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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korean court orders Japan to pay former 'comfort women'

First-ever ruling raises prospects of diplomatic tensions and seizure of assets

A statue symbolizing South Korea's wartime 'comfort women' in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.

SEOUL -- A South Korean court on Friday handed down a verdict requiring the Japanese government to pay 100 million won ($91,000) each in compensation to Korean women who served as "comfort women" during World War II.

The verdict by the Seoul Central District Court, the first of its kind, came in a case filed by a group of 12 female plaintiffs, some of whom are now dead, demanding 100 million won in compensation.

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