59 pct oppose forced labor compensation plan: poll
SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 60 percent of South Koreans are against the government's plan to compensate victims of Japan's wartime forced labor on its own without involving Japanese firms, a poll showed Friday.
In the poll of 1,002 adults conducted by Gallup Korea on Wednesday and Thursday, 59 percent said they oppose the plan as it does not require Tokyo's official apology and compensation.
Some 35 percent said they support the compensation plan for the sake of national interest and Korea-Japan relations, while 6 percent were unsure.
The result came days after the government announced the plan to compensate the Korean victims of Japan's forced labor through a foundation supported by donations from South Korean businesses, not the Japanese companies accused of forced labor during World War II.
The solution was welcomed by the United States and Japan but has drawn strong criticism from victims of wartime forced labor and opposition parties.
Gallup Korea said those who approved the compensation plan were mostly supporters of the ruling People Power Party who gave positive assessments of President Yoon Suk Yeol. In other demographic groups, more people were opposed to the plan.
On the future of the Korea-Japan relationship, 64 percent said there is no need to hurry to mend their frayed ties unless Japan shows a change in attitude, while 31 percent said it should be swiftly improved even if it requires Seoul's compromise.
An overwhelming majority of 85 percent said the Japanese government has not repented for its wartime atrocities. Only 8 percent said they believe Japan regrets its past wrongdoings.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
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