Japan hands over list of Koreans forced into labor during colonial period
SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- Japan on Friday provided a list of 175,000 Koreans who were forced into labor during its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, officials here said, adding the list will help in determing compensation for the victims.
The list, which also recorded 278 million yen (US$3 million) in unpaid wages, was handed over to the South Korean embassy in Tokyo and will be used by Seoul to assess appropriate compensation for the former laborers, a foreign ministry official said.
South Korea believes about 2 million Koreans were conscripted into Japan's workforce between 1930 and 1945. Seoul plans to seek more such data from Tokyo, which claims that the list is the only one it has on Korean civilians forced into labor.
An official at the South Korean Prime Minister's office said his organization plans to launch a task force to analyze the extensive list for at least six months.
The list is expected to help address 100,000 unrecorded cases of forced labor and 4,000 cases of unpaid wages, the official said.
Japan's foreign ministry said last week it will not pay any individual reparations to victims of its 1930-45 rule of Korea, claiming that a 1965 government-level deal between Seoul and Tokyo addressed all compensation issues.
South Korea normalized diplomatic relations with Japan that year after receiving US$800 million in grants and soft loans from Tokyo as compensation for the country's colonial rule.