Japan Demands Talks Over Forced-Labor Court Ruling

  • By Roh Suk-jo

    January 14, 2019 12:48

    Japan has set Korea an ultimatum to respond within 30 days to a request for talks over a recent court ruling ordering a Japanese steelmaker to compensate Korean victims of forced labor.

    Last week, the Daegu District Court authorized the seizure of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal's Korean assets at the request of Koreans who were forced to work in its factories during World War II.

    The victims asked the court to seize shares in POSCO-Nippon Steel RFH (PNR), a joint venture specializing in recycling byproducts from steel making, after the Japanese company failed to pay compensation ordered by the Korean Supreme Court late last year.

    Nippon Steel owns around 2.34 million shares of PNR valued at around W11 billion (US$1=W1,116).

    The Japanese government has demanded talks to discuss a 1965 treaty that normalized ties in return for lump sum compensation for all colonial abuses.

    The Supreme Court last year ruled that the treaty cannot override individual victims' rights. The Foreign Ministry said it would "review" Japan's call for talks but vowed to "uphold the court's ruling and due process and consider the rights of victims and bilateral relations."

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