Court Asked to Sell Japanese Firms' Assets for Forced Labor Victims

  • By Lee Ha-won, Kim Eun-jeong

    May 02, 2019 11:07

    A progressive lawyers group on Wednesday filed a request to court to liquidate the Korean assets of Japanese companies to cover unpaid compensation for Korean victims of wartime forced labor.

    Lawyers for a Democratic Society filed the request on the same day that Japan's new Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne.

    It comes after the Daegu District Court in January authorized the seizure of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal's assets in Korea following the Supreme Court's ruling last October that the Japanese company should pay its forced labor victims W100 million each in compensation (US$1=W1,166).  

    The court froze W974 million worth shares Nippon Steel has in joint venture POSCO-Nippon Steel RFH.

    Japan's new Emperor Naruhito (left), accompanied by Empress Masako, delivers a speech after his accession to the throne in Tokyo on Wednesday. /AP-Yonhap

    In a separate case, Nachi-Fujikoshi was ordered to pay W80-W100 million each to victims in a 2014 ruling by a lower court, and an appeal is pending. But the machine maker also had its W765 million worth shares in Daesung Nachi Hydraulics seized in March.

    Lower courts here have no choice but to approve a request under a Supreme Court's ruling. But it will take some time before a court decision is made and delivered to the companies for actual sale. 

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