SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – The Japanese government has been blamed for trying to downplay the role of Japanese companies that forced Koreans to work in their factories during the colonial era.
The Japanese government has recently abandoned the use of the term “forced laborers”, favoring instead “laborers from the Korean Peninsula.”
Experts say that this is an attempt by the Japanese government to mislead the public after a court ruled in South Korea that a Japanese company was found to be responsible for forced labor and must pay damages.
Speaking at the parliament yesterday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the word “laborers from the Korean Peninsula” in place of a previously used term that included a “forced” nuance.
Prime Minister Abe’s choice of words seem to reflect his logic that emphasized the fact that, according to the court ruling, the four plaintiffs crossed over to Japan on to their own free will and had not “been forced.”
But because the defendant, now known as Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, recruited workers under guidance from the Japanese government, and considering the fact that oppression from the Japanese government was at its peak during the colonial rule, rejecting the notion that the recruitment was actually forceful in disguise is highly offensive to South Koreans.
According to the court hearing, the four plaintiffs were unable to leave the factory premises freely, nor were they compensated for their labor.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)