Japan’s Last Korean War Criminal Demands Recognition
He was recruited by the Japanese from then-occupied Korea in 1942.
A 95-year-old war criminal from Korea in Japan is now asking for the attention that Korean war criminals in the country have not been afforded. As opposed to them, their Japanese counterparts have enjoyed plenty of recognition to date. Lee Hak-rae was among the 148 Korean soldiers who were declared war criminals after the end of World War II. Japan has given pension supplements that could add up to $41,000 a year to its military veterans, following the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951.
However, the treaty also meant that Koreans who fought for Japan, lost their Japanese nationality and lost their entitlement to these pensions. As many as 2,40,000 Korean men had taken part in World War II, fighting from the Japanese side. According to historians, these men were then rejected by both Korea and Japan. “It’s unfair and doesn’t make any sense. How can I accept this unbelievable situation?” said Lee.
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