A South Korean appeals court on Thursday ruled in favor of a group of former "comfort women" seeking compensation from the Japanese government over their treatment in Japanese military brothels during World War II, in a development that could put a damper on improving bilateral relations.

The Seoul High Court overturned a 2021 lower court ruling that dismissed the case on the grounds that South Korea has no jurisdiction over the case due to "sovereign immunity" — a concept under international law that a state is immune from the jurisdiction of a court in another country.

The term “comfort women” is a euphemism for those who suffered under Japan’s military brothel system before and during World War II.