Seoul court rejects sexual slavery claim against Tokyo

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A South Korean court on Wednesday rejected a claim by South Korean sexual slavery victims and their relatives who sought compensation from the Japanese government over their wartime sufferings.

Activists representing sexual slavery victims denounced the decision and said the Seoul Central District Court was ignoring their struggles to restore women’s honor and dignity. They said in a statement that the plaintiffs would appeal.

The 20 plaintiffs, including 11 women who were forced to work at Japanese military brothels during World War II and relatives of other deceased sex slaves, sued the Japanese government in 2016.

Japan had boycotted the court proceedings. The Seoul court ruled that the Japanese government should be exempt from civil jurisdiction under the principles of international law, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.