Citizens’ group calls for law to give Koreans war pensions

A citizens’ group submitted a request Feb. 19 to both houses of the Diet calling for special legislation to make Korean residents who worked for Japan during World War II eligible to receive war pensions from the government.

The Group to Demand Postwar Compensation for Korean Residents of Japan has collected 678,253 signatures from people supporting the group’s campaign, group members said. According to the group, 29 Diet members support the petition.

The current war pension law grants pensions to former Japanese soldiers and civilian employees of the Japanese military who were wounded in World War II, as well as families of people killed during the war. But the 1952 law states that pension recipients must be Japanese nationals and excludes Korean residents who lost their Japanese citizenship when the San Francisco Treaty took effect that year.