By Fr. Peter Ju Seok Kang,Director of the Catholic Institute of Northeast Asia Peace The South Korean government has been working hard to improve relations with Japan and proposed a solution on March 6th. This solution uses so-called “third party reimbursement" to compensate Korean victims of forced labor by Japanese companies during the Japanese colonial period. Many Korean civic and religious organizations with long interest in Korea-Japan issues are vigorously protesting this proposed solution. This decision by the Korean government raises concerns that they are undermining judicial sovereignty in ignoring the ruling of its Supreme Court. It is particularly impossible to avoid criticism that the voices of victims were not properly reflected, as they eagerly demanded compensation from the perpetrators and an apology from the Japanese government. Although the Catholic Church emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation for true peace, social doctrine states, “Mutual forgiveness must not eliminate the need for justice and still less does it block the path that leads to truth. On the contrary, justice and truth represent the concrete requisites for reconciliation.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, 518). In his August 2019 discourse on Korean and Japanese reconciliation, Bishop Taiji Katsuya of Sapporo clearly stated Japan’s responsibility, as he did on the 100th anniversary of Korea’s March First Independence Movement. In his statement as chair of Japan's Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, Bishop Katsuya said, “We should note that the current tension between Japan and Korea is deeply rooted in Japan’s colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula and unresolved issues in the compensation process.” He added, “We must carefully consider Japan’s history of aggression and colonial rule. The only way to resolve these problems is through calm and rational dialogue, based in an attitude of mutual respect.” Photo 1: The Catholic Korea Peace Forum 2022 was held at The Catholic University of America in October 2022 Ⓒ Catholic Institute of Northeast Asian Peace (CINAP) In the context of threat to justice and peace in Northeast Asia, the Committee for the Reconciliation for the Korean People and the Catholic Institute of Northeast Asian Peace once more are preparing an event in which the Catholic Church in Korea, Japan, and the United States unites in trilateral solidarity. Peace on earth may seem impossible, but a church that believes in the resurrection of Christ does not give up on the vision of peace fulfilled through truth and repentance. In a region rife with hostility and fear, may the church in Korea, the United States, and Japan work together for the peace of Christ.