Court Orders Seizure of Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy's Assets in S. Korea over Forced Wartime Labor | Be Korea-savvy

Court Orders Seizure of Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy’s Assets in S. Korea over Forced Wartime Labor

This file photo shows the logo of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., a Japanese firm accused of wartime forced labor. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows the logo of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., a Japanese firm accused of wartime forced labor. (Yonhap)

ANYANG, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – A South Korean court has ordered the seizure of Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.’s assets here to provide compensation to forced wartime labor victims’ families, according to judicial sources Thursday.

According to Haemaru Lawfirm, the Anyang branch of Suwon District Court, just south of Seoul, recently ordered the seizure of about 850 million won (US$725,000) worth of bonds the Japanese company owns in LS Mtron Ltd., a South Korean industrial machinery manufacturer.

The value is the equivalent of the total 340 million won of damages ordered to be provided to four victims of Japan’s forced labor during World War Ⅱ in a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, as well as approximate losses incurred from the delay of the compensation.

Earlier this month, the surviving families of the victims asked the court to seize Mitsubishi Heavy’s bonds in Korea after confirming business transactions between the Japanese firm and the local machinery manufacturer.

The request was made to move forward the top court’s landmark verdict in 2018 that ordered Mitsubishi Heavy to pay 80-150 million won in damages to each of the victims that filed the suit.

The Japanese firm has refused to follow the ruling, citing “legal obstacles to forcible execution of the order.”

“We request Mitsubishi Heavy to admit to the historical fact (of forced labor) and apologize and deliver compensation to its victims,” the law firm representing the plaintiffs said.

“If Mitsubishi Heavy continues to refuse to follow court orders, we will collect its bonds from LS Mtron based on the collection order,” it added.

In Tokyo, the Japanese government immediately denounced the South Korean court ruling as an outright violation of international law and warned of serious ramifications if it is enforced.

Japan’s top government spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, was quoted as telling reporters a possible liquidation of Mitsubishi assets would push bilateral relations into a serious situation.

In this regard, a ranking official from Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea’s presidential office, said Seoul was closely watching the latest developments.

“The government is listening to various opinions from all walks of life and closely consulting with the Japanese side to find a variety of reasonable solutions in consideration of the realization of the victims’ rights and bilateral relations between South Korea and Japan,” said the official.


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