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SEOUL — A South Korean man whose family once collaborated with the Japanese lost an appeal last week involving ownership of land formerly used as a U.S. military base, according to a court official.

Song Don-ho, 64, claimed in an appeal in Seoul High Court that his family should get the 90 acres once used as Camp Market, a U.S. military base near Incheon International Airport, the court official said.

In the appeal, Song claimed the land was once owned by his great-grandfather, Song Byung-joon. The elder Song is accused by modern historians of helping the Japanese gain control over South Korea in the early 1900s. In his ruling, Chief Judge Choi Wan-joo said Song’s family already garnered wealth during the Japanese occupation, according to the court official. The judge ruled that returning the land, now valued at $180 million, to the South Korean government would help erase the legacy of South Korea’s colonial era, the official said.

Song has two weeks to decide whether to appeal the case to the Seoul Supreme Court, the highest court in South Korea, the court official said.


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