The Wounds Caused by History
The Wounds Caused by History
  • Choi Seon-uk
  • 승인 2021.12.01 18:25
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries headquarters in Tokyo (Provided by Getty Images)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries headquarters in Tokyo (Provided by Getty Images)

  There is a fight that some people have been fighting for a very long time. It’s not an easy fight, but they never give up, expecting a judgement of history and appropriate compensation. They were the victims of forced labor in the Japanese colonial era.
  Forced mobilization labor in the Japanese colonial era took place throughout the whole colonial period. It occurred intensely and systematically after the Sino-Japanese war broke out. The Japanese Empire forcibly mobilized Chosun people as a means of labor, troops, and sexual slavery. People who were victims of sexual slavery for the Japanese military have still not received a sincere apology or adequate compensation though decades have passed since the first South Korean survivor of sexual slavery came forward. Victims of forced colonial labor are no different.
  On 27 September, 2021, the supreme court of Korea dismissed the appeal from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries about the order for seizure of trademark and patent rights. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd is a Japanese company that exploited forced labor for the Japanese Empire. Even now, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is turning a blind eye to responsibility for appropriate compensation and apology. On 27 September, 2021, the Daejeon district court ordered the sale of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries assets.
  Even after the ruling was made, Mitsubishi announced its plan to file an immediate re-appeal. The Japanese government called the Korean Embassy minister Kim Yong-gil to express regret and demanded that the Korean government take appropriate countermeasures. The two governments disagree in the legal interpretation of the 1965 agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Japan. No clear common opinion or conclusion has been drawn.
  The Japanese government insists that their compensation responsibility has been reconciled since 1965, and the Supreme Court of Korea’s decision violates international law. The Korean government insists that the 1965 agreement’s range is limited to relations between countries and argued that individual claims were not extinguished. 
  The confrontation between Korea and Japan remains in a state where it is not easy to resolve, both countries asking each other for an appropriate solution. The aftermath of the problem, which has not been resolved over time, is focused solely on victims, and attention is being paid to whether the two countries will be able to provide adequate compensation that victims can understand through appropriate solutions.


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