This Joongang Ilbo article states that the government will confiscate about $6.7 million worth of land from the heirs of Japanese collaborators. The property will then be given to the heirs of independence fighters.
Although nice in theory, this act is alarming to me. Some of the evidence is more than 100 years old, and it is essentially the heirs of the collaborators, who have done nothing wrong, that are being punished. I can only see two possible justifications for this move: either the government thinks it's ok to punish heirs for violations committed by ancestors, or the land decrees are void due to the illegality of the colonization.
The first would be especially troubling because a free society can't allow a person to be punished due to the actions of others unless there is a fiduciary relationship. These acts took place several generations ago so there is no fiduciary duty. Imagine if we could be personally held accountable for the actions of our ancestors over 100 years ago. Where would the chain of liability end? Could it lead to a de facto caste system for these people?
In a weird way, this reminds me of Larry's earlier post on Cho's grandmother taking responsibility for his actions. But one could kind of understand a parent or grandparent being held responsible for a child's actions (although Cho was obviously not a child). We're talking about people being held responsible for the actions of their great great great great grandfather.
If it's the second reason then the government would have to hold all contracts created during the colonial period void. It would also have to prove that the colonization was illegal. This is not only impossible, but would also lead to absolute chaos.