S.Korea court dismisses wartime damages demand

A South Korean district court has dismissed a demand for compensation filed by the bereaved family of a South Korean who they claimed was forced to work for a Japanese company during World War Two.

The Seoul Central District Court handed down the ruling on Wednesday. In the lawsuit filed in 2019, the family sought compensation from Nippon Steel.

The plaintiffs reportedly expressed their wish to appeal the ruling. Their lawyer said they will decide on whether to do so after studying the contents of the decision.

Nippon Steel says it believes the matter was settled completely under an agreement signed between the two countries in 1965. It views the ruling as an appropriate judicial decision.

The ruling follows a similar dismissal issued by the same court last month.

Damages lawsuits over wartime labor have been filed one after another since rulings by the country's Supreme Court in 2018 ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation.

The Japanese government says any right to claims was settled completely and finally by the 1965 agreement, when Japan and South Korea normalized ties. It says rulings ordering damages payments and related legal procedures violate international law. It is asking the South Korean government to rectify the situation.