Virtual Panel Discussion
Wartime Legacies: Korean, Japanese and U.S. Perspectives on Recent Court Cases on the “Comfort Women”
Atsuko Kanehara, Japanese Society of International Law, Sophia University
Terence Roehrig, U.S. Naval War College
Jeong-Ho Roh, Center for Korean Legal Studies at Columbia Law School
Monday, February 22, 2021
Abstract: In January 2021, a South Korean court ordered the Japanese government to pay damages to twelve Korean women forced into sexual servitude in military brothels during World War II. Though largely symbolic since the Japanese government refused to appear in court and has rejected the judgement on the grounds that Korea has no jurisdiction over Japan, it is certain to further inflame relations between the United States’ two most important allies in East Asia.
What are the legal issues behind this case? What arguments does each side bring to bear and what is their merit? Given the threats posed by North Korea and China, and American reliance on their allies in the region, how does this ruling complicate the Biden administration’s plans for trilateral cooperation?
The Center for Korean Legal Studies will welcome Professor Atsuko Kanehara (President, Japanese Society of International Law, Sophia University), Professor Terence Roehrig (U.S. Naval War College), and Center Director Jeong-Ho Roh for a discussion of the legal aspects of the “Comfort Women,” and a look into what role the U.S. might play in helping to finally resolve these complex issues.
Co-sponsored by Center for Korean Legal Studies at Columbia Law School