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International relations

Former Korean 'comfort women' lose lawsuit against Japan

Court makes surprise ruling; dismisses compensation suit due to state immunity

A statue symbolizing "comfort women" is seen in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul on Wednesday.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- A Seoul court on Wednesday dismissed a compensation lawsuit filed by 20 former South Korean "comfort women" against the Japanese government -- a surprise ruling as the same court ruled in favor of 12 plaintiffs in a similar case in January.

The Seoul Central District Court said that the government of Japan is not liable because it has state immunity that shields a nation from being sued in another country.

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