South Korea's top court rules Japanese company must pay wartime compensation -- Oct 31
South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered a Japanese steelmaker on Tuesday to compensate Korean men forced to toil in its factory for Japan’s World War II efforts, a landmark ruling that threatened to intensify friction between America’s two key allies in Asia.

The judges upheld a lower-court ruling that Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal must pay 100 million won, or about $88,700, to each of four South Korean men who said they were subject to forced labor for the company between 1941 and 1943. Korea was a Japanese colony from 1910 until Japan’s surrender in 1945.

The case has been closely followed in both South Korea and Japan, which have been locked in highly sensitive territorial and other disputes rooted in the colonial era. Japan insists that all matters concerning allegations of forced labor were settled under agreements that established bilateral diplomatic ties in 1965.

But on Tuesday, the South Korean court ruled that those deals should not impede individual victims’ right to seek redress.

If the Japanese company refuses to pay the compensation, the plaintiffs and their families could ask local courts to seize its assets in South Korea. The verdict could also open the floodgates for other victims and their families to file class-action lawsuits against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal and other Japanese companies accused of capitalizing on forced labor.

News source:
Nov 17
Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. pledged Friday to administer more stringent alcohol tests for pilots and use new testing equipment in response to recent drinking incidents involving flight crew. (Japan Times)
Nov 17
Kyoto Prefectural Police on Friday apprehended a man after he is believed to have stabbed a woman at a supermarket in Kyoto City’s Sakyo Ward, reports Fuji News Network (
Nov 17
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks on the possible return of 2 of the 4 Russian-held islands at the center of a long-running territorial dispute. (NHK)
Nov 17
A Japanese national research institute said Thursday it will import strains of Ebola and four other deadly viruses to improve detection processes amid a rise in the number of foreign visitors to the country. (Japan Times)
Nov 16
On 14 October, the Minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Yoshitaka Sakurada was questioned by opposition party members in the Japanese Diet. In one particular exchange with Constitutional Democratic Party member Masato Imai he made a surprising revelation. (
Nov 15
A Japanese high court on Wednesday overturned a lower court decision and acquitted a tattooist for operating without a medical license, ruling the process is not a medical practice. (Kyodo)
Nov 15
Between 260,000 and 340,000 foreign workers are estimated to flow into Japan in the five years from next April through an envisioned immigration control law revision aimed at dealing with the country's serious labor crunch, government sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Nov 15
Public broadcaster NHK announced Wednesday the lineup for its annual New Year's Eve music extravaganza, but K-pop group BTS --- under fire recently for a controversial T-shirt worn by one of its members --- was not included. (Japan Times)
Nov 15
Japan's economy contracted for the first time in 2 quarters. Government officials say a string of natural disasters in the period dented exports and consumer spending. (NHK)
Nov 14
Health officials in Japan say nearly 2,000 people have contracted rubella, or German measles, this year. (NHK)