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Wartime labor case plaintiffs press for sale of South Korea Mitsubishi Heavy assets

Lawyers of South Korean claimants who received the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. reward situation for compulsory military labour requested the local tribunal on Tuesday to buy the manufacturer’s property confiscated in South Korea.

A private association in support of the claimants had announced the transfer in Gwangju City at a news conference.

Mitsubishi Heavy is the fifth Japanese corporation to experience a comparable liquidation application in the national legal system following judicial orders issued by some of Japan’s companies to indemnify Korean forced labour defendants during the Second World War.

The attorneys established July 15 as the time limit for Mitsubishi Heavy to accept reward discussions, but the time limit went without the company’s reaction.

The question of reward from the colonial rule of Japan on the Korean Peninsula in 1910-1945 has established links between the two nations, with the envisaged asset sales in Japan seen as a valid focal point.

In November Mitsubishi Heavy was instructed by the South Korean Supreme Court to reimburse two organisations of Korean complainants for having to operate at its facilities in Japan in the last conflict.

The firm, however, declined because Japan holds the view that complaints stemming from its imperial regime of 1910-1945 were “full and lastly resolved” under a mutual agreement of 1965.

At the petition of the attorneys, a local tribunal in March endorsed the seizure of the South Korean company’s two trademarks and six patents.

According to the attorneys, the properties are expected to be valued at about 800 million ($679,000) and should represent damages for four complainants.

According to the city group, Tuesday’s application worries all the confiscated property.

Two other firms–Nippon Steel Corp. and Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp. –have been confiscated in South Korea pending instructions from the courts to compensation for South Korean complainants for compulsory labour during the war.

Lawyers of defendants have already requested judges to approve the exchange of such property in the instances against the two firms.

The defendants said in a declaration that Mitsubishi Heavy had not regretted the compulsory labour during the war.

The declaration also suspected the Japanese administration of exerting stress on businesses to stop them from receiving reward instructions, to make attempts to apologise to the applicants or to make reward accessible to them.

The defendants also criticised Japan’s loosened restrictions on the export of semiconductor material to South Korea as a robust financial attack on South Korea.


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