Japanese firms’ participation in compensating forced labor victims ‘desirable’: Seoul FM
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s top diplomat said Thursday it would be ideal for Japanese companies to voluntarily participate in compensation of South Korean victims of wartime forced labor under 2018 rulings by Seoul’s Supreme Court.
Last month, Seoul formally floated the idea of using a public foundation based in South Korea to pay the compensation for Korean victims who won lawsuits against two Japanese firms — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Nippon Steel Corp.
Seoul and Tokyo have held several rounds of working-level consultations on ways to resolve the issue.
In an interview with South Korean broadcaster SBS Thursday, Foreign Minister Park Jin said it would be “desirable for Japanese companies to take measures of responding voluntarily and sincerely with a sense of historical consciousness.”
In response to opposition by victims and civic groups to the idea of using a South Korean foundation, Park said “the most important thing is to listen attentively to the opinions of the victims.”
Park also expressed regret over Tokyo’s latest move to have a mine linked to forced labor of Koreans listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He urged Japan to implement its pledge from 2015 to honor and recognize wartime forced labor victims at the country’s industrial revolution sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.