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2 Korean J. Int'l & Comp. L. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/kjicl2 and id is 1 raw text is: KOREAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL
KJICL
BRILL             AND COMPARATIVE LAW 2 (2014) 1-4
NIJ HOFF                                                         brillcom/kjic
Editorial Note
Seokwoo Lee
Professor, Inha University Law School, Korea
Executive Editor, Korean Journal ofInternational and Comparative Law (KJICL)
Korean Society of International Law
Volume 2, Numberi of the Korean journal ofInternational and Comparative Law
largely addresses the issue of forced labor that occurred during the Japanese
colonization of Korea. This volume focuses on the recent Korean judicial deci-
sions that have adjudicated the compensation claims brought by Korean work-
ers who alleged that they were coerced into forced labor in Japan during the
colonial period.
The first article is by this author and Yougkwan Cho of Duksu Law Office on
the Historical Issues between Korea andJapan andJudicial Activism: Focusing
on the Recent Supreme Court Decision on Japanese Forced Labour. On May
24, 2012, the Supreme Court of Korea issued its decision on a lawsuit filed by
the Korean victims of forced labor who were employed byJapanese munitions
companies during the colonial period. The plaintiffs filed suit for damages
against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel Corporation for unlaw-
ful acts and for the payment of unpaid wages. The Court held that the plaintiffs
were entitled to compensation and to the recovery of their wages. The article
describes the procedural history, thejudgments and the Court's reasoning, and
the significance and implications of the decisions in regards to confronting the
legacy of Japanese colonialism.
The article notes that Koreans were placed in Japanese munitions facto-
ries working under dismal conditions that included working in three 8-hour
shifts, lacking proper meals, living under poor conditions, and being subject to
surveillance by the military police. Further, they were not given proper wages.
After the conclusion of World War II and Korea's liberation, compensation for
the forced laborers became an issue during normalization talks that occurred
between Korea and Japan. As posited by the Japanese government, the result-
ing 1965 Korea-Japan Claims Agreement extinguished all the claims of the
Korean forced labor victims. In the suits that were brought in Japan against
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel Corporation, the Japanese

@ KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2014  DOI 10.1163/22134484-12340027

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