SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Supreme Court has ruled that a Japanese steelmaker should compensate four South Koreans for forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula before the end of World War II.
Tuesday's ruling could have larger implications for similar lawsuits that are pending in South Korean courts and will likely trigger a diplomatic row between the Asian U.S. allies. Their bitter disputes over history have complicated Washington's efforts to strengthen trilateral cooperation to deal with North Korea's nukes and China's growing regional influence.
The court says Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation should compensate 100 million won ($87,680) each to four plaintiffs.
Japan maintains all wartime compensation issues were settled by a 1965 treaty between the governments to restore diplomatic ties.