The Seoul Central District Court rejected the lawsuit filed by 20 plaintiffs, including survivors who were forced to work in brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II (1939-1945), Yonhap News highlighted Wednesday.
The court based its decision on so-called sovereign immunity, a legal doctrine that allows the state to be protected from a civil case in foreign courts.
The court added that when it recognizes exemptions from sovereign immunity, diplomatic disputes will inevitably arise, citing also some examples of cases after World War II that were rejected for this reason.
He also referred to the bilateral agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, which was reached in 2015, after hearing the views of the victims, which are called a euphemism for comfort women, some of whom obtained funds from the foundation established under the agreement, according to the court.
Victims and activists described the deal as insufficient, saying it lacked a sincere apology from Tokyo and excluded their views in the negotiation process.
In South Korea, there are only 15 surviving victims registered with the government, most of them in the 1980s and 1990s.
mgt / gfa
“Award-winning alcohol trailblazer. Hipster-friendly internetaholic. Twitter ninja. Infuriatingly humble beer lover. Pop culture nerd.”