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Court finalizes ruling against disclosing minutes of 2015 Seoul-Tokyo pact on sex slavery

National 14:05 June 01, 2023

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday finalized a ruling in favor of the foreign ministry's decision not to disclose the minutes of the 2015 Seoul-Tokyo agreement on resolving issues from Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women.

The agreement sought to address bilateral diplomatic issues from the World War II sexual enslavement by Japan and a Tokyo-funded foundation was established to support victims.

A lawyer in 2016 filed a suit against the South Korean foreign minister, demanding the disclosure of the minutes of the bilateral negotiations leading to the agreement. The minutes were about negotiations concerning whether Japan acknowledges the direct involvement of its military and government in mobilizing victims.

A district court had initially ruled in favor of the lawyer and ordered the disclosure of the documents, saying the national interest to be protected by keeping them secret is not greater than the public interest and the satisfaction of the people's right to know to be gained when they are made public.

An appellate court, however, reversed the first court ruling on the reasoning that the South Korea-Japan diplomatic relationship could take a blow if the documents are released.

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the appellate court ruling and dismissed the lawyer's appeal.

The Supreme Court of Korea (Yonhap)

The Supreme Court of Korea (Yonhap)


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