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The Association of Korean Victims of Forcible Drafting and their Bereaved Families, a North Korean organization, on Friday demanded that Japan apologize and provide compensation for its colonial-era atrocities and called on the withdrawal of hostile policies against Pyongyang.

Urging Japan to “apologize and compensate our past victims and bereaved families at an early date”, the organization further said that “We will never forget Japan’s atrocities even after generations and we will get back a thousand times the blood we shed.”

The association also slammed Japan for its “hostile policies against North Korea” and accused it of “attempting to evade responsibility by directing global attention elsewhere.”

It is estimated that some 500,000 Korean labourers were involuntarily sent to Japan while another 200,000 Korean women were recruited as comfort women.

This demand comes only months after a South Korean court ordered Japan to compensate 12 women who were forced to work in wartime brothels.

Reminders of Japan’s rule of the Korean Peninsula (1910-45) are a source of contention between the two Koreas and Japan, with many surviving “comfort women”, a Japanese euphemism for sex slaves, demanding Tokyo’s formal apology and compensation.

Japan and South Korea signed an agreement over the issue of comfort women in 2015. According to the agreement, Japan agreed to apologise and pay 1 billion Yen (8.3 million USD) to fund victims.

While the participation of Korean men in Japanese military remained minimal till 1944, a lot many were forcibly drafted to work in the factories and as comfort women during World War II.

Devak Singh
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