The United States has applauded the proposal presented by South Korea to compensate victims of Japan’s forced wartime labour, according to the State Department.
In a statement, State Department Secretary Antony Blinken said, “We welcome today’s historic announcements by the Governments of the Republic of Korea and Japan regarding the conclusion of discussions on sensitive historical issues.”
“The ROK and Japan are two of the United States’ most important allies, and we are inspired by the work they have done to advance their bilateral relations,” he added.
In the statement, Blinken applauded South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for their courage and vision, Blinken also called on the international community to join the commendation of this momentous achievement.
“The trilateral relationship between the United States, the ROK, and Japan is central to our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, which is why I, along with other senior Department colleagues, have invested so much time and focus on this critical partnership,” Blinken said in the statement.
“We look forward to continuing to work with both countries, including through our regular trilateral dialogues, to advance global peace and security,” he added.
Earlier today, South Korea proposed a plan for compensating over a dozen victims of Japan’s wartime forced labour through a Seoul-backed public foundation, Yonhap News Agency.
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Park Jin announced the proposal with the intention to resolve the issue of compensating 15 Koreans who won legal battles against two Japanese firms accused of mobilizing them for hard labour during World War II.
In 2018, South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Nippon Steel Corp. to pay them compensation.
Under South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol, the Foundation for Victims of Forced Mobilization scheme, affiliated with the interior ministry, will collect “voluntary” donations from the private sector. It also plans to use the foundation, created in 2014, to compensate other plaintiffs who win pending cases.
The government is expected to seek donations from South Korean companies that benefited from a 1965 bilateral treaty, such as steelmaker POSCO, under which Tokyo offered USD 300 million in grants to Seoul, reported Yonhap News Agency. (ANI)