Some 2,600 Korean victims of the Hiroshima bomb are finally expected to receive compensation from the Japanese government. Even though they suffered from illnesses as a result of radiation exposure, the Japanese government had refused financial compensation to the Korean victims on the grounds that they returned to Korea after the war.
But the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced Sunday it decided to give 1.2 million yen or W11.3 million (US$1=W1,029) to each plaintiff living outside Japan in compensation and court costs.
The decision follows a court order in favor of 40 Koreans who were exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing while serving as forced laborers in Hiroshima. They sued for compensation and won in November 2007.
Over 4,300 victims of the atomic bombing live outside Japan, 2,400 of them are living in Korea. According to the Foundation of the South Korea Atomic Bomb Victims Association, there are 2,665 Korean victims, including some 200 who are recognized by the Korean government.
However, the Japanese ministry decided to give compensation only when the victims obtain a Japanese court ruling in separate legal proceedings, saying this is necessary for administrative reasons.