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South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday dismissed a case filed by a group of South Koreans who were punished as war criminals after serving in the Imperial Japanese Army as guards during World War II, saying that their government is not responsible for compensation issues.

Lee Hak Rae, who had lived in Japan and died in March at age 96, and other South Koreans submitted the case to the Constitutional Court in 2014, claiming that the South Korean government contravened the Constitution by not voluntarily seeking to resolve issues relating to the war criminals with the Japanese government and thus violating their basic human rights.

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