So. Korea: Court orders assets forfeiture of Japanese company to enforce decision compensating WWII workers over forced labour

Author: Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press, Published on: 14 January 2019

"South Korea orders seizure of Japan assets over forced labor", 9 Jan. 2019

A South Korean court…has ordered the seizure of local assets of a Japanese company, [Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.], after it refused to compensate several wartime forced laborers [as requires by a Korean decision issued in November 2018]…[At the time,] Japanese officials said they could take the issue to the International Court of Justice...

[In January,] the Daegu District Court…issued the seizure order for some Korean assets of the Japanese company…after lawyers for the plaintiffs filed a request to do so. The Japanese company holds 2.34 million shares, or around $9.7 million, in a joint venture in Pohang with South Korean steelmaker POSCO.

The asset freeze became officially effective…after a court document was delivered to the joint venture, said Kim Se Eun, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs. She said an additional legal step is required to sell 81,075 of the 2.34 million shares that the district court ordered to be frozen…

[Japan called the decision ‘‘extremely regrettable’’ and said it will push for talks with Seoul on the issue…]

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Related companies: Nippon Steel Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Posco