Lee Jae-myung (L), the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks at an event for his camp's recruitment of young science talents in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), on Wednesday called for Japan to swiftly carry out a South Korean Supreme Court order to compensate wartime forced labor victims.
"Turning away does not make history disappear," Lee wrote on his Facebook page. "It should respond to the victim's pain with a sincere apology and find realistic ways to carry out the compensation quickly."
In 2018, the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Japanese firm Mitsubishi to compensate the workers forced into free labor during the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule of Korea.
"Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, Mitsubishi resisted and did not pay compensation, and it consistently stalled for time by making appeals when there was asset seizure or sales orders," he said.
Lee added he is concerned about the Japanese government's response.
"The Japanese government is denying the court's ruling, consistently hinting at an 'economic retaliation' against the South Korean government," he said. "We should find solutions under the condition of accepting the Supreme Court's ruling."
Lee also called for the Seoul government to actively step forward to solve the problem.
"Two of the five victims in old age have passed away," he said.
"Delayed justice is not justice."
Earlier, Lee said Seoul should remain firm on historical and territorial issues but expand social and economic cooperation in the interest of both nations. (Yonhap)