The Abe administration is considering taking demands by South Koreans for compensation over wartime forced labor in Japan to the International Court of Justice.
A source said Friday that such a move would be one option if South Korea’s Supreme Court upholds lower court rulings sanctioning such compensation.
Even if Japan takes the cases to the world court, no judicial process would start without South Korea’s consent.
The administration apparently wants to stress to the international community that the issue of wartime compensation was settled under the 1965 treaty on basic relations between Japan and South Korea.
In a television program taped Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the administration’s basic position is that the treaty fully resolved the matter.
He urged companies involved in such cases to delay paying compensation if they lose in court.
On July 10, the Seoul High Court ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay compensation of 1 million won (about ¥90,700) each to four South Koreans subjected to wartime forced labor.
On July 30, the Busan High Court issued a ruling ordering Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay 80 million won (¥7.25 million) each to five separate South Korean plaintiffs.