Social Issues

South Korean WWII sex slave to appeal ruling dismissing her lawsuit

Seoul, May 5 (EFE).- A South Korean woman used as a sex slave by the Japanese army during World War II will appeal a recent court decision that dismissed a lawsuit against the Japanese government, a group of activists said Wednesday.

Lee Yong-soo, 92, one of the 14 South Koreans registered by the government as victims of the Japanese Imperial Army who still survive, had strongly opposed the Apr. 21 ruling issued by a Seoul Central District.

The court dismissed the lawsuit filed by a dozen sex slaves demanding financial compensation, citing the principle of “sovereign immunity,” a doctrine of international law that states that a country is immune from the judicial decisions of another country.

A group that supports Lee said Wednesday in a statement citing the Yonhap agency that the victim will file an appeal “with the expectation that justice and human rights prevail.”

The April ruling contradicts another made in January by the same court – albeit by a different panel of judges – which ordered Japan to compensate the plaintiffs with 100 million won (about $ 88,750), and which was the first sentence of this type in the dispute between the countries.

On the other hand, Lee Yong-soo also asked in February to refer the abuses Japan committed during the period in which it colonized the Korean peninsula (1910-1935) to the International Court of Justice.

It is estimated that some 200,000 girls and adolescents in Asia, most of them Korean, were victims of sexual abuse by Japanese imperial troops from the 1930s until the end of World War II, in 1945.

The issue of sex slaves, whom Tokyo euphemistically calls “comfort women,” is one of the main issues that undermine the diplomatic relationship between the two neighbors linked to the period of Japanese colonization. EFE


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