A South Korean court yesterday upheld Japan’s state immunity to dismiss a lawsuit raised by a group of women who were forced by Japan to work in brothels during World War II, contradicting a ruling in an earlier case that ordered Tokyo to compensate victims.
Remnants of Japan’s 1910 to 1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula remain contentious for both sides, with many surviving “comfort women” — a Japanese euphemism for the sexual abuse victims — demanding Tokyo’s formal apology and compensation.
Diplomatic tension flared in January when another judge at the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of other women in a separate case, for the first time ordering Japan to pay compensation.
That verdict had drawn a rebuke from Tokyo, which says that the issue was settled under a 1965 treaty and a 2015 deal.
However, a judge at the same court yesterday recognized Japan’s right to state immunity from overseas lawsuits, contradicting the January ruling that Japan could not assert immunity for “a crime against humanity.”
“If an exception on state immunity is acknowledged, a diplomatic clash would be inevitable during the process of forcing the ruling’s implementation,” Judge Min Seong-cheol said, dismissing the case brought by the 20 “comfort women” victims and their relatives.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said that the latest verdict was “different” from the earlier ruling, but declined to elaborate, citing the need for closer examination.
“That January ruling was clearly against both international law and bilateral agreements, and as such was extremely regrettable and unacceptable,” he told a briefing.
Lee Yong-soo, a “comfort women” victim and one of the plaintiffs, called the ruling “absurd, nonsense,” saying that she would seek international litigation over the case.
Min also said that the issue should be resolved via diplomatic consultations, and the 2015 agreement could provide the groundwork for a solution, despite some flaws in negotiations.
Under that deal, Tokyo issued an official apology and provided ￥1 billion (US$9.25 million at the current exchange rate) to a fund to help the victims, with both sides promising to “irreversibly” end the dispute.
However, some victims, including Lee, had rejected the settlement, saying that the South Korean government did not sufficiently consult them during the negotiations.
When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight. “It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift. “Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote. Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the next year’s letter,
Part of a huge rocket that launched China’s first module for its Tianhe space station is falling back to Earth and could make an uncontrolled re-entry at an unknown landing point. The 30m-high core of the Long March 5B rocket on Thursday launched the “Heavenly Harmony” uncrewed core module into low Earth orbit from Wenchang in China’s Hainan Province. The Long March 5B then itself entered a temporary orbit, setting the stage for one of the largest-ever uncontrolled re-entries. Some experts fear it could land on an inhabited area. “It’s potentially not good,” said Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard
CIA INVOLVED: US senators issued a statement after reports said more mysterious attacks had taken place in Miami and Washington, including near the White House US senators on Friday said that the government is investigating an apparent increase in mysterious directed-energy attacks dubbed “Havana syndrome,” amid new reports of potentially brain-damaging incidents inside the country. US senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, who lead the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement after two media reports said attacks had taken place in Washington, including just outside the White House, and in Miami, Florida. “For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States government personnel in Havana, Cuba and around the world,” they said. “This pattern of attacking our
It is the world’s biggest market for luxury goods — and their counterfeits — so an expert eye for telling a bona fide Chanel handbag from a bogus one is a skill set in hot demand across China. Enter the “luxury appraiser,” an eagle-eyed differentiator of real from fake, trained to triage handbags, belts and garments for dodgy serial numbers, stitching and logos. China’s factories churn out huge quantities of luxury goods, much of which is destined for a domestic market worth about 4 trillion yuan (US$618 billion), data provided by market researchers UIBE Luxury China showed. The country’s second-hand