An alliance of civic groups seeking a resolution to colonial-era issues with Japan held a massive rally in downtown Seoul marking the 74th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule.
Despite heavy rain, some one-thousand-500 people are estimated to have gathered at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall to call for unity to resolve the issue of compensation for Korean victims of Japan's wartime forced labor.
Lee Choon-sik, a 95-year-old forced labor victim who won a compensation suit against the Japanese firm Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal at the South Korean Supreme Court last October, thanked all those who attended the rally, saying he was choked with emotion.
Another victim, 90-year-old Yang Geum-deok, said her only wish was to receive a sincere apology from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Denouncing Japan's dismissal of the top court's rulings last year that ordered the firms to compensate the victims, a representative from a Japanese civic group pledged to join hands with the victims for justice.
The participants also marched towards the Japanese embassy carrying photos of some of the late victims and banners urging Abe to apologize and the companies to compensate the victims.