Ja­panese firm to ap­peal S. Korean court de­ci­sion on as­set seizure

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL -

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.

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