March 16, 2023 11:17
A growing number of Korean businesses are paying into a government fund that is to compensate Korean victims of forced labor during the Japanese occupation.
Steelmaker POSCO, which was among the prime beneficiaries of lump-sum reparations Japan paid under a 1965 treaty normalizing diplomatic relations, gave W4 billion for the fund on Wednesday (US$1=W1,304).
"We decided to voluntarily contribute W4 billion based on a past agreement to contribute W10 billion," the steelmaker said. POSCO's board pledged back in 2012 to donate W10 billion to the fund and already paid W6 billion.
KT, another beneficiary from the reparations, said it will "actively consider" paying into the fund.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea on Tuesday paid an undisclosed sum into the fund, and on March 10 the alumni association of Seoul National University donated W10 million and said it will invite Tokyo University alumni, with which it has a sister agreement, to follow suit.
Fifteen of the Korean victims are owed around W4 billion under a 2018 Supreme Court ruling. The government said the compensation will be paid once legal proceedings over the remaining cases are concluded in court.
Another 60 compensation cases are in the Korean courts right now, and the government estimates that around W14 billion will be needed to pay compensation. Japanese businesses are expected to participate in the fund once Seoul-Tokyo relations recover.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com