The Japanese Supreme Court has dismissed a final compensation appeal by a group of 10 South Korean women who were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers or work in Japanese factories during World War II.
The court upheld an earlier ruling which had turned down their claim for damages.
Five years ago, the group secured the first and only court victory in Japan by female Asian victims of wartime enslavement, when a lower court awarded three of them compensation of $2,500 each.
But the High Court overturned that ruling two years ago, saying the issue was one for parliament, not the courts.
More than 50 actions for damages have been filed against Japan by women forced to prostitute themselves during the war.
The total number of victims, known as comfort women, runs into tens of thousands.
The women were drawn from Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service