A Seoul-based Court rejected the appeal of a Japanese company against its judgment to pay 17 South Korean women 100 million won (USD $89,000) each for forced labour in wartime.
South Korea and its former colonial power Japan that are US allies have to confront developing China and nuclear-armed North Korea.
However, the relations of the two countries are tainted by the problems of the past, in particular, the fact that Koreans labourers were forced to work for Japanese companies during the Second World War.
The courts of South Korea passed a series of rulings against Japanese companies, and the head of Seoul said that Tokyo should have a ‘more humble’ attitude to history.
Japan in turn, stated that the right to file a lawsuit was canceled as a result of the 1965 deal when Tokyo and Seoul restored diplomatic relations, and when Japan paid USD $800 million in grants and cheap loans.