JEAIL > Volume 6(1); 2013 > Regional Focus & Controversies
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2013

Remedying "Enforced Sexual Slavery": Validating Victims' Reparation Claims against Japan

Seong Phil Hong
Yonsei University School of Law
50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 Korea.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It has been over two decades since the Japanese practice of enforced sexual slavery began to receive widespread attention. Yet despite numerous international efforts to urge Japan to squarely acknowledge its moral and legal responsibility, there has been no meaningful progress to resolve this matter. This work revisits the issue of enforced sexual slavery as it stands today. The Japanese practice of enforced sexual slavery was a clear violation of international law at the time. Therefore, individual victims have valid legal claims for reparation against the Japanese government. The first half of this article reconfirms the illegality of the practice of enforced sexual slavery. The remainder summarizes and vindicates the claims of the victims once again. This research suggests how to remedy the victims' rights and discusses how to implement reparation. It also contends that Japan owes reparations and legitimate remedial measures to the victims that go beyond monetary compensation in line with the rules of contemporary international law.

Keywords: Enforced Sexual Slaves, Crimes against Humanity, Reparation for Individual Victims, The 1965 Korea-Japan Agreement, The San Francisco Peace Treaty

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