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Wartime Sex Slaves Filing Lawsuit

Thursday, January, 7, 2016

Former sex slaves that were victimized during World War II are in the process of pressing a court to open a case against Japan. The women were South Korean and were given to Japan’s soldiers during the war. Though mediation could have been an option, the women are no longer interested in settling the matter by this process.


As a result, Japan and South Korea will be holding crucial talks to attempt to negotiate a deal related to wartime slavery. The women’s attorney asked the Seoul Central District Court to bring an end to mediation and begin the lawsuit formally. The court waited two months before it agreed to the request. Until that point, mediation had been deadlocked with Japan refusing to accept documents. The country returned the documents to the court and insisted the South Korean court does not have jurisdiction over their government. Japan further insisted the issue was settled under the normalization treaty of 1965.


The lawsuit includes a dozen South Korean women, now elderly, who were used as sex slaves during the war and are now seeking $85,000 in compensation per woman.


Since the process began, two of the women have died, so there are now only 10 plaintiffs total. There is speculation the waiting game could be about the advanced ages of the other women and the chances if postponed long enough, none of the group will be alive to pursue the lawsuit. The court has not yet accepted the women’s requested for a formal lawsuit against Japan.