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Senior Research Fellow Shun Fujiki Speeches 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Meeting March 11, 2019

Thank you, Madam Vice President,

The Republic of Korea’s Supreme Court ruled Japanese companies must pay compensation to Koreans for having been “forced” into labor during World War II.

Koreans who worked for Japanese companies at the time chose to work seeking a good wage based on their own will.

Mobilization of Korean-Japanese nationals for a mere six months was not forced and entirely within international law.

The compensation between Japan and the ROK was resolved completely and finally by the Japan-ROK agreement signed in 1965.

The Japanese Supreme Court also ruled “an individual demand is nullified.”

Demanding compensation from Japanese companies based on the Korean Supreme Court ruling is tantamount to revoking a legally binding treaty signed between two nations, which violating Japan’s sovereignty and trampling upon the rights of the Japanese people.

Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha addressed at this council last year and last week, repeatedly violating the same treaty and additional bilateral treaty signed in December 2015 related to the Comfort Women issue. Treaty is a promise between nations. Even kids know the braking promise is wrong.

Before talking about the comfort women issue, Kang Kyung-wha needs to apologize to the victims of the sexual violence committed by South Korean troops during the Vietnam War and take victim-centered measures.

Why this council is tolerating the nation who always violates the bilateral treaties?

We demand this council to instruct South Korean Government to immediately undertake measures to correct their errant diplomatic relations and sincerely apologize to the Vietnamese victims called Lai-Dai-Han. 

I thank you very much for you attention, Madam Vice President.