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Japan-South Korea rift

Ahead of US-Japan-Korea summit, Moon moves for thaw with Tokyo

Seoul court rejects wartime labor suit as Biden renews East Asia focus

Representatives for the plaintiffs speak to reporters outside the Seoul Central District Court on on June 7.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- As South Korea prepares to meet with Japan and the U.S. at the upcoming Group of Seven summit, a court here on Monday dismissed a wartime compensation suit against Japanese companies in a potential step toward thawing ties with Tokyo.

The Seoul Central District Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by those who claim that they were forced to work for Japanese companies during World War II and their families. Eighty-five former laborers and family members initially filed the case in May 2015, each seeking roughly 100 million won ($90,000) from a total of 16 Japanese companies, including Nippon Steel, Eneos and Nishimatsu Construction.

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