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(2nd LD) Court rejects another gov’t application to deposit compensation for forced labor victims

A regional district court turned down Wednesday a government application to deposit compensation for two late forced labor victims under Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula, citing opposition from the victims' surviving families.

A government-affiliated foundation handling the compensation matter had submitted the request to the Suwon District Court on Tuesday.

The Suwon court rejected the request saying clear opposition from the recipients has been confirmed in the application documents, so it does not meet the requirements for a third-party reimbursement under the Civil Code.

The decision marks the third such rejection by a district court after two similar government requests were denied by the courts in Gwangju and Jeonju. The Jeonju District Court is reviewing the case again after the foundation modified the application to change the payee from the deceased victim to her children.

Seeking to mend ties with Japan, the government announced a plan in March to compensate 15 Korean victims of Japanese wartime forced labor through the foundation without compensation from liable Japanese firms.

The four are among the 15 victims who won damages suits against Japanese companies, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Nippon Steel Corp., at South Korea's Supreme Court in 2018. The 11 others have accepted the compensation from the government's third-party reimbursement plan.

The government announced Monday that it had began a process to deposit the compensation for the four opposing victims -- two alive and the other two dead.

The government has also filed for the deposit of compensation for the other two victims with the Gwangju District Court and Jeonju District Court, respectively, but the Gwangju court dismissed the application on the grounds that the victim is refusing the third-party reimbursement plan.

On Wednesday, the Jeonju District Court also decided to reject the deposit application, citing erroneous paperwork.

Source: Yonhap News Agency