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Friction likely as Korean court orders Nippon Steel to compensate WWII workers

Author: Hyonhee Shin, Reuters, Published on: 30 October 2018

South Korea’s top court ruled on Tuesday Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. should compensate four South Koreans for their forced labor during World War Two, a decision that could freeze ties between the uneasy neighbors...In a landmark ruling, South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld a 2013 order for the company to pay 100 million won ($87,700) to each of the four steel workers who initiated the suit in 2005, seeking compensation and unpaid wages.  The court ruled that the former laborers’ right to reparation was not terminated by a 1965 treaty normalizing diplomatic ties, rejecting the claim by Tokyo and Japanese courts...

...If Nippon Steel refuses to compensate, the plaintiffs could request a seizure of the company’s property in South Korea, which may result in an exit of some Japanese businesses and a cut in investment...Nippon Steel could seek international arbitration, said Jin Chang-soo, president of the Sejong Institute think tank...

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Related companies: Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal