A series of lawsuits filed against the Japanese government by elderly Korean 'comfort women', a term referring to those who were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers during the World War II, have recently been lost, thus drawing severe criticism from the victims and related civic organizations. Moreover, a Japanese appeal court recently reversed the only previous ruling that took side with those victims, sending shock waves across the nation and its neighboring countries.
On 29th of last month, the Hiroshima appellate court reversed the previous ruling on the case of compensation for the comfort women and other Korean women who were forced to labor during the war, citing "the Meiji Constitution (when the sex slavery took place) is different from the current constitution, and therefore the current government has no obligation to take deliberate responsibility".
Back in 1992, the Simonoseki sub-district court under the Yamaguchi district court handed down the ruling that the Japanese government's failure to deal with the issue by introducing a proper legislation can be identified as an illegal act of inaction, and therefore the government should pay 300,000 in compensation for the plaintiffs.
This was only a partial victory for the comfort women since the ruling failed to recognize the need for the government to issue an official apology as well as the damage done to the female laborers. As a result, the ruling was appealed by both the Japanese government and the plaintiffs.
On the 26th of the month, it took only one minute for the Tokyo district court to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Korean victims of the Asia-Pacific War to seek compensation, on the ground that the international law doesn't recognize an individual's right to claim compensation from a national government. All these lawsuit followed the case filed in 1991 against the Japanese government by the late Kim Hak-sun, the first person to bring to light severe sufferings of the comfort women.
Yang Mi-kang, a manager of a council set up to take measures for comfort women, said, "Many Japanese lawmakers have recently showed their will to deal with the issue. In particular, the Social Democratic, Democratic and Communist Parties have recently drafted a single legislation on issues relating to the Japanese governments apology and compensation for comfort women".
With the lawsuit filed by Korean-Japanese Song Sin-do (an ex-comfort woman) dismissed last September, all of the three lawsuits brought by Korean comfort women in Japan were lost. This is a reconfirmation that the Japanese Justice Department is still conservative and the government still refuses to repent of its past wrongdoing.