So. Korea: Plaintiffs seek to seize assets of Japanese companies to enforce Supreme Court’s ruling compensating WWII workers for forced labour

Author: Akiko Horiyama, Mainichi (Japan), Published on: 7 January 2019

"Move to seize assets in forced labor case in S. Korea prioritizes plaintiffs' rights", 3 Jan. 2019

Plaintiffs in a wartime forced labor lawsuit in South Korea are seeking forcible execution of [the South Korean Supreme Court] ruling that ordered Japanese steelmaking giant Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay compensation for forcing laborers to work during the period of Japanese colonial rule between 1910 and 1945…

[Since late December,] the South Korean government has been slow to formulate an official position,...plaintiffs…launched a procedure to have the South Korean assets of the Japanese firm seized.

Any actual seizure of the assets would not come until after an application to sell those assets is filed, but since the South Korean government has yet to present comprehensive countermeasures to assist victims, there is a possibility that forcible execution of the South Korean Supreme Court order will proceed…

The…Japanese government has stated it will take retaliatory measures if the Japanese firm suffers any damage [and] maintains that the…right to seek compensation…[was] resolved…in a reparations agreement attached to a treaty between Japan and South Korea in 1965.

Plaintiffs in a similar case against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. are also considering filing for seizure of the company's assets…

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Related companies: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nippon Steel Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal