'Comfort women' lawsuit targeting Japan dismissed

NHK -- Apr 22
A South Korean court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of people referred to as wartime comfort women and relevant families.

The suit was seeking damages from the Japanese government.

Tokyo takes the position that the lawsuit should have been dismissed on the basis of sovereign immunity. It's a concept under international law in which a state is immune from the civil jurisdiction of a court in a foreign country.

The Seoul Central District Court said it had applied sovereign immunity to the case.

No Japanese government officials attended the proceedings.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said the government should refrain from commenting at the moment.

Kato said, "We will continue to strongly urge South Korea, as a state, to take appropriate measures to correct violations of international law."

He added that the Japanese stance over the issue won't change at all.

Earlier in January, the same court ordered the Japanese government to pay damages to plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit.