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Patriots to benefit from assets seized from Japanese collaborators

All Headlines 17:54 December 14, 2009

By Sam Kim

SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea seeks to seize 100 billion won (US$86 million) worth of assets by July 2010 from the families of Koreans who collaborated with Japanese colonial rulers in the early half of last century, and spend the proceeds on the welfare of patriots, government officials said Monday.

Under a law passed in 2006, a presidential committee has been working to identify those who had cooperated with Japan when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910-1945, including those who campaigned for the annexation of the peninsula.

The law, which hinged on the sentiment that collaborators managed to eschew punishment following Korea's liberation, allows for the belated seizure of their assets.

According to a document disclosed by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the government has so far seized 75 billion won worth of real estate and property, and expects the amount to top 100 billion won by July next year. About 70 percent of the assets targeted for seizure are in legal dispute, it showed.

The ministry plans to use the seized assets to launch a fund that caters to the welfare of the families of those who campaigned for Korea's independence, the document showed. The government plans to raise cash by selling part of the real estate it has seized, it added.

samkim@yna.co.kr
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