Poll: Majority in South Korea against plan for settling wartime labor issue

The latest polls in South Korea show that almost 60 percent of the respondents are against the government's plan for settling the wartime labor issue with Japan.

Gallup Korea released the results of its two-day poll on Friday. The plan announced on Monday says a government-backed fund supported by donations from domestic companies is to compensate people who say they or their relatives were forced to work for Japanese firms during World War Two.

The survey shows that 35 percent of the respondents support the plan, saying it is good for the national interest and relations with Japan. But 59 percent said they are against the plan as it does not include apologies and compensation from Japan.

Regarding ties with Japan, 31 percent said they should be improved as soon as possible even if South Korea offers some level of compromise. Sixty-four percent said there is no need for an improvement anytime soon, if Japan's attitude does not change.

Asked if they support President Yoon Suk-yeol, 34 percent said they do, down 2 percentage points from the previous week. The top reasons for supporting or not supporting the president included diplomacy or the relationship with Japan, indicating a division of views about the Yoon administration.

South Korea's public broadcaster KBS reported that three of the plaintiffs seeking compensation from Japanese firms said they will refuse any payments from the government-backed fund. KBS also said bereaved families of four plaintiffs plan to accept the money.