The Liberal Democratic Party was to begin drawing up a plan Monday to compensate permanent South Korean residents of Japan who worked under the Imperial Japanese forces but are ineligible for pensions because they are no longer Japanese citizens.
LDP sources said Sunday that the party was leaning toward paying those eligible a one-time lump sum and that a final decision could be reached by week’s end.
The money might also be extended to individuals from what is now North Korea and Taiwan who are in a similar position, they added.
The LDP hopes to present its proposal to its two coalition partners, the Liberal Party and New Komeito, as early as the start of the new year. If discussions proceed smoothly, the issue will be submitted as a legislator-proposed bill to the next ordinary Diet session, the sources said.
An LDP team examining the issue has already reported to Shizuka Kamei, the party’s policy affairs chief, that while pension payments cannot be extended to those involved, steps must be taken to address the problem.
The panel suggested payments be made to ex-soldiers and conscripted laborers from Japan’s colonies who lost their Japanese citizenship under the 1951 treaty of San Francisco and now live permanently in Japan, or to their next of kin.
The government should refer to the one-time payments agreed upon in 1988 for kin of ex-Japanese soldiers of Taiwanese descent and such soldiers who were injured or became sick, the team added.
These came to 2 million yen, but observers note that if the yen rate with Taiwan’s currency and inflation are considered, a similar figure will be insufficient for Korean residents of Japan.
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