling that dismissed claims against the Japanese government to pay damages to women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military before and during World War II, Amnesty International’s East Asia Researcher Arnold Fang said:

“Today’s ruling is a major disappointment that fails to deliver justice to the remaining survivors of this military slavery system and to those who suffered these atrocities before and during World War II but had already passed away, as well as their families.

“This ruling runs contrary to a decision by the same court in January, which required Japan to accept legal responsibility for its systematic sexual enslavement that amounted to crimes against humanity and war crimes. What was a landmark victory for the survivors after an overly long wait is again now being called into question.

“More than 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, and we cannot overstate the urgency for the Japanese government to stop depriving these survivors of their rights to full reparation and to provide an effective remedy within their lifetimes. Only four of the 10 survivors who filed this case in 2016 are still alive.”

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