A lower court in Tokyo on Thursday ordered the Japanese government to disclose part of the classified 1965 Korea-Japan normalization treaty dealing with the issue of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery.
The Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of 11 Korean and Japanese civic activists representing formerly enslaved sex workers, known as “comport women.”
The pact covers compensation rights for the victims of the 1910-45 colonial rule.
The Japanese government has been insisting that the sexual slavery issue has already been settled through the 1965 Korea-Japan treaty of basic relations, claiming that Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level.
In 2005, the Seoul government disclosed some 1,200 pages recording the proceedings of the treaty. Japan, however, has been refusing to disclose them, noting the disclosure of such diplomatic documents might hinder relations between South and North Korea.
But the court ruled Thursday to disclose all the information on 117 cases that the Japanese government has kept secret for 40 years, but only partially on 47 cases in the treaty.
The news came just weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that the government would not be providing any new compensation to those who served as sex slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army before and during World War II.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)