Koreans suing Japanese companies are dredging up an old and ugly dispute between the two countries

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Sunset in Jeonju, South Korea. Credit: Giuseppe Milo/CC BY 2.0.

Japan occupied the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945. It forced close to eight million Koreans to serve in the military, and work in factories and mines that supplied Japan’s war machine. It also forced many Korean women to serve as “comfort women” in military brothels. Despite a 1965 treaty, many South Koreans believe Japan has never fully apologized or made reparations for its occupation. Now more than a dozen lawsuits involving South Korean workers and Japanese companies are in courts.