Two local courts on Thursday turned down government applications to deposit compensation for late forced labor victims under Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula, citing opposition from the bereaved families.
A government-affiliated foundation handling the compensation matter had submitted the requests to the Jeonju District Court and the Pyeongtaek branch of Suwon District Court, each, to deposit compensation for two victims' bereaved family members.
But the courts rejected the requests, saying clear opposition from the recipients has been confirmed in the application documents so that the request does not meet the requirements for a third-party reimbursement under the Civil Code.
Earlier, the Jeonju court rejected the foundation's deposit bid for the victim, resulting in the foundation modifying the application to change the payees to her children.
Thursday's decision is the latest in a series of such rejections by local courts, including in Gwangju and Suwon.
In landmark rulings in 2018, South Korea's Supreme Court ordered Japanese firms, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Nippon Steel Corp., to compensate 15 South Koreans they used for forced labor while Korea was under Japan's colonial rule.
But the Yoon Suk Yeol government announced a plan in March to compensate the victims through the foundation without contributions from liable Japanese firms in an effort to mend ties with Japan.
Of them, 11 victims have accepted the government's third-party reimbursement plan, but the remaining four opposed it -- two alive and the other two dead, demanding the participation of the relevant Japanese companies.
Source: Yonhap News Agency