The Supreme Court on Monday upheld lower court rulings that rejected claims by former Koreans imprisoned for war crimes after World War II and a relative of a Korean executed after the war.
The ex-Imperial army members were tried by the Allied powers and branded Class B and C war criminals.
They are seeking 14 million yen in compensation from the government for their suffering after the war.
In handing down the ruling, presiding Judge Motoo Ono expressed sympathy with the plaintiffs, suggesting the government should enact a law to redress those victims.
During the war, the Koreans were treated as Japanese under Japan’s assimilation policy, which forced those in its colonies to become subjects of the empire.
They were made ineligible to receive compensation under Tokyo’s relief measures for veterans and civilian workers of the Japanese military once they were stripped of their Japanese nationality in line with the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty.
The group’s lawyers had argued that the plaintiffs should be entitled to redress based on “common sense.”
But the court said they cannot be compensated without the backing of laws.
According to the suit, the plaintiffs were drafted to guard Allied POWs at a construction site in Thailand. After the war, they were convicted for ill-treating the POWs.

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