Japanese firm to appeal S. Korean court decision on asset seizure
A Japanese company plans to appeal a South Korean court decision on the seizure of its assets here to compensate victims of wartime forced labor, reports said Tuesday.
The move would defer the judicial process feared to worsen tensions between the two countries.
Nippon Steel will file an appeal immediately, after a branch of the Daegu District Court started the procedure to liquidate some of its stake in PNR, a joint venture established with Korea’s top steelmaker, POSCO, according to Japan’s Kyodo News and NHK.
The appeal is expected to allow the company to buy time before the forced sale of its assets, which observers said would set the stage for sharper confrontation between Seoul and Tokyo whose ties have already been frayed over trade, and other colonial-era issues.
Nippon Steel has until the end of Sunday to file the appeal before last year’s court decision on the asset seizure is finalized. The assets subject to sales are the 30 percent stake held by Nippon Steel in PNR — worth about 400 million won ($335,000) by face value.
Tokyo has rejected the compensation calls, arguing the forced labor issue was already settled under a bilateral 1965 treaty that normalized the two countries’ ties after Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.