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In Japanese court, five ask N. Korea to pay for their suffering

TOKYO —
A Japanese courtroom on Thursday is listening to from 5 individuals who say there have been promised “paradise on Earth” in North Korea however suffered human rights violations as a substitute and now need the nation and its chief Kim Jong Un to compensate them.

The listening to grew to become potential after the Tokyo District Court docket in August agreed to summon Kim Jong Un to talk, in keeping with Kenji Fukuda, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. They don’t seem to be anticipating Kim to seem or to compensate them if the courtroom orders it, however Fukuda hopes the case can set a precedent for negotiations between Japan and North Korea on in search of the North’s accountability and normalizing diplomatic ties.

A whole lot of hundreds of Koreans got here to Japan, many forcibly, to work in mines and factories throughout Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula — a previous that also strains relations between Japan and the Koreas.

In 1959, North Korea started a large resettlement program to carry abroad Koreans house and to make up for staff killed within the Korean Warfare. This system continued to hunt recruits, lots of them initially from South Korea, till 1984.

North Korea had promised free healthcare, schooling, jobs and different advantages, however none was obtainable and the returnees have been largely assigned handbook work at mines, forests or farms, one of many plaintiffs, Eiko Kawasaki, 79, a Korean who was born and raised in Japan, stated final month.

The Japanese authorities, viewing Koreans as outsiders, additionally welcomed the resettlement program and helped prepare for individuals to journey to North Korea. About 93,000 ethnic Korean residents of Japan and their members of the family went to North Korea.

As we speak, about half one million ethnic Koreans reside in Japan and nonetheless face discrimination in class, work and their each day lives.

The courtroom case was introduced in 2018 by 5 individuals who in the end defected again to Japan — 4 ethnic Koreans and a Japanese lady who joined this system along with her Korean husband and their daughter.

“None of us would have gone” if we had recognized the reality about North Korea, Kawasaki stated. She was confined to North Korea for 43 years till defecting in 2003, abandoning her grown kids.

The plaintiffs are demanding 100 million yen ($900,000) every in compensation from North Korea.

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